Review: The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning

I've had the first three books to the Fever series sitting on my bookshelves for months but I didn't crack the first book open until I started seeing all the chatter on blogs and Twitter a few weeks back when Dreamfever, the fourth book in this series released. It seemed everywhere online, someone was saying something fabulous about this series. So I finally started Darkfever and proceeded to inhale these books. As soon as I finished one book I went straight to the bookshelf for the next plus I ordered Dreamfever so it would be here when I finished Faefever, I wanted no lag time. Because of this, the Fever books are one big story in my head so I figured I would just do a general series review instead of individual book reviews. I'm going to try and do this spoiler free.

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.

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. . . .
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.
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.
Book 1
Reviewed by
Book 2
Reviewed by
Book 3
Reviewed by
Book 4
Reviewed by


Anonymous said...

Hi :)
Thank you for the great review and the links & covers.
I have two of the four to be read still - I discovered this series & her from Twitter!
All the best,
PS - You can download DARKFEVER for free here for those who want to start this excellent series:

Unknown said...

Such a great series, though I've only read the first 2 books. Holding out for #5, but don't think I'll last that long!

Mandi said...

Reread?!? ;)

I am definitely on the fever series train. Love them. Can't wait to see how she is going to end the whole thing.

Patti (@TheLoveJunkee) said...

This series is on my keeper shelf. Ms. Moning is the queen of cliffhangers, isn't she? Can't wait to see how she wraps it all up in book 5.

SusiSunshine said...

Sounds great. I haven't read these books and everyone says they're great. I should definitely start soon.
Wonderful review hon!

Carolyn Crane said...

Thank you for this!! As somebody who hasn't started the series at all, I love this whole-series treatment. I love the excerpt you chose, too. I wonder if it's something with the covers, but I sort of never grocked what these books actually ARE. Needless to say, though, I'm putting them on my GET NOW list.

Donna said...

RKCharron - I really, really enjoyed KMM's Fever books. This series is one where you keep asking yourself "Why did I wait so long to read these?!!"

Stacy - *wondering just how long you can hold out...* ;)

Mandi - Yes! I actually want to reread these! Can you believe it? I'm going to head over to your post tonight on Dreamfever, I want to read your thoughts on it.

Patti - There's no question about these being on my keeper shelf, I love these books. It's been a long while that a set of books made me forget about my other obligations. Like food, sleep, family, work... ;)

Susi - I hope you like these books, I bet you do. We seem to like a lot of the same books. You'll be as addicted as the rest of the Fever fans.

Carolyn - The covers of these books don't make much sense until you read them, then you say "Ah, I get it now..." I'm really glad you liked this review format, and I made double sure I put in NO spoilers. If liked that excerpt, you love the books, Mac ponders may things in this fashion. :)

suzie townsend said...

I loved the first book but was actually a little disappointed in book 3 because not that much happened. I'm really excited to see what happens in the end of the series, though, and I've heard good reviews of this new one! I'm excited to read it!

Blodeuedd said...

That sure sounds like one big cliffhanger at the end of book 4 scary!
But I do wanna start this series...even if I could wait with book 4

Leontine said...

I wouldn't mind a re-read Fever club next year and Donna, the quote made me laugh again and I am glad you enjoyed yourself so with these series. When I have this I always wonder why they sat on my shelves so long without me reading them instantly :D

Mishel (P.S. I Love Books) said...


Well I only have Darkfever and now that I know all of them have cliffhangers I think I'm gonna get the other three so I'll be ready for them =)

I know I'll love them because if you plan on re-reading them or even consider rereading them I know they are THAT good lol

Lea said...

Stellar review and post Donna. I haven't added these books to the stacks yet but maybe I will at some point, I've never read a bad thing about them.

Thanks for sharing!

ediFanoB said...

Great post Donna!
I forwarded the link immediately to my wife who like this kind of books.

Alexia561 said...

I keep hearing so many good things about this series and have had them on my wishlist for so long that I think I'm going to have to finally break down and get them all! :D

Thanks for sharing!

Penny Watson said...

Hi Donna! I just reviewed Dreamfever, too! Holy Macarena! Sooooooo good! It's my favorite read of 2009!

Chris said...

I'm waiting until all the books are out before I read any more of the series. I'm still bitter about how #3 ended!

Kimberly Swan said...

Hi Donna - I've really enjoyed this series, but those cliffhanger endings have been a killer. Reading them all in a row that way would be wonderful. :)

Tricia said...

Love the way you did the review Donna and I'm so happy you loved them too!! We have a very long year to wait for Shadowfever!

Donna said...

suzie - Oh yes, you should get your hands on Dreamfever! A lot happens in the 4th book!!

Blodeuedd - I'm so glad I read these books, even though there is a small part that wishes I waited. But nothing beats that feeling of finding a great series. :)

Leontine - Yes, we should revisit a reread or maybe a spoiler chat of some sort right before the last book comes out.

Mishel - Yes! Can you believe the thought of rereading these book crossed my mind? I keep thinking of certain parts of the books...

Lea - The Fever series should definitely be on your TBR (even if this latest series add topples the TBR :) )!! You won't be sorry. ;)

Donna said...

ediFanoB - You'll need to let me know what your wife thinks of the books once she reads them. I hope she enjoys them as much as I did. :)

Alexia - Yep good idea on getting them all. Because after you read the first book and if you don't have the next, you will be running to store to get the next. Just hope it's not midnight... :)

Penelope - The Fever series is hands down my favorite series this year!!! Book 5 can't get here soon enough!

Chris - I know what you're talking about on book 3. That has was a very traumatic ending, but I think for the most part book 4 makes up for it except the cliffhanger on book 4 is, well OMFG!!!

Kimberly - Yes, I did enjoyed being able to read these back to back because of the cliffhangers. Karen is the Queen of walking on pins & needles when it comes to the ending of these books. ;)

Tricia - Thanks! Oh, I know! I just wish they would set a date, it helps a little with the wait. Just as long as it's not something like Dec. 31, 2010!

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