Darkfever (Fever Series #1)by Karen Marie Moning
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/b>/i>
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Karen Marie Moning's Bloodfever.
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. . . .
Look for all of Karen Marie Moning’s sensational Fever novels:
DARKFEVER | BLOODFEVER | FAEFEVER | DREAMFEVER | SHADOWFEVER | ICED | BURNED | FEVERBORN | FEVERSONG
“A wonderful dark fantasy…give yourself a treat and read outside the box.” —Charlaine Harris
“A compelling world filled with mystery and vivid characters…will stoke readers’ fervor for Bloodfever, the next installment.” —Publishers Weekly
“Clear off space on your keeper shelf—this sharp series looks to be amazing.” —Romantic Times
Read an Excerpt
A year earlier . . .
July 9. Ashford, Georgia. Ninety–four degrees. Ninety–seven percent humidity.
It gets crazy hot in the South in the summer, but it’s worth it to have such short, mild winters. I like most all seasons and climes. I can get into an overcast drizzly autumn day–great for curling up with a good book–every bit as much as a cloudless blue summer sky, but I’ve never cared much for snow and ice. I don’t know how northerners put up with it. Or why. But I guess it’s a good thing they do, otherwise they’d all be down here crowding us out.
Native to the sultry southern heat, I was lounging by the pool in the backyard of my parents’ house, wearing my favorite pink polka–dotted bikini that went perfectly with my new I’m-not-really-a-waitress-pink manicure and pedicure. I was sprawled in a cushion-topped chaise soaking up the sun, my long blonde hair twisted up in a spiky knot on top of my head in one of those hairdos you really hope nobody ever catches you wearing. Mom and Dad were away on vacation, celebrating their thirtieth wedding anniversary with a twenty-one day island-hopping cruise through the tropics, which had begun two weeks ago in Maui and ended next weekend in Miami.
I’d been working devotedly on my tan in their absence, taking quick dips in the cool sparkling blue, then stretching out to let the sun toast drops of water from my skin, wishing my sister Alina was around to hang out with, and maybe invite a few friends over.
My iPod was tucked into my dad’s Bose sound dock on the patio table next to me, bopping cheerily through a playlist I’d put together specifically for poolside sunning, comprised of the top one hundred one-hit wonders from the past few decades, plus a few others that make me smile–happy mindless music to pass happy mindless time. It was currently playing an old Louis Armstrong song–“What a Wonderful World.” Born in a generation that thinks cynical and disenchanted is cool, sometimes I’m a little off the beaten track. Oh well.
A tall glass of chilled sweet tea was at hand, and the phone was nearby in case Mom and Dad made ground sooner than expected. They weren’t due ashore the next island until tomorrow, but twice now they’d landed sooner than scheduled. Since I’d accidentally dropped my cell phone in the pool a few days ago, I’d been toting the cordless around so I wouldn’t miss a call.
Fact was, I missed my parents like crazy.
At first, when they left, I’d been elated by the prospect of time alone. I live at home and when my parents are there the house sometimes feels annoyingly like Grand Central Station, with Mom’s friends, Dad’s golf buddies, and ladies from the church popping in, punctuated by neighborhood kids stopping over with one excuse or another, conveniently clad in their swim trunks–gee, could they be angling for an invitation?
But after two weeks of much longed for solitude, I’d begun choking on it. The rambling house seemed achingly quiet, especially in the evenings. Around supper time I’d been feeling downright lost. Hungry, too. Mom’s an amazing cook and I’d burned out fast on pizza, potato chips, and mac-’n’-cheese. I couldn’t wait for one of her fried chicken, mashed potatoes, fresh turnip greens, and peach pie with homemade whipped-cream dinners. I’d even done the grocery shopping in anticipation, stocking up on everything she needed.
I love to eat. Fortunately, it doesn’t show. I’m healthy through the bust and bottom, but slim through the waist and thighs. I have good metabolism, though Mom says, Ha, wait until you’re thirty. Then forty, then fifty. Dad says, More to love, Rainey and gives Mom a look that makes me concentrate really hard on something else. Anything else. I adore my parents, but there’s such a thing as TMI. Too much information.
