Thursday, April 19, 2012

Book Review: Darkfever by Karen Moning

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….

BIG FREAKING WARNING FIRST OFF: DO NOT TRUST THE PUBLISHER OVERVIEW!!  Seriously, it does this book absolutely no justice.  This story is a living breathing thing that can not be contained by a mere blurb.  The book is brilliant.  The synopsis, eh, not so much.  Karen Moning was a Romance novelist before publishing Darkfever.  If Romance is your thang, more power to you, and I sincerely mean that.  Do not EVER let anyone shame what you love to read.  I personally don't jive with the straight up Romance genre, but that's just me. (UPDATE: I have since read The Highlander Series by Ms. Moning. I loved it. *eats crow*)  The best guess I have as to why they wrote the synopsis this way?  Well, frankly, it was probably done so as not to scare her Romance fans/audience away.  Better to lure them in with buzz words like sex addiction and dark, mysterious man and then slam them squarely in the face with Moning's sudden shift into the Urban Fantasy writing style.  So don't be fooled...this ain't a feel good romance novel...but sexual tension is provided...for those who are so inclined...mmmm, literary porn...wait, what was I saying?

Oh, yeah...

With that little warning out of the way.  This is ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS OF ALL TIME!!  I have an entire journal dedicated to the quotes that I've written from this series (yes, it is a series, aptly dubbed, The Fever series...5 books in all).  I hardly even know where to begin.  Mac is an innocent little southern belle.  Completely sheltered from the harsh realities of  life and not too upset about it. A self-obsessed barbie doll by day, a sarcastic bartender by night.  She's not sure of her place in the world, but between her intelligence and the safety of her family, she's not too worried that she won't figure it out...eventually.  School is not to be taken seriously, bartending is to pay a few of her bills.  Mom does the cooking, Dad gives out the advice, and her sister, Alina, is her confidant, her world.  Life is good.

Reality shatters.  Alina is murdered.  The world crashes all at once.  All Hell breaks loose.

I will not give it all away, but that little 22 year old Georgia peach grows up very fast.  She learns, throughout the entire series, to matter the cost.

If I can relate to a book, I will be sucked in.  I lost my Mother suddenly and without warning.  I get what death will do to the ones who get left behind, especially the unexpected death of someone so essential to your existence.  It seemed fated that I found this series at the worst time in my life.  I saw myself reflected in the character of Mac, and Barrons gave me the swift, mental kick in the ass that I needed to move on.  To survive.  Read it.  You might see yourself reflected in it as well. The way Karen Moning writes this story, you can't help but wonder if the author herself lost someone she loved that much.

Yes, you get remnants of Ms. Moning's Romance writing style, but the writing is so good, you pass over it with hardly a second thought. (SEE UPDATE above in first paragraph where I eat my words.  The Highlander novels shocked the hell out of me with how much I ended up enjoying them.  Especially with the glimpses in the later novels that showed how dark Ms. Moning's writing was going to become in Fever.)
This Goth Girl Gives It:

Some of my favorite quotes, and I literally can't list them all here because there are too many. (That is what the aforementioned quote journal is for. It is pictured below):

-Grief was going to devour me, day into night, night into day, and although I might feel like I was dying from it, might even wish I was, I never would.  I was going to hurt for my sister until the day I died.  If you don't know what I mean or you think I'm being melodramatic, then you've never really loved anyone.

-When insane things start to arrange themselves in sane patterns around you, you know you've got problems.

-Beautiful women rarely possess sufficient depth of character to survive without their pretty feathers.  Strip them down and they crumble.

-Sometimes Ms. Lane, 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.

-Is there such a thing as tempting the Fates to slice one of the most important threads that holds your life together simply by being too happy?

-Those weeks will remain forever foggy to me.  I wept the entire time, vision and memory blurred by tears.

-Lose the pessimism Ms. Lane.  It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.  

-There are really only two positions one can take toward anything in life: hope or fear.  Hope strengthens.  Fear kills.  

I could go on and on, but I would need a separate post...maybe next time.

1 comment:

  1. I also have a journal full of quotes from this series (a journal prompted by this blog author, AKA my beautiful and intelligent niece) that I would almost believe I had written myself. I'm currently on my 2nd reading of the series, in the 2nd book. After reading this story, you'll never again be fooled by images of cutesy, rainbow fairies.