Dec 3, 2010

Posted by in Reviews | 21 Comments

Review: Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning (Fever #1)

October 31 2006
Urban Fantasy
Mass Market Paperback
384 pages
Dell Publishing

Kick Ass Chick – MacKayla Lane
Yummy Man – Jericho Barrons (*Squee*)

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 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 first read this book in late 2009.  I really enjoyed it then.  The characters are just…well, Barrons is in this book.  Need I say more?  This series is very detailed and Darkfever, being book one in Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series, is especially thorough.  Not to the point where you feel lost or anything but enough that you know this book is building up for one hell of a series.  It’s setting the stage for some gruesome and brain tingling adventure.  I found Darkfever was even better this time around.  Just Wow.  And I mean Wow!  I found myself re-energized for this series with this re-read.  And I found myself asking new questions (because apparently I didn’t have enough questions after the first time I read this…)

MacKayla Lane’s (Mac) sister was recently murdered in Ireland.  The day she was killed, Alina left some cryptic messages on Mac’s cell phone about a him and the Sinsar Dubh and how imperative it was that they don’t get it.  After hearing these, Mac decides to leave her free-going fluffy life in Georgia and travel to Dublin to try to find Alina’s murderer…and to find the Sinsar Dubh.  Problem is, Mac isn’t sure what that is or why it was so important to her sister.  Once she arrives in Dublin, Mac discovers that she is a sidhe-seer, one who can see the Fae.  Now, these aren’t fluffy little winged cutesy pootsy beings.  Think about the creature from your worst nightmare and multiply it by 100.  That is the fae folk in KMM’s world.  Darkfever follows Mac as she travels to Ireland, discovers her heritage and her abilities and meets Barrons.  Yes, THE Barrons.

Barrons has to be one of, if not the, most popular book boyfriends on the planet.  He’s my favorite ‘Paranormal Book’ boyfriend that’s for sure.  He is power.  He is strength.  He is intelligence.  He is man?  When he introduces himself to Mac for the first time, simply saying his name, you *swoon*.  Your knees go weak because you know that you have just encountered greatness.  A character who is larger than life and whom you want on your side.  But it’s his slight vulnerabilities and tenderness that sneak through every once in a while that truly make him an intriguing man.  (Or Fae or vampire or mob boss or a freakin’ ballerina or whatever the hell he is.)

I’d forgotten how thought provoking this book is.  Some of the passages just make you smile in their exactness.  Such as:

“I love books, by the way, way more than movies. Movies tell you what to think. A good book lets you choose a few thoughts for yourself. Movies show you the pink house. A good book tells you there’s a pink house and lets you paint some of the finishing touches, maybe choose the roof style, park your own car out front.”

“She understood now why her friend Elizabeth, with her near-genius, analytical mind gave wide berth to murder mysteries, psychological thrillers, and horror stories, and read only romance novels. Because, by God, when a woman picked up one of those steamy books, she had a firm guarantee that there would be a Happily-Ever-After. That though the world outside those covers could bring such sorrow and disappointment and loneliness, between those covers, the world was a splendid place to be.”

And other passages are almost philosophical, filled with life lessons we really should be paying attention to:

“Barrons laughed again.  ‘And there, my dear Fio, you make one of Womankind’s greatest mistakes: Falling in love with a man’s potential. We so rarely share the same view of it, and even more rarely care to achieve it. Stop pining for the man you think I could be — and take a good, long, hard look at the one I am.’”

“’Lose the pessimism, Ms. Lane. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.’”

In this series, Karen Marie Moning has an incredible voice.  Her descriptions of the world she has created in this book are eerie but impressive.  When Mac comes face to face with a Fae, you want to run and hide just as much as Mac does.  Darkfever has it all.  A heroine who is on her way to learning truths about herself and setting off on one hell of a journey that you want to take part in, a hero that makes you drool and shiver all at once, a villain who is impossible to pin down and a story that leaves you begging for more.  You reach the last page wondering where the series will take you next…and having no idea where that could be.  You are so filled with questions you must continue reading.  And you want to continue reading, because you want to know if any of your theories are correct or if they are way off base.  It’s the kind of book that you think about days after you are finished reading it and the kind of series that makes you glad that there are at least three more books out there already and a fifth one coming out January 18th 2011.  I’m not going to focus on the fact that that is the final book in the series.  Because that just makes me cry.

