Author: Karen Marie Moning
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Fever (Book 5)
Publication Date: January 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 608 Pages
MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina, were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever.
Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister’s murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals who have lived concealed among us for thousands of years.
What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinsar Dubh—a book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King, containing the power to create and destroy worlds.
In an epic battle between humans and Fae, the hunter becomes the hunted when the Sinsar Dubh turns on Mac and begins mowing a deadly path through those she loves.
Who can she turn to? Who can she trust? Who is the woman haunting her dreams? More important, who is Mac herself and what is the destiny she glimpses in the black and crimson designs of an ancient tarot card?
From the luxury of the Lord Master’s penthouse to the sordid depths of an Unseelie nightclub, from the erotic bed of her lover to the terrifying bed of the Unseelie King, Mac’s journey will force her to face the truth of her exile, and to make a choice that will either save the world . . . or destroy it.
Quick & Dirty: While Ms. Moning has created a fascinating world filled with villainous creatures and intriguing characters, sadly, the final installment isn’t well crafted. The forward momentum in the complex and layered plot is lackluster and there is no real resolution.
Opening Sentence: Hope strengthens. Fear kills.
Excerpt: Chapter 1 & 2
I had such high hopes for the last installment in the Fever series. After the ending in Dreamfever, I just knew that Shadowfever would be explosive, gripping and as satisfying as the previous books in the series. Unfortunately, Shadowfever turned out to be a major disappointment.
Many readers will be hard pressed to stick with the story because of the meandering story arcs. It’s even harder to care about your once beloved characters, because they started to act – well, out of character. While the pace is a bit slow at times, the story still managed to start out fairly exciting. It quickly jumps the rail and never manages to make it back on the tracks.
Mac’s endless exposition and introspection didn’t help to move the plot along and resolve outstanding story arcs. I think the romantic element was most disappointing for me. I don’t think the sex was gratuitous, but Mac and Barrons certainly never get their moment of “truth.” After everything that has happened between them, I felt that Barrons remained emotionally unavailable to Mac. I also couldn’t understand at this point in their relationship why she was so willing to accept “non-answers” from Barrons. Early on, their speechless moments and games that they played help fuel the fire in their relationship, but it’s all for naught since they ultimately never voiced or acknowledged those emotions in a meaningful way. Somehow the “romance” just ambles along to a “happy ending” that didn’t really feel authentic. The whole thing just gets a bit ridiculous. Readers looking for a fulfilling romantic component won’t find it here. The romance felt cold with little or no compassion.
V’lane – what can I say? I’m shocked about how his story ends. It’s not entirely believable, but I’ll play along. Dani – I’ve never been entirely crazy about her character. I find her annoying and severely in need of an education. Her “street” and “ghetto” speak drives me insane. As for her story being front and center for the next series, I can’t imagine reading an entire book with her as the protagonist. She just doesn’t have the depth, maturity, or character to pull the weight of an entire series. She’s also not that interesting. There isn’t much action in Shadowfever and many of the twists and turns leading up to major events didn’t really amount to much. No one of significance died in the long awaited epic battle with the Sinsar Dubh. Everything sort of fell neatly into place and was very anti-climatic.
Overall, Shadowfever isn’t Ms. Moning’s best work. I loved the first four books, but I can’t say the same about this one. For a book that clocked in at 600 pages, it sure felt scattered and not well thought out. Too many loose ends and unexplained events make this one hard to finish.
It hulked near a bookcase, panting. It was enormous, at least nine feet tall. Silhouetted against the moonlight filtering through a window behind it, it had three sets of sharp, curved horns spaced at even intervals along two bony ridges that spanned the sides of its head.
I’d seen horns like that before. My pouch of stones had been tied to similar ones. Horns I’d watched melt away when the best wearing them resumed its human form.
In the Silvers, Barrons had been slate gray with yellow eyes during the day and black-skinned with crimson eyes at night. This one was in full night mode, velvety black in the darkness but for the glint of feral eyes. I’d heard more of these beasts back in the street, before this one had carried me off. Where had they come from?
My hands began to tremble. I pushed gingerly into a sitting position, acutely aware of every stretched tendon and strained muscle. I leaned back against the fireplace, drew my knees up and hugged them. I didn’t trust myself to stand. This creature was the same kind of beast Barrons had been and was a connection to the man I’d lost.
What was it doing here? Was he still somehow protecting me, even in death? Had he assigned others of his kind to guard me if the worst happened and he was killed?
The thing in the shadows suddenly turned and smashed a taloned fist into the bookcase. Tall shelves rocked on floor bolts. With a metallic screeeech, the ornate case ripped from the floor and began to fall. It crashed into the one next to it, and the one next to that, taking them down like dominoes, making a complete wreck of my bookstore.
The Fever Series:
FTC Advisory: Random House provided me with a copy of Shadowfever. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.
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