Darkfever (Fever #1) by Karen Marie Moning
Release: 28th August 2007 (This UK edition)
Publisher: Dell (This UK edition)
Reason for reading: Nearly due back!
"My name is MacKayla, Mac for short. I'm a sidhe-seer, one who sees the Fae, a fact I accepted only recently and very reluctantly.
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. Not since the walls between Man and Fae came down. But then, there's not a sidhe-seer alive who's had a good day since then."
When MacKayla's sister was murdered, she left a single clue to her death - a cryptic message on Mac's cel phone. Journeying to Ireland in search of answers, Ma is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to master 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, mysteriou Jericho...while at the same time, the ruthless V'lane - an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women - closes in on her. As the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac's true mission becomes clear: to 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 both worlds in their hands....
I requested this a month ago in the midst of my urban fantasy kick. It's clearly very popular because by the time I got it I had moved onto historical fiction. Not wanting to return a book I'd specially requested unread, I decided to give it a go. I knew barely anything about it aside from that it was urban fantasy and very popular and therefore wasn't sure what to expect.
The first thing that grated on me was the writing style. I hate that sorta omniscient looking-back-from-the-future style (please tell me there's a better name for that?) where the narrator starts sentences with ominous phrases like 'Little did I know' and 'Later I would come to realise'. I find it pulls me right out the plot and makes me feel like I'm reading an author's work rather than a character's story. That perpetuated throughout the whole novel and I did not like it.
The other thing I was not a fan of was that at first, the characters seemed very cookie-cutter. There was the naive, sweet girl who knew nothing about the world she'd blundered into and the dark, brooding, give-nothing-away, borderline-abusive man she meets and inevitably exchanges barbs and information with.
Mac...annoyed me. I tried not to dislike her. I'm doing this new thing where I try really hard to like female MC's cause sometimes I feel like we're all so women-hating, especially when we are them...but I couldn't help it. She was so silly and stupid and vapid and childish. Blundering around this world she knew nothing about, talking about things she knew nothing of and I wanted to hit her. A little bit. I felt the plot mirrored its main character in that, for a while, it didn't really seem to go anywhere. I was starting to get disappointed.
Eventually though, just as I was about to abandon all hope, the plot did get going. I liked the whole mystery aspect of it; the dual story of finding out what happened to Alina and also finding out more about the whereabouts and the story behind the Book. There was more action towards the end which I liked, culminating in the obligatory female main character being completely pulverized and put back together by the male main character. Suddenly, it wasn't easy to hate Mac anymore and I found myself starting to like her and her determination and, whilst she still blundered around, at least she never fully trusted anyone she encountered, which is totally smart.
I'll admit, I did expect Mac and Barrons to get together. The introduction of V'lane did make me anticipate a love triangle and I rolled my eyes at the hate-hate relationships, waiting for the chapter when one of the stories evolved into the love it was inevitably going to. I was pleasantly surprised by how that element of the plot progressed and I enjoyed the little half-moment between Mac and Barrons near the very end.
TL;DR: Whilst this book wasn't all I expected it to be and whilst I am a little apprehensive about the treatment of women in the story; namely the abusive behaviour that came from all angles, the ending was intriguing enough to make me get the second one for my Kindle. Whilst its far from my favourite urban fantasy first book, I have high hopes for the rest of the series.
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