Here's the synopsis for the first book Darkfever from Karen Marie Moning's website:
MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman. Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.The Fever series books are a dark, complex urban fantasy stories where tidbits of information are dangled before you in action packed series of events. As you read these books, you'll follow MacKayla "Mac" Lane on her deadly journey of discovering just who she is and watch her grew from a simple, naive woman into a strong woman who wants to do whatever it takes to avenge her sister's murder and hopefully save the world.
When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle 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, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, 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 the very fabric of both worlds in their hands. . . .
Everyone seems to be suspect and keeping their own secrets, so Mac learns quickly to not trust those around her, even the ones who say they are trying to help her and swear to keep her safe. There is the dark, dangerous and secretive Jericho Barrons, who no one will tell her much about because they are all terrified of him. Mac doesn't trust Barrons because he's not very forthcoming with information, he works on a need to know basis with her. But she finds herself attracted him and the attraction is reciprocated by Barrons, which she keeps denying to herself. Then there is V'Lane, a death by sex fae prince, who appears to want to help her find the Sinsar Dubh, the deadly book of dark magic, but his actions also give Mac the notion he may have some ulterior motives.
All of these books end with major emotional cliffhangers. Of course the cliffhangers didn't really bother me until I got to one in the fourth book Dreamfever. So now, I have to wait. And while I'm glad I finally read these books, a part of me wishes I had waited until the final book Shadowfever released. Yeah, I was warned by several people that I should wait but I had to know what everyone was talking about. I heard through the grapevine that the fifth and final installment is suppose to have a HEA ending.
I want to mention that these books are always listed as paranormal romance when in fact they are true urban fantasy stories. I even found these books in the romance section instead of in the fantasy section at Borders, which I think is misleading because even though Mac has two very attractive men trying to help her stay alive, there is very little romance that involves a couple per se in these books so far. But there are several very sensual, heated scenes scattered throughout these books.
Why did these books appeal to me so much? It was the dangerous characters, the action, mystery, suspense, magic and very realistic world building on Karen's part is why. And I liked that throughout these books the characters remain true to their personalities. I really enjoy a dark, gritty urban fantasy full of danger around every corner but also one that can also alleviate the doom and gloom with humorous, sometimes sarcastic banter between characters or within their thoughts. You get all of this in the Fever series. Here's a tidbit of a lighter moment from Bloodfever, that will give you a feel for what I mean, this is Mac trying to deny and rationalize her attraction to Barrons:
"I found it staggeringly erotic. Disturbed, I performed a hasty mental calendar count. I was ovulating. That explained it. I get indiscriminately horny for three days when I am: the day before, the day of, and the day after. Mother Nature's sneaky little way of ensuring survival of the human race, I guess. I check out guys I wouldn't normally look at, especially ones in tight jeans. I catch myself trying to decide if they're lefties or righties. Alina used to laugh and say if you can't tell, Junior, you don't want to know."I liked these books so much that I might even reread these when the fifth and final book comes out. Those of you who read my blog regularly know I don't reread, this in it's self says how great of a read these books were for me. And I do mean GREAT. So now the countdown to Shadowfever begins, which will be sometime in 2010, I hope.
Click on the book covers to read about each book at the author's website.