I discovered Karen Marie Moning’s DARKFEVER in Saigon of all places. Bought it, now reading it as I crash after days of high energy being a tourist, really enjoying it! the heroine starts out shallow but gutsy–which is not a minus in my book. The adventure is so much more intense if everything is bewildering at first, experienced by someone who has a lot of growing up to do to survive.
The story – pretty and sheltered, mackayla or mac only worries about her makeup, pink outfits, and earning enough college units to keep her parents happy. But her pretty little world shatters when her older sister gets killed in Dublin.
But before her sister dies, she calls mac on her cellphone, leaving a voice message about having to find the Sinsar Dubh. For the first time, she leaves her southern hometown and travels to Dublin to get the cops to reopen the case. But in dublin, she starts seeing shadows that move on their own and runs into menacing bookstore owner barrons, who tells her she is a sidhe seer, one who can see through fae glamor and thus a prime target for the light and dark fae.
Mac is scornful, suspicious; her modern sensibilities affronted by tales of fairies coming to get her. Then she sees more of the dark fae… and they definitely were out to get her!
So she reluctantly joins Barrons in a search for objects of power (oops, as Mac irreverently calls them). The Sinsar Dubh, it turns out, is a million-year old book containing the darkest and most powerful spells in the world. They must find it even as they discover the walls between fae and humans are falling down–more and more of the dark fae, abominations all of them, are pouring into our world, seeking life and beauty so they can steal them or destroy them…
Mac starts out as insipid, but as things become complicated we see her changing, motivated by grief, a desire to find her sister’s killer and avenge her, and maybe discovering a concern for something outside her small world defined by herself and family as she witnesses what the fae can do to people… Even the light fae destroys by sex; humans who have intercourse with the fae becomes addicted to sex, wasting away until they die of despair.
I rarely finish a book in record time these days because of so many distractions, but i did this one. The plot is gripping, the characters enigmatic (good guys aren’t really good; V’lane, the light fae prince, keeps trying to subjugate mac into acquiescing to rape by force of his sex magic), the setting exquisite (the foggy streets of Dublin, heels tapping on cobblestone roads, pubs and bookstores as beacons in a city being overrun by monsters), and there is enough tension between mac and Barrons to keep me wondering whether these two could be an item in future volumes.
Barrons is also sufficiently mysterious. Who is he really?
Tomorrow, i’m going to scour the bookstores for the sequels, else i won’t be able to sleep!