"My philosophy is pretty simple—any day nobody's trying to kill me is a good day in my book.
I haven't had many good days lately."
MacKayla Lane is your average 22 year old small town girl with a good enough job, great family, a car that breaks every now and then and a happy life. One phone call changed everything. Her sister Alina was murdered in Ireland while studying abroad at Trinity College and the police are giving up on her murder. Alina was everything to Mac. So, when Mac found Alina's cryptic message on the phone, she packed and left for Ireland despite the disapproval of her parents. Mac hoped this message might reopen the case and she could get revenge for Alina.
"Before I pressed it—as far as I knew—my sister Alina was alive. At the moment of pressing, my life split into two distinct epochs: Before the call and After.
Before the call, I had no use for a word like "demarcation," one of those fifty-cent words I knew only because I was an avid reader. Before, I floated through life from one happy moment to the next. Before, I thought I knew everything. I thought I knew who I was, where I fit, and exactly what my future would bring.
Before, I thought I knew I had a future.
After, I began to discover that I'd never really known anything at all."
Mac was not prepared for what she encountered in Dublin. Her sister has changed so much, she thought she was listening to stories about a complete stranger. Soon enough, Mac will understand what made her sister change so dramatically because it will happen to her too. The world is not black and white and it most certainly isn't straightforward. When Mac starts seeing things that can't be explained by any human logic or science, at first she is certain she is losing her mind. Only after her fated encounter with the mysterious Jericho Barrons will she slowly come to grips with reality. Reality where Fae exist and they are a menace slowly unleashed upon this world.
"The only good Fae is a dead Fae in my book."
Jericho will give her bits and pieces of knowledge about herself and her heritage as well as deciphering her sister's cryptic message. She will come to understand that the old carefree life she had is no more and she must tread carefully through this new dark world she got herself tangled into. Adamant about revenging her sister, she will join forces with Jericho to find Sinsar Dubh, the all-powerful Dark Book that might hold the worlds fate in its grasp.
First of all, let me say that this book has no closure. This book is merely an intro into a great symphony. In the first book "Darkfever" we get the basics and nothing more than that. The story is slowly picking up its pace and the characters are left with big black holes of mystery around them.
The female protagonist is MacKayla Lane, a silly, carefree southern American 22 year old girl with no greater ambition than to work as a bartender, keep 2-3 college courser per semester just to keep her parents happy and with the minimum stress in her immediate surroundings. She lives in Ashford and spends her time doing the girly girl things. And I mean girly. She adores pink, silver and gold as well flower mini skirts and all bunch of fuc**** rainbows (oh, come on, why o lord, why...). She never leaves her house without a freshly manicured pink nails, her favorite sandals and pink gloss on her lips. Everything in her life is as simple as possible. Until she gets the Call and leaves for Ireland. Investigating Alina's murder was no piece of cake seeing how she was murdered by Fae and because she possessed a gift of really seeing Fae for who they are without their glamour.
"I'm a bottom-line girl. I barely managed Cs in my college philosophy courses. When I tried to read Jean-Paul Sartre's Being and Nothingness, I developed an unshakable case of narcolepsy that attacked every two to three paragraphs, resulting in deep, coma-like fits of sleep. The only thing I remember about Kafka's Metamorphosis is the awful apple that got impacted in the bug's back, and Borges' stupid story about the avatar and the tortoise didn't teach me a thing, except how much better I like Little Bunny Foo Foo; it rhymes and you can jump rope to it."
Now you see my point. Mac is still a child in hear head and she looks kind of like a Barbie doll. Blond long hair, vivid green eyes, tanned, ample bosom and her rear, slim waist and thighs, long legs... all wrapped in shades of pink and bloody ass rainbow. No wonder, Jericho keeps making fun of her, so would I. Despite looking like a Barbie, she doesn't have an empty head. Even though I wanted to strangle her sometimes because she naively thought if she repeats she doesn't see anything it will become a reality. Yet again, of course she annoyed Jericho. If I showed you the Fae, you have evidence your sister was killed by one (or more), you see them on multiple occasions, people tell you they are real and you still stubbornly refuse to believe any of it, childishly thinking it will go away if you only so wish it, and for more than half of the book, I would be royally pissed too. And then she gets angry if he doesn't approve her pink & rainbow attire while going to the vampiric goth den on a victorian era steampunk themed party. No, you don't stand out, not even a little. And her revulsion with black is getting tiresome...
Moving on to the star of the Series (my opinion only) about whom we know almost nothing about, the male protagonist. He appeared almost out of nowhere, we don't know what he is and why is he after the Dark Book. All we know for certain at this point that he has a use for Mac and he will keep her alive (salute to the man, I would probably strangle the woman). His name is Jericho Barrons.
"About thirty, six foot two or three, he had dark hair, golden skin, and dark eyes. His features were strong, chiseled. I couldn't pinpoint his nationality any more than I could his accent; some kind of European crossed with Old World Mediterranean or maybe an ancestor with dark Gypsy blood. He wore an elegant, dark gray Italian suit, a crisp white shirt, and a muted patterned tie. 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."
He is a puzzle, a mystery man that I still don't know all that much about. But the way he behaves and the knowledge he possesses, he must be really old and very powerful. He is the owner of the bookshop where Mac took residence and he is helping her as much as she is helping him. So far, no romance. But there is a spark there somewhere and if you continue with the Series, I bet it will pay off.
There is another man in this mess that almost made Mac beg for sex. He is V'lan and he is a Seelie Prince. He can control sexual urges and needs and he is masterfully using it all on Mac. Even though she resisted, she did take off all of her clothes in a public place and got down on all four. I won't spoil the rest. Needless to say, he is absolutely divine in every way but unlike the archangels he would use Mac every which way he could if it helped his cause, regardless of her well being.
The plot is on the verge of crime / mystery at first and goes into heart-stopping suspense with paranormal elements. Interesting storyline will make you devour the pages whether you like the protagonists or not because there is always a hint of their development and transformation and you hope they will mature with time. I loved the plot, I reveled in the suspense. I really disliked the female protagonist (mostly air headed pink gloss nail polish gold sandals blonde with mini skirts and rainbow patterns made me gag). I loved Jericho, his mysterious aura, the unknowing, a bit good, a bit bad... but always there and his actions speak a thousand words. And his scarce words spoke a thousand essays...
"There are two kinds of people in this world, Ms. Lane: those who survive no matter the cost, and those who are walking victims."
"I know people, Ms. Lane. They think they want to die, sometimes even say they want to die. But they never mean it. At the last minute they squeal like pigs and fight like hell." He sounded bitter, as if he knew from personal experience."
"The undead fuck's been getting in my way ever since." Barrons said "undead fuck" as if he strongly wished Mallucé dead—not believed him undead."
"He laughed briefly, a hollow, humorless sound. "If he is, the one that made him should be drowned in holy water, defanged, gelded, skinned, staked, and left to blister agonizingly in the sun."
"Don't celebrate yet, Ms. Lane. Don't believe anything dead until you've burned it, poked around in its ashes, and then waited a day or two to see if anything rises from them."