Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review: Darkfever

Title: Darkfever
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Category/Genre: Adult/Romance, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

See it at Goodreads

When MacKayla's sister was murdered, she left a single clue to her death - a cryptic message on Mac's cell phone. Journeying to Ireland in search of answers, Mac is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to master 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, mysteriou Jericho...while at the same time, the ruthless V'lane - an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women - closes in on her. As the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac's true mission becomes clear: to 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 both worlds in their hands....

Before going into this review, I want to apologize first for having taken so long to get around posting a review at all. I realize it’s been a month since I’ve posted one--and that I’ve been barely entertaining the blog with other useless posts and the average memes since--but I have a perfectly good excuse, to be fair. I got so far ahead in my reading goal through the year that by the time I was around to a certain point, I was just… caught up. On everything. All I had left to do was to read more so that I could post more reviews of the books I was reading as I finished. And this was such an astounding feeling that I truly didn’t know what to do with myself at first. I’m sure you all relate with the weekly stresses of having to get particular reads out of the way, etc. And for the last month I just didn’t have any of those worries. I was able to grab up a couple books from my shelf and have ME time with some reads. And I still can. This feeling is nice.

Granted, don’t mistake me as being completely clear of a schedule. I do have a few e-galleys to be read and another ARC that just came to me in the mail with more on the way because fall always seems to be the busiest time of the year. But I’m not on a tight deadline. And that’s what is so nice about it right now. Haha..

So, yes. Sorry about the delay in getting a review up lately. And I can’t promise that there won’t be anymore delays either. I don’t always read extremely fast, especially during a certain time when life’s moments are just getting in the way and I’m stuck with hardly any time to read on some days. I am working though. ;)

With all that said, I can move on to my review now.

Darkfever came recommended to me by my friend Kelly from PaperFantasies. She even gifted me the book because she wanted me to read it so bad. How could I deny her that? So I stuck to my word and thought I’d give it a shot. She wasn’t the only one I’d heard singing this series praises. Several reviewers I follow seem to enjoy it as well, and I admit that I was curious to see what all the hub-bub was about.

What I hate to admit though is that I wasn’t impressed. In fact, I started reading the book about mid-August. I finished the other day (on the 16th of September). It really shouldn’t have taken me that long to read this paranormal/urban fantasy, especially since it is one of my favorite genres. However, when starting out, I kept finding myself within the first forty pages alone just constantly setting it aside and not caring whether or not if I continued. The narration felt very stiff to me -- and where I should’ve felt sympathy for Mac from the beginning, I couldn’t. This caused an immediate disconnect with her character--and an immediate problem for me. I felt an obligation to press on though, and finally I did when picking it back up earlier this weekend to give it one last chance.

I guess I could say it did get better. Well enough that once I got past that awfully slow hump of a start, which consisted mostly of Mac narrating an info-dump or talking about how much she enjoyed her fashion or a seemingly emotionless repetitive mention of her sister, I did actually find it to be a compulsive read. It was one of those “must keep reading to find out what happens next” because Moning does know how to keep a reader on their toes with many twists, turns, and action. I also have to say that for me, after reading many books with fae and in the UF genre, the story did feel fresh, and I quite liked that.

The world-building is what made this book work. It’s what made me hold on tightly to the pages and press on with some hope as to something redeeming that start. That’s what did it. Moning is an excellent storyteller. She has built this entire new world, complete with an alternate full of fae that invisibly surround us on a daily basis, and made it rather terrifying and realistic actually. To top it off, throw in some ancient artifacts, a bit of history and adventure, IRELAND, and you have a pretty darn good story. The details were also quite creepy and well-done, making me glad that I’m obviously not a sidhe-seer. Whew.

My largest problem? The two main characters. Mac often came across as stubborn, childish, and dim. It really annoyed me with the constant “I don’t believe you… Okay, I believe you…. Nevermind, I don’t anymore.” Also, how many times does one have to repeat “You’re life is in danger. It’s best you stay in for a bit” until it goes through that thick skull? Just made me hate the characters more. The repetitiveness of everything. When something wasn’t really happening much, it felt like I was reading the same thing between the two of them. Sister. Oh so pretty fashion. Don’t go out! I don’t believe you! Okay I believe you. No I don’t! This is impossible--HOW CAN THIS BE?! I said, don’t go out because you’re in danger!
Oops. I went out.

And scene.

Now, about Jericho Barrons. I’m sure the fans are going to hate me for this one. But WTF? I initially had a lot of interest in this because of all the gushing and OMGs for Barrons. That was the biggest letdown evah, my peeps. You better hope he gets better in future installments. I couldn’t find myself attracted to his character because he was an abusive ass. I don’t mean just emotionally (though he certainly had problems in that area as well by constantly belittling Mac), but physically. Gripping her around the ribs, causing them to bruise bad enough that it makes it troublesome for her to walk later, as well as then clamping a hand down over her mouth and nose long enough to nearly suffocate her? Picking her up by her throat in a chokehold, dangling her in the air against the wall because he was angry? Yeahhhh… if that’s not abusive behavior, please someone tell me what is? The only good thing I can say is that the behavior only happened a few times in the beginning and stopped. So thankfully, I didn’t have to read an entire book with that, and with some hope, he doesn’t get like that in any other installments again. And before any fans try to come at me about this: OKAY, I get it. In this installment he’s “technically” not a love interest. But that shouldn’t matter because it’s still not cool no matter what. Outside of this problem area, I still wasn’t entirely fond of his character. He was evasive. Too oddly mysterious. And rather vapid.

V'lane is another character, but didn't make much of an appearance. When he did, I got a headache. I'd really not like to get started on him though.

With all this said, I’m sure you’re thinking I absolutely hated the book. I really didn’t. Writing reviews this lengthy means I did care enough that it was worth this time for me. It wasn’t one of the great books I’d read this year, but it was an entertaining one that I’ll remember at least. I can see the appeal and understand the compulsive quality to reading this series. It has a flair and charm that brings a fresh look on the fae to the urban fantasy genre. Will I continue? Of course. I’m interested to see what’s to come next for the characters and the world surrounding them. Besides, I heard it only got better from here…and if that’s true, then I must.


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