All in all, I have a great life, short of missing my parents and counting the days until Alina gets home from Ireland, but both of those are temporary, soon to be rectified. My life will go back to being perfect again before much longer.
Is there such a thing as tempting the Fates to slice one of the most important threads that holds your life together simply by being too happy?
When the phone rang, I thought it was my parents.
It’s funny how such a tiny, insignificant, dozen-times-a-day action can become a line of demarcation.
The picking up of a phone. The pressing of an on button.
Before I pressed it–as far as I knew–my sister Alina was alive. At the moment of pressing, my life split into two distinct epochs: Before the call and After.
Before the call, I had no use for a word like “demarcation,” one of those fifty-cent words I knew only because I was an avid reader. Before, I floated through life from one happy moment to the next. Before, I thought I knew everything. I thought I knew who I was, where I fit, and exactly what my future would bring.
Before, I thought I knew I had a future.
After, I began to discover that I’d never really known anything at all.
I waited two weeks from the day that I learned my sister had been murdered for somebody to do something–anything–besides plant her in the ground after a closed-casket funeral, cover her with roses, and grieve.
Grieving wasn’t going to bring her back, and it sure wasn’t going to make me feel better about whoever’d killed her walking around alive out there somewhere, happy in their sick little psychotic way, while my sister lay icy and white beneath six feet of dirt.
Those weeks will remain forever foggy to me. I wept the entire time, vision and memory blurred by tears. My tears were involuntary. My soul was leaking. Alina wasn’t just my sister; she was my best friend. Though she’d-mailed incessantly and spoken weekly, sharing everything, keeping no secrets.
Or so I thought. Boy was I ever wrong.
We’d been planning to get an apartment together when she came home. We’d been planning to move to the city, where I was finally going to get serious about college, and Alina was going to work on her Ph.D at the same Atlanta University. It was no secret that my sister had gotten all the ambition in the family. Since graduating high school, I’d been perfectly content bartending at The Brickyard four or five nights a week, living at home, saving most of my money, and taking just enough college courses at the local po-dunk university (one or two a semester, and classes like How to Use the Internet and Travel Etiquette didn’t cut it with my folks) to keep Mom and Dad reasonably hopeful that I might one day graduate and get a Real Job in the Real World. Still, ambition or no, I’d been planning to really buckle down and make some big changes in my life when Alina returned.
When I’d said good-bye to her months ago at the airport, the thought that I wouldn’t see her alive again had never crossed my mind. Alina was as certain as the sun rising and setting. She was charmed. She was twenty-four and I was twenty-two. We were going to live forever. Thirty was a million light-years away. Forty wasn’t even in the same galaxy. Death? Ha. Death happened to really old people.
After two weeks, my teary fog started to lift a little. I didn’t stop hurting. I think I just finally expelled the last drop of moisture from my body that wasn’t absolutely necessary to keep me alive. And rage watered my parched soul. I wanted answers. I wanted justice.
I wanted revenge.
I seemed to be the only one.
I’d taken a Psych course a few years back that said people dealt with death by working their way through stages of grief. I hadn’t gotten to wallow in the numbness of denial that’s supposed to be the first phase. I’d flashed straight from numb to pain in the space of a heartbeat. With Mom and Dad away, I was the one who’d had to identify her body. It hadn’t been pretty and there’d been no way to deny Alina was dead.
After two weeks, I was thick into the anger phase. Depression was supposed to be next. Then, if one was healthy, acceptance. Already I could see the beginning signs of acceptance in those around me, as if they’d moved directly from numbness to defeat. They talked of “random acts of violence.” They spoke about “getting on with life.” They said they were “sure things were in good hands with the police.”
I was so not healthy. Nor was I remotely sure about the police in Ireland.
Accept Alina’s death?
“You’re not going, Mac, and that’s final.” Mom stood at the kitchen counter, a towel draped over her shoulder, a cheery red, yellow, and white magnolia-printed apron tied at her waist, her hands dusted with flour.
