Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Review: Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Darkfever (Fever, #1)

  Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
  Publisher: Delacorte Press
  Publication Date: October 1st 2006
  My rating:  4 Stars

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….

Well I just jumped into the world of Urban Fantasy and I loved it!

Twenty-two year old Mac Lane’s world has just been turned upside down. Her older sister and best friend Alina was murdered in Ireland.  The police have no suspects and have pushed it over into the cold-case files, and Mac’s parents are so overcome by grief, they’re paralyzed.  Mac gets a cryptic voice mail message from Alina saying that she needs to find the “shi-sadu.”  Armed with that information and a plan, Mac flies out to Ireland to get to the bottom of her sister’s murder.  Unfortunately, she runs many dead ends, until she walks into Barrons Bookstore and Baubles, and asks if they know the meaning of the strange word.   This is where the famous Jericho Barrons comes in.  Here’s where we first meet him and his description:

”He studied me with his predator’s gaze, assessing me from head to toe. I studied him back.  He didn’t just occupy space; he saturated it.  The room had been full of books before, now it was full of him.  About thirty, golden skin, and dark eyes. His features were strong, chiseled…..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."

Needless to say, things get very interesting from here on out and Mac finally starts getting somewhere.  Mac finds out Alina was immersed in a world she never thought possible.  A world where Fae, vampires, and more exist.   There are also those who can see the true nature of these fantastical creatures, sidhe-seers as they're called, and Mac is one of them. Not that she believes it.

This story was so well-paced, and kept my attention focused throughout.  The world we’re introduced to is a dark one, and we’re gradually learning more about it right along with Mac, so it doesn’t matter if we don’t know all the details yet.  I’m glad this world is revealed in this way instead of having a massive information dump in the beginning that would bore me to tears. This way, as I learn something new and accept it, I then want more.   

Mac is a strong yet innocent character.  I love that she was raised a traditional Southern woman with manners, who wouldn’t dream of uttering a cuss word.  She even has some pretty cute substitutions, like "petunia" for ass: “I didn’t give a rat’s petunia about Mr. Barrons’ stupid deadline.”  Her fashion sense, desire for color, and all things sparkly had me cracking up.  She had spunk and sass and an unfailing devotion to avenge her sister’s death. 

Now onto Jericho Barrons.  He’s maddeningly evasive, arrogant, sometimes brutal, and opportunistic.  He’s also strong, protective, and for the moment, seems to be on the same side as Mac.  Yet we still don’t know so much about him.  I hoping his character and motives are revealed more in the next one. 

One thing I was a little disappointed on, was the lack of romance!  Yes, there was sexual tension for days, but we we’re left hanging!  I know this is the first book and I can see where (hopefully) things are headed, but I’m a romance girl!  Give me a little more, please.  Other than that, I thought this was an excellent start to what appears to be a thrilling series.  Oh well, guess it’s more of a push to read the next one, which I will be doing VERY soon.  


  1. This sounds great, Rach! I have been wanting to get into more urban fantasy but I just keep sticking with YA! I like the sound of Mac and I guess the lack of romance is what makes UF differ from paranormal romance? That's what I've heard so it will be interesting to read this!

  2. Wow hun, you smashed out this review! Yay! You loved it! I have to say, when I was reading book one, I wanted to give up so many times but I'm glad I stuck with it. Great review.

  3. Yaaay, I loved that you enjoyed your first UF! I'm afraid you'll have to fight Lisa for Barrons, hon. She is very possessive.
    I have to admit I wasn't all too thrilled with this book, but the series gets much better later on.
    Btw, if you want UF with a lot of steam and excellent plots, try Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland.
    Amazing review, Rachel! Now it's your job to talk Jasprit into reading it. I tried my best.

