I’ll start by saying that I had mix feelings about this book. Pleasure was more of two and a half novellas spliced together rather than a full novel with a continuous storyline. It took me a while to warm up to the book.
The story started where her last novel Rapture left off with Sagan. We find out what happened to him and meet his heroine, Valera. For me, Sagan played such an insignificant role in Ms. Frank’s other novels, I really had no interest in him. Unfortunately, the way the storyline played out, at the end I still had no interest in Sagan or Valera.
One item that continued to bother me with the Sagan/Valera story line was the lack of urgency. I had this issue with the characters in Rapture also. It reminded me of Stephan R Covey’s self-help book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” in which he talks about the Time Matrix activities which includes four categories, urgent/important, urgent/not important, not urgent/important, and not urgent/not important.
For Nightwalkers, everything seems to fit into the two Not Urgent category, which doesn’t seem to make sense to me. Think about it. If our President’s life were in danger, it would be bumped to the Urgent/Important category. If someone kidnapped your child, it would be in the Urgent/Important category. There seems to be too much dinking around and sex when bad things are about to jack up their world. If the main characters don’t care enough to do something about a potential disaster, why should I?
Another other thing which bothered me about the Sagan/Valera saga, and I don’t think this is much of a spoiler since every romance has a scene where the hero and heroine part ways for whatever reason was their departure from one another. It reminded me of the old romances. “Run, Johnny. And don’t look back! You run as fast as your legs can carry you.” Kinda of cheesy, but oh well.
As the story progressed, I began to wonder where was Sagan? I couldn’t understand why no one had thought to bring him forth to ferret out the culprit with his mind reading skills. I don’t know. It didn’t jive with me. Sure having him use his powers would end the novel, but I still like things to unwind logically.
Guin and Malaya’s story I liked better and actually had been looking forward to it after the last novel. In many ways it touched me. I thought it awful to have the one you love romantically bump and grind another in your presence. It seemed odd at times, making Guin’s love more brotherly. It was hard for me to put myself in his shoes even though I sympathized with him.
As far as sex in the novel, I liked some aspects of it while others not so much. For instance, I found the characters thinking or talking too much without a lot of action. I always imagine good sex to be too sensual and breathtaking to have a coherent conversation. Not the case with Malaya and Guin. They had all sorts of conversation. And when not talking, they were heavy in thought. It made the time they spent in sexual exploring seemed more like an examination—just too clinical to blow my mind.
Then again, it had a bit of realism to it. The idea of being distracted or stressed during the midst of sex can lead the mind to wander rather than getting wrapped in the erotic senses. But then, would the sex be as mind blowing as the characters said if they were so distracted? I’d prefer not to have distractions rule majority of the erotic scenes though. To me, good sex is free of external worries. I also found Malaya to be a bit inactive during the sex scenes, kind of like a limp doll. It might have been because she was too busy thinking to bother with moving.
Malaya’s ignorance annoyed the heck out of me. Sure, she didn’t realize Guin was interested in her at first. I can see that. But once he came out and said it, why did she continue to play dumb? Well, actually, it wasn’t even playing, she just was oblivious. I don’t know. I can’t imagine anyone being that blind or being that far out of touch with reality.
Drae and Magnus made a significant appearance in this novel. I’m not sure why, since they already had their story. Personally, I didn’t think the two deserved such a large role in a book featuring other stars. I don’t like the secondary character POV, but this area definitely made the exception. For once the secondary characters had more at stake (Drae and Magnus). It was definitely fitting to see the world through their POV. But then again, why did they have such a big role in this novel anyway? The shift pulled me out of the Malaya/Guin story. Even so, as a separate storyline, I thought it was well done. I would have loved Ms. Frank to pull something like this in Rapture instead of this novel, though.
It brings to mind advice I found on Nalini Singh’s website. She suggested thinking of the most horrible thing you could possibly do to a character, and then do it. Awesome job, Ms. Frank! It truly brought out my empathetic side for Drae and Magnus. Only thing, the details of how the culprit managed to accomplish the evil deeds were a bit sketchy. I would have liked the details brought to light. As it was, I really don’t believe the culprit could have gotten away with it all.
So, let’s fast forward! I may have had problems getting into her books, but one thing for sure, Ms. Frank really knows how to write an ending. Kapow! I think this is why I continue to come back to her books. Her endings are so powerful it’s easy to forget the struggles of getting to the finish.
The Nightwalkers novels build upon each other. Definitely start at the beginning (Ecstasy) if you plan to read these books....more
Tastes are so subjective, the value of them can be questionable. That's the dilemma I faced with Darkfever. Okay... let's just get to it. Darkfever waTastes are so subjective, the value of them can be questionable. That's the dilemma I faced with Darkfever. Okay... let's just get to it. Darkfever wasn't my kind of read. What's interesting is I can see why a lot of other people would like it for the very same reasons I didn't. :)
I'm certainly not ragging on it. This novel/series has received a lot of praise, and I'm sure for good reason. If you're into the Fae, fashion, and Southern bell-like heroines, you might really dig this work.