She’d been baking. And cooking. And cleaning. And baking some more. She’d become a veritable Tasmanian devil of domesticity. Born and raised in the Deep South, it was Mom’s way of trying to deal. Down here, women nest like mother hens when people die. It’s just what they do.
We’d been arguing for the past hour. Last night the Dublin police had called to tell us that they were terribly sorry, but due to a lack of evidence, in light of the fact that they didn’t have a single lead or witness, there was nothing left to pursue. They were giving us official notice that they’d had no choice but to turn Alina’s case over to the unsolved division, which anyone with half a brain knew wasn’t a division at all but a filing cabinet in a dimly lit and largely forgotten basement storeroom somewhere. Despite assurances they would periodically re-examine the case for new evidence, that they would exercise utmost due diligence, the message was clear: Alina was dead, shipped back to her own country, and no longer their concern.
They’d given up.
Was that record time or what? Three weeks. A measly twenty-one days. It was inconceivable!
“You can bet your butt if we lived over there, they’d never have given up so quickly,” I said bitterly.
“You don’t know that, Mac.” Mom pushed ash-blonde bangs back from blue eyes that were red-rimmed from weeping, leaving a smudge of flour on her brow.
“Give me the chance to find out.”
Her lips compressed into a thin white-edged line. “Absolutely not. I’ve already lost one daughter to that country. I will not lose another.”
Impasse. And here we’d been ever since breakfast when I’d announced my decision to take time off so I could go to Dublin and find out what the police had really been doing to solve Alina’s murder.
I would demand a copy of the file, and do all in my power to motivate them to continue their investigation. I would give a face and a voice–a loud and hopefully highly persuasive one–to the victim’s family. I couldn’t shake the belief that if only my sister had a representative in Dublin, the investigation would be taken more seriously.
I’d tried to get Dad to go, but there just wasn’t any reaching him right now. He was lost in grief. Though our faces and builds were very different, I have the same color hair and eyes as Alina, and the few times he’d actually looked at me lately, he’d gotten such an awful look on his face that it had made me wish I was invisible. Or brunette with brown eyes like him, instead of sunny blonde with green.
Initially, after the funeral, he’d been a dynamo of determined action, making endless phone calls, contacting anyone and everyone. The embassy had been kind, but directed him to Interpol. Interpol had kept him busy for a few days “looking into things” before diplomatically referring him back to where he’d begun–the Dublin police. The Dublin police remained unwavering. No evidence. No leads. Nothing to investigate. If you have a problem with that, sir, contact your embassy.
He called the Ashford police–no, they couldn’t go to Ireland and look into it. He called the Dublin police again–were they sure they’d interviewed every last one of Alina’s friends and fellow students and professors? I hadn’t needed to hear both sides of that conversation to know the Dublin police were getting testy.
He’d finally placed a call to an old college friend of his that held some high-powered, hush-hush position in the government. Whatever that friend said had deflated him completely. He’d closed the door on us and not come out since.
The climate was decidedly grim in the Lane house, with Mom a tornado in the kitchen, and Dad a black hole in the study. I couldn’t sit around forever waiting for them to snap out of it. Time was wasting and the trail was growing colder by the minute. If someone was going to do something, it had to be now, which meant it had to be me.
I said, “I’m going and I don’t care if you like it or not.”
Mom burst into tears. She slapped the dough she’d been kneading down on the counter and ran out of the room. After a moment, I heard the bedroom door slam down the hall.
That’s one thing I can’t handle–my mom’s tears. As if she hadn’t been crying enough lately, I’d just made her cry again. I slunk from the kitchen and crept upstairs, feeling like the absolute lowest of the lowest scum on the face of the earth.
I got out of my pajamas, showered, dried my hair and dressed, then stood at a complete loss for a while, staring blankly down the hall at Alina’s closed bedroom door.
How many thousands of times had we called back and forth during the day, whispered back and forth during the night, woken each other up for comfort when we’d had bad dreams?
I was on my own with bad dreams now.
