Bloodfever carries on directly from Darkfever, which was an excellent first novel in this series. The prologue of Bloodfever summarizes the events of the previous book, so this could be read as the first in the series if necessary, although it might be a little difficult to follow some of the threads. As the book starts, we find MacKayla talking to a policeman and discovering that he has begun to discover some information about the Dark Zone.
For his safety, she wants him to drop it and tries to persuade him that she's now satisfied with the investigation into her sister's death.
He takes note of the bruises on her face (from the big showdown at the end of the last book) and is clearly concerned about her. Jericho Barrens appears, MacKayla is banished to her room, and then things start going wrong again.
How is it that the shades are able to get into the Bookstore and the lights have gone out when Mac wakes up again? Who killed the policeman? How can she persuade her father that all is well? Can she and Barrons discover the evil book? Has she really gotten rid of Mallucé? Who are the other Sidhe-seers, and are they on her side? The story continues with the same quality of the first book
in its excellent pacing, amusing side comments and descriptions from Mac, the narrator, and enigmas and confusion left, right and center.
A couple of new characters are introduced in this book, but most of the action is between Jericho Barrons and Mac, and between the various Seelie and Unseelie characters and Mac. Who is Jericho Barrens? And, more importantly, what is he? Mac is trying to find out, has various ideas,
and doesn't know whether to trust him, yet Barrons seems to be the one person who keeps rescuing her. It's always a great read with some excellent characters and an interesting plot; Mac has clearly done a lot of growing up in this book, and she's a more edgy and strong character now.
The setting in Ireland adds a great deal of interest, and the author has clearly done a lot of research.
She is tripped up occasionally, such as the scene early on where a policeman looks at Jericho Barrons' driving license, which apparently lists his height as 6'3" and his weight as 245; unfortunately for the author, Irish driving licenses don't have height and weight
- and if they did, they would be given in metric units, not imperial. There's also another example when a courier company is called Post Haste, Inc., whereas in the UK and Ireland companies aren't Inc but Ltd or PLC.
Like the first book, Bloodfever doesn't really reach a particular conclusion, and readers will want to get their hands on the next in the series as soon as possible. However, the reader doesn't feel shortchanged that the story isn't complete because it's such an enjoyable read and there is plenty to think about. Events are clearly working toward more of a crescendo, with the Unseelie forces rapidly multiplying and apparently having an effect on violent and murderous tendencies in the human population of Dublin.
It seems that Mac and Barrons, along with various other people, are a small army working to defeat these hordes, and I imagine this will be explored in further stories in the series. If they're as good as this and Darkfever, then they will be well worth reading.