REVIEW: Darkfever (Fever Series Book #1) by Karen Marie Moning (@KarenMMoning)

MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman. Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.
When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….

(synopsis cont’d)
As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane–an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women–closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book–because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands….

Well, I am a little behind the ball but after much poking and prodding from several of my friends, I have finally started the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. The first installment is Darkfever. I knew absolutely nothing about this series going in. I didn’t even read the synopsis until about five minutes ago when I posted it at the beginning of this review. I started it on blind faith that my bookish friends wouldn’t steer me wrong. The only thing I know was that these two friends had a major jones on for one Jericho Barrons and that was all I knew. Well, I can say with all certainty that my friends, in fact, did not steer me wrong!
Let’s start off with what I didn’t like about this book so we can get the little bit of unpleasantness out of the way. There were only two things that I wasn’t really fond of with this book and the first had absolutely nothing to do with the author. This was a book that I listened to (audiobook) instead of reading and the narrator was horrendous. If you can get past her god awful fake southern accent and just enjoy the storyline, then you’re all set. I am one of those people that has a hard time adjusting and have to force myself to look past it. It took me about an hour of listening to it before I got to the point where I didn’t want to stop it every few minutes to take a “break”. Once I got beyond that feeling, it really went by very fast. And honestly, it’s only the accent that she does for Mac that really is annoying. She does a great job with Jericho’s voice and Fiona’s voice.
The other thing that I didn’t like about this first installment was the similarity between MacKayla Lane and Sookie Stackhouse. Their personalities, their appearances….everything about them is so similar that it kind of ate at me for the first half of the book. However, as the story line progresses, you find that there really are very vast differences between them. It’s just a matter of getting by that initial perception.
Now that the bad stuff is out of the way….
I loved this book. As an opening installment to a series, this was a great start. Karen Marie Moning has created a fantastic scenario as the set up for the entire series. What started as following our main character on her quest to solve the mystery of her sister’s murder ends up blossoming into a story that is just so much bigger than that.
MacKayla ‘Mac’ Lane is said main character. As I stated above, I was horribly irritated by how much she was like Sookie Stackhouse (Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Mysteries) – a blond haired southern bell with all the brain power of a garden gnome. Not good. However, as the story progresses, I grew to really love Mac as a character. There is really a lot more to her than meets the eye (no Transformers jokes!!) and I was happy to be proven wrong in my initial assessment.
Jericho Barrons – Quite possibly one of the most fascinatingly vague characters in all of urban fantasy history. He’s a total bad ass who takes shit from no one and I still cant tell you if he’s a good guy or a bad guy. He’s infuriating and dodgy. He answers questions with questions and when he doesn’t answer with a question, he dances around the answer without ever actually giving an answer. I love him.
This book starts off in the present and the narrator, our main character Mac, is telling us the story of how she went from living an average uneventful life in Georgia to the life she’s living now. However, the book is written in such a way that doesn’t give away what that current life is. It is a very interesting way of finding out how things fell into place.
I also love that Darkfever actually takes us on a trip to Ireland to learn about the nasties of the supernatural world. Mac has grown up thinking that the world is a perfectly mundane little paradise and she couldn’t have gone to a better place to find that this is not the case. Having a history filled with legend and myth, Ireland was a great setting for the book.
Karen Marie Moning has written a very well put together story. The mystery to this book is written wonderfully, although it doesn’t really get resolved by the end. The ending of this book is most definitely wide open. I don’t recommend reading this book if you don’t have relatively immediate access to the rest of the series. I only say that because it is so open-ended that I think I would have to re-read the preceding books in the series because there is so much detail that a piece could easily be forgotten.
Overall, I give Darkfever a solid 4 stars! Great for a diehard urban fantasy lover!
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  1. I could have written some of these sentiments. I’m still reading this book. It’s been in my “am reading” pile for more months than I count at this point. 4 months or 6 months? I forced myself to read the first half and haven’t forced myself through the rest yet. I want to love it though. Everyone keeps promising it gets better.

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