Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

My Review: Feversong (Fever #9): by Karen Marie Moning

Publish Date: January 17th, 2017

Number of Pages: 541 Pages

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genre(s): Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

***Warning! This review contains spoilers from previous books in this series, continue reading at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned!***

To see my review of book #1 – Darkfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #2 – Bloodfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #3 – Faefever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #4 – Dreamfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #5 – Shadowfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #6 – Iced – Click HERE

To see my review of book #7 – Burned – Click HERE

To see my review of book #8 – Feverborn – Click HERE

To see my official Fancast/Dreamcast of the series – Click HERE

Total Star Rating: 4.25 Stars

He’d told me once that fear was more than a wasted emotion, it was the ultimate set of blinders; that if I couldn’t face the truth of my reality, I could never control it, and would be subject to the wishes of anyone whose will was stronger than mine. He knew too well, from battling his own inner monster, what I’ve come to fathom only here and now. The most critical, defining battles we wage in life, we wage alone. Against ourselves.”

— Karen Marie Moning, “Feversong”

Alright, for this reader of the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning, I’m happy–and slightly relieved–to say how with reading Feversong, it feels like the series is back on track with many unpredictable twists, many secrets revealed, scorching romance, and so much danger too! While my liking of what I call “Phase 2” of the Fever series–every book past Shadowfever, aka “The Original Series”–has been back and forth, I can say this book should satisfy over disappointing readers who have stuck it out up to this point!

While there are still some loose ends that haven’t reached a full conclusion, I’d compare this book to being like Shadowfever, where all the main plots are resolved here, which is a relief in the sense that there seemed to be so many this time around. More so in the sense that the quality of the story could be argued to be diluted by this point because the books in my Phase 2 have teeter-tottered in whether I enjoyed them as much, and how they stand together as a cohesive unit for telling a story. I was lukewarm about Iced, surprisingly really enjoyed Burned, I was bored with Feverborn, but I was enthralled and my interest was fully piqued when I started Feversong. It felt like how it was with the earlier books, but with more characters to root for this time around too. It was something new, yet still familiar, which is always a good thing with humans and any sort of story.

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***Warning! There are Spoilers of “Feversong” beyond this point, so continue reading at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned once again!***

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You get an even more in depth look into Dani’s past, learning truly what happened to her before even Rowena and the other Sidhe-Seers got their hands on her. She’s certainly been through some of the worst experiences a child could ever have to endure, it speaks so much to her character that she’s still around and still able to smile and laugh after all that torment and trauma, to which Ryodan noticed all those years ago and vowed to look after her!

Speaking of Ryodan, I continue to love him even more in this book. I can understand how some readers wished he stayed the heartless, cold bastard he was when we originally met him, I like the development KMM has given him and even now how things have developed between him and Dani up to this point. It’s taken some weird turns, especially with her coming back as Jada, but once again we see how much he truly cares for her when he steps aside in order for her to have a small chance at normal happiness with Dancer, despite his own feelings regarding her.

Barrons is Barrons, that is all I can really say. I love him and how he’s developed over the series, I have nothing negative to say about him. I love how little signs of affection creep out of him whenever him and Mac interact, and how it’s obvious how he’s truly smitten in love with her, even if he never says it. To him, actions speak louder than words, and we’d expect nothing less from him.

With Mac, it was really fun to see her darkest side yet with her becoming possessed by the Sinsar Dubh, I’m not going to lie! KMM really got dark with some of her passages early on in the book, and I was oddly a big fan of the gore and violence. It honestly surprised me, which is not something a book can do to me as often now a days. I was sad to see a character get brutally murdered by her possessed hands, but part of me also wished more were killed to make an even bigger impact.

I continue to hope for the best with Christian, who’s another character who’s really been through the wringer. He’s perhaps my favorite side character besides Ryodan, and was happy he’s still around after everything too! There’s the potential for another chance at romance that’s teased in this book, so I sincerely hope he gets at least ONE “happily ever after moment.”

Inspector Jayne is turning into a Seelie Prince, which I just love the irony of that since he’d been training his guardians to hunt and kill fae ever since the walls came down back in October. I hope KMM plays more with this in the next two books before the series is actually over this time!

Not to give too much else away, there are just a few more really interesting events that occur, leaving more loose ends like I said, and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out now that we are ACTUALLY on the home stretch of this series once and for all!

