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on January 24, 2018
"Darkfever" is almost an object lesson in how NOT to insert detailed character descriptions into a story. The many rambling digressions into the main character's preferences regarding, drinking water, music, accessories, apparel, makeup, etc., don't so much bring the character to life but rather feel like you're being forced to listen to someone endlessly talking about herself.

There's a short lecture about why books are better than movies that left me—a reader of a book—feeling like I was getting an unnecessary lecture. She even takes time to throws shade at a Harry Potter adaptation without any specific criticism of how exactly the movie got Fleur Delacour wrong. But why is it even there to make me wonder?

Being as the plot barely advances in this story—I'm guessing that it's mostly set up for the subsequent books?—mostly this book is about setting the style and characters, and it does so very poorly.

One of the biggest flaws is that the characters' speech patterns are all uniform, with the same wiseacre sarcasm. A centuries-old supernatural being tends to speak with the same style as a 20-something from Georgia.

The story is mostly set in Dublin, but from reading the book, one begins to wonder whether the author has actually been in Dublin, or even anywhere outside the United States. The descriptions just don't feel genuine, especially when the author seems to confuse Irish and Scottish cultural features, such as the word "haver."

I came up with a drinking game. Drink every time:

1. The main character mentions her iPod and how wonderful it is. Wow, what a cool gadget! It's so .... dating. Or other outdated terms like "camera phone" or "Ask Jeeves"
2. The main character remarks on her own hotness ... yes, she sure is hot. She actually says at one point "I might never manage ugly ..."
3. The main character admires her own breasts, or someone else's breasts, or mentions breasts. ... BREASTS, BREASTS, BREASTS!!! Sure, I love breasts, but, come on
4. Speaking of which, a female character views female bodies through seemingly male eyes, like a detail like this: "I love to eat. Fortunately, it doesn't show. I'm healthy through the bust and bottom, but slim through the waist and thighs."
5. There's some kind of cultural knowledge error, like referring to Louis Armstrong on a playlist of "one-hit wonders." Or writing dialogue that sound like an American failing to pretend to be Irish, or thinking that the "paranormal craze" began with Harry Potter (and then mentioning Lestat—so you know there was at least one paranormal craze before Harry Potter, right?)
6. Cliched locutions, such as "from (soup) to (nuts)," "but that's neither here nor there," "drop-dead gorgeous," "worth his salt"
7. "Sedan" — come on, who says "sedan" in conversation except a car salesman? Especially "late-model sedan"
8. Unnecessary detail regarding the make and model of a fancy vehicle, or other unnecessary references to brand names, like a Juicy purse
9. Strange references to ethnicity, and weirdly racist sounding references to different kinds of white people. A character is a "darkly exotic half-Basque, half-Pict." How is that exotic, exactly? Isn't that just a white guy? And how is that noticeably different from anyone else in Ireland? "Spanish or Melungeon blood" Drink to weirdly outdated racism!
10. Unnecessary character detail at odd points, such as how exactly the character prefers to eat her french-fried potatoes when she's about to see a supernatural creature for the first time
11. Just strange phrases, as if they are commonly used, like the "rear conversation area" of a bookstore (several references), or the "rear index" of a book. You mean the index? Who calls it a "rear index"
12. A fixation on sex without actually being sexy, and a woman's value is in her physical beauty as a prize for a man
13. An unnecessary digressive lecture, such as about the "entitlement generation" or about Southern ladies and gentlemen
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on May 1, 2017
This book is creative, naughty, and funny. It did start a bit slow for me. The main character, Mac, was pretty much the only meaningful one for the first 25% of the book, but I still read her story with interest.

I liked that she is such a mix of princess and badass (unlike me. I am 100% badass, lol). Mac loves outfits, heels and nail painting, but don't you call her dumb. She is smart and has clear priorities. She certainly kills the bimbo stereotype, even if in a couple of scenes she made comments I would have slapped her for, but like I said, we are very different types of girl ;)

I truly enjoyed reading this book. It is action packed and full of humor with a touch of sexy. Very enjoyable, great voice. Highly recommended for everyone who enjoys:

-Independent female characters
-An "exotic" setting (the story takes place in Dublin)
-Magic, fairies, and such
-A touch of naughty (there is a good tension between some of the characters and some of the fae have the ability to…oh, well, why don't you read it?)
-Well written and edited stories

I am looking forward to reading the second installment in the series ^_^

A few favorite quotes (no spoilers):

He didn’t just occupy space; he saturated it. The room had been full of books before, now it was full of him.

I knew the value of putting a smile on a sad face—it made you feel happy after a while. Courage was no different.

“Sometimes, Ms. Lane,” he said, “one must break with one’s past to embrace one’s future. It is never an easy thing to do. It is one of the distinguishing characteristics between survivors and victims. Letting go of what was, to survive what is.”

You make one of Womankind’s greatest mistakes: falling in love with a man’s potential.

