Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
Series: Fever (#1)
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
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, Mac 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.
*SPOILER FREE FOR ALL YOU FEVER NOOBS*
…all two of you…
It’s no secret that Fever is my favorite series of all time. This is my third re-read of it and the entire reason I first decided to give these books another go was to force myself to attempt to properly review them and not just drool over Jericho Barrons for five pages.
Mmmmm, Jericho, om nom nom nom nom nom.
Damn it, there I go again. Anywho, there are a lot of reasons that I love this series aside from the male lead. I’m going to go with a numbered list here as it seems to be the only way to make sense of all my feels.
1. The way in which the story is told
Our narrator and MC, MacKayla Lane, has been through hell. You know this from page one, line one, where she says:
“My philosophy is pretty simple – any day nobody’s trying to kill me is a good day in my book. I haven’t had many good days lately”
This series is told in retrospect and because of this we, the readers, get all sorts of ominous warnings throughout it along the lines of “If I had only known”, “One day those words would come back to haunt me”, “He’d never let me forget that fact” and so on.
While I loved this series the first time I read it, I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have. Only upon my first re-read did I really grasp the genius of KMM. I noticed so many minute details that hinted at things to come and all those warnings made complete sense because I now knew what she was referencing. Ms. Moning must have had the entire thing planned out in advance, how else can you explain all the hidden gems I’ve stumbled across? Even now, on my FOURTH read of this series, I’m still noticing things I didn’t pick up on before.
2. MacKayla Lane.
I love her. I was behind her from page one, line one. In fact, I’ve never not loved her. This is because, on a lot of levels, Iget her. Because I used to be her.
When I was Mac’s age, I too was a sunshine girl, a rainbow girl. I used to wear beautiful dresses to work, spent hours on my outward appearance, accessorized to the nines and always tried to be nice to people. I even had a propensity for the words “sir” and “ma’am”. And I got all sorts of comments about that. My hair in that photo is actually a little darker than I normally kept it because after a while, you get sort of sick of hearing people compare you to Paris Hilton. Do I look anything like her? No. Did people still whisper that shit all the time? Yes. Why? Maybe because I was blonde and I liked colorful clothes. Maybe because they’re assholes. I couldn’t really tell you.
What those people failed to realize was that I’d been taking martial arts since I was old enough to throw a punch, and that the pretty little matching purse I clutched in my perfectly manicured nails held a five inch blade that I could hit you in the chest with from twenty feet away. Even if you dodged and the blade somehow missed I could probably break five joints or bones in your body before you realized what had happened.
I think what people fail to realize about Mac is that she’s exactly the same way. Oh sure, she might talk about how much she likes to accessorize and has a propensity for the color pink but you have to look deeper than that. What’s the first thing she thinks about after she emerges from the haze of grief caused by her sister’s murder? Vengeance. Mac’s makeup is her war-paint. Her clothes are her chainmail.
“I might be bruised and bewildered, but by God I looked good. Like a smile I didn’t really feel, presenting a together appearance made me feel more together inside, and I badly needed bolstering today.”
3. The world-building
Perfection. On every level. There’s not one point in this book that I felt like KMM was info dumping. In part that’s because the reader is learning about the world as Mac is learning. Instead of filling page upon page of the potentially boring conversations between Mac and Barrons, KMM has Mac record the necessities in her journal. Brilliant!
The fae lore, the sidhe-seers and even the OOPs are revealed piece by pertinent piece. You’re given just enough to fully understand what’s going on in each scene but are constantly waiting for more.
I’ve never been. Before reading this series, I sort of wanted to go. There were definitely a lot of European cities higher up on my list of places I had to visit before I die. After reading Fever?
MUST. GO. NOW.
The city transcends a backdrop and becomes a character itself. The Temple Bar District, the fictional dead-zones, even the Garda station jumped off of the pages at me. I had a perfect image in my mind of each one and when I Googled most of them afterwards, I was shocked by just how similar the real images were to the ones I’d imagined.
I want to spend a week there and explore it all. I want to get lost in the south side amongst the liberals and the elite and then cross the river Liffey and mingle with the blue collar Catholic Irish. I want to drink Guinness and try to figure out just what the hell people are saying. I want to eat stew and listen to faery tales.
5. Jericho Mothafuckin Barrons
A lot of people picture David Gandy for JZB. Fuck that shit. Yes, I said it. His eyes are too light. He’s too frigging pretty. JZB is darker, more carnal, purely sexual and intensely masculine. Only one man comes to mind when I think of him:
The best way I know to describe him to those who have yet to meet him is self-contained. Every move he makes has a purpose, every sentence he speaks is full of meaning. He is the bearer of hard truths. When Mac would rather hide in the comfort of a convenient lie, he grabs her by the throat and forces her to face reality.
He’s an unapologetic asshole. He’s cutthroat, mercenary, dangerous.
I blame evolution for my attraction to him. Some lesser evolved part of my brain reads about Jericho Barrons and thinks “That man could not only defend your young but would happily slaughter anyone that even thought of threatening you.” He makes my cavewoman stand up and take notice.
In closing, I doubt I can ever really explain just why this series is my favorite but I hope the above has begun to do it some sort of justice. More to come as this massive buddy read continues…