Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Fever Series Double Review | Book 1: DARKFEVER by Karen Marie Moning

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
Paranormal / Urban Fantasy / Romance published October 1, 2006
Delacorte Press
Author's website  |  Goodreads  |  Buy the Book on Amazon

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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 V'lane—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...
Shelly's Thoughts...
First off it's only fair to tell you that this is one of my all time favorite series.  It's absolutely in my top 2 and Jericho Barrons, or JZB if you will, is probably my favorite male character ever, followed closesly (VERY closely) by Jamie Fraser.  These reviews are based on my 4th time reading all of these books but Shadowfever.  That one I have only read once up to this point.  The reason being, that I read all of them multiple times while waiting for Shadowfever to be released!

This book is the prefect set up for the series that follows it.  Karen Marie Moning has done a fantastic job setting up this world that Mac is thrust into when she ends up in Dublin.  Mackayla Lane is a small town girl with little to no ambition extending beyond what is happening in the present.  She is working in a bar, going to college, but only taking a few classes here and there.  She plans to make something of herself someday, but she's young and she thinks she has plenty of time to decide all this later on.  Then she gets a phone call that will turn her world upside down.  In very little time Mac goes from being the stereotypical, pink and rainbow loving blonde to something much different.  This is something she has to do in order to survive and while she fights it in the beginning she soon starts to understand that this is going to be her new life whether she likes it or not.

Barrons is very abrupt in this book and actually in the next few as well, but, for me, it doesn't make him less likable.  He is a beautiful, beautiful man and I don't care who or what he is...he's amazing!  He treats Mac the way he does because he knows that unless she toughens up she's not going to make it in this new world of hers.  Sure, he's using her for his own gain most of the time, but while he's doing this he's making her a stronger sidhe-seer and ultimately this is going to keep her alive.

Honestly, I don't have anything negative to say about this book.  I think it's set up well.  The character development is phenomenal.  The characters who appear to be minor characters are set up in a way that we know they will become more in future installments.  These reasons, and MANY more are why I keep coming back to this series over and over again.  If you haven't read this yet, I highly recommend picking it up right away!

XOXO, Shelly

What Victoria thinks....(spoilers may be present)
First, let me say, I was skeptical about reading this novel. I usually stick to my favorite urban fantasy authors and do not stray. However, I could not have been more pleasantly surprised after finishing it! Moning did a phenomenal job at making the novel both interesting, yet challenging, especially with her word choice and creative descriptions. With Urban Fantasy, there has to be a certain level of pre-understanding before the author can really captivate their audience. There is so much the author has to build up before any real creative design can take place. This is where I think Moning did a fantastic job. Not only did she give a detailed description of the Seelie/Unseelie world and characteristics, but also each character’s background and the specific part they play throughout the novel. 

MacKayla Lane, “Mac” for short, is one of the most diverse characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about. She is a girly-girl who is fiercely loyal and compassionate, but yet isn’t afraid to buckle down when the rubber meets the road. When she first visits Ireland in search of her sister Alina’s killer, her naivety is prominent. Everything she thought she knew about her sister was in question and she was out to prove everyone they were wrong. Through her quest for justice, she realizes the danger her sister had warned her about was real and understands what part she must play to stay alive. 

Meet Jericho Barrons who had me from his first appearance. Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome could not be more of an enigma. Standing at 6’3, with his dark hair and deep penetrating black eyes, he speaks more with his actions then with his words. He deals with absolutely no nonsense, so when Mac comes barreling into his bookshop asking questions about things she has no business of, he gets a bit testy. Though, as standoffish as he tries to be, Barrons always seems to be at the right place at the right time when it concerns Ms. Lane. Because of his efforts, they form a partnership where both parties benefit; she has the power to find and he knows every place to look. It is because of their platonic relationship that they are able to accomplish so much. 

Lastly, I must say a few words about V’lane. Prince of Tuatha De’ Danaan, Light Seelie Court. V’lane is ruthless when it comes to Mac. He has the uncanny ability to ignite powerful sexual urges and responses in all women. As Mac says, he is a “death-by-sex” type of Fae. Not only does he try to use this power on Mac, he gets extremely upset when it doesn’t work. V’lane explains to her that the High Queen Aoibheal requires Mac’s assistance. Just like Mac and Barrons, she too is after the Sinsar Dubh, a powerful and dark item of Unseelie court. However, Mac knows how important the book is and knows it cannot fall into the wrong hands. 

What I really appreciated about this book is the lack of a romantic element. Normally, I wouldn’t say that, but with this novel, I think that the absence of sex actually added more to the novel’s character. There were a few places where Moning brought her darker, more sexual side out to play, but nothing of real substance. Of course I was rooting for Barrons and Ms. Lane, but it is their dynamic, non-romantic relationship that really brings it all together. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series to see how romance is displayed throughout. Now, as for things I did not like, I only have a short few. I thought that the index taken from Ms. Lane’s journal regarding all things Fae should have been at the beginning of the book, rather than the end. I think that reading the descriptions of each character, which there were many, would have aided in understanding everything else. I also did not like the two main scenes with V’lane. It wasn’t so much his character, which I appreciated, but more about the setting of the scenes. I thought there were multiple ways Moning could have created the same encounter, with less. I’m not one for public indecency, so I just didn’t favor it. Overall though, I really enjoyed the novel. It was easy to understand, once you waded through the introduction, and was full of danger and adventure. I definitely will be recommending this one!

Rating: 8/10

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