14 July 2012

Review: Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Darkfever (Fever, #1)Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
How I got it: Borrowed it from a friend, but want my own copy now!

When MacKayla's sister was murdered, she left a single clue to her death - a cryptic message on Mac's cel phone. Journeying to Ireland in search of answers, Ma is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to master 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, mysteriou Jericho...while at the same time, the ruthless V'lane - an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women - closes in on her. As the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac's true mission becomes clear: to 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 both worlds in their hands....

My mother upon seeing the book on my desk: “Is that a sex book?”
Me, as I look: “What? No.”
Mother: “It says moaning.”
Me, staring: “No, it says Moning. That’s the author’s last name.”
Mother: “Oh…” Pauses. “It still looks like a sex book.”

Sex book it is, my dear friends, at least a little bit. Karen Marie Moning, a resident romance writer, steps out of her box, so she claims, to create a urban fantasy series that has readers, this one included, itching to read more.

Mac, the main character of the novel, flies to the grand city of Dublin after the murder of her sister, when city police run out of leads and drop the investigation. While picking up the pieces of her sister’s last weeks alive, she discovers what she truly is, and what might have lead her sister to her death; she’s a sidhe seer, a person who can see the fae. Soon she discovers the mysterious, and gorgeous, Jericho Barrons. Although they can’t seem to stand each other’s company, they need each other. She needs his expertise in the fae world to close the case of her sister’s murder. He needs her ability to sense the fae to find a long sought after dark book.

Ah, yes, this book is lots of fun. Along with the great world building, and the witty and fast paced writing, Moning’s plot keeps the characters rolling. Barrons is just this sexy beast that you want to glomp, and cheer on when he has his frequent and high spirited comments towards the main character. He has to be one of my favorite male main characters of my reading so far this year. He’s mysterious, crafty, hot, and he owns a book shop. How is that not exactly what readers like us desire?

The main character herself is something to be desired…

This book almost caught four stars because of the author’s writing around the main character. Moning is a romance writer, but this book is by far not a bodice-ripper. This is urban fantasy, and she should have stuck with that when she started down that road. I imagine that partway through this book Moning had this sort of conversation with herself, “Wow, look at this plot. Damn, look at these characters! I have something going here, urban fantasy, I think. But I usually don’t write this… What should I do? Run with it and have fun? Nah, I’ll shove some crap in there because I just can’t help myself.”

Not only was she trying to push sex driven scenes, but she was also trying to turn the main character into something she’s not. I’ll be blunt, Mac is nothing but a superficial Barbie. When I thought she should be trying to catch her sister’s killer and save the world, she was worrying about her favorite nail polish being discontinued. And I have never, ever, in my life read a character that was nothing more than a skank towards herself. I don’t know if Moning just couldn’t handle writing first person, but in several places Mac had to go off on a rant about how she looked AND how perky her boobs were and how all the other boys just wanted her. Really? She wasted so much time describing her outfit for the day instead of the other characters, the setting, etc… It set my teeth on edge.

I have been promised, however, that Mac becomes a kick arse heroine by the end of the series, and that book two is much better. I did see something of a transformation in her, but I still must shake my head at Moning and ask her how daft she could have possibly been.

But this is something of a sex book, like I said, only… erm, not the usual sex. V’lane, a death by sex fae prince, can apparently just walk up to her and send her over the edge. You heard right, poor Mac gets laid without even getting touched. (Poor thing.) But aside from the inhuman man whore, there was such a variety of evil, grotesque looking fae that it was like being on some hellish, fictional safari. Fun, fun!

I am really, really excited to read the next book. I have fallen in love with most of the characters and all of them have promised to be loads of fun in the future. I love the plot, and the intricate details of the plot promises the rest of the series will be just as awesome.

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