Review: Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning


by Karen Marie Moning

(Last book in the Fever Series)

“Evil is a completely different creature, Mac. Evil is bad that believes it’s good.”

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.

Okay so Jennifer, Bek and I all read this book. I decided we should have add to it the commentary we had at different times. But I will start off with Jennifer’s review first. Then after that are spoilers. So if you have not read it or any of the other books stop and go away until you have.

Jennifer’s review:

First, let me say that if you have not read the other books in this series you should stop reading this review now.  Not because I am going to give away any spoilers but because you are wasting valuable time reading this when you SHOULD be calling in sick to work for the next week, shipping the kids off to grandma’s and probably your husband too so that you can have quality time alone with this series.  Also, if you read this book without reading the others… you will enjoy it but you will never “get it” or understand how truly amazing it is.

Onto the book…  Where to START?!  I guess at the beginning…  Shadowfever picks up right where the last book, Dreamfever, left off.  And boy does it start with a bang.  KMM (Karen Marie Moning) has always been amazing at shifting all your senses around and making poetry out of tragedy.  Even if the character’s reactions to situations would not be yours, she guides you through the process of their thinking and shows how they arrived at their pattern of behavior.  She shoves you face first into the deepest darkest shadows of a person’s soul and makes you really ask yourself ‘what WOULD I do?’  She always adds a little self effacing humor to our main girl, Ms. Mackayla Lane, but there is a bare bones grittiness to her work.  And this one is grittier than most.  As always there is beauty to her prose, but it is raw.  You make an emotional investment in these characters and the outcome of their story.  You laugh with them, want to scream at them, and make no mistake, you will cry with them and for them.

So hard to write this without giving away anything so I will just say this:  Ms. Moning makes you pay a heavy price for the journey, but the destination is worth it in the end.

Bek’s review:

Well what can I say? I personally thought this was great.  I loved the twists and turns.  I cant say it’s a fitting end to the series because I don’t know about the rest of you but did you catch the line “The End……. for now”?

I loved the way the book ended but I’m not sure that MS KMM has finished the series.  There are lots of unanswered questions about some of the secondary characters that I could see spinning off into new series.

I paced myself when reading this book.  All too often I get a “must read” book and race through it and finish it too quickly.  Because this book is the last of a series I’ve heavily invested in, I wanted to savour each and every page.  I spread the reading out over 3 days and boy was I glad I did.  I gave myself time to mull over everything that had happened and be prepared for possible outcomes. I loved the twists and turns and how one minute you were thinking one thing, then some thing happened and your thoughts were turned 180 degrees

If I had to pick one thing that made this book/series stand out for me, it’s the growth of Mac.  From a somewhat ditsy airhead to a lean mean fighting machine. Throughout this book, her reactions were believable and realistic.  There are scenes where I’d stop reading just so I could sit there and imagine myself in the place of the character.  I believe that Ms. Moning has infused each page with real human emotions.  Life isn’t always a bunch of roses.  Its messy and painful and even revengeful and well as all the nice light and fluffy stuff.

I have to add one tiny spoiler “I love Adam Black!!!!”








S…ahead Captain. Turn about if you don’t want to read. Otherwise All AHEAD FULL. Balls to the walls Gentlemen.

Rayna’s commentary (minutes after finishing book): WTH!!!!

Rayna’s commentary (one hour after finishing the book): There has got to more to this effin story. What is she on? Crack? Who would end a book like that? We are not done DAMNIT!. ARGHHH! (Husband shouts on his side of the bed at 12am “Its just a damn book, go to sleep!”

Rayna’s commentary (the next day in an email to Jennifer):

OK OMG!!! What happened to Dani, are they going to write the world or not. I don’t think I could live with the walls down and a THIRD of the population dead. WTH was that with Rowena? And the “Queen” what is going to happen there? So now that Christian is an Unseelie Prince, Does that also make Mac an Seelie Princess or a copy of himself with a spare book in the brain. And OMG what is with the guy that has not said anything for a  THOUSAND YEARS. Holy hell batman.  Is Christian going to get his book too and Dani? Who the hell is Dancer? What is going to happen with the fae and the world now? So many unanswered questions. *sigh*I am just waiting for Dr. Who to say Allazei and off in the Tartus we go. I need a drink.

Casually talking to Bek via IM:

Bek: why wasn’t there more Adam Black lol & what happened to Dani
rayna: well he is still hunted evidently but i dont remember him be hunted
rayna: I think Kmm is going to do a young adult book
rayna: she stressed Dani’s birthday enough then dropped it
Bek: can Christian be restored to what he was
rayna: I have no clue
rayna: he is an unseelie prince now
Bek: I wish there was more about the McKelters
rayna: and is immortal
Bek: I thought he was on his way to being one.  Not that he had completely changed
rayna: she did hint to faery making new princes and princesses


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