Jan 25, 2011

Posted by in Reviews | 16 Comments

Review: Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning (Fever #5)

Urban Fantasy
January 18 2011
594 pages
Delacorte Press

Kick Ass Chick – MacKayla Lane

From Goodreads
“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 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.”

Before I begin, let me just say OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG.  Okay, now I can begin.  Oh wait, just one more.  Oh.  My.  Gawd!  There.

Shadowfever is the fifth and final installment in Karen Marie Moning’s ‘Fever’ series.  This is the book that we Fever fans have been waiting for since the release of book four back in August of 2009.  Yes, that is seventeen months.  Seventeen long gut wrenching months.  But you know what?  The wait was totally worth it.  Even though my expectations were ridiculously high, they were met.  Each and every one of them.

The main reason why we were so looking forward to this book is because Dreamfever (the aforementioned book four) ended with the cliffhangers of all cliffhangers.  It left us with a huge question:  Who is the beast?  Actually, that is only one question of many.  This series is all about the questions.  Smexy Books and Fiction Vixen hosted some Fever Discussions to help prepare everyone for Shadowfever’s release.  I knew I had many questions floating in my head, but I had no idea how many really.  Seriously, how did I manage to get any sleep over the last 17 months?!   After these discussions, not only did I manage to find even more questions to ask, I wondered how on earth all of our questions would ever be answered in one book.  How will Karen Marie Moning remember all the details needed?

Then January 18th arrived and so did the book.  I don’t recall there ever being a more anticipated UF book ever.  Many of my friends were taking days off work so they can stay home to read.  Folks found sitters for their kids.  Phones were turned off and twitter was at a crawl other than for the occasional “OMG OMG” tweeted here and there.

I could not take time off work, but I did warn my husband that he should pretty much forget I existed until I finished this book.  At first Jason thought I was nuts.  I reminded him of when Halo 2 came out.  Then we had one of those wordless conversations Barrons and Mac have.  He looked at me and his eyes said “Well played”.   Okay maybe not quite.  They more like said “I’m not going to win this so I may as well do what she asks”.  And he was quite good.  He would come up once in a while to make sure I was still alive, but he wouldn’t stick around to talk or do any such silly thing.

Reading Shadowfever was almost surreal.  To have waited so long to hold this book and then to actually have it in your hands…wow.  And wow really does cover it.

Mac is wonderful in this book.  She is no longer the naïve young lady that arrived in Dublin all those months ago.  She is strong and knows that she has a job to do and is about ready to just get it over with, by any means necessary, so she can get back to her life.  Watching her grow through this series has been one of the best parts of these books.  Mac really grows up and comes to terms with many things about her life that a weaker person would have shut down to know.  Mac really is a strong woman.  In the previous books, there was lots of talk about ‘what’s up with Barrons’ and ‘what’s up with V’Lane’, but not as much focus was put on ‘what’s up with Mac?’  In Shadowfever, questions are asked about Mac that I never even thought of asking…but that totally made sense to ask.  This really is Mac’s book.

Let’s talk about Barrons, shall we?  *sigh* He is my number one book boyfriend.  He is raw magnetism and sexual power.  He is what I would love my husband to be.  He possesses every characteristic a great book hero should have.  I found that Dreamfever didn’t have as much of Barrons as I would have liked.  Then again having him on every page would be okay with me.  There is lots of Barrons in Shadowfever.  Lots.  And…wait for it…we finally find out what the hell he is!  I was very happy with how Barrons’ story line turned out.  The emotion (yes, I said ‘emotion’ while talking of Barrons), the heartache, the acceptance…all of it superb.  I love Barrons.  In case I wasn’t clear, I just thought I would say it out right just once.  Okay, maybe twice.  I love Barrons.

Out of nowhere note:  Chapter 8.  Holy frickin’ cow.  End of out of nowhere note.

Shadowfever answers all of our questions.  And it does so by adding more questions, then some more again, then starts to unravel everything until it all makes complete sense.  There are massive twists and turns and surprises in this book until the very last page.  You will not believe the ride Karen puts you through but you will be grateful for it in the end.

