Review: Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Karen Marie Moning is another new author to me. So this book is listed at the Literary Escapism blog’s New Author Challenge 2013.

by Karen Marie Moning
Fever series, book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by: Delacorte Press, 2006
E-book, purchased
382 pages
Grade: B+

Synopsis: 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…


I’ve been aware of this series for several years, but I hadn’t bought the books or found time to read any of the series. I’m going to fix that and read all the books in the next couple months. I enjoyed this book a lot and want to savor the series. I’m also trying to be very careful not to read too much about the next books…lol

Though certain things are revealed in this book during the course of the book there are many more questions. Mac really doesn’t know very much yet. The reader knows a little more because of the prologue in the book. I think I would rather not have had the prologue and discovered the pieces of this world as Mac discovers them.

The book takes place mostly in Ireland although Mac is from a small town in the southern United States, but after her sister is murdered in Ireland Mac travels to Ireland to find her sister’s murderer. Mac has no idea she’s one of the few humans who’s a sidhe-seer–a human who can see the Fae without their glamor.

Even when Mac sees strange sights in Dublin she doesn’t let herself believe in anything otherworldly.  She has several narrow escapes and after a strange walk through a deserted and derelict part of Dublin she finds herself at a bookstore. There she meets the bookstore owner–Jericho Barrons–who’s much more than he seems. He tells Mac to leave Dublin or she’s going to die. Of course, she doesn’t do that because she’s determined to find her sister’s murderer.

She ends up partnering with Jericho and he helps her learn about the Fae. She moves into the the bookstore where Jericho can keep her safe, but he makes it very clear they aren’t friends. It takes awhile before Mac believes Jericho about the Fae, but she’s finally convinced.

Mac’s sister mentioned the Sinsar Dubh on the cell phone message she left for her sister before she died. He’s also searching for the Sinsar Dubh. Mac doesn’t know that the Sinsar Dubh is an ancient Dark book until Jericho tells her. A number of different people including Jericho are looking for it. Jericho discovers Mac can sense Fae artifacts (they make her feel very sick). Even photocopied pages of the Sinsar Dubh make her feel sick. Jericho decides to use her like a tracking dog to try to find the book and other Fae artifacts. Mac resents this, but goes along with it because she hopes finding the book or that the kind of people who might have the book will lead her to her sister’s killer.

I like Mac. She might look (at the beginning of the book) like a dumb blonde, but she’s willing to take chances to find her sister. She likes to look good and at the beginning of the book might seem frivolous since she wears carefully matched outfits along with carefully matched makeup and manicures. Jericho certainly assumes she’s a lightweight, but during the course of the book as she realizes what the world really is she toughens up and loses the carefully put-together look.

Jericho is very much a mystery. Mac thinks he’s a sidhe-seer like her, but he’s definitely more than that. My guess is that he’s a Seelie Fae, but I have to keep reading to find out. I’m also not sure he’s completely trustworthy though he did come through for Mac at the end of this book.

I’m ready to read the next book–Bloodfever–but I’m reading a couple other books in between. I’m thinking about it a lot though!

Ms. Moning had a new book–Iced–come out last fall which is written in the Fever world, but is the first book of a new series–the Dani O’Malley series. I was going to start with that book since I knew there were several books in the Fever series. I thought Iced would be a good place to start…but discovered from another blogger I definitely wanted to start with the first book–Darkfever–and I’m so glad I did. 🙂