Andrea Caro's Reviews > Darkfever

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
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Jan 31, 2011

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bookshelves: ebook, series, blowing-the-rape-whistle, annoying-character, asshole-hero, fae, dumb-heroine, read-in-2011, southern-fried, urban-fantasy, here-lies-misogyny
Recommended to Andrea by: Everybody. No, really.
Recommended for: Hasn't everyone read this already?
Read from January 26 to 31, 2011 , read count: 1

Okay, it's official: I am the last person on the planet to have read Darkfever. I finished it the other morning at exactly four-seventeen and I remember that because I kept glancing at the clock going, why am I awake? and why did I have to run out of sugar-free Red Bull today?

A brief prologue tossed out a bunch of information with terminology that I didn't quite understand, but the first few pages beyong that were pretty great, introducing Mac as this Sookie Stackhouse type character - she's blonde, young, Southern, and she works in a bar. I like Sookie Stackhouse, so my interest was immediately caught. Moning writes about the South in such a way that you know that she's been there and she's not just taking her queues from redneck jokes she looked up on google. I like that. So when it came to the point that Mac decided to go to Ireland to investigate her sister's death after hearing her cryptic voicemail, I was kind of disappointed; I like the Southern aesthetic, okay?

So, Mac. She started off great and swiftly became almost unbearable; I don't think I've ever read a book with a more vapid character. Every other paragraph was about some dumb shade of pink that she was painting her nails or how awesome her legs looked or the flowery/rainbow skirt she was wearing to match her pink nails that made her legs look awesome. This goes on throughout the course of the novel. It's especially bad when Mac is forced to cut and color her hair. She went from vapid to whiny to whiny and vapid. It was bad. Not to mention, I kind of felt like Mac was stupid in a lot of ways. Some of the things she said made me want to punch her for being an idiot. Examples:

- "Should I be calling pubs poos?"
- If you don't know what I mean or you think I'm being melodramatic, then you've never really loved anyone.
- And then this narrative was just gratuitous and unnecessary: I felt as if he'd not only seen me nude but somehow knew I had a tiny heart-shaped mole on the left cheek of my behind, and another on my right breast, just east of my nipple.

Next, there's Jericho Barrons (or Barrens, as this ebook sometimes said - wtf, mate?). I've learned that Jericho, via several reviews, is the love interest. I was kind of disappointed to hear that. Mostly because he's a bag of assholes. After first meeting Mac, he shows up to her hotel room in the middle of the night, threatens her, and proceeds to push her up against the wall with his hand around her throat and kiss her neck. This wasn't sexy; this made my skin crawl. He doesn't get a lot better beyond that, either, considering he's also a giant misogynist. Examples:

- "Go home, Ms. Lane. Be young. Be pretty. Get married. Have babies. Grow old with your pretty husband."
- "As if you could. You might break a nail."
- "Just the latest piece of ass, McCabe."
I no longer had to bite down. I was speechless.
McCabe laughed. "She talk?"
"Not unless I tell her to. Her mouth's usually too full."

There are other examples of misogyny throughout the book, both Barrons' and others, and it's all repugnant. Like I mentioned on some of my statuses, the only way that I was able to get through this book was to imagine Jericho as Colin Farrell. I know it's not supposed to be attractive when anyone treats women the way Jericho does, but for some reason, Colin Farrell makes it tolerable. Don't judge me.

As far as the story itself, I was reasonably impressed. I liked the fact that there was a plot exclusive to this novel, but there was clearly a developing arch that could be explored later. I liked reading about the different types of creatures that were presented, even thought the randomly masturbating many-mouthed one was again, really gratuitous and gross. Even the sex-fae wasn't all that bad, though the scenes in which Mac had to keep putting her clothes back on were ridiculous. The scene in the museum, particularly after Mac showed the spear to V'lane and the glamour dissipated, was horrifying and really triggery for me, but unlike similar triggery issues in Dead Witch Walking, I thought it was more integral to the story in that Mac could have a solid example of what these creatures were capable of. I liked reading about the shadows and the way that they killed, especially.