When I finished this book, I didn’t know what to do with myself.  I couldn’t sit still but I wanted to.  I wanted to tell Jason all about it but I couldn’t find the words.  I was happy it was finished but sad too.  Mostly, I was in shock at how perfectly Karen was able to write this.  She is an absolute genius.

I cannot recommend this series enough.  It grips you and pulls you along for the ride kicking and screaming, but it leaves you with a big fat satisfied smile on your face.  And a major crush on Barrons.

5+ stars

A note about the quotes.  There are SO many quotes that are memorable.  Karen has a knack of including almost a philosophical lyric to her words.  And sometimes the quotes are just so jaw dropping, you *squee* until the neighbor dog starts to bark.  I have not included half of the quotes I would have loved to share with you because I found them to be too spoilery.  But the quotes I’m sharing with you are still pretty kick ass.

Mention worthy quotes

“When he kisses me again, the last part of me that could stand myself dies.”
“There are worst ways to be tortured than with a vision of Jericho Barrons naked.”
“Some people bring out the worst in you, others bring out the best, and then there are those remarkably rare, addictive ones who just bring out the most. Of everything.”

Books in the Fever series –

  1. I don’t recall there ever being a more anticipated UF book ever.

    Totally agree. I was in a cave for 16 hours until I was done LOL. I’m glad you were so very happy with the finale.

    Loving the “out of nowhere note” btw 😀
    Great review!

  2. I loved your review. I’ve re- read Ch 42 a couple of time now. I just loved the way this book turned out! No complaints from me!

  3. Smart, really smart to use the Halo 2 example. I’m going to use that next time a new release is out.

  4. I finally got a copy yesterday so I will be nose in book until I am done. Can’t wait…..

  5. Jessica – 16 is good reading time!

    Colette – Typing out the quotes made me want to read it allover again. 🙂

    KC – Video game references are the only things that work. lol

    Jacquie – Enjoy! It’s phenomenal!

  6. AGREED!!!! I loved this book so much:) I loved Mac, I think I started drooling whenever Barrons was mentioned and I may have re-read certain parts an embarrassing number of times:)

  7. Totally agree. I demolished this book in one night and LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT. Just the thought of reading it for the second time makes me want to jump up and down, clapping my hands like a 4 year old. HA! 🙂 Great review!

  8. Wonderful review. I want to read SF again and again. It was that good. 🙂

  9. Great review Julie!

    I loved Mac 5.0 and I had my OMG OMG OMG moment as well LOL


  10. Great review! Have I told you how much I LOVE your blog? I reallly need to start this series! Drop by and say hi if you get a chance!


  11. LOVED this book! She delivered everything I hoped for. So. Freakin’. Awesome. My review is up tomorrow 😉

  12. Jenny – Just the name Barrons makes my knees go weak! lol

    Holly – EVERY SECOND OF IT! Totally. 🙂

    Sophia – Me too. I was glad the book was so big when I first heard, but for re-reading it’s long! LOL Still gonna do it someday though…

  13. Larissa – OMG OMG! 🙂

    Kristin – Thanks! And yes you really need to read these books!!!

    Patti – So Freakin’ Awesome are the perfect words. I can’t wait until your review!

  14. AMAZING REVIEW JULIE! I couldn’t finish it last night, 🙁 20 pages left and I just couldn’t keep my eyes open. You are completely right that Karen is amazing and brining in all of the details and just makes them all fit like a puzzle. I have been amazed…and I didn’t realize that you all had to wait 17 WHOLE MONTHS for this book. I’ve been pulling my hair out and I didn’t even have a month to wait! Love the review, love the quotes and I just can’t wait to finally be done with the book so I know the entire thing!

  15. Awesome review in your lovely unique way which made me smile and giggle. Perfect! 🙂

  16. Deanna – 20 pages, that’s a killer. I know by now you’ve finished it and loved it and I just want to say WOOT!

    Ally – Aw! Shucks. Thanks! (and if by unique way you meant wordy, then yes it was lol)


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