Get a grip, Mac. I shook myself and decided to head up to campus. If I stayed home, the black hole might get me, too. Even now I could feel its event horizon expanding exponentially.
On the drive uptown, I recalled that I’d dropped my cell phone in the pool–God, had it really been all those weeks ago?–and decided I’d better stop at the mall to get a new one in case my parents needed to reach me while I was out.
If they even noticed I was gone.
I stopped at the store, bought the cheapest Nokia they had, got the old one deactivated, and powered up the replacement.
I had fourteen new messages, which was probably a record for me. I’m hardly a social butterfly. I’m not one of those plugged-in people who are always hooked up to the latest greatest find-me service. The idea-messaging capability. I don’t have Internet service or satellite radio, just your basic account, thank you. The only other gadget I need is my trusty iPod–music is my great escape.
I got back in my car, turned on the engine so the air conditioner could do battle with July’s relentless heat, and began listening to my messages. Most of them were weeks old, from friends at school or The Brickyard who I’d talked to since the funeral.
I guess, somewhere in the back of my mind, I’d made the connection that I’d lost cell service a few days before Alina had died and was hoping I might have a message from her. Hoping she might have called, sounding happy before she died. Hoping she might have said something that would make me forget my grief, if only for a short while. I was desperate to hear her voice just one more time.
When I did, I almost dropped the phone. Her voice burst from the tiny speaker, sounding frantic, terrified.
“Mac! Oh God, Mac, where are you? I need to talk to you! It rolled straight into your voice mail! What are you doing with your cell phone turned off? You’ve got to call me the minute you get this! I mean, the very instant!”
Despite the oppressive summer heat, I was suddenly icy, my skin clammy.
“Oh, Mac, everything has gone so wrong! I thought I knew what I was doing. I thought he was helping me, but–God, I can’t believe I was so stupid! I thought I was in love with him and he’s one of them, Mac! He’s one of them!”
I blinked uncomprehendingly. One of who? For that matter, who was this “he” that was one of “them” in the first place? Alina–in love? No way! Alina and I told each other everything. Aside from a few guys she’d dated casually her first months in Dublin, she’d not mentioned any other guy in her life. And certainly not one she was in love with!
Her voice caught on a sob. My hand tightened to a death grip on the phone, as if maybe I could hold onto my sister through it. Keep this Alina alive and safe from harm. I got a few seconds of static, then, when she spoke again she’d lowered her voice, as if fearful of being overheard.
“We’ve got to talk, Mac! There’s so much you don’t know. My God, you don’t even know what you are! There are so many things I should have told you, but I thought I could keep you out of it until things were safer for us. I’m going to try to make it home”–she broke off and laughed bitterly, a caustic sound totally unlike Alina–“but I don’t think he’ll let me out of the country. I’ll call you as soon–” More static. A gasp. “Oh, Mac, he’s coming!” Her voice dropped to an urgent whisper. “Listen to me! We’ve got to find the”–her next word sounded garbled or foreign, something like shi-sadu, I thought. “Everything depends on it. We can’t let them have it! We’ve got to get to it first! He’s been lying to me all along. I know what it is now and I know where–”
The call had been terminated.
I sat stunned, trying to make sense of what I’d just heard. I thought I must have a split personality and there were two Macs: one that had a clue about what was going on in the world around her, and one that could barely track reality well enough to get dressed in the morning and put her shoes on the right feet. Mac-that-had-a-clue must have died when Alina did, because this Mac obviously didn’t know the first thing about her sister.
She’d been in love and never mentioned it to me! Not once. And now it seemed that was the least of the things she’d not told me. I was flabbergasted. I was betrayed. There was a whole, huge part of my sister’s life that she’d been withholding from me for months.
What kind of danger had she been in? What had she been trying to keep me out of? Until what was safer for us? What did we have to find? Had it been the man she’d thought she was in love with that had killed her? Why–oh why–hadn’t she told me his name?