There's no doubt that the mythology used in this book is rich and explored pretty well. It makes me interested to read the other books in the series to see what other creatures Mac will encounter. I just hope that she's infinitely less annoying in book two than she was in Darkfever.
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Reading Progress

01/26/2011 page 1
0.0% "I need a palate-cleanser after reading the shitbag that is City of Bones."
01/26/2011 page 16
5.0% "I'm only a few pages in and I can see the parallels between this and Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Mysteries. I do love that series, though, so I'm not mad about it."
01/27/2011 page 29
8.0% "Two things: this book could use a good editor and if some old hag started knocking me in the head, I would stab her until her guts looked like raw hamburger. I AM ANNOYED WITH THIS BITCH."
01/27/2011 page 82
24.0% "I know I was told to expect it, but Mac is unbearably annoying and totally stupid and this Barrons dude is a creepy rapist/possible murderer/stalker, what the hell."
01/29/2011 page 125
37.0% "WHAT IS THIS EXCHANGE: McCabe laughed. "She talk?" "Not unless I tell her to. Her mouth's usually too full." WHAT IS THIS WHY IS THIS" 9 comments
01/30/2011 page 200
58.0% "I am no longer really annoyed by Mac. And though I am tired of the degrading comments about women, Barrons is much more likable when I picture him as Colin Farrell, the end." 7 comments

Comments (showing 1-21 of 21) (21 new)

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Flannery It gets better! I thought she was annoying as well but once you fall into the story, she is not as bad...at least, I hope she isn't as bad for you.:-/


Andrea Caro Flannery wrote: "It gets better! I thought she was annoying as well but once you fall into the story, she is not as bad...at least, I hope she isn't as bad for you.:-/"

It's already getting better! To be honest, I think it was a combination of being mad at some random stranger knocking this girl on the head and the fact that I hadn't had my coffee yet. It's kind of reading like Sookie Stackhouse a little, though, and I love that.


Galla Mac drove me nuts in the first book, but yes, hang in there!


Andrea Caro It's not bad, but you can tell Moning was trying to get her sealegs, so to speak. I figure there has to be a reason why EVERYONE I KNOW loves these books, even after five of them.


Andrea Caro I know, I know. I am going to start to read the second book today, I think. I just hope that there's less woman-hatred in the next book.


Andrea Caro I still hate Barrons. So, so much. He's horrible!


message 7: by Eve (new)

Eve Davids Wow. Alright, I shouldnt get too excited about this then. Everything you just explained are things I greatly detest in characters.
Maybe it might be easier if I dont view Barrons as a love interest.
And may I say I luf you for the Colin Farrell bit? Boy, no matter how deplorable, as long as its him, yes, yes, It becomes manageable. I tells the truth! :) :)


message 8: by Vinaya (last edited Jan 31, 2011 03:58AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vinaya @Duchess: Barrons is like chicory coffee. Have you ever had chicory coffee? It's dark and bitter and really, really disgusting. At first. Then you decide to try to add some milk... and a LOT of sugar... and then suddenly, you have this hugely addictive, awesome tasting drink that you can't wake up without! Don't give up on Darkfever because of either of the MCs. They both get really, really addictive as the series goes on!


message 9: by Eve (new)

Eve Davids Alright Vinaya. Taking your word. No to the Chicory coffee, but it reminds of casein protein shakes I used for my workouts, lol.


message 10: by Eve (new)

Eve Davids May I add that with the money I spent on these series, oh boy if I dont like them. Goodreads WILL no the fury of a book buyer scorned! 5,000 words rant!


Andrea Caro TheDuchess wrote: "Wow. Alright, I shouldnt get too excited about this then. Everything you just explained are things I greatly detest in characters.
Maybe it might be easier if I dont view Barrons as a love interest..."


Yep, I wish Barrons wasn't the love interest. I think he's deplorable. But then again, Mac is really annoying, so maybe they're well-suited for each other? I don't know. Just lie back and think of Colin. I swear, it helps!


Andrea Caro Vinaya wrote: "@Duchess: Barrons is like chicory coffee. Have you ever had chicory coffee? It's dark and bitter and really, really disgusting. At first. Then you decide to try to add some milk... and a LOT of sug..."

I've never had chicory coffee, but I understand the metaphor you're trying to make. Honestly, I don't mind the brashness as much as I do his condescension to women. But maybe he redeems himself later. Maybe he does it because he wants to force Mac to go back home and it's the only way he can think to do it, I don't know.


