Book Review: Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Fever #1
Karen Marie Moning
Genre: Adult Paranormal
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….
Pretty much all I’ve learned about fairies in my childhood can be summed up in two words: Tinker Bell. Her and that sickeningly sweet portrayal of winged beings who are there to grant our wishes and manufacture our happily ever after. It never occurred to me back then that they were shown us in such a way so as to spare our fragile, developing little minds from the “horrors” of the grown-up world. Disneyfied for a lack of a better world. 

But I sometimes wonder if our parents should have not spared us from the stark reality of the original fairy tales and told us as they were: clawed, fanged, bloody, merciless, grim. If they had then perhaps my generation would be a lot more cautious and a lot less entitled than we what we might feel right now. Then again, perhaps we would have been jaded a lot earlier too than what was possible. 

You, dear reader, must be tired of reading me write this (ha!) but I now prefer my fairies, or I should say faeries, closer to the myths and legends of old. They are more mystical and magical than their sugary, Disneyfied counterparts. 

I could count with me my ten fingers the number of times I encountered this type of portrayal in the books I’ve read so far. Many have attempted to darken the usual depiction of the Fae but only a handful of them had managed so far. Some still had that lingering attempt to beautifully humanize them, to make them more palatable to ones who wanted a less harsh picture. 

Darkfever cannot be called a YA book. And thank goodness it’s not since it would fall to the trappings that sometimes the YA world is wont to have. The book satisfied an itch, not necessarily one that could be satisfied by V’lane, that very-definition-of-sex fae, and left me hungering for more of the series. 

You see, Moning’s Fever series has been in my radar for years but I was wary because of all the explosive feelings that some readers have been known to have while reading the books – particularly when it comes to someone named Barrons - and how the narrative left things open-ended. However, I had a lull in playing Dragon Age Inquisition (and my in-game husband, Cullen), realized that I’ve only read one book so far this year (don’t hate me) and I was already in the third chapter anyway before I set this aside to wander around the Hinterlands. 

And as I said, Darkfever left me wanting more and to finally confirm if my guess about the true nature of Barrons turns out to be true.
Ayanami Faerudo

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