Title: Darkfever (Fever #1)
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Version Read: Large-Print Hardcover (library)
Publication Date: February 1st, 2007
Categories: faeries, fantasy, irish-mythology, mythology, paranormal, urban fantasy
Summary (Goodreads): 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….
I enjoyed Darkfever quite a bit. I have a thing for the Irish legends of the Sidhe and the Tuatha De Danaan, so I was pleased that the fae in this series is based on that particular mythology.
Mac is an interesting character, and from her narration of the story I got the feeling that she has changed a lot since the death of her sister and her trip to Ireland. She’s grown up quite a bit, and some of that growing was evident within Darkfever. I thought her portrayal was fairly realistic – the not wanting to accept that there are very bad things out there, or that she was one of few who could see those very bad things, and her desperate need to avenge the death of her sister all felt very realistic. You could put yourself in that situation and think – yep, I would probably feel that way. Barrons is also an interesting character, and I know there is much more to him than he reveals, so I hope more about him is revealed in the next book.
I was quite grateful that there wasn’t an insta-love thing going on between Mac and Barrons. She tells us he is attractive, but I am just glad we weren’t three or four chapters after their initial meeting and all of a sudden she’s professing her undying love for him or getting frisky with him. There’s no denying there was sexual tension, and definitely attraction on both sides (no matter how much Mac denies it), but it was a nice change to not have it resolved a couple of days after they met.
The inclusion of the Tuatha De Danaan and the Sidhe mythology really made me happy. The Irish really do faeries the best – especially since they have that wonderfully sinister element to them as opposed to the more Tinkerbell-like fairies we commonly get. (There’s nothing wrong with those, but certainly the Sidhe are quite a change from them.) The Seelie and Unseelie really make the fantasy-loving part of me very happy because I enjoy the contrast of the ‘light’ and the ‘dark’ sides of Fae, and how the Seelie aren’t really any better than the Unseelie, although they don’t see it that way. I told you I love the Sidhe.
One thing I really liked was the inclusion of both a glossary at the back, but also Mac being told how to pronounce the Gaelic words properly. Because as beautiful a language as Gaelic is, it is ridiculous to pronounce with all those extra letters. So yay for pronunciations.
Overall I thought that Darkfever was a great start to the series. A couple of parts maybe could have moved a little bit faster or been skipped, but nothing too major. The world building – the descriptions of Dublin and the Fae world as well – was well done, especially with Mac’s comparisons between home and Dublin. The only thing I could have done without was the constant descriptions of precisely what shade of nail polish she was wearing and exactly what she was wearing every single day. The outfits she wore to the homes Barrons wanted her to sniff out were fine, because they lent to the atmosphere of Mac’s feelings when she was there. But I could care less about whether her undies matched her nightie or not.
I would recommend this for lovers of faeries (especially the Sidhe) and urban fantasy.