Thursday, August 22, 2013

Darkfever (Fever, #1) by Karen Marie Moning * *

Darkfever is a novel that is in the very popular supernatural YA category. Mercifully, this first instalment of the series skips the trope of the girl falling madly in love at first sight with a mysterious man, though there are signs that it's in her future. Still, not just yet.

I rated it just 2 stars, because it was just okay. I can't say it was terrible, like New Moon, which was 1 star, but I also can't say that I liked it. It was just okay. The reason for it is not in the story itself, or the writing. The story was fine. It kind of blew some of the plot on the first page. The story is told from the perspective of a future Mac, the main character, who doesn't just tell the story, but also comments on it, almost like she has an agenda, like self-reflection. Therefore, foreshadowing is a big thing in the narration.
It's also not very fast-paced, because it does stop often to make room for what we could call "fillers". One kind of filler that drove me crazy and I started skipping it at about 53%, was outfit descriptions. I don't just mean things like "he wore all black". We get descriptions from the maker of shirts to the heel of boots. They don't add to the story and are not even interesting, pretty, or artistic. They really just seem to be there to add word numbers. Things like these stop the flow of the story, and even when there were action scenes, the descriptions, and other motion-stopping fillers just kept coming. Therefore, instead of smooth camera action, you get a serious of stills and slow motion footages. Sometimes it gets so distracting, that you lose track of what is actually happening.
Otherwise, the story itself is not bad. The world that is built is interesting, and has a lot of potential. There are two types of Fae, and I'm not really spoiling here, since that is basically on the first page. They are not just dark and light haired faries, but more diverse.
The writing is not bad either. Sometimes you even get highlights, especially in the way emotions are told. They can be kind of pretty in places. That was a saving grace in the story, and one of the places where I actually almost liked it.

The characters are the main reason why I gave it 2 stars. I just couldn't care about any of them, nor like them.
MacKayla Lane is the main character in the story, and her older version is the narrator. Most of the time her older self sounds more interesting, than the younger one. At the start she is quite shallow. Moning tried to deepen her character by liking books, but she must read only romance novels, because otherwise she doesn't sound all that smart or knowledgeable. She's also pretty bad with technology, which in the 21st century is odd from a young person. For example, there is a part where she's trying to find a street. Does she use Google, or Google maps, or something like that? No. She gets maps from a store. Another thing that bothered me about her characterization was that she was too Southern. Especially in the first half she was all magnolia trees and fried chicken, to the point of exhaustion.
The other main character is Jerricho Barrons. He's the enigmatic love interest, without there being much of an interest in love. He's so enigmatic, I really don't know much about him other than he wears a lot of black. In fact, his secrecy is taken so far, that instead of being sexy and interesting, to me he's totally boring. He hardly ever answers any questions, when he's supposed to be the character that introduces Mac into this other world. He also keeps calling the main character "Ms Lane", which is annoying, especially because he inserts it into every other sentence. It's not needed in the context, and just weird after a while.
There are some minor characters. For example, a strange old woman that pops up in a few convenient places to move along a plot line. Not even in likely places. Which old lady goes to a pub at night, or to the museum in their own city?
Another is V'lane, who is just annoying at this point. He's the only Light Fae that we meet, and doesn't rank high up in the likeability scale. I also can't stand his power, which is humiliating, and disgusted me so much, I had to page through his scenes. Mercifully there were only a few.

Overall, the book isn't bad. Some people even love it. However, the author failed to make me care for the characters, and because of that, I couldn't enjoy the story. They could have all died in the end, and I would have been glad. It is worth giving a shot to though, and I'm not saying I'll never read on. However, for now, I want to read about people I actually give a damn about.

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