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on November 2, 2006
...and then it stopped. Literally.

I knew going in that this was a five book series, in her blog Ms. Moning warned us of that fact. I did not realize this would be a classic cliffhanger with a "tune in next time..." last page. If this is the kind of thing that bugs you, as much as it does me, I suggest you wait until all five books are published before you start. In the past the author has taken up to a year or more between books, so it could be a long wait.

Back to our story - as much as was there, in any event. A young college student is murdered in Ireland. The local police are stumped, the family is devastated. A cryptic message from the victim is left on the voice mail of the younger sister's cell phone, and she comes to Ireland to try and find out what happened. The Dark Fae look to be responsible, and our characters need to deal with it. The story twists, turns, starts to come into focus - and then the cliffhanger.

The characters are... okay, awful. The heroine, sister of the murder victim, is supposedly a twenty-two year old sidhe-seer, and most of the time comes across like a twelve year old Junior Miss Pageant winner. She uses the word "pretty" a lot (you will learn to hate the word). She has pretty little tanned legs, pretty blond hair, pretty skin, pretty clothes, pretty little shoes, and (my personal bugaboo) pretty Ice Princess Pink Blush nail polish on her pretty little fingers and toes. Naïve and immature doesn't begin to describe MacKayla. We are expected to believe she is a product of her pretty little small town, and over protective background. Not buying it. If you are from a small town, and I am, you will be insulted by the inference. About the time MacKayla starts to mature to about a thirteen year old personality, here comes that cliffhanger.

Our hero, Barron (I think he's the hero, the jury's still out), is dark, brooding, ultra masculine, handsome, rich, patronizing, and somewhat brutal. At first he tries to get rid of MacKayla by physical intimidation, then decides to use her untrained Sidhe-Seer talents to help him fight the Unseelie Sidhe and find their "Dark Book". After awhile, Barron starts to feel some gentler emotions toward MacKayla - and then the cliffhanger.

There is no actual sex in the book, but, be warned, there are some rather brutal almost rape encounters with MacKayla and the Fae. Because MacKayla is so very young and immature mentally, these scenes seem even more horrific than usual.

(Note to the author: If and when, sometime in the next four books, this turns into a romance between the two main characters, which I suspect it will, I sincerely hope you have MacKayla mature a whole lot, or Barron is going to come across as a rather creepy pedophile. At that point, you will lose me as a reader. Some lines can't be crossed.)

Three stars because -Actually, I don't know why. Two are too few and I did finish the book in an evening. Four stars are too generous for a mere chapter in an incomplete story with characters that are less than stellar. I will be reading the next book in the series because...

... oh, hell. because it's a cliffhanger, and I'm weak.
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on September 10, 2010
Let me start out by saying I've been reading romance novels for ever 10 years now. I'm always on the the hunt for a new exciting story/author. I was delighted to to find both of these in darkfever. To say this story is simply a romance would be wrong. It's a mystery, thriller, suspense with a healthy dash of romance. All of this adds up to a wonderful story. Tried of reading romance novels with predictable endings? This is what you've been waiting for. Darkfever in a nutshell is the story of Mac and her journey to avenge her sister. This story does contain a lot of paranormal elements, however it does not overpower the plot. You find yourself caring for the characters and falling in love with them. Ms. Moning does such a good job, that you don't care if they're human/fae/devel, you root for them anyway. I loved them this book. There are five books in this series. There are cliffhangers at the end but it makes you actively think about the story and it only adds to the fun. Honestely what book have you read and you're still thinking about weeks/months later?? Trust me, challenge yourself if this is not your usual 'cup of tea'. Pick up this book, take a chance, you will NOT regret it.
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VINE VOICEon November 8, 2010
This is one of my all time favorite Urban Fantasy series. I have a thing for faeries, whether they are good or bad faeries, I don't care bring them on! Moning, in her wonderful MacKayla Lane series, has created a world both entirely creepy and wonderfully compelling. She blends bare bones human emotion with fantastical and horrifying creatures. Her creations, Mac & Barrons are one of the most resonating characters that I have had the pleasure of reading. If you haven't partaken of this series...what is holding you back?

