Friday, September 20, 2013

Review: Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning

Title: Bloodfever
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Series: Fever Series, Book 2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 16 October 2007

I used to be your average, everyday girl but all that changed one night in Dublin when I saw my first Fae, and got dragged into a world of deadly immortals and ancient secrets...

In her fight to stay alive, MacKayla must find the Sinsar Dubh — a million-year-old book of the blackest magic imaginable, which holds the key to power over the worlds of both the Fae and Man. Pursued by assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she can’t trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and powerful men: V’lane, the immortal Fae Prince, and Jericho Barrons, a man as irresistible as he is dangerous.

For centuries the shadowy realm of the Fae has coexisted with that of humans. Now the walls between the two are coming down, and Mac is the only thing that stands between them.

**SPOILER WARNING** Likely nothing here will be a big spoiler if you've not read it or the series (WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!) but I recommend reading this series without ANY prior knowledge of what happens or is said - so go read my review for Darkfever, which will give nothing away and then get started. We can talk when you're done in a few days. Don't worry, I'll understand the sleep deprivation and manic actions.

Not once in the seven years of me reading this have I been able to pick up one of the books - to look up a reference or read a favorite scene - that I didn't end up reading the entire series from there to the end. It's addicting and will take over your life...at least it did mine. And I count it time well spent, each of the million re-reads I've done.

Although it may not seem like it, this isn't a story about darkness. It's about light. Kahlil Gibran says Your joy can fill you only as deeply your sorrow has carved you. If you've never tasted bitterness, swet is just another pleasant flavor on your tongue. One day I'm going to hold a lot of joy.

I read this series when it first came out. So I can tell you - reading this series, as dark as it gets, I held onto this quote. KMM said at some point later that this quote was her promise, in Mac's words, that Mac would be happy at the end of the story. Over the next 3 years I desperately held onto that promise, memorized this quote, reminded myself of it every time things got darker than I was expecting in even the most pessimistic corners of my mind. This one quote got me through a lot of the emotional heartache that this series brought me while I had the long waits between books. Thank god for it.

There are only shades of gray. Black and white are nothing more than lofty ideals in our minds, the standards by which we try to judge things, and map out our place in the world in relevance to them.

In the first book Mac said: You want to believe in black and white, good and evil... She's growing. She's learning, she begins to understand that not everything is the way she's always known it to be. One of my favorite (if convoluted) quotes below illustrates that beautifully.

Every time I think I'm getting smarter I realize that I've just done something stupid. Dad says there are three kinds of people in the world: those who don't know, and don't know they don't know; those who don't know and do know they don't know; and those who know and know how much they still don't know.

Heavy stuff, I know. I think I’ve finally graduated from the don’t-knows that don’t know to the don’t-knows that do.

Mac stepped off that plane in Dublin fresh, innocent and more than a little naive. I'm not saying she's made a complete 180, but she's gained some significant ground. She's getting smarter - thinking ahead, planning and actively attempting to understand and unravel this world that she's been thrust into. All while not losing herself.

Barrons has something the rest of us don't have. I don't know what it is, but I feel it all the time, especially when we're standing close. Beneath the expensive clothes, unplaceable accent, and cultured veneer, there's something that never crawled all the way out of the swamp. It didn't want to. It likes it there.

Barrons was one of the big enigmas that kept me guessing and reading and speculating from the moment Darkfever first hit the shelves. I won't kid you - you don't learn a lot about him. He can act like an ass, a dick, and a douche; but I've always loved him. He's the one that keeps Mac alive, keeps her safe (as possible), teaches HOW to survive, gives her the tools to survive. Sure he's not giving her everything, not trusting her completely, but he's helping her to become the stronger person she needs to be.

"What are you Barrons?"
"The one who will never let you die, and that's more, Ms. Lane, than anyone in your life has been able to say to you. More than anyone else can do."

I think this is part of what firmly won me to Barrons side early in this series. I was always intrigued, but his actions up to this point, and this simple statement - backed by the truth - made me a huge fan. I've never lost that love for Jericho Barrons.

One day I was going to write a book: How to Dictate to a Dictator and Evade an Evader, subtitled How to Handle Jericho Barrons.

Their interactions are some of the best I've ever read. Silent conversations abound, smart-ass remarks fly, and truth is buried in each and every moment.

Being touched by Jericho Barrons with kindness makes you feel like you must be the most special person in the world. It's like walking up to the biggest, most savage lion in the jungle, lying down, placing your head it its mouth and, rather than taking your life, it licks you and purrs.

And the oh-so slight building of sexual tension. That takes FOREVER for a payoff (be warned - though at least you don't have to wait YEARS :P)

"I'm sorry your pretty little world got all screwed up, but everybody's does, and you go on. It's how you go on that defines you."

This is another reason I love Barrons. He has a very *his* way of living. His own rules, his own acceptable actions, his own lines he will not cross. He knows what it takes to survive, to thrive, and this is the knowledge that he's slowly but surely passing onto Mac.

"The wisest man is the silent one. Examine his actions. Judge him by them."

Ah, yes. The other quote I took to heart. I judged Barrons by his actions. Sometimes I had to dig deep to get a good picture of what I think was really going on. He's not an easy character to see into. A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma...That's Jericho Barrons.

"One day you will kiss a man you can't breathe without, and find that breath is of little consequence."

A wonderful, intense, thrilling addition to the series. I remember finishing this book and immediately starting Darkfever again when I first read it. Reading it now, I can't even believe that I survived waiting for the next book.

Amazon | BN | kobo | Sony | Goodreads

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