Reading Darkfever left me in a crescendo of emotions. As soon as I turned the last page, I desperately wanted to know more about Mac and Barrons and their fight against the Unseelie seeping into their world. I’d ordered this book before I’d even finished the first book and because I was so sure that I’d enjoy the rest of the series, I got books 3 and 4 at the same time so that I wouldn’t have to wait a week between each book!
Please note that this is the second book in a series. There may be spoilers pertaining to events in the first book!
Presentation: Mass market paperback. There are 337 pages broken down into a prologue and 20 chapters. The type is small but spaced.
Story: I’m not really sure how to sum up the plot of this one. Basically, Mac is still aiming to bring down the guy who killed her sister (and she knows who he is now); Barrons is still trying to get his hands on the Shinsa Duh; V’lane is still trying to get Mac to work for him; and the Unseelie are still infiltrating our society – eating away at the city of Dublin, killing its residents or inciting them to kill each other.
So what’s new? When detective O’Duffy’s body is found, his throat slit, Mac is suspected of the murder, resulting in her being trailed by O’Duffy’s brother-in-law, also a detective. Mac starts coming across half-eaten Unseelie, but who would be strong enough to subdue them and why on earth would anyone want to eat Unseelie? The sisterhood of sidhe-seers tries to recruit Mac to their side but Mac finds herself torn between them, Barrons and V’lane, not knowing anyone’s full intentions and unwilling to be an unwitting pawn in anyone’s game.
Oh, and some form of Grim Reaper – a mental projection of her sins? – appears to be trailing Mac.
Thoughts and impressions: Again, I’m not sure where I stand on this one. The plot was good but beyond Mac growing as a character and making new acquaintances, I’m not convinced how much the plot in this book advanced the overall plot of the series. Maybe the final battle in this one will have important implications in future books, but I’m not sure that it will in the same way that the final climax (pun intended) in the first book did. There are certain ideas that are obviously going to important such as the concept of eating Unseelie flesh, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s more of a subplot.
That was my impression at any rate. It felt more like a subplot to the whole thing just to introduce one or two new concepts. Maybe I feel as though it was a bit anticlimactic because I saw the final showdown here as of the first couple of chapters. The only thing that made up for it was the character evolution that took place. I adore the relationship between Mac and Barrons, especially the conversations that don't take place!
I once read an interview with an author where the question of first or third person perspective preference was raised. The author said she doesn’t even read books written in the first person perspective because she found that the book would be telling her that “I was sad” and all she could think was that no, in fact, the events hadn’t made her feel sad. I’ve never had this problem before, but in Bloodfever a lot of the choices that Mac made were completely the opposite of what I would do in the same situation.
Style: I noticed quite a few editing issues in places. Other than that, the style was engaging and drew me in.
Final verdict: Not as good as the first book concerning the main plot, but better concerning characters and their evolution. I was toying with the idea of giving this one only 3 stars, but I’ve decided to bump it up to 4 because ultimately I did really enjoy it. 4 stars.
Extra notes: Bad language ahoy! There’s no actual sex but the book is far from clean.