REVIEW: MacKayla Lane's ordinary world is suddenly thrust into the extraordinary with one phone call. A cryptic voice mail left by her sister right before she dies changes Mac's life forever. Desperate to find answers to her sister's murder and figure out the odd message, Mac journeys to Ireland. Immediately she realizes that something is not quite what it seems.

As her own life becomes threatened and creatures from her nightmares take shape into reality, Mac is thrust into the path of Jericho Barrons, another mystery. Not quite sure whether he is there to help or hinder, Mac must align herself with someone, because she can't do this on her own. The problem, Barrons has one focus and Mac seems like the ticket to that conclusion: Find the Sinsar Dubh - the object that will control both the mortal world and the world of the Fae. Just what will he use it for?

A very intricate plot with twists and turns that left me breathless. I rooted for Mac every step of the way and as she got deeper and deeper the intrigue only worsened. The relationships Mac had with all her side characters were so in depth that I felt I knew them all personally. A well constructed novel, by far - with excellent dialogue that made me feel like I was a part of the conversation. The characters are so well structured and 4 dimensional that I would swear they are actually real. On top of the depth of the characters the range of human emotions and morality that is touched upon in the novel resonates as real real real. Moning has gift...and that gift is understanding human nature and weaving it into her stories. You aren't just entertained, you are schooled. Once again, a must read.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Adults only, has some R rated themes. This is an urban fantasy novel, with any romantic hinting, just that - a hint. Fans of Richelle Mead's Succubus or Eugenie series should enjoy.
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on September 7, 2007
Ok, this book should come with a warning! Or maybe it's already out there and I just didn't pick it up. Have you ever read the previous books of Karen Moning and expect the same? Well, forget it! Longing for delicious dark Fae or Highlander as a hero? Dig up your magnifying glass. Do you want romance, passion and plundering bodies? Give the snooze button another hit! For Karen Moning turns into another direction and yet you read an original Moning all the way!!

Mackayla is an average 22 year old with normal wants and needs, but with one phone call her life takes a dramatic turn. Her sister and best friend Alina was murdered in Ireland and she leaves Mackayla a message which doesn't make sense. It doesn't take long for Mac to decide to go to Ireland and figure out what her sister tried to tell her.

In Ireland the police isn't helping her very much, friends and professors at the trinity college also don't remember much and what they do remember doesn't sound like Alina at all. At night she goes into a pub for dinner and she sees a gorgeous man enter, staring at him she suddenly sees a flash of something else. Then there's an weird old lady telling her not to reveal their kind. She must be tired for she just doesn't understand. The next day Mac wants to research the meaning of the word: Shi-Sadu, for Alina mentioned it in her message.

If it's faith or something else Mac finds a bookstore and Jericho Barrons, who obviously knows something but isn't willing to reveal anything... two can play that game so Mac isn't answering his questions either. Mac isn't getting anywhere with her research and it's frustrating, but be careful what you wish for.....

With this first book in the fever series Karen Moning takes us further into the realm of Unseelie, Seelie and the Tuathé de Danaan. From the very first page I wandered into Mackayla's world, feeling her emotions, despair, grief, but also her determination to find that what destroyed her sisters light. With every page the suspense is building up, question's rise with Mac as she enters a world and you hope that she finds her answers. V'Lane and Barrons make me want more. V'Lane as a death-by-sex Fae ( God I love that expression of Mac) makes a woman throb for everything a male body has to offer ( and how can Karen Moning do this to us!! I wanted plundering wild passion, hungry devouring bodies as only she can write it. She puts us on a diet and ladies, I'm starving!) and Barrons, he's so mysterious about who he is and Karen Moning gives us just a few hints of information, talk about torture!!!