Tastes are so subjective, the value of them can be questionable. That’s the dilemma I faced with Darkfever. Okay… let’s just get to it. Darkfever wasn’t my kind of read. What’s interesting is I can see why a lot of other people would like it for the very same reasons I didn’t.
Let’s start with the main character, Mac. She reminded me a lot of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse. In fact, I wouldn’t even be surprised if the two were related. Southern bells, blond, perky cute, and both prone to getting into situations most would avoid. Although, I do believe Mac is a wee less intelligent than Sookie. All-in-all, the Mac/Sookie persona isn’t bad. I admit to being a Sookie follower, even if I think she’s too stupid to live at times. But really, one Sookie is enough for me. Despite the subtle differences, I just couldn’t get into the Mac girl. *Subjective dislike*
Barrons, on the other hand, I liked him. I guess, liked isn’t the exact word. It’s not like I’m fond of him as a person. I’d certainly never befriend him. HOWEVER, the character added a unique flare. Is he good? Is he bad? Just who is this guy? I liked the mystery of Barrons, but would have liked to have learned something significant about him by the end of the story.
Okay… some weird turnoffs for me.
I’m not into fashion. Here’s where my husband had to remind me tastes are subjective. Lots of women are big into the glamor, makeup, clothes, and accessories. The main reason I wear clothing is so others won’t be embarrassed. Some days you can catch me gardening in a nightgown or bathrobe. I don’t think I’ve worn eye shadow since my wedding day, and even then it was so light folks probably didn’t notice. Mac focused A LOT on fashion. As for me, I could care less what funky name her nail polish had or what shade of pink her hair bow was. Frankly, I got tired of reading about her attire and accessories and found myself skipping over paragraphs of description, given in a laundry-list style, to get to the meat of the story. *Subjective dislike*
Then we had the Fae, which is a huge part of the story. Okay, without the Fae, there would be no story. I discovered after reading the Iron King by Julie Kawaga that I wasn’t a fan of the Seelie and Unseelie courts. I like my faeries to be like Tinkerbell… not human-sized beings of royalty. This is where the importance of reading blurbs come into play. Still, I’d heard of Ms. Moning and had wanted to read her works for awhile. So the Fae might not have been a big enough discouragement to have avoided this novel. *Subjective dislike*
Even before I realized this was a Fae novel, I remember thinking this might not be my read, even as early as page 8. You might wonder why I kept reading, because I had contemplated shelving it. I remembered the slow start of Unearthly and how much I loved that novel once I hit around page 40-60. So many people boasted about the Darkfever series, I pushed onward, thinking it might be a funky start.
Well, it wasn’t. The writing style wasn’t to my preference. It was rather rambly. Before you mention Ramblings of an Amateur Author, keep in mind I’m a hypocrite. I do things I don’t always enjoy in others. Rambling–yeah… not so fond of listening to others do it. Told from the first person point of view, Mac loved to ramble. I could almost get over that, except she ruined the story in other ways also.
The way this was written was as if Mac was telling me, the reader, what had happened during her adventure in Dublin. I’ve started books written with sentences like you’d never imagined life would be so tough, but I’ve never warmed up to the style (*Subjective dislike). Mac took it one step further with foretelling at the end of most scenes and sometimes in the middle, which made an otherwise okay storyline too predictable for words, and frankly, rather anticlimactic.
Here’s an example by what I mean. I’m all excited about an upcoming fight. I can feel my heart pick up speed in anticipation. Yeah… I get that into books. My eyes are glued to the page. Mac reveals her plan, and I’m like oh yeah! Let’s do this thing. I’m tensed, and then she narrates:
“It could have worked that way, it should have worked that way, but I made one critical error.”
At that moment, I put the book down and contemplate tearing it in half. Why in the world did she ruin the surprise? If anything ruined the book, it was stuff like that in every single scene. Seriously. I’d be hard pressed to find a scene without that kind of foretelling. What’s wrong with slamming a reader with the unexpected when it happens.
Story also hopped back and forth between time rather just telling it in a linear fashion. I hated that. I thought a matter was settled and was ready to move on, since we had. Then she popped back to the time directly after two scenes ago and filled in a gap. Why not just fill in the information so the gap was never there to begin with? *More subjective dislikes*
Finally, the tense wasn’t consistent. Others might not notice or care, for me the switches between past and present tense were jarring. Yeah… I’m all over the place in this post with tense…. but remember… hypocrite.
So Darkfever wasn’t for me, and I’m certainly not ragging on it. This novel/series has received a lot of praise, and I’m sure for good reason. If you’re into the Fae, fashion, and Southern bell-like heroines, you might really dig this work.
I did have a favorite passage. Perhaps it’s because I’m as morbid as Mac.
Don’t accuse me of being morbid when I’m merely the product of a culture that buries the bones of the ones they love in pretty, manicured flower gardens so they can keep them nearby and go talk to them whenever they feel troubled or depressed. That’s morbid. Not to mention bizarre. Dogs bury bones, too.
One other thing, if you’re looking for a story with a finite ending, this isn’t it. Darkfever is only the beginning and very open-ended. ...more