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Darkfever (Fever 1) Paperback – 8 Sep 2011
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The #1 NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling series comes to the UK
About the Author
Karen Marie Moning is the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of 12 novels, including the Rita-award winning Highlander novels and the internationally bestselling urban fantasy Fever series. Her books have been published in 21 languages, and her events draw fans from all over the world.
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After her sister is brutally murdered and the police close the case unsolved, Mac ups sticks and travels to Dublin to find out for herself what happened. What she discovers opens up a whole new world for her, one with fae and magic, where good and evil are more than just words.
She reluctantly accepts help from Jericho Barrons, a sexy bookshop owner who seems to know the ins and outs of the world she has stumbled into, and has his own vested interest in helping her. Their banter is hilarious and adds a lighter touch to some of the more serious moments through the book. If I’m honest, I’m really kind of hoping for some hot and steamy action between these to in future books in the series!
There’s a fae prince Vlane who has his eye on Mac in more than one way, he is a fae who can control women’s sexual fantasies and there are some hilarious encounters between the two. There are also some pretty grotesque fae, and seeing Mac learn to recognise and combat them is really interesting and sometimes, well, gross.
Overall, this is a solid start to the series, there isn’t much of a conclusion to the book, it’s clear this has been written to lead you into the next book and I will read that as soon as I can!
In the 'pro' camp I'd say that Mac is a main character I really like. I normally like strong female leads and she fits this bill although not in the conventional way. She is strong because she's not ashamed of who she is, even if that involves pink nail varnish and rainbow coloured outfits. She's also stubborn, she knows what she wants and isn't going to forget what her purpose is.
I was also pleased that the author didn't make the transition from ignorance for Mac too quick. It's frustrating when a main character is thrown into a new world and just accepts it and adapts to it immediately. In this book we get the sense that Mac isn't comfortable with it yet, she's undecided whether she's embracing or rejecting it and in the meantime is focused only on Alina.
In the 'against' camp however, I found that so much was unexplained that I found myself a bit bewildered. It's telling that the author felt the need to add a glossary at the end and periodic stock taking in the form of Mac's journal. I appreciate having everything explained is not desirable and can often interfere with a story but in this I felt that information overload hadn't been avoided yet I still felt lost at times. This was particularly frustrating given the first person past tense. The Mac telling the story knows more than we're being told, I found that odd. I guess I'm used to first person present. All that 'later I came to see..' annoyed me.
Barrons was an interesting character but not exactly likable and I found that could be said about most of the main other characters introduced. Not much was learnt about them.
In summary I'd say that this book felt like merely an introduction to the series for me rather than a well rounded novel in it's own right. Lots of little tastes of what I expect will come later. I liked the main character but found the plot lacking in clarity and excitement with a somewhat anticlimactic ending. However, it seems like it may be a rich world that if I take the time to get to know I still hope could hold some interesting stories.
The book follows Mac's journey to find who killed her sister. Travelling from Georgia to Ireland ( where her sister went to study at Trinty), we follow her journey from normality to the dark world of fae.
Don't be put off if you don't like fae in your fantasy novel(to be honest like vampires thy aren't my favourite otherworld creatures either) because the world she falls into is intriguingly dark (no green fields in sight!).
The storyline is different to the norm, the main characters believable but not always likeable, and the setting inspired (well if you know Dublin you know there are two sides to its personality).
All in all a very good read.
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I'm in love with Jericho Barrons and wish my boyfriend was a little more like him lol