Pros: Twisted, but cool take on the legendary Fae
Cons: Don't let the placement of the book in "romance" fool you
I’d just finished The Devil You Know, which (ironically) takes place in London and before that, In the Woods that took place in Ireland. I felt like reading some romance this time around and after a gloss over the shelves, I plucked out Bloodfever. Though I felt like something with non-depressed vampires or werewolves, instead it looked like I was yet again going to the UK or areas nearby; Dublin to be precise. Then I realized that this was actually going to be a trilogy and I needed to read Karen Moning’s first book, Darkfever. Righto then.
MacKayla Lane has a nice life. She surrounds herself with bright rainbow colors, pink, matching accessories, happy, mindless music and fun. At least, that was until her sister Alina is found murdered in a trashy alley in Dublin. Her case is closed much too fast for Mac’s liking, so she flies over to demand justice – and get revenge if all possible. That’s where she starts seeing things. Horrible things that no one else seems able to see. The edges of her reality crumble and the only person there to help her is the mysterious Jericho Barrons, and she’s not likely to fully trust him either. Learning that the fabled Seelie and Unseelie Courts from Faery are real, Mac finds getting revenge for her sister will be a lot harder than she thought.
Up until page 240 or so, I was wondering why this book was in the Romance section of the bookstore. It certainly didn’t have any romance in it. Or any romantic/sexual tension for that matter. Sure, Jericho seems to have a thing for Mac’s breasts, but other than that, she’s busy hurling insults at him and distrusting him. I don’t even see how he could turn around and suddenly become a romantic interest because the guy just doesn’t fit the bill from all I know of him. Even then, when page 240 rolled around, it wasn’t romantic at all, but closer to erotica than anything. This book is one of those weird borderline books that could fall into fantasy or romance I guess. It’s not your typical romance novel, that’s for dang sure.
Though I like the way all the characters are brought to the reader’s senses, sometimes I just can’t figure out Mac. Is she stupid? Stupid-smart? For example, she’ll seem like she’s fairly well on top of things, and then wears a cute skirt and brings her favorite purse when setting out on an Unseelie-killing mission. I understand you have to look decent when going out for appearances, but be practical at least; don’t bring the purse you adore and wear jeans or something.
Don’t get me wrong though. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I don’t care where it’s stuck genre-wise and I don’t have much choice but to accept some of Mac’s stupidity, and in truth, the only thing that I wish the author had never brought up because it’s skewing my vision of the Fae; there’s a brief mention that they’re not originally from this planet. Ok, that’s fine, but the wording made it sound like aliens and that makes me think of spaceships at the very least, which throws me off considering I was once in the area of say, world next door to ours via portals and semi-magical. Well, we still have all that but I still have that random stereotypical “alien” thing stuck in my brain. My fault, I know, but I just wish it hadn’t been mentioned.
Besides all that, I love what she’s done with the Fae. The last time I encountered the Seelie and Unseelie Courts was in War for the Oaks and they were rather far from these portrayals, glamour, beauty, and ugliness aside. Moning’s versions are much more twisted, which is pretty cool. Though admittedly, the whole death-by-sex Fae thing is still kind of weird, the concept is very interesting. Moning’s descriptions of places and Fae are very good; just the right amount. You’ll be able to see the freakish Unseelie creatures in your mind very clearly, right away. You’ll also be trying to figure out if a vampire truly is a vampire, just what the heck Jericho is supposed to be, and who the Lord Master is and why he’s doing what he’s doing.
Of course, you’ll have to read the next two books to find out. Here’s to hoping for some more good battle scenes!
P.S. Is it weird that one of the few Celtic songs I have on my playlist just came on?
The Fever Series:
The Highlander Series:
Beyond the Highland Mist
To Tame a Highland Warrior
The Highlander's Touch
Kiss of the Highlander
The Dark Highlander
The Immortal Highlander
Spell of the Highlander