Fever Moon by Karen Marie Moning, adapted by David Lawrence, illustrated by Al Rio and Cliff Richards (Del Rey Books, hardcover, 2012, $29.95Cdn)
Fever Moon takes place sometime in the future, I think, but definitely in Dublin. Why Dublin instead of New York, or San Francisco, or even Vancouver? This is just one of the questions inspired by this thought-provoking new graphic novel.
Fever Moon is set in a universe created by writer Karen Marie Moning in a series of five books. They are titled Darkfever, Bloodfever, Faefever, Dreamfever, and Shadowfever. To my knowledge there are no other books in the series planned, but the possibilities seem endless: Nightfever, Brainfever, Bonerfever.
Moning, the book’s jacket tells us no fewer than three times, is a “#1 New York Times bestselling author” whose other books include The Highlander Series, a time travel/paranormal romance series.
In “Behind the Scenes of the Fever Series”, an afterword in Fever Moon, Moning writes that “The entire [Fever] series shunted into my brain like a squirt on a Dan Simmons’s [sic] flatline.”
What shunted into her brain was a universe of demons, shape-shifters, demon rape, sex addiction, a bar where humans and demons mingle, an inter-dimensional worm-hole and much more that is largely incomprehensible to me even after going back to reread the sections of Fever Moon in which the main character tells us exactly what has happened.
Presumably, something else that shunted into Moning’s brain like a squirt in the flatline of a much better author were the names “Jericho Barrons” (I’m not making this up) and “MacKayla Lane” (again, not making this up). These are the two main protagonists of Fever Moon and, I’m guessing, the whole Fever series.
Some background: MacKayla Lane has a bone to pick with the Fae, who are demons or demon princes (it’s complicated). Anyway, a bunch of them raped her and now she’s addicted to sex with them (insert Charlie Sheen joke here). We are told that this condition makes her “pri-ya”, not to be confused with Priya Thomas, who is a real person and makes music in Toronto.
Fortunately however Jericho Barrons, who is a stud as well as a shape-shifter, has cured MayKayla Lane of her demon-sex addiction. “No human had ever recovered after sex with Fae royalty,” MacKayla Lane tells us. “Though Barrons brought me back…the cure was endless sex – with him.”
Now the two trade barbs (“Actually, Barrons, sex with you seems to have cured me of desire forever.”) and fight the Fae, which are demons, kind of, I think.
She can do this because our impossibly stacked heroine is also a “sidhe-seer”, which means she has special powers, including the ability “to freeze fae with a touch – and sense their magical objects of power”. She also gets to carry around a Spear of Destiny, about which no double entendres are made, at least in this graphic novel.
There is a plot. A tall creature in a top hat is stealing parts of people’s faces. Much of Fever Moon follows our intrepid heroes MacKayla Lane and Jericho Barrons as they try to find the serial face-stealer because, if they don’t, several people, including MacKayla Lane’s fellow sidhe-seer friend Dani, will die.
This forces Mackayla Lane to use her investigative powers of deduction, which take her to the bar where humans and demons mingle so she can ask if anyone’s seen a guy going around stealing people’s noses.
Bizarrely, despite two visits to this bar and her keen understanding of human nature, MacKayla Lane still can not find much about the top-hatted guy until she summons a demon or fae prince who is naked and hands her a scroll. Fortunately, as MacKayla Lane’s Sumerian-reading librarian friend tells her, this scroll is written in a language that is “close to ancient Sumerian”.
As it turns out, the scroll tells the story of this creature, “the Fear Dorcha”. The Fear Dorcha has been around for centuries. It seems the scroll also describes the pattern and order of his intended victims. These are described in a language that is not only written in a language that is “close to ancient Sumerian”, but in a rhyme that is very literal.
This is a good thing, because it means MacKayla Lane doesn’t have to tax her powers of deduction. When the rhyme informs her that the Fear Dorcha’s next victim will be “the temperate judge”, MayKayla makes one of those intuitive leaps that once again reminds us why she, and not a doorknob, is the hero of this story:
“The temperate judge! I know who it is! My father! He’s an attorney. And he’s been a judge!”
The dialogue fairly leaps off the page.
I don’t want to say any more – I have probably already provided a few too many spoilers, and I wouldn’t want to be responsible for ruining any more of this amazing graphic novel for you.
And just think, once finished, five more books in the series await.