I checked the date and time on the call–the afternoon after I’d dropped my cell phone in the pool. I felt sick to my stomach. She’d needed me and I hadn’t been there for her. At the moment Alina had been so frantically trying to reach me, I’d been sunning lazily in the backyard, listening to my top one hundred mindless happy songs, my cell phone lying short-circuited and forgotten on the dining-room table.
I carefully pressed the save key then listened to the rest of the messages, hoping she might have called back, but there was nothing else. According to the police, she’d died approximately four hours after she’d tried reaching me, although they hadn’t found her body in an alley for nearly two days.
That was a visual I always worked real hard to block.
I closed my eyes and tried not to dwell on the thought that I’d missed my last chance to talk to her, tried not to think that maybe I could have done something to save her if only I’d answered. Those thoughts could make me crazy.
I replayed the message again. What was a shi-sadu? And what was the deal with her cryptic, You don’t even know what you are? What could Alina possibly have meant by that?
By my third run-through, I knew the message by heart.
I also knew that there was no way I could play it for Mom and Dad. Not only would it drive them further off the deep end (if there was a deeper end than the one they were currently off), but they’d probably lock me in my room and throw away the key. I couldn’t see them taking any chances with their remaining child.
But . . . if I went to Dublin and played it for the police, they’d have to reopen her case, wouldn’t they? This was a bona fide lead. If Alina had been in love with someone, she would have been seen with him at some point, somewhere. At school, at her apartment, at work, somewhere. Somebody would know who he was.
And if the mystery man wasn’t her killer, surely he was the key to discovering who was. After all, he was “one of them.”
Whoever or whatever “they” were.
From the Hardcover edition.
Meet the Author
Karen Marie Moning is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fever series, featuring MacKayla Lane, and the award-winning Highlander series. She has a bachelor’s degree in society and law from Purdue University.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I consistantly browse free ebooks on B&N.com, but rarely do I find a novel that pulls me in and won't let go!! I was hooked from the second Mac sets foot in Ireland. This book is exciting, fanciful and sexy. I can't wait to download the second in the series. Mac's voice is honest, heartfelt and completely believable. I've missed this in some of the newer fantasy novels. Please read this, even if you're a skeptic. You'll be pleasantly surprised... I promise.
OK this is not real bad, however to me it seems the writer spends way to much time talking about how beautiful the main character is. Right down to how beautiful her hair is, and her beautiful eyes. This, continues on and on through out this book. Still, I found to subject matter decent. Just understand, everyone in this book seems to be both beautiful, strong and so on. Also, considering the main character is all of twenty two years old. And, had never been far from her small home town. The writing style would suggest that she's wise way beyond her years. Now, having said this, I have to go. I need to find the second in the series, so I can find out where the first book left off, and the rest of the story continues. I, believe this is will appeal more to females, than males. But again, here I am a fifty something retired military man finding I need to read more. Just, so I can find out the rest of what is happening in the next series. Thanks, and good day friends
I couldn't believe this book was offered for free. I've read it twice already, and will again now that I have it in eBook format. The characters are well developed and intriguing. Very funny and suspenseful. Fantasy in a real world setting.
Darkfever drew me into the storyline from the first few pages and had me totally captivated to the last page. I loved the relationship between Mac and Barrons. This book hit all the emotions from sadness to loving to being scared out of my skin. Can't wait to read Bloodfever.
An exceptional book- hard to put down. Enjoyed it
I admit that I only started reading this book because it was a free book of the week on the nook and I was bored and looking for something to do. Forty-eight hours later I have read all four books available at this time *sigh*. At the end of the fourth book (on the last page to be exact) I was yelling (out loud and scaring my cats and dog) things a lot worse than "FROG!!!!!" (When you read the book you will understand). I am now waiting for the fifth book to come out and I'm depressed to know I will have to wait till Jan 2011 and it's not even showing as a possible e-book title yet. The only reason I have given this title 3 stars is because it feels a little slow to begin. Honestly this title feels like the first and second books where split in half instead of being left as one book. However the overall plot line is great (and frustrating) just when I think that I have something figured out, I get smacked over the head by a new revelation. I'm glad I found the Fever series with more than the first book out but "FROG!!!!!" I want more. NOW!!! *insert dramatic and childish foot stomp here* This series is a FANTASTIC read that I will be re-reading again and again, probably several times between now and the release of the last title.
