Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning
Somewhere in Karen Marie Moning's brain is a section labelled "Imagination." Unlike the rest of us mere mortals, who have an "Imagination" area that is probably flanked by a bright red door with the letter "I" on the front, hers is actually a non-stop display of pyrotechnic fireworks, exploding with super sonic booms, brilliant flashes of color and light, and instilled with some sort of magic that creates a powerful addiction in the mere mortals who follow her. Honest to the good God, this book is in a league of its own.
It's hard to believe that this is the same author who wrote the lusty romantic Highlander series (which, by the way, I totally adore). Those books have everything a romance lover is looking for...larger than life characters, super lusty sex, and enchanting stories. But this Fever series is something altogether different. It's not really romance, either, but the who the hell cares? This book is absolutely riveting...riveting. By far, the most fascinating book I have read this year.
I sort of miss the details about Dublin we got in the earlier books, but at this point in the series, the details about the supernatural world have pretty much superseded a "normal" setting anyway. The grotesque Unseelie creatures, the Sifting Silvers, the objects of power, Interdimensional Fairy Potholes (!!), the list goes on and on. Moning's imaginary world knows no bounds, and it is staggering in its rockability. Her characters, especially the elusive Barrons, are amazing. Mac's transformation is one of the coolest "character arcs" I have ever read. While I found her somewhat irritating at the beginning of this series, she has morphed into an incredibly appealing heroine, warts, black leather, halo and all.
I mentioned in my latest Jeaniene Frost review that I finally understood why first person narrative is supposed to be so cool. Well, to say that Moning has become the master of first person POV does not quite do her writing justice. This book is magic, and Moning's talent is off the charts.
Some folks are pissed about the cliffhanger ending, but I think it's brilliant. Every aspect of this book is brilliant...the POV, characterization, pacing, world-building, sexual tension and drama, secondary character development, action scenes! It has everything. And the mystery about who Mac really is (and of course who Barrons really is) continues to gain steam and promise an awesome ending to the series (Shadowfever is up next). Yeah, it's gonna be a long year waiting for the grand finale, but it will definitely be worth the wait.
Hands down, my favorite book of 2009....Grade: A+