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FEVER MOON: THE FEAR DORCHA (FEVER SERIES) BY KAREN MARIE MONING: GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEW

by hmhibbit, July 27, 2012

    
Fever Moon: The Fear Dorcha
Fever
Author: Karen Marie Moning
ISBN #: 0345525485
Author’s website: www.karenmoning.com

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Vicki 

Synopsis:

Dublin is a warzone. The walls between humans and Fae are down. A third of the world’s population is dead and chaos reigns. Imprisoned more than half a million years ago, the Unseelie are free and each one Mac meets is worse than the last. Human weapons don’t stand a chance against them.

With a blood moon hanging low over the city, something dark and sinister begins to hunt the streets of Temple Bar, choosing its victims by targeting those close to Mac. Armed only with the Spear of Destiny and Jericho Barrons, she must face her most terrifying enemy yet.

In this all-new Mac & Barrons story by #1 New York Times bestseller Karen Marie Moning, we meet the most ancient and deadly Unseelie ever created, the Fear Dorcha. For eons, he’s traveled across worlds with the Unseelie King, leaving behind him a path of mutilation and destruction. Now he’s hunting Dublin, and no one Mac loves is safe.

Review:

‘There were times I hated taking on this series. There were times I relished it. Days I felt cursed by it, other days I felt blessed by it. I haven’t always liked the characters, nor have I agreed with many of the things they’ve done. In the end all I can say is this: The story came to me. I told it. And I’m glad I did.’- Karen Marie Moning, Fever Moon, Behind the Scenes of the Fever Series.

The greatest thing about Karen Marie Moning is her love/hate relationship with the Fever Series. She has that canny ability of letting the characters roam free; they control her and they control the story. She has an enviable courageous talent.

Moning also adores her fans/readers. She is quite literally the gift that keeps on giving. She heard us shout for more and she delivered.

So, when I first heard about the Fever Series being turned into a graphic novel, I was excited but I wasn’t surprised; it seemed like a natural progression. Of course Moning is not the first novelist to explore the medium and she won’t be the last. But, I applaud all artists who are able to let another set of hands interpret what is/was so deeply personal and intimate. It really must be just as scary as parents watching their children walk through the school doors for the first time. Or, you know… an author seeing their book on the shelves for the first time.

I am not a very seasoned reader of the graphic novel genre so I’m not going to draw comparisons with the Frank Millers and Alan Moores, but as a companion to the growing world of Fever, this new addition stands strong against the rest.

The story opens with a prologue. Mac stands, hands on hips, atop the burning streets of Dublin and says: “My name is MacKayla Lane. It’s just a typical night in Dublin since the walls fell.” Although I fear sounding trite; Mac’s entrance is majestic. From the outset she carves out her own Mac shaped hole in the graphic novel genre. But more importantly she is the same MacKayla Lane that we have grown to love from the novels, except she’s Technicolor!

For new readers there is enough back story to enjoy Fever Moon as a standalone and for die-hard fans it is quite simply shiversome to see scenes from the Fever Series brought to life. The first ‘off screen’ utterance of “Ms. Lane” may or may not have induced the squeal heard around the world.

One small gripe would be that it is slightly unclear where Fever Moon fits into Fever world canon. Hazarding a guess, I would say that it is set two-thirds of the way through Shadowfever, the Sinsar Dubh it still causing chaos, Jack and Rainie are still in their glass house, The Fear Dorcha has already made an appearance in Mac’s life and Mac knows things about Barrons that she didn’t know in Dreamfever. I found it a little distracting trying to figure out the timeline.

Well-versed Moning fans will recognise The Fear Dorcha from Shadowfever. Mac’s first meeting with him was short, but definitely not sweet. For a man with no face he leaves a lasting impression and what a brilliant adversary for the graphic novel setting. If there ever was a character, other than the Sinsar Dubh, that needed to be seen to be believed it would be The Fear Dorcha.

Illustrator, the late Al Rio, has done a spectacular job. All the main players: Mac, Barrons, Dani, V’lane, Rowena, Inspector Jayne, etc  all look exactly how I imagined them. This may be a testament to Moning’s continued involvement in the creation of the book as well as her aforementioned familial connection to her characters. However, huge respect is owed to Illustrators Rio and Cliff Richards, who completed the final chapter after Rio’s death. As well as Adapter David Lawrence, Colorists Katrina Mae Hao and Rainier Beredo, Inkers Julia Pinto, Joe Pimentel and Dan Borgones and Letterer Zachary R. Matheny. All collaborators are responsible for making Fever Moon a great success.

This whole process was quite clearly a labor of love for Moning:

 ‘I was ignorant of the many steps and amount of time it would take to get this book onto the shelves. […] If I’d known in the beginning what I know now, I might have never agreed to take it on. Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t know. Exhilarating and exhausting, Fever Moon ended up being more than I’d hoped for.’

And thanks to Moning’s ‘ignorance’ the Fever Series breathes life into another genre, opens itself up to a new audience and allows fans to experience Fever like they never have before.

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