Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

(Fever #1)

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….  

My Review
I had heard so much about Moning's Fever series that I finally broke down and bought the series - even pre-ordered the last book, Shadowfever. However, I also found that the other thing I heard was true: the first book is pretty weak.

Darkfever was a great concept. I loved that Mac was able to pull off the tough-girl attitude without sacrificing her southern belle, girly-girl charm. (Words like "petunia" were an especially nice touch - I had code words like that growing up, too.) I loved that the fae were not romanticized, as so many books feature them these days. A tame fae is, to me, like a tame vampire - 95% of the time, it's just not believable. However, I had some issues with the story. First, that Mac kept vacillating between trusting Barrons and believing that he was one of the enemy. Second, that Barrons wasn't entirely what he seemed - but Mac doesn't really question him about it, just lets it stew. And third, that Mac's parents just broke down after Alina's death instead of recognizing that Mac had lost someone too, and that not talking about the underlying issue won't make it go away.

The series has potential, and I will definitely be reading the second book, Bloodfever, at some point in the near future. Probably next month, as one of my book clubs is reading the series, one book a month, starting in September and counting down to the release of the fifth book. But if the story doesn't pick up after the second book, starting the third is going to be a tough sell.

The last book in the Fever series - Shadowfever - will be released on January 18, 2011.

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