    1. Maja, that is going in my TBR right now! Thanks for the recommend. :)

  4. AHHHHHHHHHHH! BARRONS RACHEL!!!! I LOVE HIM SO MUCH! He's such a complete a-hole! But he's all dark and irritating and delicious and I adore him. I can't wait to see what you think of the rest of the series! Do not, I repeat DO NOT, read book 4 without having book 5 on hand. Seriously. You might die. I had to wait 18 months after book four and nearly had to be locked up in a padded room because of it. And you'll get your romance. Eventually. Though nothing about Barrons is romantic:)

  5. The things I've heard about this Barrons. ;) I need to meet him one day! It's a little disappointing to hear that the sexual tension doesn't really edge into the romantic territory, but hopefully the rest of the series will take care of that. Great review, Rachel! :)

  6. Oh girl, just you wait you are in for a heck of a ride! Just be glad the whole series is out because there is a wicked cliffhanger at the end of four and it was a fourteen month wait, Most of us just about died waiting! Barrons will continue to drive you nuts and then astound you! Have fun, I may not see you for awhile.

  7. I love this series! Barrons is just full of sexy, arrogance, and hotness! =) Each book leaves you off with a huge cliffhanger! Like seriously. And like Jenny said, do not read book 4 unless you have book 5 on hand. I didn't have book 5 when I finished book 4 and was gonna DIE waiting for it. It's that good.

  8. Yay! Another Fever and Barrons fan. :) I'm planning on reading Bloodfever soon too, Rachel. :) Fabulous review!

  9. BARRONS!<33 Gosh, Rachel, I am SO glad you enjoyed this one! Darkfever isn't the best book in the series, so believe me, it only gets better. While I wouldn't call the romance in this novel romantic, it's definitely very hot and steamy and the sexual tension is only amped up seven-fold in the following novels. I guess Shadowfever is most satisfying in terms of actual romance although I loved Dreamfever the best of the whole series I think. Overall, this series is just AWESOME and I hope you love the rest of them just as much - if not more! - than you loved this installment! Wonderful review, dear! I can't wait to see what you think of the sequels! (And Barrons!) ;)

    1. Thanks for telling me Keertana. I was a little afraid we never get to see anything on that front. :)

    2. Yes! This is exactly how I feel. Darkfever is like an okay-ish pilot for an AMAZING tv series. Overall, the books are just amazing! :)

  10. Ooh, I really enjoy Urban Fantasy and I can't believe i haven't read this series! I've heard so much about Barrons. I love the description you included.
    I'm headed right now to add Darkfever to my tbr.
    Great review, Rachel!

  11. I'm definitely a romance girl too, but this sounds so good. And it's set in Ireland :) I'll have to give it a go. I'm glad to hear there's no info dumping, that just has the opposite effect on me, I zone out and then don't know any of the information anyway lol. So much better when it's bit by bit throughout the story. Great review Rachel.

  12. Oh, this looks good! I love kind of dark reads. I'm saddened that there wasn't much romance with that type of description of a male lead, lol. I totally agree, I need a little romance in stories.

  13. Well, hello, Jericho. Whoa @ that description LOL. I think I need to look into this series. Awesome review. Thanks so much for sharing :)

    Jennifer @ Dream Reads

  14. I've heard so much gushing about this series particularly from Keertana, but I still haven't gotten around to it. I really need to read it because it's exactly the type of book I usually read!

    Still, now I know I'll have to wait until I can afford more than just the first one if the romance isn't all wham-bam in the first one.

    Great review, Rachel! :)

  15. I love these books! Darkfever was hard to connect to at first, but about 2/3rds of the way through, I was totally into it and I sped through the rest of the books. Mac becomes more and more badass as the books go on. Let's just say she learns the hard way about everything and anything. Barrons is a VERY frustrating character to understand at first...but the more you read, the more is revealed (he will definitely keep you on your toes!)...and there is romance. You will love it! :) The attention to detail in the world-building is fantastic. Seriously, KMM is incredibly creative with the different beings and ~magic in the world. I can't wait to see what you think about the rest of the books.


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