Sunday, October 11, 2009

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning



Book Description:
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 blown away by this book, my first urban fantasy, I was caught up in the plotline from the beginning and couldn't put it down. I'm starting the next book in the series immediately, I can't wait to read on!

I didn't expect to really like it. I loved Moning's Highlander series, but had not been into the whole fae part of it, so I had no desire to read this series. Fantasy and paranormal are usually not my thing. But, Kindle was giving this book away for free and I downloaded it and gave it a shot - I'm so glad I did!

Mac (MacKayla) Lane is a Barbie doll type of girl, loves the color pink, long blonde hair, loves to pick out outfits and look cute. She's a bartender and lives at home in her parent's house, lounging around their swimming pool working on that golden tan. She's a real girlie girl, used to the good life. She was not unlike the character in Legally Blonde played by Reese Witherspoon. But, Mac's world turns upside down when she gets a phone call that her sister (and best friend) has been murdered in Dublin. No trace of the killer, the case has no leads and is eventually closed. Mac and her parents are devastated and mourn for the loss of their beloved child and sister. Eventually, Mac pulls herself together and flies to Dublin to see if she can get some answers about her sister's death. After belatedly hearing a message on her cell phone from her sister shortly before her murder, Mac can't put it behind her, she must try and get to the bottom of it.

While in Dublin all hell breaks loose for Mac. Suddenly she is swept up in the supernatural world of Seelie's and Unseelie's, who are good and evil fae's that can disguise themselves as humans. She must battle evil vampires, Master Lords and joins up with an enigmatic, handsome bookseller named Jericho Barrons, who becomes her unlikely partner. She's not sure what his motivation is, but he saves her life on more than one occasion and begins to instruct her on the ways that she can kill Unseelies and keep herself alive. He also had an ulterior motive with regard to her - she has a power he needs. Mac learns that she is a Null, a type of shidh-seer (pronounced "she-seer"), who can see monsters (evil faes known as Unseelies, without their glamour facades) that ordinary humans cannot. She becomes a sort of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, only she becomes an Unseelie Slayer. Together she and Barrons try to find these particular OOP's (love this), Hallows that will lead them eventually to a fantastical and legendary book, the Sinsar Dubh that can save the world from the Unseelies.

Still with me?

The story was exciting and I was riveted to it. I kid you not, I couldn't put it down and read it in one day. It was so good! I can't help but wonder who and what Barrons really is. There is some sexual tension between the two, but nothing of note ... yet. I am hopeful, yet I still cannot be sure since I don't know what he is exactly. The various monsters that Mac must come across are horrifying and well described - I felt I was there with her meeting them face to face. Plus, I really love Mac's character. She seems real to me, I can identify with her. A lot of what she thinks and does I can see myself thinking and doing too! She's just an ordinary girl who likes pretty, shiny things and living comfortably. Suddenly she's thrust into this crazy world in which she is constantly looking over her shoulder battling evil and trying to find out what happened to her sister. Most of all, she's trying to find out who she really is. Is she really the daughter of her parents? Was she adopted? Is she descended from a long line of shidh-seers named O'Connor that makes her a human geiger counter for the Hallows? If so, she can prevent the Unseelies from destroying mankind by getting the Sinsar Dubh! Barrons wants the Sinsar Dubh badly - but do we know for sure he's a good guy?

Mac is so endearing. One of the funniest part of the book (and yes, there are some funny moments) is when Mac comes across this devilishly handsome royal Seelie, V'lane. He has this power to make human women want to have sex with him - immediately. They can't help it, and Mac is no exception. As soon as he comes in proximity to her she starts taking off her clothes and doesn't even realize it! She is amazed at herself as well! I laughed out loud at how she finds her bra and panties tossed on the floor - having no idea she has tossed them there. Made for some crazy moments! Luckily, she comes to her senses before V'lane can take advantage of her.

After much excitement, the book ends up in the air with a bit of a cliffhanger, definitely setting the reader up for the rest of the series. There is a glossary of all the different monsters and fae's and who is who. This is very helpful. I'm eager to read the rest of the series. Full of action and suspense - I loved it! I can't wait to continue it, stay tuned for more reviews from me!

4.5/5

Addendum 10/22/2010: 
I've recently re-read Darkfever but on audio this time.  I had my likes and dislikes.  I liked Mac's voice for the most part, but the narrator, Joyce Bean, sounded kind of old for a 22 year old girl, but I liked the Southern accent.  What I did NOT like was the way she made Barrons voice sound.  Not at all how I envisioned him sounding when I read the book last year.  He doesn't sound the least bit carnal or sexy, it's too foreign sounding - I don't know, it's just not how I pictured him sounding (if that makes any sense).  I'm glad to know that by book 4, it's Phil Gigante (gunh!) doing Barrons - crucial!

11 comments:

Patti said...

This is one of my favorite series! Glad you enjoyed it.

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Are the rest of the books as good as the first? I vaguely remember reading the latest book wasn't as good?

Mandi said...

These books just get better!!! Trust me! I had one tiny problem with the latest book, but this is still one of my absolute favorite series!!! Can't wait to hear your thoughts!!!

(wow, I used a lot of exclamation points ;)

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Mandi - I'm so glad to hear it!!

Joanne said...

It's always good to hear about a great series -- I like following characters/plot lines across books. I'll add this one to the pile of Moning's other Highlander romance books that I have TBR -- it'll be in good company!

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Joanne, I loved her other series for the most part, the first two books were meh, but the series got better and better. This series is very different, at least what I've read so far. It's not romancey, it's more a thriller suspense with paranormal themes - I never thought I'd become so enamored of this! LOL!

Penelope said...

Julie...this series is absolutely amazing, and Moning's talent keeps getting better and better. I love the fact that she has written the lusty highlander books, and is now doing this funky series. The woman has some serious writing chops. I think this series is the best gem of the current paranormal world. The latest book was brilliant, and I believe that KMM will give us all the HEA we are striving for eventually.

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Penelope - so that means we still haven't gotten to a HEA - no wonder everyone's reading this series like crazy! I'm almost done with Bloodfever now, I love it and can't believe how I'm speeding through it, reading it on my iTouch every chance I get!

Patti said...

Yes Julie, they are all really good...and you get to see a few characters from her Highlander series in the later books!

JennJ said...

Great review Julie! I haven't read this one I'll have to give it a go it sounds wonderful! :)

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Patti - yes, I'm noticing that, I see the McKeltar's in it too, will post my reviews when I've finished Faefever, which I'm reading now.

JennJ - read this one! It's so good! I'm on the third book in the series now. It's hard to put it down! Wish I didn't have to work!

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