Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Review: Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Title: Darkfever (Fever #1) 

Author: Karen Marie Moning

Rating: 4/5 Stars

About three things I was absolutely positive…
First, Darkfever was incredibly awesome beyond all my wildest expectations.
Second, there was a part of me – and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be – that had immediately caught the fever.
And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with Jericho Barrons.

In life you stumble upon those series that have been so hyped up, so often spoken about, and so wildly fantasized over that you feel as if you know that series yourself without ever having read a word from the actual book itself. At times like that, readers tend to get lazy and let that book coat dust in their attics, waiting until they have finally hit rock bottom to pick it up. Well, I faced a similar situation with Darkfever and boy am I frogging pissed that I didn’t pick it up sooner! Darkfever is everything you could possibly hope for in an excellent urban fantasy novel – heart pounding action, a romantic interest to die for, a plot line that keeps you on the edge of your seat, and a narrator that was in equal parts funny, kick-ass, and intelligent.

Darkfever starts out in a small town in the Deep South where our narrator, Mac, lays sunbathing in her bright pink bikini. However, Mac’s happy-go-lucky lifestyle is overturned the day she finds out that her sister has been murdered on the streets of Dublin. Now, Mac finds herself in the dark, dank, and damp streets of Ireland, trying to find her sister’s killer. Instead of discovering a murderer however, Mac discovers that she is a sidhe-seer, or one who can see the faeries that walk amidst us. With the help of the dangerous Jericho Barrons, Mac now begins not only a race to find a killer, but also one to hunt down a powerful book her sister mentioned moments before she died. Yet, not all is what it seems on the streets of Dublin and Mac will needs her wits about her if she is to find out about her mysterious abilities, her true lineage, and struggle to survive.

What makes Darkfever such a phenomenal novel is its narration. I’ve recently been trying out multiple paranormal/urban fantasy adult reads, but none of them have quite stuck with me the way this novel has. Mac is sarcastic, funny, quirky, and down-to-earth. In many ways, her narration reads like a Ruby Oliver novel and is easy to fly through, understand, and empathize with. Furthermore, Mac is guilt-ridden and covered from pink fingernail to pink toenail in flaws but is portrayed in such a manner than you cannot help but love her despite her short-comings. In addition, this only serves to make her more realistic and often times, reading this novel is like reading your own mind, your own thoughts, and your own fears. Mac is not particularly intelligent, kick-ass, or strong when she starts out, but her development and growth throughout the novel is steady, set at a good pace, and rewarding. Plus, Mac is not immediately taken by the love interest which, although proves to be rather frustrating because of how perfect they are for each other, is refreshing and shines the limelight on the murder mystery at hand opposed to any romantic angle.

Speaking of romance, Jericho Barrons is my new perfect-literary-soul-mate. I’m joking. In real life, I’d probably run as far as I could and as fast as I could if I ever met Barrons. Not only is he tall, muscular, and strong, he is also devastatingly deadly, a killer, and gives the word “mysterious” a whole new meaning. Thus, it should come to no surprise that Mac doesn’t trust Barrons one bit and the only reason they are even working together is due to an unlikely compromise. These two are at each others throats constantly and while there is absolutely no undercurrent of flirting to their banter, you can see the sparks flying between them. I love the fact that Mac and Barrons hate each other – actually hate each other. It makes this romance all the more unlikely, slow, unique, and rewarding when it eventually comes (which it better). Barrons is an enigma for much of this novel and is clearly not a man to be trifled with, but the reader cannot help but love him for the sexy darkness that surrounds him and his unlikely deeds of heroism. It is evident that Barrons has an extremely complicated and multi-dimensional personality and I cannot wait to uncover the rest of it. Plus, this guy owns a car collection to rival the Cullens and he’s the owner of a bookstore. Yes, that’s right, a bookstore. Do people really get any hotter than that? ;)

Darkfever is primarily a character driven novel and with a cast of characters like these, you can’t go wrong. Mac’s journey, her heart-pounding adventures, and the mysteries she slowly begins to unravel will keep you on the edge of your seat and frantically flipping the pages for more. If there are any shortcomings at all about this book then it is only that there isn’t as much Barrons as I would have liked (but then again, you could write a 1000 page book on Barrons and I still wouldn’t get enough). If you’re looking for a dark, intriguing, urban fantasy page-turner, look no longer – simply wait to catch the fever! ;)

Warning: This review comes with a heavy emphasis on having the sequel next to you. It is not necessary, but highly recommended. You have been thus forewarned about any unjust cliffhanger endings about this deliciously addictive series. :D


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