After reading the reviews I was mixed but decided to give it a chance and was pleasantly surprised. I'm not usually into characters, male or female that take so long to find their strengths. And I'm never into girly-girl characters. Slow start but I kept reading and it was nice to see the changes Mac goes through, the strength she finds that she wasn't aware she had. I just finished downloading the other available books in the series and plan to read them as well. Give this book a chance. It might start a little slow but its worth the time it takes to get to the really good stuff. By the end I wanted more.
At first a little off putting because I'm used to Karen Marie Moning's books being a little more on the graphic side. Meaning in her Highlander series there's sex and a lot of it. I didn't start reading this series until the 2nd book was out so I read 1 and 2 back to back. Once I realized what she was trying to do, I fell in love immediately. The imagery between light and dark has to be my favorite. I just keeping picturing Dublin split in half, one side full of life and light and the other side a dark deadly void, with Barrons Books and Baubles, a beautiful brightly lit old world building, on the border serving as the last beacon of hope.
Written in the first person makes it easy to slip into the main character of Mac, aka MacKayla Lane or Ms. Lane if you're Jericho Barrons, her uber sexy mentor/employer/love interest. Karen is doing a fantastic job of introducing just enough questions about the nature of her characters and answering some while still leaving you wanting more and desperate for answers. My biggest question is when is Mac going to get a chance to kick the crap out of Rowena, the smugalicious leader of the Sidh-Seers? I haven't been introduced to a character I don't love. The story is great and fast paced. I wasn't surprised to learn from Karen's website about the purchase for movie rights to this series. It's fantastic and I highly (with sirens blaring) recommend this series to anyone who is a fan of the paranormal genre. Linda Howard put it best with her quote that appears on front cover of the 2nd book, Bloodfever - "More. I want more."
I bought these books after recommendations and I am a happy, happy , happy! Buy this entire series right now! This story is addictive and original. I could not put any of them down. I love this series! It is going to be torture to wait for the last installment.
Short & Sweet: I don’t get what the hoopla was about this book. One of my pet peeves where a character says in narration that the “meaning of this event would come clear later” happens numerous times in this book. Unfortunately I would prefer to have my nearly 9 hours back instead of having read this book but I’m obviously in the minority. I purchased Darkfever and nothing else was exchanged for my honest review.
I'm glad that I finally picked this up. It kept my interest and really left me wanting more when it ended. Some of the elements are the same as other fantasy stories that I've read, but it also feels like it has a little something special to it. I like that the female lead isn't head over heels for a guy. She wants answers because of her sister, and she keeps that as her goal. I'll continue the series for sure.
I bought this nook book with the old cover that is how I would like it to stay but you have automatically changed it. please show you care by letting me choose. I spend money here I expect to get what I pay for. no wonder your company is losing customers!
Twice I've started this book, and both times got bored with Mac. Barrons is interesting, but not fleshed out.