5 stars

Swoon worthy quote

“’Do you remember what to do, Ms. Lane?’
‘Yes.  If I start to feel sick I should ask to use the bathroom.  You’ll escort me to it.’
‘Very good.  And Ms Lane?’
I glanced at him questioningly.
‘Try to act like you like you.’
When he put his arm around me and pulled me close, the shiver went clear down to my toes.”

Books in the Fever series –
Shadowfever (January 2011)

  1. *swoon* I’ve re-read this recently and remember thinking all the thoughts you touch on. Reading it the first time is magical, but reading it the second time was bad-ass… I pick up on so much.

  2. Jess – You are so right about the bad-ass-ness of this book the second time around!

  3. I really enjoyed this book the second time around! The first read I wasn’t crazy for it but was compelled enough to read the second book at which point I was hooked from there. That being said, after this re-read I ENJOYED this one SO MUCH!

  4. Awesome review bitch! Also a brilliant and very interesting week on UF I really learnt some new things and had a giggle as well.
    Go you! 🙂

  5. Pamela – It really was better the second time around!!!

    Ally – Did you just call me ‘bitch’ on my own blog?.. 😉

  6. … fluffy little winged cutesy pootsy beings… or a freakin’ ballerina or whatever the hell he is…LMAO!! Loved the quotes you picked for this review. And thanks again for not letting me give up on this book! I’m happy to report that I’ve pre-ordered Shadowfever. 😉

  7. Hi Julie,
    I don’t know if you remember, but on one of your other posts you encouraged me to read the series. Well, let me just say: THANK YOU!!!!!! OMG, I am reading book 4 right now, actually half way through it, and loving every page of it. I feel a little sad that there is only 1 more book, but I am sure the author will have something awesome for us… By the way, am I the only one obssesively trying to figure out “what” Barrons is?!?!? It’s driving me nuts!!!! =D

  8. Jen – I am so so glad you stuck with it too. Now we can suffer together when you get to the end of Dreamfever. Bwa ha ha.

    Thali – No, you are not alone. That is the biggest question of this series. I can’t wait until Shadowfever just to finally know what the heck Barrons is! I’m super happy that you are loving this series like I do. 🙂

  9. Love your review on the book! I think it is interesting to see peoples views on the same book. I think after seeing what you have written that when I read through the whole series and then go back to re-read the first book I will have a lot more appreciation for it! 🙂 I will say when Mac fights toward the end I was amazed at how naturally it came to her. I also love the fact that she is a reader like the rest of us.

  10. Deanna – I love the reader in her too. 🙂

  11. Great review Julie! I had to check out your thoughts after finishing the first book. Good to know that I’m going to have some competition when it comes to Barrons. LOL 😉

  12. I was looking for your reviews about Karen M. Moning’s books because I own the first three books but I just not finished the first one,Darkfever. I don’t know exactly why. Well, the heroine was annoying me a bit and I found it quite redundant; the fist half anyway.
    Now I read your review and I’m wondering if I’ll give it another try soon. I read so many positive reviews about this serie; I don’t understand…
    Maybe the french translation is not so good… I have to think about it.

  13. Zendastark – The first book is the weakest of them all. Many people are annoyed with Mac in the beginning. If you stick with it, you will not be disappointed. I know I didn’t write a review for all the books but this is a series I recommend often and always get ‘thank you’ emails when people are done with it. It’s amazing really…you just have to get through the first book. Book one is okay, book two is good, books 3 through 5 are ZOMG!

  14. I will think about it..really, because I’m interested.However, I’ll give again a try before buying the last two books.
    Thanks for your precisions! 🙂

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