“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
Title : Shadowfever
Author : Karen Marie Moning
Series : Fever (book five)
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 617
Genre : urban fantasy
Publisher : Dell
Release Date : January 18, 2011
Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★
Hollis’ 2.5 (but rounded up) star review
Despite chomping at the bit back in June, after all the good intentions my buddy and I had to read (more or less..) one of these a month, here we are.. six months later. Whoops? We had the best of intentions but life, y’know?
For me, I was anticipating this book like crazy. Not only because of that intense cliffhanger in book four but this is the book I remember going cuckoo for cocoa puffs over. It wasn’t that I hadn’t loved the first four but book five stood out in my memory. Because so much happens. And, true to that memory, it does. A lot goes on in this book. And, thankfully unlike the last one, things aren’t rushed, Moning lets them breathe a bit with that sizeable jump in page count. And yet, weirdly, maybe we had too much time?
The pacing was a little off in this one. I almost missed the chaotic headlong rush from one action scene to another. Because this was easy to put down, to hope maybe we’ve skipped along by the time I’d picked it back up, as if it was a movie playing on in my absence. There were still some really good parts, don’t get me wrong, but it didn’t hold me in thrall like it once had.
Where the book did succeed, a hundred percent? The red herrings. The lead up to how Mac was connected to everything was really good. I’ll admit the whole dreaming of the Cold Place her whole life thing felt a little bit like an afterthought to make it work along the way (unless they were reeeaaally subtle and I missed them but I’m thinking no) but I thought everything else was too good to give it too much side eye. Also, for those keeping track we’re now at Mac 5.0 and she was basically the meme of the goth girl and her sparkly pink sister side by side but instead mixed together in a blender. Or something. I have vague memories that Mac’s identity issues don’t continue to be so wrapped up in her outfits going forward but I have a feeling that’s just wishful thinking.
Also, speaking of lead up, I think I loved the psych-out moment about how Mac’s sister actually died a lot more this time. Moning did a good job making things a lot more than they seemed and therefore a lot more emotionally and morally complex. Also, on a related note, thank christ Rowena is finally dead. She has a character who had long outstayed her welcome and truthfully she was too much an evil villain caricature which didn’t fit considering how layered and complex all the other dark siders are, so. That was lame from start to finish.
Next up, Barrons and his men. We finally get a little understanding of that whole mystery (I remembered learning a lot more, maybe that’s to come?) and his motivations for wanting Mac’s help with the book. And truthfully I had completely forgotten this and I fell a liiiiittle in love with him for it. As much as I’ve enjoyed his character this second time around — even if the alpha male on steroids thing isn’t totally my jam anymore so therefore I’m not quite gagging for him the same way — and his secrets, and honestly I do love the dynamic he has with Mac despite, well, despite Mac sometimes, the words-without-words conversations got hella old hella fast in this one. I would be a lot more in love with his ability to finish her sentences or answer questions she has if it happened a lot less infrequently. As is.. just have a damn conversation people!
Now that the main Fever arc is over and we’re heading into where things (as far as I recall..) get weird(er), I do have a little trepidation over the whole Dani thing. I had definitely expected one event to happen in this book but it didn’t so that’s still to come. However, in some ways, I am looking forward to what happens to her because she is not really written all that well. Between the fecks and the weird obsession with her virginity and her mail blasts and more it’s just a little tiring. I just hope the whole switchover lands a little better than I remember it doing.
Seeing as my buddy and I hoped to have finished this series by the end of 2022, I have no idea when the rest of the series will be conquered but look forward (I guess..?) to more of these in the new year!