Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book Review -- The Fever Series

Yep, the whole series is out, Mac's story done, so all you folks I've been telling to wait before starting this series can now do so, LOL.

I'll preface this by saying I've been a fan of Karen Marie Moning
since the first Highlander book came out. I've faithfully followed her, watched her writing grow, and even though the Fever series -- an urban fantasy -- isn't a romance Moning’s voice is there in force.

Darkfever (Book 1)
In Moning's own words...

The Fever World is a dark one, pierced infrequently by light, literally and metaphorically. I kept in mind a famous quote by Kahlil Gibran as I was writing: “Your joy can fill you only as deeply as your sorrow has carved you.”
Her writing is dark and meaningful and passionate. I was sucked into the world of Mac and Barrons and V’lane. Each of the players in the Fever world had their own agenda. And all of them searched for a powerful book.

Bloodfever (Book 2)
Like many readers, I didn't particularly like Mac at first. She grew on me though and I ended up cheering her on. She starts out as a spoiled Southern Belle -- pretty in pink blonde -- but the mysterious death of her sister sets her on a path forcing her to change and grow. She learns to fight and stay alive, learns she can see the Fae and sense their objects, and she’s tougher than she imagined.

Mac’s two heroes, for lack of a better word, are both dangerous and sexy. Barrons is powerful, mysterious, and one of the most complex and frustrating characters of the series. And I spent the series questioning who and what Barrons was. V’lane is just as powerful and mysterious, a “death-by-sex” Fae, and left me wondering whose side he was on.

Faefever (Book 3)
In the end, I was a Barrons gal, rooting for Mac and Barrons to find their HEA. It was a tough road, often violent (controversial even), and more things pulling them apart than you can shake a stick at.

The lines between the good guys and bad guys are blurred, leading to questions. So many questions! Plot twists, Moning’s masterful weaving of information, and this was a delicious, edge of my seat read.

Dreamfever (Book 4)
My frustration with the Fever series was that each book did not stand-alone. Tolkien may have done it but I don't think the average reader wants cliff-hangers that last as long as the ones in the Fever series did. (I know this was due in part to Moning's health and her refusal to release more than one title per year.) And oh what cliff-hangers! They ratchet up with each book from, “Mac has a mystery to solve” to “someone has died and Mac has lost everything.”

It was my faith in Moning’s writing and the complexity of the characters that kept me reading this series. In the end I believe the series would have been done quite easily and well in three books vs. the five...something I've said since the second book.

Shadowfever (Book 5)
Yes, there is an overall arc. Book one = Act one, Book two = Act two (part 1), Book three = Midpoint Reversal, Book four = Act two (part 2), Book five = Act three. But even that doesn't quite equal out because Shadowfever was a whopping 594 pages long.

I think the Fever series is richer having read the Highlander series but it’s not necessary. I loved how Moning pulled world-building, mythos, knowledge of the Fae and Druids from the Highlander series to give the Fever series extra depth. I enjoyed referenced events from the Highlander series and favorite characters make cameos throughout the Fever series.

I loved the series and highly recommend it.

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