What It’s About:

In typical Fever series fashion, Feversong continues immediately after how we left things in Feverborn: Mac and Jada have both been captured by The Sweeper, an ancient creature olden than even the Unseelie King! They make amends and are best friends again, but Mac used the Sinsar Dubh in order to escape, the chunk of it that was placed inside her, and it snuck in and took possession over her!

Along with STILL dealing with Cruce and the Black Holes that are threatening to slurp up the whole freaking planet, now Barrons and the rest of the crew have to try and rescue Mac from the demonic, psychotic book that’s taken over her body! With this unspeakable danger that wants to kill everything in sight, this leads them to making a deal with the devil: the Unseelie Prince, Cruce. Enemies become allies, some allies could turn into enemies, but with plenty of twists and turns, this is the intricately drawn out conclusion of whether they will be able to save our world from its ultimate demise.

What I Liked:

  1. Demonic Mac! This book starts off on such a thrilling note with Mac actually being possessed by the Sinsar Dubh, which by this point we all know is the real villain of the series. I was pleasantly surprised at how dark the author was able to get with some of the more gruesome and gory scenes with what Mac does under its control, not that I’m necessarily complaining as I feel like it’s hard for an author to really shock me these days, but it’s still sad one of the more familiar characters gets brutally murdered under her hands.
  2. Mac and Barrons Relationship Development! I don’t care what others say, I continue to love seeing how the two of these characters and their relationship continue to evolve. Some complain that Barrons has lost his edge, that they miss the mystery and harshness from him in the earlier books, but here’s my opinion: sure, he was great back then when they first met, but think about a long term relationship after a year when compared to when it first started out. Obviously the dynamics will change over time, and the two change alongside each other along with how they behave around each other. Some of it’s still there, but they’ve moved past the distrust, the sexual tension, the arguments–well, not entirely–but another way to describe all this: GROWTH. I’m sure even more people would complain if Jericho didn’t change at all by this point in the whole series; hell, I was whining about them arguing two books ago in burned when he erased the memory of them doing it like rabbits in heat the first night they met! Back to them in this book, It’s amazing to me to see how they’ve changed over time and now Barrons is caught staring at her with a gaze mixed with curiosity, admiration and now even respect.
  3. Dani Returns! So I was never a huge fan of the whole Dani/Jada alter ego/multiple personality storyline the author came up with. I mean, I can agree that Dani has been through A LOT… there are even some passages in this book that describe the abuse and torment she’s endured, so while I can’t say for certain that it’s entirely far fetched that she’d produce an alter ego in order to deal with/block out the trauma, I still thought it was a little bit of a stretch. Anyways, after what happened at the end of Feverborn, Jada had begun to crack along the edges and Dani was peaking through once again. I almost wish Jada could’ve been a separate character entirely, because there were parts of her I will miss, but seeing Dani return due to the love everyone shows her, especially Dancer, was great to see! It’s safe to say that after reading Feversong, I’m officially a fan of Dani O’Malley.
  4. The Enemy of my Enemy is My Friend! So with the Sinsar Dubh once again back in the picture and being the big villain to defeat, it was cool to see how the characters needed to band together, like even with Cruce who was released by Sinsar-Mac before he got his wings ripped out! Cruce was a huge antagonist and made the alliance difficult for everyone, and I always love it when this sort of thing happens in stories!
  5. Ryodan Continue to Impress! Ryodan continues to grow and develop in this story, especially when it comes to Dani. Like Barrons, some fans complain the author softened him up and should’ve kept him as the brutal/heartless asshole that he was in Dreamfever and Shadowfever, and I did like him in those books too, but again like I said about Barrons, there needs to be growth! Good characters hardly stay the same throughout a series.
  6. Mac 5.0! We get another version of Mac in this book, and screw it……. I’m going to spoil it….. but Mac becomes the Seelie Queen! It was necessary in order to help defeat the Sinsar Dubh and learn the Song of Making to get rid of the black holes threatening to destroy the earth!
  7. Shazam’s Reveal! Such a small detail to include, because I’m not a big fan about having some creature named “Shazam” from another dimension even be in this story, when we get revealed something about him that does pique my interest about him, as it’s sure to be the cause of some major chaos in the last two books after this one!

