‘Dreamfever’ heroine rises from the ashes

  When we last saw MacKayla Lane, she was trapped in a Dublin church, imprisoned by three Unseelie princes taking her mind, her body and her soul. If ever a heroine was having a darkest hour, this was hers.
  Karen Marie Moning’s "Dreamfever" picks up exactly where "Faefever" left off — and Mac’s darkest hour is the prelude to the world’s darkest time. While Mac lies senseless and at the mercy of her baser instincts, the Unseelie Fae, loosed upon the world by her nemesis, the Lord Master, have taken mankind by storm, killing billions and turning cities into post-apocalyptic wastelands.
   Mac is forced to fight her way back to sanity in the dangerous care of Jericho Barrons, who is desperate to continue their quest for the darkest of Fae hallows, a book of magic that only Mac, with her sidhe-seer gifts, can detect. But Mac never has trusted Barrons, and even though he’s positioned himself as her dark protector, she still doesn’t know who or what he is and why he wants the book, which may hold the key to reimprisoning the Unseelie who treat the human race as their personal herd of cattle.
   The Mac who rises from the ashes in "Dreamfever," the fourth installment in a five-part series, is no longer the devastated Georgia peach who arrived in Dublin with the naive expectation of finding her sister’s killer. This Mac — black Mac — has traded in her pink clothes and happy songs for leather fighting gear and the chance to deliver a silent, killing blow. But as the story builds to its climax, it becomes clear to Mac that her growing powers and her thirst for vengeance still aren’t enough to topple the Lord Master, the prime suspect in her sister’s death. So she makes allies out of enemies, gets as close to Barrons as she can stand and prepares to answer the Lord Master’s final challenge.
   In my review of "Faefever," I criticized the book for reading more like a section of a novel than an entire novel. That’s still the case in "Dreamfever," but I’m resigned to the fact that Moning appears to be writing a series with installments that do not stand alone. Still, the author’s writing is clever, witty and true to the characters she’s created. The ending in this book, as in the last, is a cliffhanger, so prepare yourself for the utter lack of satisfaction that comes with knowing the resolution will be at least a year in the making.
   Those who haven’t started the series can actually get the first book free — "Darkfever" is a free download on Amazon’s Kindle and iPod users can download the audio podcasts of "Darkfever" at no cost. Downloads are also available at the author’s Web site, karenmoning.com.
   The series builds slowly, but the story is a gripping one that’s hard to shake off. So if you can’t stand the wait for the last book, "Shadowfever," don’t start reading the series until it’s out. Good luck with that. After reading "Faefever," I resolved to wait until the entire series was out. Obviously, I crumbled to temptation.

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