Darkfever (Fever #1) by Karen Marie Moning

by Devina a Lemon flavoured Jellybean
Cover via Goodreads

Rating: 5 Stars    Age appropriate: 18 and up – Cussing and brief explicit scenes

Goodreads blurb

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….

I can’t remember on whose shelf I saw this on, or perhaps it was on an ad but it was definitely on Goodreads and I’m always game for an exciting paranormal/urban fantasy novel, this one didn’t disappoint.

Mackayla “Mac” Lane didn’t know what was coming to her just hours after setting foot in Dublin, Ireland, where she hoped to put some life into the murder investigation of her sister, Alina, who was studying abroad. Her pretty world fell apart and what remained of her little happy family was left devastated after learning of her unexplainable gruesome death. Mac had found a message left by her sister, a recording of Alina’s last words that made no sense to her at all, something about a book she must find at any cost before “they” find it, whoever “they” are. This was something new and she wasn’t just going to cry over everything and give up hope like her parents had.

The police refused to follow up on a cold case with not a single lead – the message gave them nothing to work on so it was deemed insufficient – leaving Mac even more frustrated. It wasn’t long after weird stuff began happening; she begins to see grotesque monsters, her first was sucking the vitality and beauty of a woman oblivious to the decaying hideous monstrosity, she’s now seeing things no one else could and was quickly coming to the conclusion that she was going insane. Oh, she’d be wishing she was.

After she got lost in some wasteland part of the city, where the shadows aren’t what they seem to be, she stumbled her way with relief to “Barrons Books and Baubles” a bookstore that was run by the mysterious, off the charts handsome (as I like to think) and lethal Jericho Barrons who enlightened Mac about the secret world unseen by mundane humans and all the creepy crawlies that live amongst them beneath the glamour they cast to blend in. She also learned that she was a Sidhe-seer, a person that fae magic can’t work on, able to see past their disguises. Mac and Jericho did not get off to a peachy start but they’d be needing each other soon enough and they didn’t have to like it.

Jericho is also searching for this book Alina had mentioned, the Sinsar Dubh, a long lost powerful relic of the dark fae, the Unseelies, along with everyone else even the supposedly good fae, the Seelies. This book holds immense power so it’s a no brainer why anyone wouldn’t want it.

I don’t want to give away anything else but let me tell you that it was a heck of a ride. I read this book in less than a day if you add up all the hours. I like the writing style, it was engaging, to me it conveying Mac’s thoughts, feelings and reactions clearly and I certainly approved of the little touches that made her sound like an actual person. The characters are interesting enough and I find Moning’s world very intriguing though probably as I had found Kate Daniels’, but it was worth the read. While blazing through, I felt the darkness oozing out from the streets of Dublin through the pages (or in my case my computer screen) and into me and I just love it when a book affects me so much that I feel apart of it’s cast of characters, like I’m wading through the stream of emotions that our protagonist is splashing through.

Speaking of whom, I’ve read reviews describing Mac as being spoiled, whiny, stubborn and unpractical. Well, she is all girly girly and into pink so much that normally would force me into a major gagging session and before picking up Darkfever I was expecting some nausea knowing that I’ll be walking around in her head. Fortunately for both Mac and I, I’m open minded. I wouldn’t be all kinds of harsh on her if I were you. She grew up in a safe environment, she was naturally drawn to things pretty and shiny. The fact that she’s blond might get people to think that Mac’s just another “dumb blond”, she is who she is and that’s that. What she is is a good person who needs a reality check. But then again, we sure as hell can still judge a person but that is unwise especially when we don’t know them.

Mac gradually develops into a more … what to say … street-minded/street-wise person, she even contrasted herself in the latter portion of the book. Actually I’m quite glad she even cared to juxtapose at all. It shows me that she’s aware of her metamorphosis, one that she was forced by circumstance to partake in. Though I do wish she’d shut up about what her favourite nail polish is and to complete it was her narrative of what she wore. Oh, the pwetty (misspelled intentionally) things! Meh. Thankfully, she eased up on that as her character progressed, Mac understands the necessity of her choice in apparel but she doesn’t appreciate this change because it doesn’t reflect who she is. She doesn’t want to be someone she’s not and I give her respect points for that. Mac herself is changing so naturally her previous preferences will also evolve. I will inform you that she’s still into pink.

Oh, how I would just love to gush about the strikingly stunning beautiful Jericho Barrons, but I won’t because I’ll just embarrass myself and people possibly will come to think that I’m a middle aged housewife wishing to be swept away by an unnaturally handsome, non-existent Irishman (no offense to you married middle-aged housewives). I concede that the latter part might be true. If my father comes across this review, I’ve said enough for him to review the books I buy. That would be a dark day if he discovered certain books. Ahem.

Mac calls him Barrons throughout this book and this might be due to her reflexive dislike to the man and probably he has this aura of dangerousness about him, I wouldn’t be too hasty to be on a first name basis with a guy I don’t like at all too, nor one that I’m not sure who’s entirely human. Yes, if you Darkfever it seems hard to believe Jericho ( as I prefer to call him) is 100% human, actually I don’t think he’s human at all.

I think this is long enough of a review and I hope it’s done its part to encourage you to get yourself a copy and sample it with a relish. To finish off I’d like to say it’s nice to see Mac’s development in this first book of the series and not till one or two books later. Jericho is still a mystery so as a rule he’s still where we found him; undecipherable – for now, that is. I enjoyed their banter and the way they react to each other. Mac didn’t instantly fall heads over pink heals over him like many heroine do but she’s attracted to him, to her mild annoyance, and he didn’t pursue her attention … well not in a man-meets-sexy-lady kind of way, it’s refreshing. I liked the little snippets of wise words Mac shared. Really, she isn’t just a pretty face with a sunny personality.

Get it. Read it. Get hooked. Don’t misjudge blonds.

A note: I’ve read the second book, Bloodfever, (the one after this one) and I’m killing myself slowly by resisting the urge to read the third (Faefever) one I bought on impulse. It’s sitting there in my Kindle goading me to read it and I’m trying not to because I’ve got exams coming up and this series is testing my will. It is that addictive.

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