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. How Short the Possession Was…So kind of spoilery………………………………………. …………………………………. ………………… but Mac, Barrons, and others defeat the Sinsar Dubh at around the 50% mark of the book! I was hoping for more to happen in that; for more chaos to rain down upon them, but hey, it had to happen at some point! I was just more worried how afterwards, they subdue the Sinsar Dubh, but there was still over like 200 pages left of the book and I was wondering like what else could possibly happen/go wrong?
  2. Where Did All These Side Characters Go?…Okay, what was the point of Kat going off with Kasteo into that training room underground if it ended up not meaning anything? Where was Lor for like the entire book? Is Dageus turning into one of the 9 going to mean anything? There’s just so many side-stories that are not getting enough attention! I love Mac and Barrons, but KMM needs to stop a little bit with them and the many inner monologues and focus on these storylines more! I mean, Kat was gone for so long, I thought she’d have such a bigger part to play in all honesty.
  3. How The Rape Was Used…So with Cruce momentarily aligning himself with Mac, and I was way turned off by how it seemed like Mac had forgiven him for all that he’d done to her in the past (i.e: when she was gang raped by all the Unseelie Princes on Halloween night when the walls came down). They almost try to have us forgive him too, like he’s a lesser evil than the book or not actually evil at all, and even has Mac admit that maybe she would’ve fallen in love with V’lane/Cruce if she’d met him before she met Jericho Barrons. I sincerely hope she was lying to him when she said that just because she needed his help to create the Song of Making to Destroy the world. But they share a passionate kiss, and this whole thing was just cringe. Like, I’m not a victim of rape myself, and sure the circumstances surrounding it in the story are pretty extraordinary, but I seriously was not a fan of this detail, and at least the author made a note at the end that just because it happened here, does not mean she’s for rape apologists either. I’m not sure how much further I can go on the subject, but I can recognize that it’s problematic material in the book and deserves a trigger warning.
  4. Huge Character Death…So I legitimately cried when this was happening, and I honestly wasn’t expecting it to affect me as much as it did. I’m going to spoil it so feel free to scroll down past this if you want……………….. ………………….. ………………………………….. …………….. ……………………… …………………. ……………………………. …………………………………. …………. ……………… Dancer dies, and I knew it was going to happen as soon as KMM revealed the important little tidbit about his heart condition. Now, it’s been safe to say that KMM has been setting up Ryodan and Dani since Iced, but there was a love triangle with Dancer in the mix. There are many factors going into play, like with Dani becoming Jada so the whole age thing was less creepy, but KMM wasn’t going to make the decision easy for her either way. Both Dancer and Ryodan brought out the best of her, and both were good for her in different ways. Dancer was there when she felt like she had no one else, and helped her keep her humanity and save her when she was in a dark place. Unfortunately, KMM also made the decisions easier for her while also satisfying those who were more team-Dancer, but again: as soon as you learn about Dancer’s condition, you had to know it was only a matter of time before the final trigger was pulled, so to speak. I’m looking at it as a way for Dancer to pass the baton, and hope he knows Dani can be happy and how much he helped her. I’m going to miss him, he was like the kindest and most innocent character of them all.
  5. This Was the End?… Again?…I’m getting confused as to how this book says it’s the conclusion of the Fever series? The same thing was said about Shadowfever, yet here we are four books later. Then KMM seems to go off in many directions from a trilogy with Dani and Ryodan to nixing that to the other books past Shadowfever aren’t as cohesive as the “original” series was, and I’m glad at how there’s still so much explored, but it just feels more inconsistent now. Feversong says it was the conclusion to the series, yet I know there’s two more books after this: High Voltage and Kingdom of Shadow and Light. KMM still left quite a bit up in the air, so I’m glad she’s got two more books for me to read, but I’m just so confused as to the whole planning of this series has been, and that’s coming from someone who’s just started reading them this year (2020) alone.

Conclusion:

Things we had, like respect and trust, but also freely expressed desires and accountability to whatever degree it took to make both people happy. It took work, a willingness to fight passionately and fairly–out of bed, not just in it–commitment and honesty. It took waking up and saying each day, ‘I hold this man sacred and always will. He’s my sun, moon, and stars.’

It took letting the other person in; a thing I’d stopped doing. It took being unafraid to ask for what you wanted, to put yourself on the line, to risk it all for love.”