All my comments on this book is given with a wink because with her unique and rich writing style Karen Moning gives us a Fantasy/Suspense novel of world class and although I missed the romance aspect a little bit she fills it up with an amazing fast paced story, an incredible heroine and a quest of mega proportion's in a world that's just not the same anymore.
I've closed the book that leaves me wanting for more as the ending seems like it's just the beginning.

courtesy of realmsonourbookshelves
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on August 10, 2010
Take every terrible insulting thing that makes both the Twilight and Sookie Stackhouse series horrid anti-woman nightmares, put them together and decrease the quality of the writing even further, and you have this travesty of a series opener. The main character has an IQ slightly above that a rutabaga and a personality well summed up in her own admission that she guessed she "was a Barbie doll after all." The series manages to insult women in general, southern women in particular, people form small towns, adopted people and anyone with the slightest knowledge of mythology.

The fae are relegated to universally evil aliens, but don't really succeed at being Lovecrafitan horrors from beyond the void of time and space, and there are no explanations for the many deviations from traditional lore. The story centers around the search for a set of "hallows" a word that was not a noun prior to J.K. Rowling's use of it as such. The first time in was at least different and therefore somewhat imaginative, now it's just imitative and trite, a phrase that could describe the entire book.

Every male described as in any way sexy is invariably also described as dangerous and despite saying how much this pisses her off the main character is also helplessly attracted to every single one, despite being universally treated as a brainless sack of meat by every male in the book. (Granted in her particular case the description is almost justified.) Despite making rounds to visit all the powerful movers and shakers in the Dublin magical community, not one of them is a woman, or has any respect for them.

A previous reviewer condemned the writing for it's obviously 80's inspired image of male beauty, That is a minor quibble to its' 1880's ideas of gender. The growing wave of these spineless, brainless "heroines" who supposedly appeal to more "normal" readers outside of the fantasy market is deeply distressing. It is an insult to "normal" women if publishers think this is who they are, and most certainly should not be given to our daughters to say this is who we think they are.

Disturbing themes aside, the book is also slow paced, full of plot holes and highly incomplete. Unlike many other series with large plot arcs, there is no internal resolution to allow this book to stand on it's own, as well as function within the series. Its free status basically makes it a come on, like the proverbial drug dealer, presuming that an already well selling author could not get this dud of a series to sell.
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on December 11, 2009
I read this because it was recommended to me on Amazon. Boy am I glad it was. I am hooked and immediately bought the next book. Loved that too. I'm sure I will love the whole series.

I was drawn into the world that Moning created and felt like I had a vested interest in the main characters. I kept reading and reading and could barely put the Kindle down. Then, just as things got incredibly exciting the book ended. Lucky for me, the next book was already written and available on Kindle so I could pick up where I left off. I feel sorry for those who read this when it was first released and had to wait to continue the journey.

Get this book, fasten your seatbelt, hold on tight, and enjoy the ride!
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on July 13, 2012
Tastes are so subjective, the value of them can be questionable. That's the dilemma I faced with Darkfever. Okay... let's just get to it. Darkfever wasn't my kind of read. What's interesting is I can see why a lot of other people would like it for the very same reasons I didn't.

Let's start with the main character, Mac. She reminded me a lot of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse. In fact, I wouldn't even be surprised if the two were related. Southern bells, blond, perky cute, and both prone to getting into situations most would avoid. Although, I do believe Mac is a wee less intelligent than Sookie. All-in-all, the Mac/Sookie persona isn't bad. I admit to being a Sookie follower, even if I think she's too stupid to live at times. But really, one Sookie is enough for me. Despite the subtle differences, I just couldn't get into the Mac girl. *Subjective dislike*

Barrons, on the other hand, I liked him. I guess, liked isn't the exact word. It's not like I'm fond of him as a person. I'd certainly never befriend him. HOWEVER, the character added a unique flare. Is he good? Is he bad? Just who is this guy? I liked the mystery of Barrons, but would have liked to have learned something significant about him by the end of the story.

