Sunday, January 1, 2012

Book Review: Darkfever

Darkfever (Fever Series, Book 1)
Published By: Delacorte Press/ Dell
Page Count: 309
Release Date: October 31, 2006
Buy it at Amazon and IndieBound
Audience: Adult

Strangely, I resisted reading this series after being told, forcibly, by the most reliable of my reader friends that I HAD to read it. Maybe the hesitation was because the series is categorized as “romance”, even though I’m still not convinced that any of the books in this series would neatly fit into that genre’s box. I’m never opposed to some well-written smut, but I play favorites and usually stick to certain authors. Once I started Darkfever I quickly became addicted. Moning spins a tale so rich and well conceived that even by the last book of the series she was still able to surprise me, bring me to tears and enrage me.

No review written by me is going to do this book justice, but I hope I can entice you into at least picking up Darkfever. This is my favorite series in Romance that is not Romance; it’s Romanti-action-murder-mystery-suspense-supernatural. Yeah. That about does it. Did I mention the ass kicking? And that it is also a coming of age novel? Moning’s heroine is in her twenties, but she still has a lot of growing up to do.

Mackayla Lane leads a simple, ego-centric life in a small town in Georgia. She’s your typical big-boobed, blonde bartender type . . . until she gets a call from Ireland that puts a crimp in her summer tanning plans. The caller lets her know that her only sibling, her sister, has been brutally murdered. Mac decides to hang up her bikini and travel across the Atlantic to the Emerald Isle to help solve the mystery of sister’s murder.
When she arrives in Ireland, everything changes. The mystery, Mac discovers, is far more complex than she ever imagined, going much deeper than her sister’s death. Nothing in Moning’s world is as it seems. Mac meets a tall dark mysterious stranger . . . who is a complete asshole. He saves her life, but he’s not nice about it. He remains aloof and asshole-ish.

That’s what I like about Moning’s writing. She takes a well worn cliché and twists it, always keeping the reader on the edge of understanding. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, you don’t. You find you know nothing. Trust me. I’ve been there. And I have countless texts—frustrated chatter sent back and forth between myself and my other friends who have read the book—to prove it.

But, in the end, all the confusion is well worth it. It’s like stuffing yourself with amusement park food—hot dogs, funnel cakes, ice-cream, giant pretzels with mustard, those soft frozen lemonade things—then getting on the craziest rollercoaster you can imagine and riding it until you throw up all over yourself. You are exhausted, dirty, adrenaline-addled . . . but ultimately satisfied. Best. Day. Ever.

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….

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