Tuesday, December 11, 2007

That Old Black Magic

Bloodfever is the second book in Karen Marie Moning's "Fever" series that features bubbly 22-year-old Southern belle in training, MacKayla Lane. In the first book in the series, Darkfever, Mac travels to Dublin, Ireland to get justice for her beloved older sister's murder. What she quickly learns is that she's a sidhe-seer, a person who can see Fae. This is not welcome news as Fae in Moning's world are very, very bad and they are crossing over to the earthly realm at an alarming rate. Mac hooks up with her mysterious mentor, Jericho Barrons, and is quickly dispatched to find the evil Sinsar Dubh, a gazillion year old black magic book that, if it falls into the wrong hands, could spell certain doom for mankind.

Bloodfever picks up immediately after Darkfever ends, and in many ways feels like a place holder. In fact, it's kind of hard for me to talk about a plot because there really isn't much of one. Mac's still looking for the Sinsar Dubh, Barrons is still hunky and mysterious, Mac still wants vengeance for her sister, Mac doesn't know who she can trust etc. etc. etc. There's not a lot new here.

That's not to say I didn't enjoy the story, because I did. And that's where logic flies completely out the window because I shouldn't be enjoying this series. No really, I shouldn't. So far it's committed two sins I generally can't abide by: 1) Endings that haven't been tidy (see Darkfever and Bloodfever) and 2) Series that flow from one book to the next without a discernible plot to hang on. So why am I enjoying this series so much? Well Moning has created an interesting world. It also helps that I lurve dark paranormal worlds. I like the paranormal to equal bad and scary not love, sunshine, puppy dogs and rainbows. I also enjoy Mac's voice, part chick lit, part cynic, part girl kicking her way into womanhood. It works for me.

The only real quibble I have with Bloodfever is that more hints and clues are dropped without anything really being "answered." Sooner or later, Moning is going to have to answer some questions (most notably, what exactly is Barrons) and the longer she drags it out, the more annoyed I think readers (OK, I) will become. Hopefully though it won't be much longer, as the author has announced she's currently slated this series for five books (with maybe a few novellas tossed in). If she sticks to that, I'm along for the ride - but if it morphs into the paranormal equivalent of the Cynsters I'm going to have major issues.

Final Grade = B-. A half-point deduction because I would have liked more answers, as opposed to more teasing. And for newcomers out there, no sweat impulsively picking up this shiny new hard cover in the bookstore or library. I was very impressed with the way Moning brings the reader up to speed with the world-building and story without resorting to mind-numbing info-dumping. A gold star and a cookie for her! Now when is the next book coming out?


Rosie said...

Got it. Haven't read it. Or my shiny new Megan Hart. Man, oh man, Christmas is kicking my butt. I keep thinking tomorrow, tomorrow it'll be better. Too bad I gotta sleep.

Crystal said...

I picked up these two books last week. I'll be reading them very soon.

Melissa Blue said...

I agree with you about nothing really being answered, but still not able to put down the book. DarkFever impressed the heck out of me and it's the reason I picked up BloodFever. If the next book in the line reads the same way, without any answers, without the relationship between her and Barrons becoming clearer I'll wait until book five. Because you know I really want to know how it ends. A vicious circle.