Friday, 21 January 2011

Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning

Karen Marie Moning's site
Series: Fever #5
Copy obtained: bought it
Publisher: Delacorte Press (Jan 18th)
Rating: 4.5/5
Spoiler Warning!! Contains spoilers for previous books!

"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.

Shadowfever picks up right where Dreamfever left off, and for me there was no surprise at all to the discovery of the identity of the beast. From there we have a very different Mac to anything we've seen from her yet. And she has already changed a huge amount of the course of the series. Watching Mac grow up and develop from this very superficial 'barbie-girl' into someone who can kick ass, take the pain thrown her way and make the tough decisions she has to has been a fantastic journey. Likewise the world building has been some of my favourite. It's a dark, complex world with so many layers and so easy to get lost in. That hasn't changed for this final book.

Shadowfever is long, much longer than all the books before it. And while I never really felt like it was dragging as such, I do think it could have done with being a bit shorter. I think certain aspects were drawn out too far so that when they finally happened/were revealed, there was much less impact than there could have been. I was also a little surprised to find myself disappointed by the very last twist. Just something that got very suddenly tied up all neat and nice. It wasn't the biggest plot or anything, but it was just there then over and glossed over some at that. For the first time since Darkfever, where Mac's sunshiny, shallow personality grated on me, she irritated me again. It's late on in the book after one of many reveals and I just got very annoyed with her reaction and partly wanted her back to the Mac she'd been earlier in the book and also wishing the story would move on so I didn't need to put up with that Mac anymore. There were a couple other things I found myself a little bit disappointed with, but talking about them would be spoiler territory so I won't.

Really though, none of those little bits ruined the book for me. There is certainly a lot going on in Shadowfever and there are some real stand out moments which I loved. A few of the many twists were just fantastic and left me gaping, even when a couple had decidedly less impact. I read Shadowfever over a few days through a haze of flu, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it and while I didn't find it as impossible to put down as books 1-4, it was still a very compelling read!

Final books are so tricky. They so easily fall in to the disaster category and taint those before it, and rarely it seems can they outdo what came before (or possibly I'm reading the wrong books!!). I know there are those who would possibly consider Shadowfever one of those disasters, and I'm not denying it's flawless. It's not my favourite of the series (that lies with Faefever and Dreamfever), but I do think it's a very strong ending. I have my little issues with it, but overall I'm very satisfied with the outcome. Most of the big questions are answered and those left unanswered, I can live with. I really enjoy this final adventure in to Mac's world and I'm happy to say this is still one of my favourite series ever! KMM would have been very hard pressed to please all her many fans with this book, but I for one am very happy. Great read, and a worthy final for a spectacular series!!


Reviews for previous books (in order): Darkfever, Bloodfever, Faefever & Dreamfever (joint review)


Jessica said...

Great review Cem!!

I thought some stuff could've been left out as well since it was sooo long, but I still enjoyed it as well.

And I agree that the last "shocker" really came out of left field--or however that saying goes ;)

Really didn't see it at all and was a little disappointed with it. But still loved the book.

Larissa {Larissa's Bookish Life} said...

Awesome review Cem!

final books are def tricky and all in all this was an amazing read! =D

I want more Barrons and Mac LOL