Okay... some weird turnoffs for me.

I'm not into fashion. Here's where my husband had to remind me tastes are subjective. Lots of women are big into the glamor, makeup, clothes, and accessories. The main reason I wear clothing is so others won't be embarrassed. Some days you can catch me gardening in a nightgown or bathrobe. I don't think I've worn eye shadow since my wedding day, and even then it was so light folks probably didn't notice. Mac focused A LOT on fashion. As for me, I could care less what funky name her nail polish had or what shade of pink her hair bow was. Frankly, I got tired of reading about her attire and accessories and found myself skipping over paragraphs of description, given in a laundry-list style, to get to the meat of the story. *Subjective dislike*

Then we had the Fae, which is a huge part of the story. Okay, without the Fae, there would be no story. I discovered after reading the Iron King by Julie Kawaga that I wasn't a fan of the Seelie and Unseelie courts. I like my faeries to be like Tinkerbell... not human-sized beings of royalty. This is where the importance of reading blurbs come into play. Still, I'd heard of Ms. Moning and had wanted to read her works for awhile. So the Fae might not have been a big enough discouragement to have avoided this novel. *Subjective dislike*

Even before I realized this was a Fae novel, I remember thinking this might not be my read, even as early as page 8. You might wonder why I kept reading, because I had contemplated shelving it. I remembered the slow start of Unearthly and how much I loved that novel once I hit around page 40-60. So many people boasted about the Darkfever series, I pushed onward, thinking it might be a funky start.

Well, it wasn't. The writing style wasn't to my preference. It was rather rambly. Before you mention Ramblings of an Amateur Author, keep in mind I'm a hypocrite. I do things I don't always enjoy in others. Rambling-yeah... not so fond of listening to others do it. Told from the first person point of view, Mac loved to ramble. I could almost get over that, except she ruined the story in other ways also.

The way this was written was as if Mac was telling me, the reader, what had happened during her adventure in Dublin. I've started books written with sentences like you'd never imagined life would be so tough, but I've never warmed up to the style (*Subjective dislike). Mac took it one step further with foretelling at the end of most scenes and sometimes in the middle, which made an otherwise okay storyline too predictable for words, and frankly, rather anticlimactic.

Here's an example by what I mean. I'm all excited about an upcoming fight. I can feel my heart pick up speed in anticipation. Yeah... I get that into books. My eyes are glued to the page. Mac reveals her plan, and I'm like oh yeah! Let's do this thing. I'm tensed, and then she narrates:

"It could have worked that way, it should have worked that way, but I made one critical error."

At that moment, I put the book down and contemplate tearing it in half. Why in the world did she ruin the surprise? If anything ruined the book, it was stuff like that in every single scene. Seriously. I'd be hard pressed to find a scene without that kind of foretelling. What's wrong with slamming a reader with the unexpected when it happens.

Story also hopped back and forth between time rather just telling it in a linear fashion. I hated that. I thought a matter was settled and was ready to move on, since we had. Then she popped back to the time directly after two scenes ago and filled in a gap. Why not just fill in the information so the gap was never there to begin with? *More subjective dislikes*

Finally, the tense wasn't consistent. Others might not notice or care, for me the switches between past and present tense were jarring. Yeah... I'm all over the place in this post with tense.... but remember... hypocrite here.

So Darkfever wasn't for me, and I'm certainly not ragging on it. This novel/series has received a lot of praise, and I'm sure for good reason. If you're into the Fae, fashion, and Southern bell-like heroines, you might really dig this work.

I did have a favorite passage. Perhaps it's because I'm as morbid as Mac.

"Don't accuse me of being morbid when I'm merely the product of a culture that buries the bones of the ones they love in pretty, manicured flower gardens so they can keep them nearby and go talk to them whenever they feel troubled or depressed. That's morbid. Not to mention bizarre. Dogs bury bones, too."