After hearing a lot of awesomeness about this novel, I was really excited to finally pick this up. The plot sounds really intriguing. I love UF mysteries. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to connect with the cast and ended up dropping the book a quarter into the novel. This is such a frustrating novel. The beginning is pretty vague with things progressing quickly soon after Mac learns of her sister Alina's death. A bit too quickly and impulsively. Though Alina was murdered, Mac wants to go to Dublin and try and get the investigators to reopen the case. I can accept that she believes that the Irish authorities aren't very invested in the case of the death of a foreigner. But I still don't really get why she even wants to investigate her sister's murder on her own. I know that she's deep in grief and not thinking clearly, but did it ever cross her mind that going to Dublin could put her life in danger? Especially after listening to Alina's last message on her voicemail. I do like how Mac likes dressing up, loves books, and doesn't let people step all over her. However, she's of a rather set mindset and doesn't take even well-meaning advice well. In fact, Jericho's rather aggressive warnings to her serves to fuel her desire to investigate Alina's death instead of scaring her away, and she continues to ignore all the—rather apparent—danger signs and keeps bulldozing deeper and deeper into this dark business. She seems to have this sense of invulnerability and believes nothing can hurt her. This personality trait of hers is a recipe for a trainwreck. Jericho isn't particularly compelling at this point of the novel. With the story told from the first-person narrative of Mac's perspective, all I see of him is a big brute. He seems to mean well for Mac, but all he's doing is provoking her to keep hacking away at this mystery (she's not being very subtle about it) and putting her life in graver danger. I'm sure he has a reason why he's acting the way he does, but right now he's really like a mercenery character as Mac points out. All steel and no heart for the walking victims, as he aptly describes Mac. To be fair, I barely made it into a quarter of the novel before giving up on this book, and the novel has barely begun to touch on the mystery surrounding Alina's death. However, this is also why I'm stopping here. It's been such a trainwreck with Mac so far. I don't want to see when she finally, truly, opens her eyes realizes what's really going on. Sure, I expect her to grow up and finally begin to work together with Jericho (albeit only after a lot of resentment on both sides and with a lot of arguing, which may lead to hot, steamy scenes afterwards...), but after all the vexation I went through in the first quarter of the novel, I'm not very keen to continue on this journey with Mac at this time.
I feel a little tricked, I had no idea the author was a previous romance novelist. Definitely look elsewhere if you're expecting an exciting fantasy adventure.
Let’s start with the main character, Mac. She reminded me a lot of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse. In fact, I wouldn’t even be surprised if the two were related. Southern bells, blond, perky cute, and both prone to getting into situations most would avoid. Although, I do believe Mac is a wee less intelligent than Sookie. All-in-all, the Mac/Sookie persona isn’t bad. I admit to being a Sookie follower, even if I think she’s too stupid to live at times. But really, one Sookie is enough for me. Despite the subtle differences, I just couldn’t get into the Mac girl. Barrons, on the other hand, I liked him. I guess, liked isn’t the exact word. It’s not like I’m fond of him as a person. I’d certainly never befriend him. HOWEVER, the character added a unique flare. Is he good? Is he bad? Just who is this guy? I liked the mystery of Barrons, but would have liked to have learned something significant about him by the end of the story. The way this was written was as if Mac was telling me, the reader, what had happened during her adventure in Dublin. I’ve started books written with sentences like you’d never imagined life would be so tough, but I’ve never warmed up to the style. Mac took it one step further with foretelling at the end of most scenes and sometimes in the middle, which made an otherwise okay storyline too predictable for words, and frankly, rather anticlimactic. Here’s an example by what I mean. I’m all excited about an upcoming fight. I can feel my heart pick up speed in anticipation. Yeah… I get that into books. My eyes are glued to the page. Mac reveals her plan, and I’m like oh yeah! Let’s do this thing. I’m tensed, and then she narrates: “It could have worked that way, it should have worked that way, but I made one critical error.” At that moment, I put the book down and contemplate tearing it in half. Why in the world did she ruin the surprise? If anything ruined the book, it was stuff like that in every single scene. Seriously. I’d be hard pressed to find a scene without that kind of foretelling. What’s wrong with slamming a reader with the unexpected when it happens. Story also hopped back and forth between time rather just telling it in a linear fashion. I hated that. I thought a matter was settled and was ready to move on, since we had. Then she popped back to the time directly after two scenes ago and filled in a gap. Why not just fill in the information so the gap was never there to begin with? Finally, the tense wasn’t consistent. Others might not notice or care, for me the switches between past and present tense were jarring. Yeah… I’m all over the place in this post with tense…. but remember… hypocrite here. So Darkfever wasn’t for me, and I’m certainly not ragging on it. This novel/series has received a lot of praise, and I’m sure for good reason. If you’re into the Fae, fashion, and Southern bell-like heroines, you might really dig this work. I did have a favorite passage. Perhaps it’s because I’m as morbid as Mac. "Don’t accuse me of being morbid when I’m merely the product of a culture that buries the bones of the ones they love in pretty, manicured flower gardens so they can keep them nearby and go talk to them whenever they feel troubled or depressed. That’s morbid. Not to mention bizarre. Dogs bury bones, too." One other thing, if you’re looking for a story with a finite ending, this isn’t it. Darkfever is only the beginning and very open-ended.
