Claire Sommers is about to start her university courses. Reluctantly, because the tiny percentage of supernatural genes she inherited means she has to attend classes with vampires, werewolves and a a variety of supernatural creatures. Can she survive, not only her classmates but her long dormant gift making itself felt?
Since the story is narrated by Claire in the first person she carries the bulk of the story. She is well-written and three dimensional. She is understandably aggrieved at being moved into a supernatural class, scared when threatened; confused, scared and excited when things start to go wild. The descriptions of her experiences and her emotions are very vivid, especially when her previous dormant paranormal side manifests itself.
There are two other notable character, with varying amounts of page time. Neither gets a lot of development, (although Lucas gets more than Camilla) but both will appear in other works by the same author, so I expect I’ll get to learn more about them at that point.
Since Claire is (at least partially) a succubus and The Fervor is part of the ‘Sinful Supes’ series, when her gift/curse does begin to take effect, she inadvertently triggers off wave a of lust that sweeps up everyone around her. The sense of what this does to them, and Claire herself, is well conveyed, with Claire wavering between desire, need, revulsion and back again.
This is an adults only read, with some graphic descriptions and language. But I never reached a point where I thought “this is too much”. Maybe not everyone would agree with me there but I think it balances the violence and the eroticism very well.
One of the things I liked most about this novella is that there is obviously a larger world beyond it. One where supernatural creatures are known to exist, are legislated, segregated, even policed. But the author doesn’t feel the need to overload us with explanation. For all intents and purposes, it is simply taken as given that this is the way this world is. And the pieces we are given are doled out almost at random, rising from the situation or conversation, never as part of an info dump. I like this style of hinting rather than telling but I can understand that it could also be irritating for others.
All in all, I enjoyed The Fervor and will certainly read more of Ms. Kovak when I get the chance. I already have a copy of another of her books in my queue.