— Karen Marie Moning, “Feversong”

The Shadowfever of phase #2 of the Fever series, this book is wild thrills and delights as yet again major conflicts are resolved in this installment, but of course there are also plenty of things left up in the air as to help transition the series into phase #3 and it’s final section: books 10 and 11, High Voltage and Kingdom of Shadow and Light.

High Voltage looks like it once again puts the main focus on Dani and Ryodan as the storie’s main characters, which is now fine with me as they’re both so different than the first time this happened with Iced, and now I feel like Mac and Barrons story is at a much better stopping point, despite that vague and questioning final chapter with them and the mural in BB&B!

So many emotions came with reading this latest book in this wild and crazy series, it felt nostalgic with similar feelings I had when reading the earlier books in all their glory! I’m sad to see how based on some reviews and some lack of by certain Goodreads reviewers I follow, not everyone has kept up with the series by this point. I get it, the books past Shadowfever aren’t as cohesive and KMM really seems to grasp at straws with some of her subplots, central conflicts, and even some of her character development, but I can say I’ve stuck with it, and will continue to do so until the very end. Despite my less than thrilled reactions to books like Iced and Feverborn, I’m still so emotionally invested in these books, these characters that I absolutely have to see them until the end! I don’t think I could really quit the series by now, even if I actually wanted to! At book nine and only two more to go, I have to see what KMM truly comes up with to truly finalize all of it.

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

My Review: Faefever (Fever #3): by Karen Marie Moning

Publish Date: July 28th, 2009 (Originally Published October 16th, 2008)
Number of Pages: 393 Pages
Publisher: Dell
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

***Warning!! This review will contain spoilers from the previous books in the series, so continue reading at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned!***

To see my review for book #1 – Darkfever – Click HERE

To see my review for book #2 – Bloodfever – Click HERE

To see my Fancast/Dreamcast for the whole series – Click HERE

Total Star Rating: 4.25 Stars

So by now, after reading this next installment of the addictive Fever series, I’m officially obsessed with this series! Mackayla Lane has risen way up there on my list of favorite fantasy-genre heroines, and both Jericho Barrons and V’lane continue to have both my admiration and complete need to smack a bitch because of how they keep playin’ my girl Mac.

We meet some new(ish) characters, we get some brutal monsters, we get a hilarious scene with Mac designing a helmet with lights attached in order to ward off said monsters, and a lot more of the same…as in we get more questions that rise up, some new information on whats caused the major situation the series is in, and V’lane and Jericho both continue to get closer to Mac while keeping some major secrets from her, and deftly avoiding giving her any info when she asks them…like, how we still don’t know what Jericho Barrons is. He’s something both the Seelie and Unseelie respect and/or fear, can touch both their magical items…and I’m so close to screaming at how frustrating both men are. It’s obvious both of them are using Mac for their own needs, and it’s equally frustrating that it’s still impossible to tell if Jericho has actual feelings for Mac while he uses her. She obviously does, even if she can’t admit it, but we’ve all heard the saying:

“Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt!”

With that said, the thing that makes Mac so effing likeable by now is how she doesn’t just sit back and pout at the unfairness of it all. She goes out and figures stuff out for herself, she learns to defend herself and become a badass in order to get answers on the Sinsar Dubh, that Fae-created book from the Unseelie King that holds secrets to all the magic of their kind, and has the keys to the Song of Making, and ancient song that can create, give, and end life.

I’ve been especially impressed with the mythology and lore behind this series, and wonder if all of it, or even just a smidge of it, is based off actual Irish, Celtic folklore. Maybe one day I’ll actually do some more research behind it and figure out how much is from ancient legend, and how much was created by Karen Marie Moning, the evil genius behind this addictive series. I mean, we’ve got the Sinsar Dubh, the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, the 8 magical objects (4 Seelie, 4 Unseelie), the monsters, the Druids and Sidhe-Seers: it’s all so fascinating! I’m just surprised I’ve never even heard of this series before my friend at my job introduced it to me!

