Book Review: Dark Fever

Dark Fever by Karen Marie Moning

I picked up Dark Fever for two reasons: it was popular in the Urban Fantasy genre and Karen Marie Moning attended Purdue University (I live outside of West Lafayette – some will make the connection).

I liked Dark Fever! I’d describe this book as pure fun.

I rate it 20 out of a possible 25. (see My Book Reviews for rating explanation)

The premise: When MacKayla (Mac) Lane’s sister is murdered in Dublin, Ireland, Mac leaves her safe sanctuary in small-town Georgia to hunt down her sister’s killer. The more she uncovers, the more obvious it becomes that this was not just a random murder. It’s not long before Mac begins to see strange, sometimes horrible, things. Monsters and demons lurking within the city, preying on unsuspecting victims who don’t appear to notice the monstrosities before them. She meets a mysterious man named Jericho Barrons who informs her she possesses a secret power called Sidhe-Seer – the power to see Fae for what they really are. The same power her sister had possessed. Mac’s world turns to chaos as she navigates an underworld she never knew existed and learns the stakes are much higher than she’d ever imagined.

I’ve read several Urban Fantasy novels, all of which appear to be part of their own series, and I can honestly say, this is one of my favorites. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not much of a series reader (though recently I’ve read many) and I don’t typically purchase the next book in a series, even if I enjoyed the first one. I’m not sure why that is, exactly, but I’ve chalked it up to the fact that there are just so many stories out there and since I read so slow, I don’t want to spend all of my time with only one character or story.

But I might end up purchasing the next one in this series, just to see where it goes. I’m genuinely interested in what happens to Mac and where she ends up. That makes for a good novel in my opinion.

Karen Marie Moning delivered on this one!

Here are my thoughts and ratings on Dark Fever.

Craft (5) – Well-written! Moning’s style is a delight to read. Her writing flows effortlessly from thought to action to dialogue. It’s easy to engulf the words with no stumbling, re-reading, or clunky sentence structures. As someone who loves to read, but reads so slow it’s frustrating, I’ve developed a true appreciation for writing styles that allow me read at a faster pace. This is talent, my friends, and Moning has it.

Pace (3) – The story’s pace wasn’t bad. There were a lot of explanations and world-building that had to take place, but several times I wanted something to happen. Thankfully, Moning’s writing strength maintained the compelling descriptions and kept me reading as Mac did a lot of thinking about stuff, and she spent a lot of time with Barrons talking about stuff. It was interesting stuff, don’t get me wrong, but I craved more action. I’d guess the subsequent books in this series are packed with action. I’m hoping so, anyway!

Characters (3) – I enjoyed the characters. Mac is funny, cute, and a badass! Jericho Barrons intrigued the hell out of me. The interactions worked well and I made a connection. Especially the scene where Mac visits the deserted alley where her sister was murdered. My god, that scene was executed perfectly and I felt her pain. Downright chilling. Now before I give the negative, I want to preface that this may be my own little hang-up, that maybe my male observation intruded, but Mac’s appearance seemed cliché to me. Don’t get me wrong, I liked that she was cute, young, and full of vitality, but her character seemed similar to many other female characters in this genre.

Story (5) – I loved the story. Dark Fever is one of many Urban Fantasy, beautiful female badasses as leads stories (which were very popular during the time period that this one published, the early 2000s), but I felt this one had a unique enough spin that it stood out. For me, it was Jericho Barrons. I want to know who this guy is and what role he plays in this universe where the Fae is invading our planet. I also found the idea that Fae are actually an alien race to be intriguing as well.

Ending (4) – It ended well, but with many questions still remaining. I’m glad it concluded in an action-packed fight scene! Definitely enjoyable. I’m going to leave the ending rated at 5 because it really was a great ending that propelled you to the end of the book, but I would have liked to have a few more questions answered. Effectively, nothing was concluded or resolved. I’m hedging that the rest of the series brings all of this to closure and I’ll take this ending for what it is – a platform for all of the future books.

If you’re looking for a fun book and are okay with a quirky, cute female main character, then you’ll enjoy Dark Fever. I certainly did.

My recommendation is to get it!

It’s genre specific, so if you enjoy Urban Fantasy, you’ll probably love it. That said, it’s not so specific that you wouldn’t enjoy it if you decided to step out of your safe-zone and try something new.

Feel free to leave your thoughts. As always, I’d love to hear them. And I hope you enjoy Dark Fever!