Friday, March 15, 2013

Faefever by Karen Moning - Fever #3 Book Review

He calls me his Queen of the Night. I’d die for him. I’d kill for him, too. When MacKayla Lane receives a torn page from her dead sister’s journal, she is stunned by Alina’s desperate words. And now MacKayla knows that her sister’s killer is close. But evil is closer. And suddenly the sidhe-seer is on the hunt: For answers. For revenge. And for an ancient book of dark magic so evil, it corrupts anyone who touches it.

Mac’s quest for the Sinsar Dubh takes her into the mean, shape-shifting streets of Dublin, with a suspicious cop on her tail. Forced into a dangerous triangle of alliance with V’lane, an insatiable Fae prince of lethally erotic tastes, and Jericho Barrons, a man of primal desires and untold secrets, Mac is soon locked in a battle for her body, mind, and soul.

As All Hallows’ Eve approaches and the city descends into chaos, as a shocking truth about the Dark Book is uncovered, not even Mac can prevent a deadly race of immortals from shattering the walls between worlds—with devastating consequences.…

I’m writing this review mere minutes after I finished that last page, because I want to capture my initial reaction to this book and its insane cliffhanger ending.

Anyone who has read my reviews for the previous two Fever books knows that this series started out very rocky for me.  I didn’t hate Darkfever, but I didn’t really like it either, and the only thing that had me reaching for its sequel was a promise in other reviews that the series gets better.  At the time, I didn’t really believe it – how can you make a series better when its fundamental characters are your main problems with it? – but after loving Bloodfever and then being completely swept away by Faefever, I’m not only a believer, but one of those incessant book-pushers, begging those of my reading friends who don’t have a squeamish stomach to start this series. That’s one heck of an opinion change over the course of just three books, one I attribute to Moning’s impeccable understanding of flawed characters, who grow and develop and change with each and every new obstacle thrown their way.

Faefever was a bit light on story arc, but it’s wielded the most answers of all the books in the series so far, so I’m inclined to call it an even trade.  It’s a dark read that only gets darker as the pages turn before leaving us in the most hopeless place possible.  In fact, to anyone about to start this novel, I’d suggest having Dreamfever ready, because you’re not going to want to take a break between the two.

In addition to the doom-and-gloom atmosphere of the tone, Moning has amped up the sexual tension between Mac and her impossibly mysterious employer, Jericho Barrons – whose motives I’m still completely clueless about.  He exudes equal parts sex and danger, making it impossible to not be drawn to him through these pages.  It’s odd, actually, how irrevocably attached I am to Barrons’ character considering how little I actually know about the guy…or guy-shaped creature, or…whatever he is.  I’m left with a few theories about him, but that’s all they are; theories.  Weak ones, at that.  Still, my only real issue with him in this book was that he just wasn’t in it enough.

Seelie prince V’lane had a much meatier role in Faefever than we’re used to, and though his mysteriousness is second only to Barrons’, I’m finding myself warming up to his character more and more.  He’s painted as an immortal god, beautiful, sexual, humoring Mac and her pleas to save humankind with gifts and pretention in hopes of winning her trust - trust we in no way know if he deserves.  While I still think some of the ways Moning chooses to describe his oozing sexuality is a bit overdone at times, it’s bothering me less and less as I find myself more and more wrapped up in this story, in these characters walking the streets of Dublin.

Two of Darkfever’s side characters, Inspector Jayne and Christian, also play much larger parts in Faefever.  Of the two, I’d have to say Inspector Jayne is my favorite, but that’s just because his clear motives and intentions are a refreshing counterpoint to…pretty much every other main character in this story, including seemingly good-guy Christian.

Now.  The ending.  How do you describe something as intense and descriptive and immersive and downright sinister as the last pages of Faefever without spoilers?  Everything that’s happened so far has led up to where we’re left off, and without even having started Dreamfever, I can say with certainty that it was a turning point for the story.  I sat down with my book, intending to read a quick five or ten pages…until I finished it forty-eight pages later, heart pounding and blood rushing through my veins.  I’m going to stop here before I inadvertently give something away, but seriously.  Don’t be stuck finishing Faefever without having Dreamfever on hand.

Now it’s time for me to make a fresh cup of coffee, grab Dreamfever, and settle in for some major reading.  This right here is why I love starting a series after all the books have been published; no agonizing wait.

Faefever - 4.5 out of 5 stars

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