You can see the full review at The Bookaholic (More like a 2.5 star rating also)
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.
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.
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.