I tried reading this book once or twice, but didn't get past the first chapter. But then I sat down and actually read it, and I ended up reading the whole series in about 2 weeks!!! She keeps you wanting more!
Couldn't to get the book over with
DARKFEVER by Karen Marie Moning. (2.5 stars) Perhaps all the sensational, brilliant, stunningly jaw-dropping writing from other authors is making NYT Best Sellers look like child's-play? I don't know, but I'm not convinced this kind of mediocre writing is inspiring this many people to buy these books. The romance is so convoluted I don't see how anyone could have "felt" anything for the characters being together romantically. He's an ass, she's being held captive, love connection? Not buying it. Stockholm Syndrome much? No thanks!
This series has been in my TBR pile for too long. I am glad I finally started reading. The two main characters are interesting. MacKayla is 22, lives with her parents, bartends, and goes to a local college. When her older sister is murdered in Dublin, MacKayla packs up and heads to Ireland to find the killer. What she finds instead, Faes and other 'monsters' changes her world forever. She also stumbles into a bookstore and meets Jerricho. He is more than he seems and the two end up investigating together. I love their quips. Jericho is so formal and MacKayla is a bit of a rebel. A very interesting story unfolds that kept this reader interested. Very enjoyable.
this first in a series was highly praised so I was excited to get engrossed. By the last chapter I was surprised I had finished it because I had long been tired of absolutely nothing moving forward in the story and although I had originally liked the heroine for the first ten chapters, she was irritating me by the end. I am bored with wondering where the story is going and dont plan on wasting my time on the second book to possibly get one piece of the mystery revealed.
The first book in this series was so-so. In the first novel MacKayla Lane is an annoying, shallow and self-obsessed child and it can get pretty annoying. The first book also contains an irritating amount of sexual innuendo that comes off in a Harlequin romance sort of way and their are major shorfalls in the plot. There are several times where you find yourself asking "why didn't Mac..." and the explanations provided to address those questions are rarely sufficient (if provided at all). I always order the first two books in a series "just in case" and in this case I was glad I did. The books that follow Darkfever definitely improve and they are generally enjoyable reads.
i don't often give books one star, but this one deserves it. the book is broing, dry, and repetitive. it breaks all the rules, and not in a good way. first, it replaces real drama with dramatic statements like "i would never eat french fries again" and "little did i know in 12 hours i would have blood on my hands". for the record, she didn't actually have blood on her hands. second, the main character is so self-centered it makes you wish she had died. she is more upset over breaking a nail than breaking her arm. she cries when she has to cut her hair, and weeps for days over finding out she might be adopted, but isn't upset that the world is ending. finally, when there is action she says great things like "i won't bore you with the descriptions of the monsters, i'll just say they were worse than any horror movie". because the half a dozen descriptions of your nail polish color didn't bore me? this book was all about telling and no showing. and to add insult to injury, not ONE SINGLE thing got resolved. not one question was answered. and believe you me, i won't bother reading the next one to find out. because much like the main character - i really do not care. please, if you're considering reading this book, don't waste your time or money.
The story could be a really good one. The plot has twists and turns with some surprises. But, the volumes of details drown out the plot. The main character, Mac, is a sweet pretty 20 year old girl. And she loves to remind the reader, over and over again. She details her clothing choices by color, fabric and size right down to her underwear. Her hair style, makeup and fashion accessories are tediously described. Character development is also richly detailed. When a new character is introduced, it always begins with a detailed description of the clothing. The story has some action, very little suspense and thrills. Before Mac does anything, we are treated to paragraphs of detailed dressing, make up and hair preparation. The book just didn't "WOW" me. In life or death situations there was too much lightness, almost comic. I doubt I will continue the series.