Review of Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning

November 2, 2009
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Fantasy Audiobook - Bloodfever by Karen Marie MoningBloodfever
By Karen Marie Moning; Read by Joyce Bean
8 CDs – 9 hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2008
ISBN: 9781423341932
Themes: / Fantasy / Supernatural romance / Fairies / Fae / Sex /

I first encountered Moning’s Fever series when the first book, Darkfever, was made available on Podiobooks.com. Tales about the realms of fairies, from Midsummer Nights Dream to Butcher’s Summer Knight, always fascinate me. Particularly their darker, inhuman nature. These are not Elves, nor are they little diaphanous dragonflies at the bottom of the garden. They are something entirely much less human.

The series is told from the point of view of MacKayla Lane. Mac. The younger of two sisters that have grown up in the south. She describes herself as a modern southern belle. Her life is uncomplicated until her sister is murdered while studying on Dublin, Ireland. Mac had found a strange message on her cell phone from her sister, and travels to Dublin herself to put pressure on the police to solve the case.

Once there she finds that this isn’t something that the police are going to be able to deal with. In a pub she encounters a Fae which seduces a young woman, feeding upon her youth and vitality. Many of the Fae weave very attractive illusions around themselves to hide their true nature. Mac learns that she is a sidhe seer, one of the few who can see the Fae as they really are. With the help of Jericho Barrens, a mysterious figure who has his own agenda, she is searching for the ancient book Sinsar Dubh, that contains the most foul black magic. Capable of granting power over both our world and that of the Fae. Mac and Barrens really don’t get on, but are forced to rely upon each other, with Barrens saving Mac’s life several times. Mac has also drawn the attention of a death-by-sex Fae, Vlane-an. Ancient and inhuman, his interest and motives aren’t clear. Even to Mac’s sidhe seer sight, Vlane-an is hard to resist, and she has already found herself stripping naked in public under the influence of his powers.

Mac has managed to identified her sister’s killer, The Lord Master, and has partially thwarted some of his plans. But now, the Fae are coming through into our world in greater and greater numbers. Murders and disappearances are on the increase as a consequence. The other sidhe seers don’t know if they can trust Mac, and nor does she know if she can trust them. Yet they could answer many of the questions she has about who she is, and where her powers came from. Now Mac and Barrens must find the Sinsar Dubh, before the Lord Master.

Bloodfever is the second book in the series and starts with a good, in-character, recap of events from Mac herself. Her need for revenge against her sister’s killer is growing as she learns more. Mac’s focus on her situation is more intense as she becomes more self-aware of her own failings and how she must change to survive in the world with the Fae. Mac’s narration of often humorous and irreverent, but always in keeping with her character.

The same narrator carries on from book one, Audie Award winner Joyce Bean. Joyce captures Mac’s personality with it’s lingering threads of naivety and growing ruthlessness. An excellent performance. The sexy southern accent doesn’t hurt either.

Moning has matured Mac a little more throughout this book, as she is forced to change by her experiences. She is still petulant, indignant, naive, and stubborn at times, but she is also introspective and sees that she has changed, and must continue to do so to survive. Mac still hasn’t achieved her independence yet, but she is becoming stronger. From the perspective of a strong female character, Mac isn’t quite there yet. She had power and can and will use it, but she is growing into one. The journey towards becoming the Hero is more interesting than simply being one. Mac is faced with temptations and other hard decisions that make that journey harder.

Have a listen to the first book for free over at Podiobooks.com, and then dive into this one.

Posted by Paul [W] Campbell

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