I was excited to start a new paranormal/urban fantasy series (because I am apparently a glutton for punishment), and I got the audiobook of this one because I was in the mood for something gripping to listen to when I work out. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to my expectations.
The premise is this: MacKayla Lane is a young bartender in her early twenties. She lives in the southern U.S., and her sister is studying in Ireland. Because her cell phone isn't working, she misses an urgent message from her sister, and it isn't until after she finds out her sister has been murdered that she accesses the message. When it becomes apparent that the police are giving up on the case, Mac flies to Ireland herself - against the wishes of her parents - determined to discover her sister's murderer and bring him to justice.
What she doesn't realize is that both she and her sister are "Sidhe seers" - and the Sidhe she sees are unseelie in the extreme and are bent on a nefarious plan that threatens the survival of humanity. Her sister was looking for something called a "Sinsar Dubh," Mac learns, and she decides to discover all she can about whatever that is, in the hope of discovering more about the killer.
The plot was interesting and held my attention, for the most part. The Irish setting was well described, particularly the creepy scenes in which Mac is lost in the fog or navigating the forgotten dark areas of the city. Normally I love a first-person narrator, but Mac had an annoying way of skipping over the central action of a scene (important scenes, I might add), and then describing them later, in retrospect. And there was a lot of "I couldn't have known then, but" and "Later I learned" that interrupted the narrative flow unnecessarily - and often served to dispel the tension and sense of mystery.
It was the character of Mac herself, I think, that prevented me from truly enjoying the book. She is incredibly self absorbed. She describes her outfits, her cosmetic products (and their colors, repeatedly), and her lovely body, shapely legs, glossy hair, etc. And her behavior was baffling to me. She forms a partnership with a man who is physically and emotionally abusive, who gives her reason after reason not to trust him - yet when she meets an old woman who clearly has knowledge of the fae world, knowledge that might help her track down her sister's killer, she choses not to pursue it.
Still, I kept listening, and I know many readers who adore this series - so clearly, while it wasn't my cup of tea, it could well be yours. Moning creates an interesting setting where unseelie forces are poised to break through into the human world at any moment, and there are many intriguing questions raised along the way. Some are answered at the end, but others remain to be explored in further volumes of the series.
Books in the Fever series:
5. Shadowfever (forthcoming)
Darkfever (#1 in the Fever series) by Karen Marie Moning; narrated by Joyce Bean (Brilliance Audio, 2006)
Also reviewed at:
Beyond Books: " The foreshadowing sort of hit you over the head with a blunt object and then poked you in the eye to make sure you knew it was there....Don’t get me wrong, I liked Mac a lot and I think the plot is interesting and the writing is decent."
Cubie's Confections: "I fervently hope the rest of the series lives up to the promise of this first book because it truly blew me away- I read it and then downloaded the audiobook because I needed to listen to it too."
Eat. Sleep. Read: "Moning did a great job of drawing me in right away. Fast paced, witty, suspenseful and completely unpredictable: I couldn't put it down!"
Lissa's Long Yarn: "I tend to like my books to be more self contained. This one felt like it was more of a set up, and full of background information for the rest of the series. So many more questions asked then answered, and I felt like there was very little resolved."
Stacy's Place on Earth: "I got quite a kick out of Mac. She's part Barbie, part fearless spitfire."