Moonlight Dancer fascinated me. The blurb suggests it could be something different, something time-twisty, and would be good for my exposure to international culture. And I love the cover! It came in a story-bundle, which means I paid a small amount for it, along with some others in the weird and time-travelly vein.
by Deb Atwood
Kendra JinJu MacGregor can resist neither the antique Korean doll in the dusty warehouse nor the handsome Hiro Peretti who sells it to her.
Once she brings the doll home, Kendra pays little attention to misplaced objects or her beloved dog’s fear. That is, until one terrifying night forces her to question her very sanity. Soon, the ethereal, brooding NanJu manifests herself, and Kendra begins her travels through time to 16th century Korea into a history of conflict and intrigue. For Kendra is about to discover the dark past of her ghostly visitor.
Now it’s up to Kendra, with Hiro by her side, to interpret the past and prevent murder. Everything depends upon Kendra’s success, even—she discovers to her horror—her own life. [goodreads]
Moonlight Dancer is full of contradictions. It is fast paced but it takes a long time to get anywhere. The protag, Kendra, wants to sort things out, but gets thoroughly waylaid by Hiro, who is so memorable I couldn’t remember who he was when I picked the book up again. She has dreams which take her off to a far-off place which appears to be in the past, with lots of fighting going on. And her friend’s mother hates her.
Frankly, I got so confused by it I lost interest. There is a very interesting complicated story in here, but Kendra’s relationships and whining bored me. And, as you know, questioning your sanity is not high on my agenda at present. I did speed-read it. I think it’s very YA, and YAs will love it. For a jaded old scifi fan like me, it reminds me of a short story called the Janissaries of … somewhere, which I remember for the word janissaries, which was new to me at the time, and the concept of time travel where you have sand in your bed when you wake up. Someone will doubtless tell me who wrote it.
I suspect some of my readers will like Moonlight Dancer a lot. But then, you’re younger than me!
I googled it: “The Janissaries of Emilion” (1967) by Basil Copper.