Book 26: Moning, Darkfever
If you read Moning for romance, Darkfever might not be for you. That’s not to say there’s nothing romantic about it, and certainly not to say there’s nothing sexy about it. It’s just not your average romance, in that not only doesn’t it end with an HEA, it leaves an EA very much in doubt. That is, it’s really an urban fantasy.
And I for one applaud it. While I’m not particularly fond of MacKayla, the heroine, who begins as a Southern magnolia who substitutes ‘petunia’ for ‘ass’, tells me the names of her nail polish at every turn, and obsesses about both her outfits and her hair, the story itself more than makes it worth reading through her transition from Barbie to badass. I do have a fondness for seeing underestimated women coming into their own, so that works, even if Mac took some time to grow on me.
Until she did, there was Jericho Barrons to hold my attention, the ultimate in ambiguous Alpha males. I can’t decide if I love him or hate him, but he is delicious, either way. Vlane’s no slouch either in the sex-ass department and that literal ‘fuck you to death’ power makes him oh so very very interesting. Moning’s use of Vlane to supply some of the sex you might otherwise be missing is downright brilliant, even if it’s more than a little disturbing.
What I really love most about this book (and presumably the series) is the mythology. Her Fae are mystical and magical, dangerous and terrifying. I don’t mind the happy-go-lucky sexy Fae you see in a lot of books (possibly including mine), but it’s nice to be reminded that they’re often bogeymen and their abilities–to your average human–are scary.
The unlikely heroine plunged headfirst into a world she knows nothing about is a trope, to be sure, but this is an excellent execution with a well-crafted story, an interesting world, and stakes I can actually care about. Highly recommended.