Two More Thoughts about the Fever Series
I’ve spent my lunch break at work today looking at Karen Marie Moning’s website, and there’s a great section on her impressions of the Fever series, how she wrote it, and some notes on the characters. I particularly liked this bit about Barrons:
When every other novel I was picking up in the bookstore announced: Vampire/Werewolf/Demon hero on the cover, and was marketing it on the basis of that paranormal creature’s mythic resonance, I wanted to write a story with a male center-stage character that defied labels, and wouldn’t permit one. I wanted to make the reader choose to take him or leave him without the convenience of a pre-packaged tortured-hero caricature to slap over his outline, and no easy answers about whether he was good or bad. I wanted to write a paranormal creature and never tell the reader what he was, because I believed they would ultimately see him more clearly in his everyday behavior, than through the distorted lens of someone else’s legend.
My second thought is that the fan merch is hilariously terrible, although I did briefly consider a set of $30 Fever-themed tarot cards and you know what they say about people in glass houses throwing stones.
Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress #4) by Jeaniene Frost
- Genre: Paranormal Romance, Action, Adventure, Gore, Horror, Drama, Angst.
- Notes: Weakest premise of all the series so far, but also some of the strongest moments of character development.
- Recommended For: Fans of Frost, Fans of The Night Huntress Series, Fans of True Blood, Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
If only Frost had laid more ground work for this books premise, it would have been the strongest in the entire series … This books plot line has so much to do with my critique that I’m going to put it first:
Her deadly dreams leave her in grave danger
Since half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her undead lover Bones met six years ago, they’ve fought against the rogue undead, battled a vengeful Master vampire, and pledged their devotion with a blood bond. Now it’s time for a vacation. But their hopes for a perfect Paris holiday are dashed when Cat awakes one night in terror. She’s having visions of a vampire named Gregor who’s more powerful than Bones and has ties to her past that even Cat herself didn’t know about.
Gregor believes Cat is his and he won’t stop until he has her. As the battle begins between the vamp who haunts her nightmares and the one who holds her heart, only Cat can break Gregor’s hold over her. She’ll need all the power she can summon in order to bring down the baddest bloodsucker she’s ever faced … even if getting that power will result in an early grave.
Before I start to say what I found failing in the book I want to preface it by saying, that although I found the journey weak, the destinations were monumental. That being said, the entire plot line rides on the belief that Cat met a man name Gregor at the age of 15 and was whisked away conveniently to Paris all before she met Bones. But she doesn’t remember any of this because for some reason Mencheres was able to wipe her memories using strong green-eyedness and magic.
OK. Wait- what? The first time I read the beginning of this book I wondered if I could hire Sassy Gay Friend to go have a chat with Frost. I had that similar SGF thought at Frost, “What- What- What are you doing?!”
I can go along with a lot of plot lines – I mean I’m reading about a vampire-human hybrid that hunts vampires with her vampire husband and works for the government. Clearly I’m on board to stretch the realm of possibilities. But when you start to go so far off your own developed storyline to create a fresh villian, I have some problems.
It’s not that I don’t think the premise is a good one – It’s actually pretty interesting. The problem is it’s weak hold onto the rest of the canon. How can I believe that all of this back story happened when in earlier books Frost has gone out of her way to show that Cat can’t be “green-eyed”. The only hint Frost gives that there was any ground work for this exposition is that Cat has always disliked and distrusted Mencheres. So I’m not saying it’s completely impossible in canon, I’m saying that it seems a little too convenient. Like a sewed patch on a pair of jeans. It fits, kind of, but you know it’s patched on after the fact.
The first time I read this it took me awhile to get into the story. I couldn’t get over the critiques I’m mentioned, but let me say I am glad I did.
While I don’t applaud Frost’s method of getting to where she does in this book, I do applaud her outcome. This book has one of the most, if not the most important character development scenes in the Cat & Bones relationship. Many of their underlying issues, some of which as a reader I didn’t notice until they were named, are addressed in the way I like them to be – ANGST ANGST ANGST.
I’m an angst fan, I’ll admit. And I don’t mean Harry Potter Book 5 whiney-angst. I mean betrayal and heartbreak and what-ifs. That is the angst I find dramatic. Pre-pubescent bitching isn’t angst.
This book delivers in the angst category, but it also defends the purpose. While I am a fan of angst, I’m not a fan of poorly written, meaningless angst. There is nothing meaningless in the drama between Cat & Bones in this story. This may be the darkest their relationship gets – at least so far in the series.
Beyond the wonderful angst there is also a sub-plot that Frost develops in preparation for the next book. I’m not going to say what as it is a spoiler, but I wanted to bring it up to point out another amazing thing Frost does as a series writer. Frost is able to fully develop and maintain a rising action, while introducing a new exposition or introduction for the next book. Which is why I criticize so harshly the exposition for this book. She doesn’t introduce it at all or even hint at it in any of the previous novels. The reader is truly blind-sided by it, making it even more noticeably awkward in the scheme of the whole series.
Overall, my only complaint is the weak justification of the exposition, but I absolutely love reading this book after you get over the initial “WTF?!”
After all that I wonder – did anyone else feel it was shoddily constructed in the beginning? I’d love to know what you thought.
In general, I feel like I can see the seams of Jeaniene Frost’s world - by which I mean it’s not perfect worldbuildling and sometimes with the plots I’m like “Uh, what was that just now.” For example, in the first book, I did NOT buy that Bones had fallen in love with Cat. That said, I think that these books are better than the average paranormal series and Cat and Bones’ relationship was enough for me to keep reading.