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494 of 580 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2006
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
...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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88 of 104 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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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45 of 52 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 8, 2010
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2009
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2010
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
MacKayla, also known as Mac, starts out as just a typical blonde 22 year old in this book. She's flighty and a little shallow, and loves the color pink, her only worry in the world is what she wants to wear that day. Everything changes when she gets the worst phone call of her life, the one that tells her that her sister, Alina, has been brutally murdered in Dublin. When she finds out the police have stopped investigating Alina's death, Mac sets out to find the killer herself. She quickly gets in way over her head when she runs into the mysterious Barrons and finds out she can see the Fae, a very rare talent. The Fae do not like to be seen, so Mac must learn everything she can from Barrons quickly if she is to have any hope of survival.

While she still has a ways to go, Mac did come a long way towards growing up and character growth. She was raised in a very sheltered life, and when she is thrown into this "new" one, it really showed. However, after much protesting, she finally started to realize that she couldn't just hide her head in the sand anymore. She is very important to the fate of humanity. I think with some time she will truly become a force to be reckoned with. Even at her most flightiness in the beginning, some of her inner strength showed considering only someone with a solid constitution would be able to fly across the ocean to a strange country to track down a murderer. Yes, this idea is a little foolish, but requires strength none the less.

I loved Jericho Barren's character. He is a gruff, opinionated, very masculine character. He does everything he can to get rid of Mac in the beginning, but when she gets too deep he takes her under his wing. He insists its not for altruist purposes, that he only is helping her because she can be of use to him. However, every so often he shows a slight softness under that gruff armor. I have a feeling a love interest is brewing between the two. I think the two would work well as they would balance each other out, with Mac softening him, and he would toughen her up some.

This book was really good, while mostly a world building book as it did take a while for anything to really happen. However, I didn't mind the initial slowness of the book, as Mac really needed things thrown at her slowly to give her a chance to grow up a little each time. It ended on a cliff hanger, while frustrating, makes me very eager to read the next installment. This book was a little dark, with no real romance, but there seems to be a definite potential in the future for that. It is a very good first installment in a series, and I cannot wait to see what more is in store for Mac.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Karen Marie Moning is a world-building, story-telling genius! Her FEVER series consists of 5 books: Darkfever, Bloodfever, Faefever, Dreamfever and Shadowfever. The first book sets the stage for the most incredible, wild roller coaster between good and evil, human and fae, life and death, damnation and salvation, ruin and redemption. MacKayla Lane starts her journey as a pampered, pink-loving, 20-something Southern blonde, who travels to Ireland to investigate her sister's murder. When she arrives, she learns that she and her sister were born to an ancient line of women called sidhe-seers, who see and battle fae. She walks a tightrope of alliances with druids, fae (good and evil), local law enforcement and other sidhe-seers, and discovers her dark-side in the process. Will she be able to help keep the walls up between Earth and Fairy? Will she learn to embrace the darkness? Read the series and learn!

I am not the kind of person to write a review, unless I believe something is over-the-top excellent. I have recommended the FEVER series to MANY friends and colleagues, and to a person, they all become as addicted to the storyline as I have! Well, maybe not - I own the whole series in both hard cover and paperback now. :-) I've read the whole series twice, and I'm sure I'll read it again in the near future! I promise you, you will NOT be disappointed with your purchase! Just make sure you read them all in order, as the tension - and Mac's knowledge - increase throughout each. You're lucky - you can read the whole series of books back-to-back. I waited with baited breath for the release of each one as it was released!

Enjoy! And stay to the lights!
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40 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've heard more than one person say they can tell whether they will like a book if it hooks them from the beginning. I can tell you that if I subscribed to that notion, I would have missed out on one of the best series I've ever read. "Darkfever" didn't hook me from the start. In fact, I thought about putting it down a couple of times at the beginning. The story is about a 22 year-old blonde Georgia peach, who lives with her mom and dad. She likes pink and happy music. She grates on me. But having read the entire book and those after it, I see that we had to meet Mac when she is this way. We had to see who she WAS before we can truly appreciate the metamorphosis she undergoes.

Mac's sister, Alina, was an exchange student in Ireland, when she was brutally killed. The police give up on her case quickly, prompting Mac to fly across the ocean. She only intends to push the cops to keep investigating. But she is drawn into the intrigue that was responsible for her sister's death. Mac's only clue about what happened to Alina is a voicemail she left hours before she died. She tells Mac that she has to find the Sinsar Dubh... and that sets Mac on a quest to find out what that is and how to find it.

On the streets of Ireland, Mac begins to see things she can't believe are real... hideous monsters in the guise of human beings. And one night she finds herself in an abandoned neighborhood, surrounded by a sense of dread. She barely makes it out, to a well-lit bookstore, called Barrons Books & Baubles. The man inside, Jericho Barrons, is a sexy, enigmatic man who is larger than life and somewhat foreboding. When she asks him about the Sinsar Dubh, which turns out to be a powerful book, it sets off a series of interactions that lead them into a partnership. Barrons explains to Mac that she is a Sidhe-Seer... someone who can see the Fae and sense their sacred objects, the book being one of them. Barrons has been looking for the book too, for reasons he doesn't explain. They team up to find it.

Barrons is very hard to read. Mac's descriptions of him show they are clearly attracted to each other. But there is something about him that is not entirely human. He's somehow more. He's also very tight-lipped about who/what he is and what his ultimate plans are. There is way too much going on to plot it all out, but I can say Mac learns things about herself that change her entire view of her life; she learns what her sister was doing in Ireland and who she was doing it with; and she learns that all Fae do not wear the face of a monster.

This is not a romance, despite Karen Marie Moning's great work with her Highlander books. There is no sex to be found. But you could definitely make a case that there is something brewing between Barrons and Mac. Their interactions are complex and confusing (to Mac and to the readers.) And they become even more so as the books progress.

It took me awhile to get into this book. But as the series continues... you fall deeper and deeper into this dark world. The most important thing I can tell you is this: if you plan to read this series, do not begin without having all 5 books in front of you. Start with Darkfever and read them one after another. Each book ends with a cliffhanger, and you'll kick yourself if you don't have the next book ready and waiting. The wait between Dreamfever: The Fever Series and Shadowfever nearly killed me.

4 1/2 stars.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 9, 2010
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
I basically picked up this book becasue all of my book resources recommend this series as a standout. I am not ready to agree to that yet but I did like this book and I will read the rest of the series.

Our heroine Mac has received flack online for being 'too stupid to live' or too involved with make up and fashion. I didn't find her too stupid at all. Any mistakes she made could have been made by anyone thrust into this crazy new world. Mac goes to Dublin to investigate her sister's murder and learns what she believes led to her sister's death...both of the sisters can see the fae. Somehow the dark and evil fae are coming into our world in larger numbers. One of them, or something involved with them, has killed Mac's sister.

Mac does go on sometimes about make up and such. Its not a lot compared to some paranormal chick lit on shelves now, but for this type of book it did stand out. maybe it will be toned down as the series progresses.

I like the character of Barrons. The man is rude and mean but I was never sure if he was all good or all bad. That kept him entertaining. I also like Moning's writing. I wasn't fond of the idea of the relics and the quest for them. I personally usually find that type of story tedious. The plot could get old with this fast.

Moning does a great job of ending the story in a way that isn't frusterating but still leaves things open and the reader wanting answers. As long as the rest of the books in this series are at least this good they should be worth reading.
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