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Review of Darkfever – Book One – by Jennifer J.

If only MacKayla Lane had not dropped her cell phone into her swimming pool, she might have some clues as to who murdered her beloved older sister, Alina. Left to ponder Alina’s very last words to her left in a voicemail, 22-year-old Mac travels across the ocean to Dublin to solve a murder the Dublin police consider hopeless. As she connects with Alina’s friends and college professors, she learns that the life she thought her sister was leading was nothing but a lie. If Mac can find Alina’s hidden diary, she may learn the identity of her sister’s murderer, as well as the truth behind her own heritage.

Mac, like her older sister, is a sidhe-seer. She has the ability to detect otherworldly creatures called the Fae and see past their glamour. Under the tutelage of the handsome, mysterious bookstore proprietor Jericho Barrons, Mac learns how to defend herself against these creatures. But Jericho also has other plans for her–she will help him locate the Sinsar Dubh, a powerful dark Hallow which possesses the power to take over the world of the humans.

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning is a well-paced introduction to a world where Fae, vampires, and other non-humans walk the streets alongside us. To help keep unfamiliar terms such as sidhe-seer and Sinsar Dubh straight, there is a glossary of terms complete with pronunciations located at the back of the book. I found this extremely useful as I read Darkfever, even though Moning straightforwardly defines each of the terms as they become relevant to the plot. Seasoned fantasy readers are likely to have come across things like fae, Hallows, and shades before, but newcomers to the genre who start with Darkfever will definitely appreciate the guide.

[amazonify]0440240980[/amazonify]The first novel in the series patiently presents the setting, develops the main characters, and delivers an engrossing murder mystery with plenty of twists and turns along the way. Though it’s tagged as a romance novel, I consider it to be more of an urban fantasy akin to books written by Kim Harrison and Charlaine Harris. It’s subtly implied that a romance might occur between Mac and Jericho, but Moning is rightly saving that for a future installment.

As the book reaches a conclusion, Mac and Jericho are still getting a feel for each other, and Mac still isn’t sure if Jericho can be trusted. None of Jericho’s secrets have yet been revealed, and he is by far the most intriguing character; I’m absolutely stumped as to who-or what-he might be.

As someone who considers herself well-read in the fantasy/romance genre, I can confidently say that this series has the potential to become one of my all-time favorites.

Check back for our reviews of more MacKayla Lane novels starting in October!

Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.

Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by Dell Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.