What It’s About:

After the terrifying capture of Mac from Mallucé, the weirdo/Fae/Vampire wannabe you brutally murdered that guy to gain that Unseelie amulet, and she died! Like actually died for a little bit there! Jericho Barrons came to her rescue, and she was resurrected in time by eating the flesh of those Unseelie Rhino boys, like Mallucé did, to gain Fae-like abilities. She gets some badass skills, some serious strength, and she exacts her revenge on Mallucé and stabs him with her Seelie spear, and leaves him to die a slow and horrible death!

Mac’s back at BB&B (Barron’s Books & Baubles), and she has really taken to working the store; putting through orders, arranging the magazines, and doing more and more extensive research on the Fae and the Sinsar Dubh, that evil book that everyone has been running around looking for. Jericho and her continue their…interesting relationship, but now theres even more tension between them as they’d had a heat and heavy moment down in the caves when he’d come rescuing her. Mac seems to want to forget it, but she can’t, and Jericho only brings it up in order to get a rise out of her.

Let’s cue in V’lane then, the Seelie-Fae prince who Mac has slowly gotten closer to. She trusts him about as much as she trusts Barrons, because it’s painfully obvious that both are just using her for their own needs, but neither will answer most of her questions as they pop up, which frustrates her–and us too! Anyways, in order to gain her favor, V’lane brings Mac to the land of the Fae and allows her to spend an afternoon with her sister, Alina. Well…an illusion of her. Mac is allowed to have a feeling of closure, getting to say a more proper goodbye to her sister, who’d gotten murdered and drove Mac over to Dublin, Ireland in the first place!

You also gets to know a few more characters that have made appearances already in the series:

First there’s Christian MacKeltar, who works in the Ancient Languages department at Trinity University, who Mac was going to meet up with in the previous book before she’d gotten abducted. It turns out he’s from a line of Druids who’d aligned with the Seelie Fae Court in ancient times, and he’s there to continue their agreement.

Next, there’s Dani O’Malley, a spunky and outspoken 13-year old who helps Mac discover that there’s an actual coven of other Sidhe-Seers, so she’s not alone. Dani is full of rebellion, attitude and befriends Mac as they start to work together. She also helps Mac realize that their leader is actually the same crazy, older lady who we’ve seen before.

Which brings me to my next big character: Rowena, that crazy lady who turns out to be the leader of the Sidhe-Seers, and who hurts Mac even further by revealing a big secret….drumroll please…Mac and her sister were adopted!! They’re actually O’Connors, who were one of the best Sidhe-Seer families from ancient times!

Inspector Jayne still appears from time to time, and Mac and him come to a certain understanding.

Besides that, the Lord Master, who we learn is actually named Darroc and is an exiled Fae turned human, has something majorly bad brewing, and soon all the monsters of the Unseelie court will return from their dark, icy prison and take over the world, so it’s the big question of whether Mac can learn who her true enemies are, and bring everyone together to stand and fight for the future of their world!

What I Liked:

  1. That Ending! It’s complicated…but I can honestly say I’ve never read an ending quite like this one. It was like when you watch Joker with Joaquin Phoenix and (Spoiler Alert!!) realize the girlfriend is a figment of his character’s imagination: you get that stomach-drop feeling of dread with your heartbeat rapidly accelerating, your eyes widening, and mutter to yourself “Holy shit…” It’s bad, but man is it also so great how emotional it makes you–something a writer/storyteller can really appreciate!
  2. Jericho gets Jealous! Like what began in the second book, V’lane and Mac’s relationship continues to shift to where there’s definitely an alliance forming, and Jericho is seething about it! I loved the moments where Mac comes back from hanging out with the golden Fae Prince and Jericho is just standing there, pouting and glaring more than Grumpy Cat–RIP G.C.
  3. The Lines of Good-and-Evil are Blurred! This is more for the whole series in general, but what’s especially appealing is how it’s so hard to tell who’s a good guy or a bad guy. It’s like Game of Thrones, where alliances and rivalries are constantly changing, and there’s the promise of more going on behind the scenes and the stakes will get higher are what’s making this series so addictive!

