Amanda6′s #CBR4 Review 48-52: The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning
Here’s the series, in order:
These five officially complete my Cannonball! Yay! I had initially signed up to do the half-cannonball — a formerly avid reader, I hadn’t really done a lot of reading for pleasure in the past few years, and I was unsure how many books I’d be able to cover. I want to say: THANK YOU Cannonball read, and THANK YOU Pajiba, for giving me the motivation to rediscover reading, one of my true loves in life. For the remainder of this year, I won’t be writing any more reviews, because I’ll probably be re-reading some of my favorite new books that I discovered this year (EDITED TO ADD: Administratively, I’ve done this Cannonball as Amanda6, which was my Pajiba name under the old commenting system. On Disqus, like here on WordPress, I’m alwaysanswerb.)
I read these based on Malin’s reviews. I’m fairly new to urban fantasy and paranormal romance, being somewhat averse to cheese. For some reason, despite that Darkfever cover, Malin’s review convinced me to give these a try, and I’m really glad I did. More about Fever behind the jump…
The series is set in modern-day Dublin, which due to its ancient Gaelic roots in fae magic, is kind of a “ground zero” for interactions between humans and the Fae. The heroine, MacKayla Lane, travels to Dublin with the initially simplistic idea of lighting a fire under the ass of the Dublin police, who had been previously unable to solve her sister Alina’s murder. MacKayla quickly learns that there is a lot more to Alina’s murder than she previously suspected. For one thing, she discovers that she is a sidhe-seer, or a human that can see the Fae, whereas other humans can only see the glamours that the Fae project in order to look human and blend in. Mac finds that she shared this ability with her late sister, and it was these very connections that got Alina killed.
Grappling with these revelations, Mac falls into an uneasy alliance with Jerico Barrons, the ruthless, enigmatic, and powerful owner of a Dublin bookstore. Together, they seek the Sinsar Dubh, a text about which Mac knows little to nothing, other than that the final voicemail she received from Alina implored her to locate it. Barrons has his own reasons for seeking the book, and though his motives are unclear, it is plain to Mac that she needs his help and protection if she is going to pursue her sister’s dying request.
Several other players are introduced: V’Lane, a Fae prince of the Light (Seelie) Court; Rowena, leader of a coven of other sidhe-seers; the Keltar, a clan of Druids; Dani, another sidhe-seer who grows a sisterly bond with Mac; Darroc, Alina’s former lover, and so on. With every book in the series, Mac encounters situations that force her to profoundly change. In Darkfever, she’s bubbly, naive, flippant, and astutely described by Barrons as a lamb to slaughter in the world of the Fae. With his help and her innate intelligence, she’s able to adapt, becoming quite the compelling and kick-ass heroine in the process. If you’re annoyed by her early on — DON’T WORRY. She gets so much better, and you’ll almost certainly end up liking and admiring her even by the end of the second book.
I’m leaving out a lot of detail, particularly regarding the later books, because I don’t want to reveal too much and spoil anything. I would be remiss if I didn’t give lip service to the dynamic between Mac and Barrons, which starts off similarly to how you would expect a lion to interact with a hyperactive chihuahua (Mac is the chihuahua.) Initially, it seems that the only reason Barrons even tolerates her is because she has a particular gift that is uniquely and massively helpful in finding the Sinsar Dubh. These two have some pretty steamy sexual tension throughout the series that is pretty wicked hot. Barrons himself, I can barely describe. Malin may have said it best in her review — he’s the ultimate alpha and a quintessential bastard of literature, which in a romance or romance-adjacent novel is pretty much the pinnacle of sexiness. The combination of their explosive chemistry and the compelling story made these all-nighters for me — I couldn’t put them down. I guess this kind of stuff is more up my alley than I thought it was, because the series became an instant Cannonball favorite and I re-read several parts of every book before returning them to the library, then promptly went and bought them on Amazon. Highly recommended!