“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.”
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 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.
This book… whew. This book. Words fail me a little bit which, I’ll have you know, doesn’t happen often. This book was fabulous. Darkfever is the first book in Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series, and if the rest of the books are anything like this one, they’ll be spectacular! KMM is an evil genius, and she has created such a complex world with some really… interesting characters to go along with it. This isn’t to say that I’ll be daydreaming about visiting her version of Ireland, or that I liked all of the characters. In fact, most of the characters pissed me off. But despite this, I couldn’t put this book down. My eyes were glued to the pages and whenever I wanted to take a breather, there was this little voice in my head asking what the hell I thought I was doing. This book was like crack for me. I just had to know what was going to happen next.
The story is told from the perspective of MacKayla Lane, a sweet Southern girl whose life is damn near perfect. She lives in Georgia with her parents and her older sister. She’s young, she’s pretty, her parents adore her, and she and her sister are best friends. Her life couldn’t possibly get any better… but then her sister dies while studying abroad in Dublin. Then Mac’s world completely unravels. The police decide to discontinue their investigation because they’ve run out of leads, and her parents are in a state of complete shock. Mac doesn’t know how to react, but she soon decides to haul ass to Ireland to put pressure on the Dublin police. If they’re pulling that whole out of sight, out of mind thing, then she’ll make sure that she’s constantly in their face.
Then things start getting super freaky. Like, insanely weird. She runs into the arrogant, condescending, sarcastic, gorgeous Jericho Barrons and starts seeing Fae. Before I bitch about Barrons, let me tell you about the Fae: they are creepy. Tinkerbell these guys were not. Most of the time, the prettier these things were, the more capable they were of doing horrible things. On to other horrible, beautiful things: Jericho Barrons. I know I’m probably in the minority, but I did not like this man. There were times where I sat there with my mouth hanging wide open, and others where I actually started shouting at him (duh, Mo, he can’t hear you!). He was probably the single most infuriating male character I’ve read since Dark Predator’s Zacharias (don’t get me started on that asshole). Let me give you a few examples of why I would have dearly loved to smack him. In the head. With a rock.
His gaze dropped from my face to my toes and back again. Apparently unimpressed by what he saw. “Go home, Ms Lane. Be young. Be pretty. Get married. Have babies. Grow old with your pretty husband.”
Mac has long pretty blonde hair that she absolutely loves, but circumstance has made her its bitch so she has to cut it. Being kinda attached to my own hair, I totally understand where Mac is coming from when she’s reluctant to do so. Barrons? Not too big on that pesky little concept known as empathy. This quote caused me to use what my mom would call “workshop language”.
“When you’ve finished cutting and coloring you hair, return to me. Short and dark, Ms Lane. Lose the Barbie look.”
He gave me a brief glance. “Go put on something more… womanly.”
My eyes narrowed. “You mean sleazy.”
“I mean the kind of woman others are accustomed to seeing me with. A grown one, if you think you can manage that, Ms Lane. Black might make you look old enough to drive. The new hair is… better. But doing something with it. Make it look like the night I woke you.”
So now you understand why I was acting a little on the crazy side. I know that he couldn’t really afford to coddle her, given the circumstances, but there was absolutely no reason for him to act like such a tremendous douche! With all that said though, I still kept reading. I wanted to see Mac prove him wrong, that she wasn’t just some pretty little airhead, that she could survive in the dangerous world of the Fae. I think I was also hoping that he’d soften just a little, tiny bit. Ha! Good thing I didn’t hold my breath waiting for it since it only happened in the last chapter and lasted about a page and a half. Mac somehow managed to convince him to paint her nails. It was actually pretty funny seeing Barrons so out of his element, and I was damn impressed that Mac had actually managed to convince him to do it.
Mac was actually a really interesting character. Initially she reminded me of Sookie Stackhouse (before Charlaine Harris lost her marbles), the nice Southern gal being dropped in at the deep end of the supernatural pond. But I didn’t think I was going to like her. She likes pink, for Pete’s sake. How can I possibly take to such a girly-girl heroine? Quite easily, as it turns out. The meaner Barrons was to her, the more I was cheering her on. Nothing like impossible odds and an odious man to make you take to a character, huh? Whenever Mac pulled herself out of a sticky situation or told Barrons where to get off, I did this little victory dance. I think the thing I liked best about Mac was that she didn’t fall into bed with Barrons. I mean, she did think about it. And who wouldn’t? Despite being an arrogant pig, he was hot. But Mac didn’t just shrug off his assholishness and have sex with him anyway.
We didn’t meet very many peripheral charaters. I can only really think of two worth mentioning, The one is V’lane, a death-by-sex Fae, and Fiona, Barrons’ human squeeze. V’lane sort of secretes these jump-my-bones pheromones that humans find irresistible. Didn’t like him one little it. Fiona, poor thing, is stupid in love with Barrons and she hates Mac practically on sight.
This book was absolutely amazing. I was completely riveted and when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. I know I ranted about Barrons but, to be honest, if he wasn’t such a prick the book wouldn’t be the same. If you haven’t read this book yet, get your butt into gear and do so now.