Total Star Rating: 4 Stars
So just what I needed…another series to dig my hands into.
Especially, another book about the Fae – not that I’m necessarily complaining – I’ve absolutely adored other series like Throne of Glass, and The Folk of the Air to be specific that have had the Fae as a central part of their story plot. It’s really fun to see how authors showcase different variations of the fair folk, all the while, still using the same rule set as a base to go off.
Darkfever is the first book in what looks like a long series involving the Fae: an urban fantasy, paranormal romance that I can tell – even just by the first book – can be something that is absolutely addicting to read. It seriously has it all: murder mystery, a well developed world rich in myth and lore, comedic one-liners and commentary, multiple swoon-worthy leading men, and what is most likely going to turn into a slow-burn romance between one of them.
Recommended to me from a friend and coworker, I started the book with honestly no expectations, and then found myself enjoying it, and really getting into the world the author had created. I saw something special in the main character, Mackayla Lane: I loved her hilarious commentary throughout the story, especially as she’d called out a certain character who may or may not be a vampire – she wasn’t afraid to point out the clichés like the creepy castle on the hilltop, the lightning timed perfectly to their arrival, his secret lair in a cave, his whole creepy demeanor: the works.
What It’s About:
When MacKayla’s sister was murdered, she left a single clue to her death: a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone. Journeying to Dublin, 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, mysterious bookstore owner, Jericho Barrons. They decide to work together in order to find a rare artifact that her sister had been searching for, but their alliance doesn’t ease both their reluctance to put their trust in each other, especially with the plethora of secrets they both carry.
Despite discovering the reveal of monsters literally littering the streets, theres also V’lane – an alpha Fae Prince – who’s hot on her trail, no pun intended, because he’s some High Fae who drags out human sexual attraction to incredibly dangerous levels.
As the boundary between our world and the fae’s begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: to find the elusive Sinsar Dubh – the rare artifact both her and Jericho are searching for – before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book of magic. Whoever gets to it first would hold nothing less than complete control of both worlds, human and fae.
What I Liked:
- Mackayla’s Character Growth! Mackayla, or Mac, starts off as a literal human barbie doll living in Atlanta, Georgia: she has long blonde hair, a bubbly personality, loves the color pink, and has tons of gorgeous friends to go on shopping excursions with. She seems pretty shallow and vapid to start off with, but actually develops even in just the first chapter when she learns that her sister has been murdered. Her parents are absolutely torn apart about the devastating news, but Mackayla reacts unexpectedly; she burns with the need for revenge.
- The Murder Mystery! Her sister’s murder is the lead driving point of the plot, it drives Mac to drop everything and catch the first flight to Dublin, Ireland where her sister had been studying abroad. I always love a good whodunnit murder mystery, and while I wished it’d stayed more central to the plot, even after Mac discovers the whole world of the fae, it still drives her whole story arc and the book in general.
- The Worldbuilding! I hadn’t expected this to have become such a big draw of the book! Anyone who is a fan of the fae has probably read plenty of other books, but what I liked was the lore behind this series in particular. Basically, theres the Seelie and the Unseelie: the good and the bad. Each court has a ruler: The Seelie Queen and the Unseelie King, along with their followers of either Fae warriors or vile monsters. There’s also sidhe-seers, mortal beings that can see through the glamours of the fae. Mac, of course, turns out to be a sidhe-seer, along with having the other abilities to sense sacred fae artifacts and being able to stop fae power with the touch of her fingers for an extended period of time.
- V’lane! He was probably the character that had drawn my attention the most, which is ironic considering he was the one who’d appeared the least… He’s a powerful Fae prince to the Seelie Queen, and has the ability to draw out sexual attraction in humans that come into contact with him, like some pheromone on steroids. I’m not even joking: Mac gets so hot and bothered in his presence that she actually strips in public several times and has to try to stop touching herself – seriously…it was some really fucking weird shit that actually made me crack up. Anyways, because we see so little of him and his gorgeous face, I’m extremely curious to see how he plays out as the series develops. Is he a potential love interest to Mac? Where do his loyalties really lie? Will he become a villain? What’s his purpose to the story?? SO MANY QUESTIONS!
What I Didn’t Like:
- The (Lack of) Romance…It’s called a paranormal romance series, but besides a few quickly thrown in actions towards the end, there was actually very little romance involved with this first title between Mac and Jericho. I’m all for slow burn romance, and obviously their relationship is incredibly unconventional with plenty of tension, secrets, and lack of trust does not make for sexy times…I was still hoping to be given a little more than daydreams, a quick peck that may or may not have happened, and Mac being turned into a freaky exhibitionist in the middle of a museum because of V’lane.
- The Stereotypical Characters…Some readers would be turned off to keep going with this series because I can admit it: the characters do seem pretty cliché. Mac is the stereotypical bubbly, shallow blonde who is naive and maybe not the brightest crayon in the box – a complete Elle Woods knockoff who at least turns into a Buffy the Vampire Slayer warrior babe who wants to kick ass and take names. Jericho Barrons is also given a similar treatment: he’s the tall, dark, brooding and handsome type who has a fiery temper and little time for gorgeous little blonde’s who stumble into his bookstore with dangerous questions. He’s the type of alpha anti-hero we’ve probably all seen before. I do suggest taking all this with a grain of salt, as this series has been out for quite some time now. This book was first published in 2006, and I’m reviewing this in 2020…obviously books don’t always hold up well, even just five or six years after their published. I mean, look at all the “classics”: They’re boring and probably wouldn’t even get published in today’s world of literature.
A series that I didn’t need to add on top of all the other series I’m reading, but enjoy nonetheless! It’s going around the office amongst my coworkers as the next juicy series to sink our fangs into, so consider me added to the bandwagon! I’m VERY curious to see how this series plays out!
I recommend this title to anyone who enjoy’s reading about the fae, or enjoy’s Urban Fantasy genre titles like TV Shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Trueblood, The Vampire Diaries, or pretty much any book written by Cassandra Clare. To me, they all match the tone of the Fever series in both plot and characters.
I’ve started the second title almost immediately after completing this first book, so I can say it’s a good sign that I’m that eager to see what happens next!
Thanks for Reading!
— Nick Goodsell