By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general.
As others promised I would, I liked Bloodfever significantly better than Darkfever. The biggest improvement is that the narrator heroine, MacKayla "Mac" Lane, is growing up. In Darkfever, she was a perky, fluffy Barbie who tended to bore the reader with descriptions of her hairstyles, clothing choices, and grooming routines. While she's still totally femme, and still very much grieving the happy-go-lucky innocence she lost when her sister was murdered and she found herself swept up in a war against invading hordes of evil Fae, Mac is pulling up her big girl panties and getting down to business, and much of that transformation happens in this book.
At the start, Mac still has some of the sense of entitlement that bothered me about her in Darkfever. Early on in the book, the Detective in charge of investigating her sister's murder gets killed, and Mac gets hauled in to the police station for questioning. She considers this an inconvenience--"My problems were so much bigger than this. It was an epic waste of my time."--losing sight of the fact that when a veteran officer is found with his throat slit and her name and address written on a slip of paper on the body, it's entirely reasonable that the cops would have some questions. Sure, she's a big, important Sidhe-seer now, but she's in this battle to save the human race, and Detective O'Duffy was human, an innocent victim caught in the cross-fire.
Mac has two opportunities (at least) to take the easy road and abandon the battle--once when her father comes to Ireland to take her home, and once when the Sex Fairy V'lane brings her to an infinitely more pleasant alternate reality in Faery--and though she's sorely tempted, both times she lets duty call her back to Dublin. To me, this represents her shift from being a pawn in the conflict, a person to whom things happen, to becoming an agent in her own right, wielding her growing power to her own ends. There are many who would use Mac to serve their own interests -- V'lane, Barrons, and Rowena (the old woman, briefly introduced in Da rkfever, who leads an organized chapter of Sidhe-seers) -- but Mac is determined to follow her own instincts and be no one's pawn.
Karen Marie Moning's writing has also improved with this installment. She continues to masterfully mete out just enough new information for Mac (and the reader) to understand each scene without resorting to info-dumping, but this time she does it without the spoilery foreshadowing that I found so bothersome in Darkfever.
As for Barrons, if anything, this book raises more questions about his character than it answers. His interest in and respect for Mac are increasing, though the power dynamic between them is still heavily weighted in his favor and there is still way too much sexualized violence in their relationship for my comfort.