donderdag 3 maart 2011

Karen Marie Moning – Darkfever

The first book in the MacKayla Lane or Fever series, published October 2006.


My name is MacKayla, Mac for short. I’m a sidhe-seer, one who sees the Fae, a fact I accepted only recently and very reluctantly.
My philosophy is pretty simple – any day nobody’s trying to kill me is a good day in my book. I haven’t had many good days lately. Not since the walls between Man and Fae came down. But then, there’s not a sidhe-seer alive who’s had a good day since then.

When MacKayala’s sister was murdered, she left a single clue to her death - a cryptic message on Mac's cell phone. Journeying to Ireland in search of answers, Mac is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to master a power she had no idea she possessed - a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….
As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister's death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho … while at the same time, the ruthless V’lane - an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women - closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac's true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book - because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of both worlds in their hands….

Mac Kayla has a good life in a little village in Georgia. She is a pretty blonde, who works parttime as a bartender and spends another part studying what she likes. She has no real goal in life, and is fine with that. Her older sister Alina is a real studyhead, and is spending time at the prestigiousTrinity College in Dublin, Ireland, having a good time. Or so she thinks.
While her parents are on a cruise, Mac gets a call from the Dublin police, informing her they found her sister murdered in an alley. Her whole world collapses, and they just can’t cope with it. Her parents are grief-stricken, and it is not like the Dublin police will ever solve the case. They shelf it after only three weeks.
So Mac is determined to go to Dublin herself to persuade the police to pick the case right up, the message on her cell phone should give more clues, to clean out her sisters apartment, and just to go looking for clues herself. But she gets way more than she bargained for. The Dublin police won’t cooperate, the Dublin people are not nice either, and her first night in Dublin she sees something strange. A very handsome stranger walks into the pub, and swipes an expensive bottle of whiskey from the shelves, and starts drinking from it. When she wants to say anything about it, an old woman is suddenly in front of her, warning her not to give them away with staring at something no one else seems to notice.
And who is she, Mac has to be an O’Connell, and a sidhe-seer. Mac has no idea what the woman is talking about, and leaves fast.
When she gets lost on the way back to her hotel, she wanders in a huge bookshop to ask for directions, and for what it means what Alina was talking about. The mentioning of the sinsar dubh alone gives her startled reactions, and the warning to stay out of it and leave for home. While she still can. Of course Mac ignores all the warnings, even when Jeremy Barrons, the owner of the bookstore, shows up in her hotel in the middle of the night to try to find out what Mac knows about anything and to warn her again.
She has a job to do, she has to find her sisters murderer. And her diary. It has to be full with answers to her questions.
But the very next evening, Mac witnesses something horrible happening. Behind the facade of a handsome young men, out with his ladyfriend, there is a huge monster, who is sucking the life and prettiness out of the woman. It takes all the willpower she has to keep from giving herself away, and she flees back to Barrons’ bookshop. She doesn’t get much answers, but at least she is save there. Or is Jeremy Barrons her enemy too?
After some more incidents, Barrons tells her she is a sidhe-seer, and a null, she can see through Fae magic, and immobilize them with her touch. And she can sense Fae artefacts, or Hollows. He will use her powers to find the things he is after, especially the Sinsar Dubh. But of course more people are after it, and they make some mighty enemies out of them. The more Mac learns about this frightening new world, the more it confuses her. She never wanted to be a super hero, have the faith of the world upon her shoulders, but she does finally realise she will have to fight this war. When they find one of the most famous weapons in history, Mac keeps it to fight the Unseelie Fay, and kill them.
But the Seelie Fay are no better in her eyes. They are not that horrible to see, but when she meets V’Lane, the Seelie Prince, he excudes sex. He makes her undress herself, without her noticing it, and only her anger keeps her safe from being raped by him. Yes, he can make her body respond against her will, but he also takes her free will away from her, and that is just as evil as what the Grey Man does. He also wants her to find the Sinsar Dubh and the other artefacts, but for him and his mother, the Queen, who has disappeared. And he will make her obey him.

It took me a while to pick this one up again. I started reading it right after I finished her Highlanders/MacKeltar series (which I totally adored), and the difference in style and subject put me off. But the fact that this series has ended, and that all the books ended with a kind of cliff-hanger, has made me finally pick it up again, so I can read the whole series at once if I want to.

It took me a while to start to like MacKayla. She is nothing like myself. She likes to dress herself to the nines, accessorise, perfect make-up. She grows up fast, when faces with the danger Alina found. She really wants to go home, turn her back on the horrors that haunt Dublin, but she won’t give up. She stays, and she fights.
She has no idea what Barrons is for creature, and he won’t tell her. At this time, I believe he is a vampire. He doesn’t want to tell her how to kill one, he killed the other one, she sees him only after dark, and he does have mind powers, and just appears in front of her. So my best guess at this time, a vampire. I am very curious to find out if I am right.

What I didn’t like about this book, is Mac’s habit to talk to the reader. Giving some hindsight, comments, on what is happening at the moment in the book. It does fit in the story, but it is not something I like in a book. Still, I will finish this series, but for now, some brand new ones are calling my name.

7 stars.

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