REVIEW: Shadowfever (Fever Series #5) by Karen Marie Moning (@KarenMMoning)

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. 

(synopsis cont’d)
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.


WHAT A COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY INCREDIBLE RIDE!!!!  Once again I am having a very hard time putting this review together without giving up too much information.  I don’t want to do this series any sort of injustice and ruining in any way, shape or form for the reader would do just that.  So bear with me…..


One of the things that the author stresses as a side note at the end of Dreamfever (book #4) is that the Fever series is a story about light.  It’s not a story about the dark and scary things.  By the end of the 4th book, I really feel that the readers needed that reminder.  The books took a very dark turn.  Shadowfever is no exception.  The darkest of the entire series, we are thrown into the strange world that Mac is stuck in and she’s wallowing in the realization that she just killed someone she knows.  The who in that scenario is the cliffhanger we are left with in Dreamfever and Shadowfever picks right up where it left off. 


An important part of writing urban fantasy is having very dimensional characters.  Karen Marie Moning is incredibly talented at creating characters that are not “flat”.  They have depth to them and you watch them learn and grow before your eyes.  As much as I love Jericho Barrons as a character, Mac actually ended up being the “star” of Shadowfever in my eyes.  The events of book four were a very important turning point for Mac, the ending being the executioner’s ax for the girl that arrived in Dublin in search of her sister’s murderer only a few months before.  That girl is plain and simply not present in Shadowfever.  Too much has happened for Mac to ever pretend that she is that same girl.  Instead, she turns into something so much better.  She’s learned incredibly well from error, heartache, loss and, of course, Barrons.  Ruthless to the core, he couldn’t have been a better teacher to prepare her for what she faces in Shadowfever.  She’s not above all the seedy things in life to accomplish her goals.  She’s a great big bad ass and I love her!


Jericho Z. Barrons – I wont give you the answers here but I can tell you that enough of the puzzle that is Jericho Barrons is solved in Shadowfever to give you a sense of feeling better about him.  I assure you though, he’s never once lied about what he is.  Do not romanticize him.  He’s ruthless.  He’s cut throat.  He’s a killer.  And he has no problem telling you so.  It’s not a facade.  However, all of the who, what, where, when and why’s get answered for us readers and give us some sort of understanding of him.  On that same note, not everything is answered.  Oh!  And my favorite Jericho quote of all time:

“God said ‘let there be light’.  I said ‘say please.”


Alina’s Murder – We finally get more insight to the events that surround the purpose for Mac’s trip to Dublin.  This was something that I didn’t even realize was missing from the story because there was so much going on.  There are so many other things happening that although Mac is bent on avenging her murder, it sort of gets put on the back burner for the bigger picture.  Well, we get a little ‘splainy and a little closure on this one. 


The Sinsar Dubh – Shrouded in mystery from the very beginning of this series, Mac’s hunt for this illusive (and….well….homicidal) book gets more and more dangerous as each day passes.  No one knows what it really does.  No one knows what’s in it.  No one knows who (if anyone) can control it.  It’s a scary factor in the whole puzzle. 

There are several large-scale stunners in theis book.  You’re mind will be blown.  Twists and turns that I didn’t see coming at all through the entire series.  At all.  Shocked. 


There is so much more about this book that I want to chat about but I am petrified that I am going to give anything away.  I was very surprised to find out that many of Karen Marie Moning’s fans were disappointed in this fifth and sorta final installment to the Fever series.  I was told by a handful of people that they all felt it was a bit of a let down.  I completely and totally disagree.  Kind of.


I can see that the ending of this book might be a little disappointing to some.  Although the mysteries are relatively wrapped up, things are left pretty well open to continue on.  And they are.  This July, KMM is releasing Fever Moon: The Fear Dorcha – a 150 page graphic novel starring Mac and Jericho.  It’s not part of the Fever series exactly but it’s a new Fever book.  Then in October, Ms. Moning is releasing Iced, the first installment in a trilogy starring Dani O’Malley from the Fever series.  So the story isn’t over and I think that the upcoming books are why the ending what not packaged up nice and neat and perfect.  Their story is not done. 


Overall, I give Shadowfever a super enthusiastic 5 stars.  I loved it.  I know there are people that will disagree with me but I loved this series and you better believe I will be reading/reviewing her future releases!!


I am also going to give the series overall a 5 star rating.  Whatever muse visited Ms. Moning for the Fever series knew what they were doing.  She’s a wonderful author with a great talent for urban fantasy!  Also, if you’re into romance, she’s got a romance collection called The Highlander series.  She’s stated that she’s done writing the series so what is there is it but the fans of the Highlander series are every bit as rabid as the fans of the Fever series so I am sure they’re probably pretty good.  *wink wink*


The Fever series left me with a few thoughts…. 

#1 – listen to your friends.  Amber Lynn Natusch and Ginny Lurcock both have been telling me for the last week and a half to ignore any and all theories that may wriggle their way into my head.  “You’re wrong” they told me and they were so, so right.  Every theory I formulated all the way up through this series was WAY OFF.  Like out in left field 3 towns over kind of way off. 


#2 – The Silvers – I am a daydreamer.  I dream about what I would do if I won the lottery.  I dream about far away vacations to exotic places.  I would give my eye teeth to be able to take a trip through the Silvers.  Some of the destinations may be scary, some may be dark, but I have faith that they would never be boring. 


#3 – The Unseelie King – I so want to sit down and have a little chat with this man!


#4 – Hope Strengthens, Fear Kills – these words are so incredibly true and can be put to some damn good use in almost any situation.   Metaphor is a powerful thing. 


I encourage any of you urban fantasy fans out there to check out this series.  It’s genuinely worth the time. 

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Fever Series Book #1
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Fever Series Book #2
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Fever Series Book #3
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Fever Series Book #4
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