Stacy's Place on Earth
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Friday, September 04, 2009:
Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning (2006) - review
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 admit it, I am sooo easily influenced. Both Mandi from Smexybooks and Leontine from Leontine's Book Realm and probably a few wonderful others convinced me that I definitely needed to read these books. But you know what? Being under the influence, at least in this instance, is a VERY GOOD thing, because oh mama, I really, REALLY enjoyed the first book in Karen Marie Moning's Fever series.

But I admit, reading the back cover blurb, I wasn't sure. Paranormal is kinda hit or miss with me, and the Fae has not always held that much appeal. I'm pretty much a vamp girl, sometimes a were chick, occasionally a demon babe, but everything else fails to interest me...usually. Once again, I have been proven wrong. Of course I'm completely good with that.
When we first meet MacKayla Lane, we discover that her older sister, and best friend, Alina, has been murdered in Dublin. Understandably, she and her parents are utterly devastated, but unlike her parents, Mac can't let it go. She needs to find out what happened with her sister, who died in another country, so far away from her beloved Georgia. So despite her parents' wishes that she doesn't go, Mac takes off to Ireland, depleting her savings account and lugging her best pink nail polish and cute outfits 4000 miles across the ocean.

Yet when she gets there, she's never felt more alone. Lonely, grieving, Mac nevertheless forces herself to start finding out what led to her sister's murder. Once she gets relatively settled in, she takes off on her own, and sees things that don't really exist. Or at least they don't in Ashford, Georgia. Blaming it on her emotional state and lack of sleep, she still doesn't sense any real danger. When Mac is out wandering the streets at night, she finds herself in a dangerous part of town when she steps inside a place called Barron Books and Baubles, owned by a sexy badass by the name of Jericho Barrons. When he hears her asking questions, he immediately steps in, and the two immediately begin to antagonize each other. Barrons won't answer her questions, and Mac refuses to trust him.
But as the days go by, and Mac sees and hears things that cannot be her imagination, she reluctantly figures out there's something going on that she's now a part of, whether she wants to be or not. And if she ever hopes to track her sister's killer, she needs to keep her head, no matter how unpredictable events turn, or how untrustworthy everyone seems....

My thoughts:
Holy moly, I really loved this book! I am one of those rare readers who doesn't mind first person POV, especially not when the POV comes from such a character. I got quite a kick out of Mac. She's part Barbie, part fearless spitfire. Despite losing her sister, she doesn't fall into jags of self-pity every other minute. Instead she focuses all her energy on finding out who killed her sister and how to get someone to take her seriously about it. When she meets Barrons, she initially rejects everything he tells her, but in her gut, she knows there's something to what he's saying. She begins to realize that there are certain things in her life she's glossed over just because they didn't fit with what she wanted to believe. Now, finding out that she's a sidhe-seer means she can't just bury her head in the sand anymore. Not if she wants to find the one responsible for her sister's death.
I admit it, I really liked that Mac and Barrons didn't get along very well, that Mac didn't get all swoony the minute she laid eyes on his sexy bad self and blindly followed his lead without questioning it. In fact most times she did just the opposite. Sure, at times she tended to react first and think later, which usually drives me crazy when it comes to a heroine, but in this instance, I was able to accept her behavior as part of her grieving. That, coupled with her stubborn nature, rational fears and her newfound abilities came together in such a way that I ended up liking Mac a whole heck of a lot, despite her spontaneous actions. Sometimes it was hard to believe she was only 22 years old; at others it was very evident that she was young and at times immature. But it's clear that throughout the series, she will grow into a more mature, experienced woman because of who she really is, so I can accept her young age and watch her develop into that person.
Barrons was not the most likeable of heroes, if he can even be considered one. He's not to happy to make the acquaintance of one MacKayla Lane, whom he tends to refer to as Ms. Lane, and in fact makes her feel very unwanted and treat her like a nuisance. But once he learns of her abilities, he has no trouble using it to his advantage. I got the impression he was a bit attracted to her, which was probably just a natural reaction to a pretty young woman, yet it seemed to irritate him more than anything else. He wasn't possessive of her and didn't seem to care if she went off with other men. But the one thing he did do was look out for her when they went out on one of his various outings. Part of it may have been that she was more valuable to him alive than dead, but still, it spoke of a kind of dependability she could rely on when she got into trouble. It didn't mean she didn't screw up, or that he didn't mock her when she did, because he had no problem raking her over the coals. But in the end, he had her back.

