Review- Shadowfever

Karen Marie Moning
Urban Fantasy
594 Pages
Fever Series #5
Delacorte Press

   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.

I've taken a few days to let my thoughts and emotions simmer, let them settle. I've filtered out the "girlie" reactions and looked at the story, the writing, and the character development objectionably.  Yup, still loved it... for the most part.

Let it be said, Karen Marie Moning has made confusion and frustration an art form. Readers should clear their schedules, because Shadowfever takes it to the next level and you wont be able to stop reading until you know all the answers.  From now on, when you look up "shocking" in the Webster's dictionary you will see the front cover of Shadowfever.  There are so many surprises along the way, and I didn't see anyone even close to guessing the correct answers.  That in and of itself, should be applauded.  The story went places I would never have expected and I couldn't have asked for much more.

The story is long and maybe does drag slightly, but I was so engrossed throughout, the world around me fell away.  The main grievance I had with Shadowfever was that it didn't seem like a series conclusion in my opinion. Yes, i know that KMM has plans for a spin-off series {and by God, it sure seems like Dani is going to be the lead...to which I will stab myself in the eye} but I don't think that Mac and Barrons ended in a place where I'm happy wiping my palms together saying "Yup, they're done.  Let's move on, shall we?" Maybe that just speaks to the attachment I have to both characters, but I think it's more than that.  Almost as though, she defined their relationship by this one big thing, and now that that's settled they're good. {and I'm not talking about the Sinsar Dubh} Gosh, I think they're worth so much more than that.  And really, who writes a 5 book series?  Aren't story arcs suppose to come in 3s? *evil grin*

Ok, so let's discuss what you're all thinking. Barrons is still Barrons, infuriating and driving you crazy. I have to say though, there are a couple of scenes in which he really makes himself vulnerable by opening up and revealing his feelings.  Readers will swoon at the softer side of his character, even if only for a few sentences.  But in the same breath, he's still the definition of alpha male.  If you're expecting him to change face, and suddenly start spouting poetry and bringing home flowers then you've fallen for the wrong hero.  I enjoyed where his character went with this book, but like I've said, I don't think his story has been fully told. 

For the most part this reader was pleased with the answers she was given; Alina's killer and the mastermind behind it, what/who Barrons is, how does dreamy-eyed guy fit into all this, who was the fourth prince at the church, more answers about the Druid's place in the story, V'lane's mysteries, what ever happened to Fiona, is there a good reason for my utter hatred of Rowena, who IS the Unseelie King.  I mean this is good stuff people.  

Bottom Line: Moning didn't just write a book, she's created her own Delorian, capable of taking the reader to a place far far away from their couch at home. 

4 stars


  1. Bahaha! I love it! Delorian! True statement Jess! I agree whole heartedly with your summary....I think I have also decided that my love of Barrons and Mac is that they are sooo raw..it isn't lovey dovey. And to imply everything is makes me shudder. Barrons is pure, undomesticated, raw male and should never be lovey dovey. Fierce and passionate and aggressive, yes (and yum!) BUt I definitely felt like I was cut off from something at the end and too well wrapped. And I agree should the spin off be from Dani's perspective and voice I will ask to borrow your utensil to stab myself in the eye as well...

  2. Because I am a lemming....

    Sorry just

  3. you are just a reviewing fiend! great review! I WILL start this series soon...I promise!

  4. Agree with you and Carrie. That can't be the end! I feel that KMM tied up the Mac/Barrons relationship too neatly. I felt a little let down, like there was still another shoe to be dropped. However, the unveiling of the Unseelie King? Brilliant. Now off to read some of your other reviews; I need to find a new series to obsess over!

  5. Carrie: Of course you agree, you and I are literary twins :D

    Kristin: It's a great series!

    Hannah: Oh, I have LOADS of recs ;)

  6. I loved the part about Barrons not sprouting poetry! lol Just thinking about it makes me giggle. And confusion and frustration an art form, so true! Great review Jess!

  7. Perfectly said. Here's what I've discovered about KMMs books: The middles are a bit boring, but the endings are so wow you forget about the middle completely.

  8. Julie: Can you imagine? Barrons + Poetry no way ;)

    Colette: I was still so engrossed with it that I read it nearly in one sitting LOL

  9. Fantastic review Jess! :-) I also enjoyed the part about Barrons not spouting of poetry and buying flowers...that was funny. I take it you aren't a huge fan of Dani...I really enjoyed the books ending. I do agree that there could be more series stories written about Mac and Barrons but I think it did leave a good ending for some spin-offs that have Mac and Barrons as side characters.