Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Darkfever took me on a very dark ride, but I enjoyed myself immensely. Ms. Moning delivers with her concept of the Fae, and with this story of the inception of a young woman's crusade to find out who murdered her sister and why. Along with Mac, I was thrown to the wolves, exposed to the cruel, ruthless, and extremely scary nature of the Fae. I am very interested in stories that show Faeries not as the cute, glittery sprites that dance around flowers and giggle in high-pitched voices, but the otherworldly type, who view humans as objects to be used and discarded, when they aren't ignored as beneath their notice. Call me weird, I guess. If I am, then Ms. Moning and I am on the same wavelength here.
Mac was a very interesting character. She seemed shallow and immature, but she wasn't. I saw her evolve very quickly as a person, and show that underneath the pink nails, perfect blonde hair, and always coordinated fashions, there was a strong woman who could hold her own. I am very close to my sister, and this book hit home with me. I can't imagine how Mac would have felt, and I don't want to. Having your sister be alive and then the next, horribly murdered. That is an awful place to be in. And to find out about your hidden heritage as a sidhe-seer, and that the Fae are ruthless, cruel and dangerous beings, and you might be one of the few who can stand against them if they decide to take over the world. Wow! Just wow! I'd say she stood up great under all that pressure.
And Barrons. I had heard about the guy. He was even better than I expected. Erudite, cultured, dangerously intelligent, powerful, good-looking, and with a hidden agenda and nature that kept me intrigued. He's manipulative and cuttingly sarcastic, but he saves Mac's life and gives her shelter, and even better, helps her to find the means to survive in a world that doesn't make a bit of sense, and to come into her destiny as a power sidhe-seer. Oh, and he owns a bookstore, a really nice one. That's another plus. I was thinking he was like Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with a little bad boy thrown in for flavor. But my mother nailed it, as she often does! He's actually like Wesley, well Bad Wesley (after he betrays Angel and gets his throat cut). She is so right, and I loved the comparison, since I adore Wesley (good/nerdy and Bad/dangerous Wesley both). Anyway, Barrons....Loved him! I thought that there was a great dynamic between Barrons and Mac, sort of a sensei/student, sidekick, antagonistic partner/frenemies, and could be something more (with the tons of sexual chemistry between them).
I've been a fan of Ms. Moning for years, since I've read most of her Highlander books, but I have to say that this book really cements my admiration for her. She writes the Fae very, very well (beautiful/ugly, otherworldy, and very dangerous), and she managed to write a story that engaged me on many levels. There were the dark elements, the humor, the appeal of an ancient, foreign city that was so exquisitely described in the narrative, a likeable heroine who had depths, and I was able to see evolve in a good way over the course of the book, a fantastic antihero, bad boy like Barrons calling my name, and very scary, intense adversaries. This book was primo. I have definitely gotten the Fever, and I want more!
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