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. V’lane & Jericho Barrons Continue To NOT. TELL. US. ANYTHING…I’m officially only Team-Mac because of this, but it has gotten absolutely so frustrating with how these two guys continue to keep such big secrets from Mac–and us readers. Like seriously, WHAT is Jericho? I’m starting to think he’s the Unseelie King from the legends we’ve been told about or something…V’lane isn’t any better, either. Both of them are so incredibly obviously using Mac for their own needs, but won’t budge when she wants to know what those needs are. I love it, but hate it, and it’s not great for my anxiety issues, no joke!
  2. More Cliffhangers…Like the two Alpha-holes above, Karen Marie Moning continues to slowly draw out all the info we all are dying to know! The books ends in a huge cliffhanger, along with several others throughout the chapters, which makes me stay up late to figure it all out. But we’re three books in now, and we still continue to feel like we get so little new information, but get distracted by more backstory, which in turn gives us many more questions! I love the series, I really do, but Oh My God…it’s also a slow-burn in EVERY sense of a story/series, not just with the sexual tension brewing between Jericho and Mac!

Conclusion:

We meet new people, we get more backstory, we get some highly emotionally-driven scenes, a cliffhanger ending that seriously knocks you on your ass (possible trigger warning for some readers!), and of course, more questions instead of answers…

I’m seriously hoping we get some major answers going into the next book, and here are some answers i’m specifically looking for:

  1. What is Jericho Barrons? I’ve been starting to think he’s the Unseelie King, or someone who was extremely close to him, but I’m also not so sure? He’s not exactly Fae, so what the Effff is he?!?!?!
  2. What are Barrons’s feelings towards Mac? Does he actually have feelings, or is he simply using her for his own needs, like she’s constantly deliberating amongst herself throughout the books. Like I said, she defs does have some feels, even though she’s extremely conflicted with her distrust of him, and sometimes pure hatred…but we know love and hatred have a fine line drawn between them…
  3. Who’s side is V’lane on? He always says his loyalties lie with his Seelie Queen, but do they really? He wants to learn more about humans and our ways, but some itching has me wondering where his loyalties may truly lie.
  4. Which of the big players will make an appearance? We’re constantly being referred to the Seelie Queen and the Unseelie King, and I’m wondering if they’re ever going to make a major appearance!

Thanks For Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Fantasy, New Adult, New Adult Romance, Paranormal

My Review: Bloodfever (Fever series #2): by Karen Marie Moning

Publish Date: August 26th, 2008
Number of Pages: 349 Pages
Publisher: Gollancz
Genre(s): Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, New Adult

***Warning!! This review may contain spoilers from the previous title! Continue with caution, you’ve officially been warned!***

To see my review of book #1 – Darkfever – Click HERE

To see my Fancast/Dreamcast of the series – Click HERE

Total Star Rating: 3.75 Stars

You know when you want to give someone a big highfive?

Right in the face?

With a brick?

And repeat it over and over and over?

This was me to Karen Marie Moning after I’d finished this book…Like seriously, I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake her yelling: “What the fuck?!?!”

Once again, I was shocked at how utterly absorbed into this series I’d become, but there I was reading this book into the next morning instead of getting a healthy amount of sleep. The Fever series just continues to add more and more mystery and intrigue to make readers literally addicted in wanting to find out what happens next. So many questions, but so few answered right away, but then more and more questions keep popping up and my anxiety can’t take it some of the time. I need to take breaks between these books for my own mental health…you laugh, but I’m actually serious.

This series gets deeper and deeper into the streets of Dublin, Ireland and deeper into whatever plot is going on in order for the Unseelie–the evil fae beings–are concocting in order to take over our world. We’re getting to see a different side of Mac, and her uneasy alliance with mysterious and temperamental bookstore owner, Jericho Barrons, reaches its boiling point at multiple times throughout, but the hunt is still on for that dang ancient and evil book, the Sinsar Dubh, that is the key to either our salvation or extermination…it all depends on who gets their hands on it first!

What It’s About:

So Mac had gone into the Dark Zone, discovered the Lord Master’s hideaway, battled it out with him and Mallucé with Jericho by her side, and the closing scene is her doubling over because that dang book, the Sinsar Dubh, had gotten close enough to have her blackout…

We continue into this next installment where Mac is alive and (not) well, but has a safe place to call her temporary home in Jericho’s bookstore, Barron’s Books and Baubles. That is, until a hoard of those nasty & shapeless Fae monsters called “Shades” somehow break in! Mac almost meets her gruesome end, when low and behold…V’lane, the Seelie Fae Prince, makes a surprise appearance and rescues her. Their….interesting relationships shifts into some new territory–one where maybe he doesn’t try to rape her in the middle of an art museum, but instead maybe they become tense allies, because it’s not like Mac doesn’t have enough of that with her current employer/landlord/co-hunter for Fae artifacts/lust muffin…

