My Book Rating System

My book rating system is based on 5 stars. The book must be rated at least 3 stars for a review.

3 Stars: Good story, good plot, good writing.

4 Stars: I was wowed, but something about the story fell short of perfection.

5 Stars: I was either drooling, on the edge of my seat, or falling in love.

If you would like me to review your book, please contact me at

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Book Review: Darkfever, by Karen Moning

Karen Moning

22 year-old Mac is devastated over her sister's unsolved death. She flees her sultry home in Georgia to land in Ireland, intending on kicking some life back into the lifeless investigation. What she finds is a dark world of the fae, come to life right before her supernatural eyes. She's drawn to this parralel life in the hope of solving her sister's murder, aided by a mysterious man, named Barrons, who also has one foot planted in this surreal world.

I liked the premise of this book quite a bit. If you're new to the world of fae (as I am) everything is rather clear to the noob. The characters, though not exactly lovable, are vivid and clear and easy to imagine, right down to the blush pink nail polish. When I think of Mac, I think of Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde. Ms. Moning has painted quite a vision. It was a world I could see and believe in.

There are some things I didn't like. For one, all the ominous foreshadowing. The "if I only knew then what I know now" statements that are sprinkled throughout the book. I'll allow it, once, in the prologue, but not in the story. I'm more the "just tell the damned story and quit trying to interject your thoughts and spoil it thank you very much" kind of girl. If a character is going down the wrong path, don't tell me that...let me learn it on my own as I read. Let the surprise take me away. Nothing says "spoiler alert" like a statement "It would turn out to be one of those things I was wrong about". There are more creative ways to end a chapter.

I also don't like my action broken up by mini info-dumps. You know, when you're right in the middle of a scene, and the author has to pull you out of the action to let you know that the reason the character is doing or feeling or knowing something is because, back when she was a little girl, she used to do X with her dad? Um, no. I don't want to skip down memory lane right when something major is going to happen. Put up the road block and let the action play out.

I just couldn't feel any connection to Mac, who is shallow and concerned about hair and makeup and clothes. She's not the sort I would pick out in a crowd and say, "Let's be BFFs!" Squeal, giggle, hug. I couldn't care about what she was going through.

The other thing that was missing for me, besides not wanting to be BFFs with Mac, was emotional investment. I wasn't feeling it. Part of it was because of the telling and not showing. I don't feel the anger Mac is feeling with lines like "I was getting madder by the minute". You and read on but the emotional bank account is kind of empty. The same goes for the sensual aspects of the story. Didn't feel anything there either.

Oh, and I found it annoying that the epic battle scene at the end virtually didn't take place on the pages of the story. It was over in like 1/2 a page. I couldn't picture what even happened, other than Mac swiping, slashing and dodging. What the hell's up with that? That's either kind of lazy writing or lack of imagination on the author's part, because I wasn't given enough information here to actually "see" what was going on.

I will say this: the last third of the book rocked (except for the aforementioned battle scene), and by this time Mac had grown up a little and I'm kind of liking the woman she's turning out to be. I even almost like Barrons, whose mystery appears to live on in the sequel. There are issues I want to see play out, questions I want answered, and mysteries resolved. Despite the rather long list of annoyances I portrayed here, they're not enough to keep me from reading more in the series. I look forward to it.

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