Monday, November 22, 2010

Review: Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
Fever #1
Urban Fantasy
August 28, 2007
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Source: Purchased a copy from my local Chapters.
Steam factor: 1 out of 5 cups of steamin' smexy goodness
Favorite quote: "Dubh is do?" I was incredulous. It was no wonder I hadn't been able to find the stupid word. "Should I be calling pubs poos?" "Dubh is Gaelic, Ms. Lane. Pub is not."

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…

After reading a lot of praise for Moning's Fever series, I decided to see what all the fuss was about a year and a half ago. However, my first attempt at Darkfever did not out turn out too well. I had to put the book back on the shelf halfway through because I was bored with it. I found Mac annoying and the lack of romance frustrating. However, I refused to let Darkfever become an official DNF and promised myself that I would give it another shot. So, with release of the new paperback versions of the Fever series (love the new covers btw), I decided to give Darkfever a re-read.

Was Darkfever better the second time around? Yes. However, I approached the book with an entirely different mentality. In my first attempt at Darkfever, I wanted romance. I wanted Mac and Barrons to fall madly in love with each other and do the nasty several times over. Thus, I set myself up for disappointment right from the get go. This time, I took the book for what it was, an urban fantasy. In doing so, I discovered a far more interesting world where faeries are more than adorable little wood creatures.

Moning's world-building in the book is wonderful. She perfectly intertwines both the realistic and fantasy elements of the novel. The Dublin she describes in the book is both dark and gritty, where you can walk into a pub and perhaps encounter an Unseelie. It made me want to hop on a plane and go experience Dublin for myself. Also, I appreciated that Moning included descriptions of Gaelic words right into the text. I hate when you have to flip back and forth to the glossary.

Although Mac's narration of the story annoyed me in my first attempt at reading the book, I found her perspective to actually be quite amusing. She's feisty and fun. While she comes off in the beginning as being quite narcissistic, she is quick to admit her weaknesses. Also, her viewpoint brings a sense of lightness to the novel that would otherwise be bogged down by the seriousness of her situation. Despite her girly-girl attitude, you can also plainly see that Mac goes through a transformation in the book both physically and mentally. I'm eager to see what other changes Mac occurs in the rest of series.

And then there is Jericho Barrons, sigh. What a mystery. I love Mac's description of Barrons when she first meets him:

"He wasn’t handsome. That was too calm a word. He was intensely masculine. He was sexual. He attracted. There was an omnipresent carnality about him, in his dark eyes, in his full mouth, in the way he stood. He was the kind of man I wouldn’t flirt with in a million years."

Wowza. Barrons definitely has my interests peeked. However, I'm still not sure what to think of him. I'm also wondering about this V'lane character and how he fits into the story. If I didn't like anything else about the novel, wanting to know more about Barrons and V'lane would certainly be enough for me to read the rest of the series.

In reading Darkfever, do not expect a romance. However, do expect a story that just gets more addictive as you go along. Despite a slow start, the book has enough suspense and mystery to keep you interested until the end. I'm happy I gave this book a second shot and I'm eager to see what happens to Mac in her quest to find the Sinsar Dubh.

Lukewarm, but still hits the spot.

Other Opinions:
~All Things Urban Fantasy - 5/5
~Dark Faerie Tales - 5/5

Other book in the series:
Shadowfever (Janruary 18, 2011)

Author's website


  1. I thought I was the only one that had not yet read this series (well I guess it turns out I know am lol). They are on my TBR list. I Hope to get there sometime soon.

    Are you going to read the whole series in a row?


  2. I thought I was the last one too, haha. I am going to read them all in a row because I'm addicted. I have to know what Barrons is! Although I don't think I'm going to get to know until the last book in the series comes out in January. Thank gosh I won't have much of a wait!

    Happy reading!

  3. lol...that is one of the best parts about reading a series that has been out for awhile, less time to wait for the next book to come out. I hate waiting.