DARKFEVER is the first in a series, and yes, in case you were wondering, these are books that must be read in order. I will tell you that I am definitely ready for more, and so glad I got all 3 books in one shot. Again, huge smoochies to Mandi and Leontine (sorry if I missed any other fine book pimps here) for their enthusiastic recommendation of this series. Definitely one of those rash decisions I don't regret a bit. Now, onto the next installment.....
Rating: ***** out of *****

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  1. Having finished Dreamfever myself just this morning I am all in to Mac and Barrons. I am so glad you are enjoying yourself with these books and your review took me on a trip through memory lane :)

    I am eagerly awaiting what you think of Blood/Fae & Dreamfever :D Enjoy the ride Stacy!

  2. *grins* I'm so glad you enjoyed this book!! Barrons is such a complex, mysterious man..and I grew to love Mac the more I read about her.

    You are in for so much more with the rest of the series! KMM is evil with her secrets ;)

  3. This is one of my favorite series -I love watching Mac grow and develop through the series. And Barrons - *swoons* - yummy! I really enjoy the world KMM created in this series.

  4. Leontine, I have to thank you for recommending these books so strongly. I'm in love *g* I finished Bloodfever but I'm holding off a little on the other 2. Don't want to rush through only to have to wait for the next installment.

    Mandi, I'm really looking forward to whatever else KMM can hook me with. I hope Barrons & Mac get together. I love their chemistry.

    Patti, as a fellow Barrons girl, I'm happy to see other readers feeling the same. Makes me curious to know what happens between them. This series is so addictive.

  5. Great review. I'm with you, I never really had much interest in stories dealing with Fae. I'm so glad I decided to read this book anyway as the series has become one of my all time favorites. I know you'll enjoy Blood/Fae & Dreamfever as well. (hurry up Shadowfever!)

  6. I'm sure after reading each book you'll end up thinking how you can love them so much... I was also a bit skeptical when starting this series. At that time I didn't read urban fantasy and I really needed a lot of romance in my books. But I decided to give it a try. And this series has become one of my favorites! Aah, wait till you get to the second, or the third, or the fourth part... I can't wait to hear your thoughts!

  7. Stacy there is a fouth book to this series but I think it was just released in Hardcover in August.

    I have only read the first one but did really enjoy it. Will have to put the next two well three on my TBB list and do a reread.

    Very nice review.


  8. I've been reading this series back to back since last weekend, I'm on Faefever right now. I can't stop myself!

  9. Oh, this is a really good series!

    And, I think that the 1st person pov is so, so important in this series. I think otherwise it would be hard to get past Mac's preoccupation with "pretty" things, and clothes, and stuff. We get to understand that there's so much more to her than all that surface stuff.

    For me 1st person works much better in uf, where there usually a single character that carries the series. We really get a chance to get inside their head.

    Great review, Stacy! :-)

  10. Stacy! Yay, I am so excited that you decided to read this series. I am a total fan girl, so it is hard for me to be objective. I just fell in love with Mac. Her personality comes across so vividly and to be honest, I can't see the book being written in any other way, but first person. Oh goodness, this series just keeps getting better and better. Enjoy!!

  11. I am a big fan of KMM Highlander series but I haven't touched her Dream series because I don't want to get into another series that has only one H/H...but your review is seriously tempting me. Hopefully I can hold out til the Dream series end and all the books are in PB formats. Lol.

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