Bloodfever (Fever #2) by Karen Marie Moning
Released: October 2007
Publisher: Delacourt Press
Reason for reading: Continuation of a series
Other books in the series: Darkfever, Faefever, Dreamfever. Shadowfever
Series rating: 4/5
**This is a review of books 2-5 in the series, my review of Darkfever can be found here**
Goodreads description of Bloodfever:
I used to be your average, everyday girl but all that changed one night in Dublin when I saw my first Fae, and got dragged into a world of deadly immortals and ancient secrets. . . .
In her fight to stay alive, MacKayla must find the Sinsar Dubh—a million-year-old book of the blackest magic imaginable, which holds the key to power over the worlds of both the Fae and Man. Pursued by assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she can’t trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and powerful men: V’lane, the immortal Fae Prince, and Jericho Barrons, a man as irresistible as he is dangerous.
For centuries the shadowy realm of the Fae has coexisted with that of humans. Now the walls between the two are coming down, and Mac is the only thing that stands between them.
As soon as I finished Darkfever I realised I needed to read the next one which I immediately got for my Kindle. It's weird, because reading the first book, I did have a lot of misgivings but I can safely say that this series is one of my favourite Urban Fantasy series' ever. I love the take on the Fae in this book, it's a little different from most interpretations and is really interesting.
My favourite thing about this series has to be the interactions between Barrons and Mac. They are so...multi-layered and complicated. There's an undercurrent of sexual tension with every conversation and this becomes more pronounced as the books progress. I loved wondering how they felt about each other, trying to find a hidden, or sometimes, not so hidden message in the words they exchanged. I loved their silent conversations; how they knew each other so well they could could interact non-verbally. They have to be one of my favourite character pairings ever. I really liked how their story arc turned out and the revelations that we had-and didn't have-about Barrons. I loved watching the change of attitudes that the two had towards one another and the gradual acceptance that came from so much time spent together. One of my only issues was that I found them so distracting I was often impatient to get to their next encounter and not always enjoying the rest of the plot in between!
Mac's character development across the series is outstanding. She goes from being a naive and quite annoying girl to a strong, capable and independent woman, fully able to fight her own battles and make her own choices. The things she did and the events that occured and what happened to her affected her character in a way that felt truly organic. I liked the explanation of her nature at the end of series that helped explain where some of her character changes came from. I liked how, at the end, she became a happy medium between the girl she was and the girl she became. She was lovable and fun but also hard and firm and wise. It was really interesting to see the parts of herself collide and combine across the series.
I think the other characters are fantastic as well; the story is all about Barrons and Mac but V'lane certainly makes his mark and even Darroc has an interesting story arc. I loved the inclusion of Dani; a sort of surrogate sister for Mac. I loved how her character developed and the revelations we had about her, although I felt her story wasn't as complete as it could have been (although I have just discovered she features in the book Iced, so that now makes sense). I thought so many secondary characters such as all the fae, the sidhe-seers and the druids etc might confuse the story but they really didn't. I think the Dreamy Eyed Guy was one of my favourite characters.
The ending of book 3 is when this series got serious for me. I just...was not expecting it to go down that way. I finished Faefever at 1am and I was just in shock. If I'd finished it earlier I would have started the next one immediately but I really needed to sleep! I really didn't know what was going to happen in the aftermath of that ending. I felt similarly about the ending of book 4, only worse! I literally could not believe what had happened. I found myself barely concentrating on book 5, unable to enjoy it until that particular plot element was explained. I also loved the almost post-apocalyptic feel that the latter half of this series had; it really added to the atmosphere and gave the story a grittier, more realistic feel.
I found this series so riveting I just could not stop reading. I never guessed any of the plot twists and feel that this is one of the most surprising, most unpredictable, most enjoyable series I have read in a while. I was set a little on edge by the treatment of women (namely Mac) in this series. Sex is used as a weapon A LOT which was something I was not entirely comfortable with. It was also used in other ways that made me equally uncomfortable. A lot of the characters are very possessive of and domineering towards Mac which was something else I was not happy with. Mac did stand alone in this series and was clever in refusing to fully trust or ally herself with a particular person or group for the most part, but I felt that that led to her being constantly manipulated, lied to, ordered around and objectified in a way I wasn't too happy with. This is mostly why I deducted a point from my overall rating of the series.
TL;DR: Despite my initial reaction to Darkfever; this series is far and away one of my favourites of its genre. With plotlines that left me constantly guessing and characters that take stereotypes and mould them into something new and interesting, the Fever series was an emotional and gripping ride. I urge anyone who loves urban fantasy to give it a read.
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