Monday, July 15, 2013

July 2013 Book Review: Darkfever


By Karen Marie Moning
~Book Review~

*Minor Spoilers*

THIS HIGHLY ADDICTING START to the five-book Fever Series introduces a darkly atmospheric Dublin full of twists, turns, and vicious fey who feed on the unwary at night. All of this is made highly amusing when picturing heroine “Mac” toddling along the dusky streets, as she is a self-professed lover of all things pink and often likened to a Barbie doll. The sheltered twenty-two-year old lives a blissful life in the South, sipping on sweet tea and working on her tan. However, when she receives an odd message from her sister staying abroad in Ireland, followed by the news of her horrific murder, Mac takes it upon herself to track down her sister’s killer.

Mac’s reluctant guide in Dublin is the mysterious Jericho Barrons, a sexy and aloof bookshop owner who agrees to help Mac for reasons of his own. The tension absolutely crackles between these two, particularly as Mac has a habit of doing the opposite of everything Barrons orders. However, when it becomes apparent that Mac can sense Fey artifacts, there’s no way Barrons is letting Mac go anywhere. Both Mac’s sister’s fate and the key to ruling the mortal and Fey worlds seems to be tied to the fabled Sinsar Dubh, a book of immense power in Celtic lore, and the unlikely pair set off to find it.

I really enjoyed the mystery of *what* Barrons is and the power that radiates off of him in every scene—he may be a jackass, but he’s a very compelling one. Equally as fascinating is the death-by-sex Fae Prince V’lane. Yes. I just said “death-by-sex.” Moning’s imagination absolutely shines when writing about Mac’s encounters with the Dark Fey. There are some truly grotesque ones, and picturing them lurking in the foggy streets of Dublin after the pubs close is wonderfully spine-tingling. Both Barrons and V’lane are ruthless, ambitious, and multi-layered—which makes the innocent Mac’s relationships with them a tad uncomfortable.

It was difficult to respect Mac. It should be easy enough; the girl’s flown across the Atlantic to track down her sister’s murderer, and that takes guts. However, the pink love affair was blown over the top, making it hard to take her seriously when she took a stand against Barrons. Oftentimes she challenged him out of sheer obstinacy (hiding important clues and information), and not because it was the smart decision, which made her feel pouty and immature. Kudos to Moning for creating a heroine who has a backbone, but a whining, self-absorbed Barbie doll is damn near impossible to like. Let’s toast a pint of Guinness to hoping Mac matures in future installments. 
Despite an irritating protagonist, the story is well-told. The pacing idles and surges ahead at all the right moments, making the book nearly impossible to put down. When you reach the “end,” you will curse the universe for being unfair, as there is not much in the way of finality. It feels like the brakes were unnecessarily pumped on the story (ahem, publisher’s decision?). As I obviously enjoyed the world-building behind the Dark Fey and the mystery of the sinister Sinsar Dubh, I can happily report that the series concludes satisfactorily in Book V—but it is definitely recommended to have the next book on hand.

Recommended for fans of: Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, and Anne Bishop
August Book Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Author Spotlight: Multiculturalism in YA Fantasy, Sci Fi, Paranormal, and Fun Books

Hi Everyone! To folks in the US, I hope you have a lovely Fourth of July weekend!

I was recently selected for an Author Spotlight in the Goodreads Groups, "Multiculturalism in YA Fantasy, Sci Fi, Paranormal, and Fun Books." I've had a lot of fun participating in the thoughtful discussions here and meeting folks from all over the globe. It's fantastic to hear about so many other indie books that are breaking out of the mainstream, Euro-centric mold. You'll definitely want to be part of the discussion. Check it out here:

For those of you who don't know, this Goodreads groups is moderated by the fabulous duo Libertad and Guinevere, who run a wonderfully thought-provoking blog dedicated to celebrating multicultural entries into YA fantasy. They conduct book reviews, host discussions, and keep us updated on their upcoming novels, so please drop by!

July Book Review of the Month coming soon! Karen Marie Moning is well-known for her Scottish romance novels, but in her dark fantasy Fever Series, we get to go to Ireland :) I had the marvelous opportunity to spend time over there in the small coastal town of Galway, so I'm excited to revisit old legends of the Sidhe in Dark Fever.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Author Interview

Hi All,

I was recently interviewed by fellow author Alexandra Butcher, who hosts a great blog for readers and authors to interact at the Library of Erana. Alexandra is also the author of The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles. 

You can find the interview here

To US readers, have a great Fourth of July!