April 2019 — Karen Marie Moning

For the last month, I (Bronwyn) have buried myself in Karen Marie Moning’s “Bloodfever” series. I have a tendency to do this, ignoring the outside world and responsibilities until I have consumed a series or something, especially within this genre. I did not realize until after I started the “Bloodfever” series, that she also authored the “Highlander” series. I find each has their own charms. The “Bloodfever” books do follow the romance genre outlines, but it can take more than one book to realize the culmination a plot line. I am comfortable with this since I enjoy reading. Other readers may feel less patient.

I like the “Bloodfever” series with its balance between fae, human and other life forms. I also enjoy the setting. Her scenes are not as elaborate as Tolkein, who I view as the master of creating alternative worlds (or perhaps Terry Pratchett), but it’s fun to visualize what she has written. The real drawbacks of series like these, especially when you have an author as famous as Ms. Moning or Sherrilyn Kenyon, another fun one, is that the books occasionally feel formulaic and manufactured. She may well have written every word in all of her books, but I imagine that there are apprentices and a writer’s workshop in order for her to maintain the volume of writing she is producing. Apprenticeship is great. A writer’s workshop is great. Having enough demand for your creative talents is great. However, sometimes the writing does feel more mass produced. (Around book 5 of the “Bloodfever” series, I started to think once or twice per book, “bored, wouldn’t mind some effort here.”)

The series also has good, if not a complicated, cast of characters. All are somehow sympathetic and you find yourself rooting for Dani O’Malley, among many.

Authors that I like in this genre are Karen Marie Moning, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Kristine Grayson. There may be others, but those come to mind first. I enjoy an element of fantasy, for sure. I frequently find the romance genre tedious and will read differently after a few of these, but it’s the setting around the romance that gets my attention. Is there fae? Or fantasy? Or a strong mythology? I will most likely be in if those answers are “yes.”

Click here for more books that Yvonne recommends, in particular.