What We're Reading

What We’re Reading: Fever series by Karen Marie Moning


I’m late to the game on this one, but it is what I’m reading and I’m nothing if not literal! I don’t know what made me finally pick up Darkfever, the first book in Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series, but I’ve been meaning to read them, and so I started last Tuesday, and I’ve been chewing through them ever since, now just over halfway through Shadowfever, Book 5.

I love it when a series grabs me by the short and curlies and makes me obsessively have to read the next one, and the next, and the next. It doesn’t happen often, but like the series title, it’s like you have a fever and can’t get much else done, you’re so immersed in the world.

And what a world! Here’s the blurb for Book 1:

When MacKayla’s sister was murdered, she left a single clue to her death – a cryptic message on Mac’s cel phone. Journeying to Ireland in search of answers, Ma is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to master 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…while at the same time, the ruthless V’lane – an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women – closes in on her. As the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: to 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 both worlds in their hands….

The worldbuilding is incredible, but so are the well-drawn and intriguing characters, the suspense, the twists, and, oh my, the sexual tension between Mac and Jericho! Written in first person point of view, the reader is in the dark as much as Mac is, and we learn the secrets and machinations along with her. She’s also got an incredible character arc that unfolds throughout each book.

At times I want to shake these two characters, but the conflict is not fabricated that’s keeping them apart, it all stems from character and emotion and plot and makes for one riveting read.

Be warned though– make sure you have the next book handy when you start. I began with library e-copies, and when I’d finish one, I’d download the next from my phone to my Kindle, but then I pulled up short when the next wasn’t available and I unhesitatingly skipped over to Amazon and bought it. Also, she’s the master of cliffhanger endings. Last night I finished Book 4 while I was in bed and was like NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Luckily I’d bought Book 5 months ago when I came across a used copy, so I ran through the house to my TBR pile and grabbed it, almost scared to open it up. No. Actually I was scared to. I hesitated, afraid that once I did open it, I’d know the truth, and it was a truth I was afraid to know. No spoilers here, so I’m trying to keep it vague, but if you’ve read it, you know what I’m talking about. I grieved, I cried, but I was also up way past my bedtime, so after a while, I had to tuck in and only got to sleep by reminding myself what Moning had reminded us in earlier books, that this was a story about Light, not Dark, and that only through being carved by darkness could incredible joy fill the spaces, and that Mac does know joy in the end.

I also wondered how people stood it if they’d read this when it first came out and had to WAIT for Book 5!! I saw some complaints on Goodreads about it, and it made me start thinking about this–we always here it’s a no-no to have cliffhangers in series. But why is that? Why is it allowed for TV series, but not for books? In fact, fans of TV shows are disappointed if the season doesn’t end on an awesome cliffhanger. But if a book wraps up the main plot, but leaves on a cliffhanger, why is that unacceptable? I guess it’s all a matter of expectations of the medium. And now that her fans know this of her, I’ve seen some say they don’t dare start Iced, which is Book 6 in the series, but Book 1 of the Dani series, until all of them are out. But I’m torn, as I want to know what happens next. I guess I’ll know when I finish Book 5 whether I can wait…

What do you think? Have you read the Fever series? Don’t tell me how it ends! Are you a fan of cliffhangers in books and/or TV?

9 thoughts on “What We’re Reading: Fever series by Karen Marie Moning

  1. Sigh.

    I’m glad you’re enjoying it. Loads of people love these books, and they’re bestsellers, so good luck to both author and fans – but I’ve gotta say me and this series are a big fat fail.

    It just wasn’t for me. The world-building was cool. Points for that. But I didn’t enjoy the characters or the way they interacted. I found the hero a dull and irritating cliche, and the heroine thoughtless. Which is fine. Just not characters I enjoy. And most disappointing of all for me: Nothing Happened. With caps. Seriously. Two books with no plot. Huh? I gave up after bk 2.

    People say, ‘oh, but it gets good in bk 3!’ It may well do. For me, a series shouldn’t take 3 books to ‘get good’.

    Sadly, do not get 😦 It’s interesting isn’t it, how books can work for some readers and not for others?

    • This series was not for me. It overused rape trope in my opinion. Having conversations with friends who read it had me felling like we’d read different books. I read the up to Iced convinced maybe it was me and that it would get better but in my opinion the rape culture/trope got much worse as the series progressed. The description for Iced and author interviews convinced me that things would be continuing along the same vein and I gave myself permission to stop reading.

  2. I did finish this series, after a second try at book 1, but was never in a hurry to pick up the next book. Although I did have all 5 on my shelves at that time. I have to agree with Erica though, I never got that Barrons fever, the ultimate hero, as I really really did not like him. He is a jerk. And Mac, well, not a fan of her either.
    Still, the story itself kept me glued to the pages, not the characters or their romance.

    I did start the series because of the MacKeltars. I absolutely loved her Highlander books, and it would continue somehow in the Fever series. But they are totally not loveable in these books, so that was spoiled for me as well, no more re-reads.

    Still, it was a very good series, well written, Original, and darker than my usual reads. It is not a series I will ever read again, and I will probably read the next books, but not anytime soon.

    Make sure you have tissues enough in the house when you start reading it!

  3. Ah, I loved this series. I actually started w/ Book 2 (an accidental buy) and then went back for Book 1 which was a weaker book IMO. The cliffhangers were killer especially because it was A YEAR wait between books. I love a good anti-hero and my favorite aspect of the series is that Barrons doesn’t change much. It’s not a redeemed by true love type of romance. The big character arc is for Mac who joins him in the darkness which I found really interesting. And the worldbuilding. And Celtic myth. And Ireland. It hit a sweet spot for me.

  4. Yes, what a killer cliffhanger for book 4! I was one of the unlucky who had to wait for book 5. I love all things Karen Moning, and the Fever series was no different. I even have a Barron’s Books & Baubles t-shirt, and have been asked by strangers where they can find the store. 🙂

  5. I adore this series. KMM is in my top 5 favorite authors. I too started with her Highlander series, which are strictly romances. The Fever series is urban fantasy. Not romance, but sex and love (not romance, IMO) play a huge role in the series.

    Mac’s journey includes solving the mystery of her sister’s death and learning that this terrible event in her personal history is just the tip of an iceberg of events that could bring about the end of the world. Along the way, she learns the true meaning of love, that you give it to someone despite who they are. You accept them without requiring them to change. It’s a message you don’t see in romance, not the way KMM does it.

    I found the series super refreshing, dark and light in turns, and profound. Thanks for highlighting it, Angela! I’m glad you liked it!

  6. HI Angela,
    This series has been on my TBR forever (yes, I went there, lol). I’ve read and loved (and reread) KMM’s Highlander series. It’s interesting to read the mixed reviews here for Fever series. I’m a big fan of urban fantasy so will definitely get to this series eventually. But first, I need to wander into my own writer cave and finish a revision… 🙂

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