Vinaya I don't think it's so much that he redeems himself later on in the series. I think you just come to understand a lot better why he is the way he is. Which is not to say that there is no change in him at all, because where's the fun in that?! But the fact remains that he oozes machismo and condescension and mysteriousness for most of the series; the difference is that because you know him better, you don't find it as annoying. I hope this happens to you as you progress in the series, because it did to me! Barrons is never going to be a sensitive New Age male, but maybe, just maybe, you'll fall in love with his dominant, alpha self? *crosses fingers*


Andrea Caro Ugh, I don't know if there's any understanding for men who think they're better than women which, based on some of the things that Barrons has said, is exactly what he is. I don't mind an alpha male, but I do think there's a line between alpha male and chauvinist; it's a line which Barrons has clearly crossed based on the dialogue in this book. But I'm going to start reading book two today. Who knows. Maybe I'll change my mind.


Katie Barron is simply trying to wake Mac up...and show her what the real world is like. Tough love. Barbie needs a good dose of reality - Barron's Style! The slow build of the relationship will change your mind about them...keep reading.


Andrea Caro I guess I get that. I'm assuming he can't be this crappy throughout the whole series or else people wouldn't be as crazy about it as they are. I just hope he stops making his remarks about women and he, you know, stops assaulting Mac.


message 17: by Eve (new)

Eve Davids Andrea, I just read the chat Lindsey was talking about. I have a feeling you might want to read it to know where KMM is coming from. Hands down I hate chauvinist pigs and from the reviews it seems Barrons crosses the line. However, when you read KMM's chats it may make you see things differently.

She is a balsy author, and boy, I keep trying not to love her because it seems as if every one does, but every interview of hers I read only makes it more difficult.
Will start the series tomorrow myself.


message 18: by Kj (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kj Andrea wrote: "I still hate Barrons. So, so much. He's horrible!"

I just finished reading this series and was laughing as I read your review. It was spot on with exactly what I was thinking as I read the first book. I despised Mac and thought Barrons was in no way a sexy love interest but I have to say I grew to love their smart ass relationship. Your review also amused me not just because it was so right but because I have read all of the Sookie Stackhouse novels and it never occurred to me how much her and Mac were alike. Looking back though its obvious how simular the two characters are.


Andrea Caro TheDuchess wrote: "Andrea, I just read the chat Lindsey was talking about. I have a feeling you might want to read it to know where KMM is coming from. Hands down I hate chauvinist pigs and from the reviews it seems ..."

I can't wait to see what you think. I mean, apparently Barrons does get better as the series goes on; I refuse to believe that any character is beyond redemption. I started on the second book today, so I may have a wholly different opinion of him when I'm done.


Andrea Caro Kathy wrote: "Andrea wrote: "I still hate Barrons. So, so much. He's horrible!"

I just finished reading this series and was laughing as I read your review. It was spot on with exactly what I was thinking as I r..."


Oh, man, if Mac had been a telepath I'd wonder if I was reading the exact. same. book. Like I was telling someone else, I don't think any character is beyond redemption. I just hope he gets less chauvinistic as the series goes on.


Cogito_ergo_sum I know it is really late to comment (3 years too late), but I agree, I found Mac to be a very annoying character. But I found the plot to be great. The plot in the Fever series is still one of the best plots I've read. Right up there with Harry Potter. Mac does evolve through the series. I think Moning made Mac this stupid on purpose in order for her changes to become more apparent. Mac grows into a character that I like by the end of the first Fever story arc (book 1 to 5). Not really sure what she's doing in the second arc though... (Iced didn't live up to my expectations).

Also, about Barrons, you have to remember that this isn't a romance novel/series. I still don't like his character, but I treat this as just erotic urban fantasy. Yes, there's sex in this series, but it's not about love/romance. Not really.
I think Barrons said all that stuff to Mac (go home and be pretty, etc...) because at that point in time, you couldn't expect anything else from her character. I mean, she did describe every shade of pink there was. I won't say anything else so that I don't ruin book 4 and 5 for you. Not that what he said was nice, fair, or right, but Barrons only treats Mac the way she behaves. Still doesn't make him a likeable character, but at least he is a well developed character. Can't say that finding deep characters is easy in current popular fantasy (YA and adult)fiction.

Hope you enjoy the rest of the books, and I hope Moning doesn't disappoint me in book 7. Book 6 made me weary, but every author is allowed to have an "off" book here and there. I just hope that it was only an "off" book, and not an indicator of the direction the series was heading in.


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