Exciting. Consuming. Addictive. Imaginative.
An all-engrossing story that transpires amid a dark and
sinister underworld populated by a host of intriguing,
well-developed characters that left me hungry for more.
Mystery, action, murder, passion, revenge… this book has it all!
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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 Vlane–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….
“It began as most thing begin. Not on a dark and stormy night. Not foreshadowed by ominous here comes the villain music, dire warning at the bottom of a teacup, or dread portents in the sky. It began small and innocuously, as most catastrophes do. A butterfly flaps its wings somewhere and the wind changes, and a warm front hits a cold front off the coast of western Africa and before you know it you’ve got an hurricane closing in. By the time anyone figured out the storm was coming, it was too late to do anything but batten down the hatches and exercise damage control.”
I just finished this book and I’m literally forcing myself to write this review because all I want to do is keep reading! I was utterly consumed by Karen Marie Moning’s world, her story, her characters. I loved everything about this book and it had honestly been awhile since a book evoked this frenzied excitement in me.
I reveled in the original realm she’s developed. Despite there being many books that deal with the Fae, I thought her take of it to be imaginative and distinct, vividly capturing the evil and ugliness that lurks in the shadowed streets of Dublin. The multidimensional characters and the connections between them are intriguing, helping to fully engross you in the allure of this suspenseful story line. The story itself really had it all… blood-curling evil, mystery, revenge, action, power and the undeniable glamor of the underworld. I was just fully and undeniably enraptured by the story… I could see it, feel it, as if I was there myself. The characters are well-developed, although there is so much more to be learned, of that I am decisively sure.
MacKayla Lane lives is a 22-year-old girl, who enjoys her life as a bartender and lives with her parents in a “po-dunk little town in steamy southern Georgia.” She relishes in her girly ways… her manicured nails, her perfectly put-together outfits and her sunshine blonde hair. Her life is perfect and happy. She didn’t expect her existence to shift so dramatically the moment she learns of the violent murder of her older sister, Alina, who had been studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland. With her parents shattered and lost in their grief and local authorities hitting dead ends, she took it upon herself to avenge her sister and discover the real truth behind what transpired.
“Rage watered my parched soul. I wanted answers. I wanted justice. I wanted revenge. I seemed to be the only one.”
When MacKayla arrives in Dublin, she quickly uncovers that her sister led a duplicitous life, one surprisingly entangled in the dark, magical and corrupt world of the dark Fae. Her investigation takes her across unknown streets of the city, through dark alleys and amidst the threat of looming shadows. I know there are some that don’t love MacKayla, but I thought she was a great character. I loved that she is an atypical heroine who clearly doesn’t belong, but whom musters the courage from within to find out what happened to her sister. She’s intelligent, fiesty, but very real. For a girl who’s entire world gets flipped in what seems like an instant, she does exceptionally well. She’s driven by the mystery too, trying to piece the almost non-existent clues together.
“I was flabbergasted. I was betrayed. There was a whole huge part of my sister’s life that she’d been withholding from me for months. What kind of danger had she been in? What had she been trying to keep me out of? Until what was safer for us? What did we have to find?”
One ominous evening, she gets lost and stumbles upon Barron’s Books and Baubles. Enter Jericho Barrons (and cue heart palpitations)…
“He wasn’t handsome. That was too calm a word. He was intensely masculine. He was sexual. He attracted. There was an omnipresent carnality about him, in his dark eyes, in his full mouth, in the way he stood. He was the kind of man I wouldn’t flirt with in a million years.”
Talk about alpha males. I immediately envisioned this man in my head. Dark and cunning, powerful and controlling, possessive and disarming. He was intriguing from head to toe, shrouded in a mystery that you were simultaneously drawn to and in fear of. Like a moth to a flame, I was pulled to him, captivated by him, allured by his all-consuming presence. He instantly became one of my all-time favorite characters. Furthermore, he is everything that is different from MacKayla, making them an unlikely, but fascinating duo to see together. It truly was brilliant written and devised character development.
“If he was winter, I was summer. If I was sunshine, he was night. A dark and stormy one.”
Without disclosing any aspects of the plot line, MacKayla is pulled into the vises of this dangerous, magical world where the bone-chilling Unseelie roam the dark streets of Dublin… a world where objects hold immense dark power, murders are everyday currency, people (dead and undead) wield powers to disarm and kill… and almost everything and everyone has secrets. Understandingly, she has some trouble adjusting to her new reality, particularly as she discovers she is not the person she believed herself to be.
“Sometimes, Ms. Lane,” he said, “one must break with one’s past to embrace one’s future. It is never an easy thing to do. It is one of the distinguishing characteristics between survivors and victims. Letting go of what was, to survive what is.”
As I mentioned above, the relationship she develops with Barron is fascinating to watch unfold. They are so categorically different… Barrons insists on control, answers questions with questions, hides behind secrets and has no patience for pretty much anything. MacKayla struggles… she’s new to this world, she’s trying to learn and she’s trying to accept everything that has happened to her. By the book’s end, however, she’s clearly evolved as she is summoning her own strengths and leveraging her own skills… a force to be reckoned with I’m sure. There is no romance here (yet). Desire, yes. Passion, yes. Anger, hell yes. But I love the directness of their exchanges and the fact that there is ZERO softness from Barrons. He is all alpha, all control, all power through and through.
“Because you have one hope of survival, Ms. Lane. You must believe and you must fear, or your’re wasting my time. F*** you and your ‘Let’s pretend I believe your little story.’ If you can’t give me a ‘Tell me, teach me everything, I want to live,’ then get the bloody hell out of here!”
The story ends with a cliffhanger that as mentioned above had me one-clicking book 2, Bloodfever, mere seconds after I finished. I cannot wait to read every book in the series and further lose myself in this imaginative, vivid, sinister and dark underworld that Karen Marie Moning has so vividly depicted through her brilliant writing and masterful storytelling. If you haven’t read this series, BUY IT NOW!!!! You won’t regret it! This is one of my favorite books of the year!
“It’s often only in the lies we refuse to speak that any truth can be heard at all.”