REVIEW by Matt: Darkfever (Fever Series #1) by Karen Marie Moning (@KarenMMoning, @mattalarkin)

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….

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….

I was first introduced to the FEVER series by my friend and fellow author Amber Lynn Natusch. I’d seen it advertised here and there, but had never looked into it. Amber raved about its twists, turns, and how everything fit together in surprising ways. That kind of book speaks to me, so I read the synopsis. Urban fantasy where the protagonist is drawn into the dark world of the fae. Count me in.

I load it up on my Kindle (yeah, I read everything on Kindle these days), and on page two, I’m greeted to the following:

“The Seelie and Unseelie have been smearing their bloody war all over our world since her disappearance, and although some might say I’m being broody and pessimistic, I think the Unseelie are gaining the distinct upper hand over their fairer brethren.”

Yeah, this is going to be one of those stay up until 2am reading it books, huh?

Yes. It was.

This prologue did kind of prime me for something a little different than I expected. In a typical urban fantasy, the fantasy part is unknown to common people. This made it sound like some kind of post-apocalyptic world, although in reality, our narrator, Mac, is only hinting at things to come, as she does throughout the book.

Mac’s a spunky little hero from small town Georgia, off to explore the seedy side of Dublin after her sister is murdered there. What she doesn’t expect (and who would?) is to get tied up in a struggle between the Unseelie and the Seelie. She can see them for what they are, which does not make them happy.

Moning takes classic Irish myths, like the Gray Man, and applies wicked, grotesque twists to them. Her description of this creature, of the way it sucks the beauty and life from a girl, allows us to feel Mac’s horror as we are forced to watch right alongside her.

I loved this novel quite a lot, but there were some world-building decisions I’m on the fence on. One, I won’t spoil because I don’t want to give anything away. The other… I’m reading along in the story about the fae, about sidhe-seers, about Irish and Scottish mythology. I’m comfortable. Or at least I’m enjoying the inherent discomfort in the otherworldliness of the fae. And then, out of the blue, a vampire (and I don’t mean a type of fae like the leanan sidhe). Yeah, not unusual for urban fantasy, right? But it feels out of place here. Maybe it’s just me.

That said, Moning handles every moment expertly. We never quite know who Mac can trust, and where she’s going to be led astray, but thanks to the foreshadowing, we know Really Bad Things are coming.

Not yet convinced to give this urban fantasy a try? Let me leave you with this quotation to help you out:

“The way I saw it, what Barrons had just told me was this: A Faery not only wouldn’t care whether I lived or died, it wouldn’t even really register that I was dead, just that, before, I could walk and talk and change my clothes by myself, but afterward I couldn’t, as if someone had yanked the batteries out of me.

It occurred to me that I could really learn to hate the Fae.”

I give DARKFEVER 5 phoenix hatchlings. Moning has an ebook box set for the whole series coming out soon, and that’s definitely on my wish list.

Fever Series Book #1
Click here for read Jena’s review!

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Fever Series Book #2
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Fever Series Book #3
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Fever Series Book #4
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Fever Series #5

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  1. Here, Here! I absolutely love this series!

    1. 🙂 It is a good one. Amber Lynn Natusch and Ginny are the ones that convinced me to read it and I instantly fell in love!

  2. I’m real psyched to continue on with it.

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