One other thing, if you're looking for a story with a finite ending, this isn't it. Darkfever is only the beginning and very open-ended.
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on November 18, 2014
For other books. For doing anything other than finishing this series.

I say series because you will find this book a bit slower since it's the first. It has a lot of background setup because this is an entirely new world of characters, villains, heroes, etc that are very complex and imaginatively written. This is the type of scenery that would need a HBO series instead of a movie to give it justice. I got into this series by accidentally reading the second book first, which made me running to find the first book. I definitely recommend reading them in order to get the full scope but don't be put off by lack of sex or action in first book Darkfever. I double pinkie promise you will get everything you want and more in exquisite form in the rest of the series. The great news is that if you are reading this now, the entire series has been published. The bad news is that she started a parallel series with just as many twists and cliffhangers and has to date only published the first of four in that series. Iced is #1, and Burned coming in January 2015. This will be rapidly followed by book #3 in October 2015.

You will not be disappointed in this. I went from reading only murder mysteries and was given book #2 and since then have not touched another murder mystery book. I was sucked into the paranormal/fantasy/romance world. After thousands of books, this series and author remain my all-time favorite.
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on April 25, 2014
I loved the character of MacKayla Lane (Mac). After arriving in Dublin to pack up her sister's apartment after she was murdered, she also hopes to get some more answers regarding her sister's case. She was naive in the beginning of the story, but over the course of the book we get to witness her grow as a person and open her mind to the fact that there are definitely things that go 'bump in the night'.

Jericho Barrons, to use Mac's words, has a presence that is tangible. He is knowledgeable in all things Fae, and is also seeking the elusive Sinsar Dubh, or Dark Book. He helps Mac learn about the Fae and come to terms with who she is and her role in a world that isn't as she thought it was. Barrons is intriguing, and I hope the following books explain more about him.

The storyline was great. It was captivating and kept me wanting to know more. Karen's writing style was easy to follow, even with all the definitions of the Fae creatures, and the story flowed nicely.

I thoroughly enjoyed Darkfever! Time to start the next book!
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on October 19, 2013
Don't miss out on one of the best paranormal series ever written. Is it a great literary work of art? No. Is it mind blowing complex, provocative and sensual to the extreme, packed with mystery, drama, fascinating characters, gross imagery, that will have you lathered up wanting the next book in the series when you have devoured this one? You bet your petunia!!!

You will become so involved with the main characters of Mackayla Lane (Mac) and Jericho Barrons you will swear they are breathing the same air as you.

Beginning in George where Mac is a self described "part-time bartender, part-time sun-worshipper, and full-time glamour girl" she finds out her older sister has been murdered. This is not suppose to happen in her "rainbow-hued, prettily manicured world". Life turns dark for Mac when she decides to cross the globe to Dublin, Ireland to try and find out what happened in the last days of her sister's life and who was the one to turn out the lights. She just doesn't realize how dark not only her world was going to become but the entire human race's world. So much more is at stake than solving her sister's murder.

When she is thrust into an alliance with Jericho Barrons circumstances become so much more bizarre than she ever would have believed possible. Mac isn't sure if she can trust him or if he is one more monster in her rapidly changing and evolving world of the strange and unusual.

Packed with a huge cast of characters that Moning manages to give such substance and insight into you feel they aren't one dimensional but fully developed in their own right with their own sub-stories within the main story line. The book is so detailed it fills your mind with such images you can almost step into the streets with the characters.

Can you tell I was totally caught up in the experience? If you don't like cliff hangers you will still love this series. Lucky you, the five books that was to be the complete series are available so you won't have to wait for the next installment. Lucky us that have read the series she has agreed to do more books.

This is an Adult series that becomes darker, more violent, and more voluptuously carnal with each book in the series. Is it all sex? Big NO on that. But it is in there.

Can not recommend this book enough whether you like paranormal books or not.
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