The hunt for the powerful and evil book, the Sinsar Dubh, continues with more adventures and tension between Mac and Jericho rise, both regular and sexual, and more players join the game of cat & mouse: we’ve got Dani O’Malley, a young sidh-seer like Mac, who discovers there’s a secret coven of seers who have similar abilities when it comes to dealing with the Fae. We’ve got Rowena, that crazy older lady we’d seen twice in the last book who turns out to be more important than some regular old batshit hag. We’ve also got the Dreamy Eyed Guy who’s shown up enough times to be considered an actual character without knowing his actual name, and we also have Christian Mackeltar, who works at the Ancient Languages Department of Trinity College, and is yet another alpha male that enters Mac’s life that is total eye-candy–with a sexy Scottish accent to boot!

The rest of the plot would reveal some major spoilers, so you’ll have to actually read the book to see what else happens!

What I Liked:

  1. Mac is Turning Into a Total Badass! The pink loving, Elle Woods-esque barbie doll is still inside her, but that era has been hidden behind a dark makeover, along with more of an edge to her usually bubbly demeanor. Tainted with the need for revenge on her sister, Mac continues to grow and become sharper along the edges as she gets closer to Jericho, and delves deeper into the many mysteries surrounding her, even some new ones that come to light within this title. However, she is still a young woman out in the world for the first time ever, and starts to realize she might be better off not trusting anyone, not even those she’s supposedly allied with. That part is probably the most anxiety inducing: when Mac is thinking inside her head and speculating about everyone and what their motives possibly are, how can she survive amongst all the dangerous players in this deadly game?
  2. There’s More Romance This Time! For a paranormal romance genre series, Darkfever didn’t include much romance, which was disappointing, but also made sense in the sense of setting the scene, plus Mac ain’t no chick that will just let some guy just get it. In this next title, there’s an ember that can quickly escalate into an entire raging storm of fire with the tension building between Mac and Jericho. They don’t trust each other, they keep secrets from each other, and nearly come to blows…but beneath all that lies something sensual and filled with complete unadulterated lust.
  3. V’lane (Again)! The Seelie–good guy Fae–Prince continues to make incredibly brief appearances, but they are filled with meaning and importance. V’lane helps Mac out of a dangerous situation early on, and afterwards their relationships shifts a little bit. She still can’t trust him, but he shows her that he is looking out for her well being…so long as it probably serves his own goals and motivations–which we are still not entirely sure about quite yet….more frustrating questions commence!
  4. The Worldbuilding Continues! Not a whole lot is actually added, but I’d say the foundation we were given in the previous book was just enhanced even further. The author continues by adding layers over everything to make it still feel so new and exciting, and creatures we’ve only heard about in passing may or may not make their first appearance!

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. Left with Even More Questions than Answers…We dive way deeper into the series and a whole lot happens, so much that more and more questions keep popping up, and very few actually get answered…It’s so frustrating!? Was Mallucé really a vampire? Who exactly is the Lord Master? What are everyone’s true intentions? What exactly is Jericho?…there’s plenty more where all of those come from, but that would reveal spoilers, so you get my point…

Conclusion:

This series is quickly becoming an addiction to me, curse my co-worker friend, Erika, who turned my attention onto this series! It’s weird, it’s different, and sounds kind of trashy when I try to explain the series to my other friends, but it’s becoming another one I’m incredibly invested in, both emotionally and financially, as in: I will have no hesitation in throwing some dollar bills someone’s way to keep finding these books and sinking my teeth into them!

The story continues at a slightly slower pace with what feels like some filler in there, most of it is Mac trying to organize her thoughts on everything and figure out what everyone else’s game-plan is exactly. It’s actually making me just as anxious and paranoid, and had started giving me some strange dreams…

These books are going to kill me…especially as I looked and there’s going to be, like 11 books total in this whole series.

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Fantasy, New Adult, New Adult Romance, Paranormal, Romance

My Review: Darkfever (Fever Series #1): by Karen Marie Moning

Publish Date: August 26th, 2008
Number of Pages: 347 Pages
Publisher: Dell
Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Conclusion:

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