There are really only two positions one can take toward anything in life: hope or fear. Hope strengthens, fear kills.
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on January 12, 2018
I kept putting this book down, but finally forced myself to finish it. This author had been mentioned in other reviews of books I liked as being a good author, the price was right, so I bought it. Well, I should have saved my time and money. The characterizations of everyone except Mac, the h, were very thin - we knew a lot (and I mean LOT) of stupid trivial things about Mac, but knew nothing much about anyone else. It lacked a narrative arc - this book spent a lot of time worldbuilding, but not much really happened, and the stuff that did happen was not understandable fully to the reader because the reveals will come in future books. The author had an annoying writing style where the heroine was interfering with the narrative flow (if I had known that day what would happen next, I would have....). The only thing to recommend it was the overall concept seemed strong, but the execution really killed it for me. I read the reviews of the next few books in the series, and the critical reviews essentially say the next several books are wash, rinse, repeat. I am not reading any further.
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on August 24, 2017
Despite the fact the author ripped off Buffy almost in entirety, set her in another country and made her kill Unseelie instead of vampires (except 1 because what's an urban fantasy these days without a bloodsucker? Yawn) I was going to give this book 4 stars. Buffy rip off or not, its well written. I was thoroughly enjoying it. I couldn't give it 5 stars because it is a rip off and the "diaryesque" style broke what could have been great action and dialogue in some places. But...It Was a rousing good bit of entertainment. I'd have recommended this book with a Buffy caveat.

Then I read the authors completely clueless, self aggrandizing bit of insanity at the end about getting books fully written to your subconscious via FedEx in a box with a ribbon and it ruined the whole thing. You saw the nifty Buffy episode with the weird monster that sucks the life out of people making them age and fade and you near plagiarized the entire concept of Buffy and wrote it down. That's not getting a story subconsciously...that's ripping off a tv show. I know I'm not supposed to let the author's insanity interfere in my enjoyment of a story or read anything else they write not pure fiction story (seriously thought I'd learned my lesson with LKH way back in the day) but I can Unseelie what's been seen and I did and there it is and now I can't read anymore of her work. Ugh. Or I could because I just flat out miss Buffy. But I'll probably read some reviews of the next installments before I buy to see how far this goes. And not ever ever again read her crazy personal stuff and the end of the book.

You've been warned.

Edit: read reviews for 2-3 and yeah, not buying anymore of this series.
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When her sister is murdered, MacKayla (Mac) Lane heads to Ireland to get some answers. With only a cryptic phone message to go on and not much else, she enters into a world she didn't know existed. She has a cryptic phone message to go on and not much else.

In Ireland, Mac begins to learn about her 'gift' and a heritage she isn't aware of. Hunting for the elusive and mysterious Sinsar Dubh, a sacred text, Mac finds herself in all sorts of trouble.

She's both helped and hindered by the enigmatic Jericho - who might be her best ally or worst enemy.

I take my hat off to the author's world building and imagination. Moning paints a fascinating world that I longed to know more about.

I liked Mac. She's brave and a little self-absorbed, but she made me laugh and fear for her safety.

At times, this book dragged and I did feel that parts of it could have been cut and tightened.

All in all, a great start to a series.
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on August 29, 2017
I found the author kept taking the suspense away by telling you there was something coming which bothered me so I had to try and skim over parts to keep the suspense alive. I didnt find the main character interesting but I did with a couple other characters so I kept reading. Unfortunately I personally like a book that hints at romantic connections but there's nothing in this book so I decided to read reviews for the following books. A few reviws have indicated there is no romance just a scene in the third book that's not my style of romance so I am not going to read anymore.
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on March 30, 2018
I'm discovering I love Urban Fantasy books. I really enjoyed the set up (Vengeance is a powerful motivator). This book is 12 years old and sometimes it shows, like the Heroine's lack of internet skills, and "Ask Jeeves" being the search engine of choice, but it doesn't pull you too far out of the story.

There's a real clueless Buffy the Vampire Slayer vibe going on here, but with a darker edge, bolster by Mac being slightly older. I found the choices of when & when not to translate from Gaelic to English interesting. The detailing of what it's like to be a foreigner even in an English speaking nation were accurate. It's always the minutiae that cause the struggles.
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on March 27, 2018
I liked Mac, liked the details how she shared her thoughts, her stuggles, and all that jazz, and I love books on seelie/unseelie. It didnt even bother me that there was no romance in the book. (Yes, none because random twinges of lust is not romance.)

BUT...there there was two things that killed it for me.

ONE- the author foreshadowed in a way that ruined a lot of the mystery and suspense. I'm not partial to foreshadowing but its usually not a game changer. But why be worried for the charaters in the story, or surprised, or exited, if Mac is already telling us whats going to happen?

TWO- The male lead is so, so, so unlikeable. I think throughout the whole book I was mentally chanting 'Get away from him!' I think its the first time ever that I could not get into the main guy. To often the guy just seemed cold and abusive. So much so that it was a turn off and the wind left my sails...

Unfortuntely I won't be reading the next book. It had some great elements but the execution was poor. I'll give more weight to the reviews before I buy a book next time.
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on April 12, 2017
I've been waiting for this book to go on sale and it finally did. I really like the spunkiness of the authors writing, the wit. Love hearing the southern hospitality in this character and developing situations around that. This isn't a book to fly through because of the detail and the authors writing style. I want to know what is Barron, what was in her journal, about her parents and so much more. Can't wait for next book.
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on September 21, 2017
Apology in advance for making this an everlasting all thumbs up for every book Karen Marie Moning has ever written. Her stories are all, without fail, magical, wonderful, powerful, and gripping. Just the right amount of everything, every time. I've read all her books so far, and never had so much as a moment of disappointment yet. Even Dani, who threatened to be annoying with her brash, over-the-top attitude, did not detract from my enjoyment of this series. Ms. Moning is a winner every time for me.
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