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

My Thoughts

An intense, action-packed story worth every minute of the wait.
Long-awaited truths are exposed amidst betrayals, revelations and heart-stopping action as legends come to life in this epic conclusion.

6stars

Synopsis

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“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.

My Review

Jericho Barrons. What will I do without you?! This series consumed me so completely for a week. I was deeply immersed in this sinister Dublin underworld, fascinated by it’s complex, enigmatic characters, driven by the pursuit of solving the multi-layered mysteries, waiting for the moment MacKayla and Barrons would succumb to their desires, heart, body and soul. Karen Marie Moning is a master storyteller, who brilliantly constructed the series to keep us hooked, keep us guessing and undeniably keep us in a state of shock with plot twist after plot twist. Her endings are epic. They are the kind that make you start talking to yourself as you repeatedly say Ohmygod, Ohmygod, NO, Ohmygod, Ohmygod!!!! Yes. those are her books and this is the series that has become one of my all-time favorites and my recent obsession.

But back to Barrons. A man. A beast. A mystery. All-knowing. All-powerful. Unstoppable. Unkillable. Passionate. Powerful. Possessive. Always in control. And always sexy as hell. If at all possible, I actually fell a little harder for Barrons in Shadowfever. No one else makes controlling and overbearing so incredibly desirable.

“The moment I laid eyes on you, I knew you were trouble.”
“Ditto.”
“I wanted to drag you between the shelves, fuck you senseless, and send you home.”
“If you’d done that, I never would have left.”
“You’re still here anyway.”
“You don’t have to sound so sour about it.”
“You’re upsetting my entire existence.”
“Fine, I’ll leave.”
“Try and I’ll chain you up.”

After the shocking, heart-attack-inducing cliffhanger in Dreamfever that left me breathless and distressed, I locked myself away to finish this final installment in the Fever series. What can I say that I haven’t said before… it packs some serious action, unforseeable heart-stopping plot twists, bone-chilling evil, surprising betrayals and a whole lot more angst!!! The desire and passion between Mac and Barrons is palpable, maddening.

“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. They make you feel so alive that you’d follow them straight into hell, just to keep getting your fix.”

The final race to the truth is jarring, bloody, formidable, unexpected and full of clever participants with their own agenda. Yes, we finally get to know what Barrons is (kind of), who really killed Alina, who Mac really is and who everyone else truly is and what their intentions have always been. The wait is so worth it as the final scenes unfurl. And through it all, Barrons keeps his promise to do everything possible to keep Mac alive. And every time you think this is it… they’re going to be together… something inevitably happens. But boy did I relish in some of these moments.

“You’re Mac,” he says. “And I’m Jericho. And nothing else matters. Never will. You exist in a place that is beyond all rules for me. Do you understand that?”

The end is epic, worth the wait and conclusive. Even though we have the spinoff Dani O’Malley series and TWO more Mac and Barrons books everything was tied together nicely and I felt happy… save for the giant book hangover I am left with. This was my favorite book of this amazing, unforgettable 6-star series.

In my opinion, a good book is comprised of multiple elements coming together, but fundamentally, I think it’s two basic building blocks — good storytelling and good writing. Karen Marie Moning is a master of both and that is a very rare skill. She’s able to manipulate the story in such a way that keeps us in suspense, wanting more, questioning more.  To me, this series encapsulates everything I love about reading… the unrelenting fascination, the story that won’t let go, the characters that live within you, the complex mystery you can’t unravel, the adept ability to enthrall me, consume me and make me an addict to its very words.  I honestly couldn’t love this series any more than I do.  Perfection.

“I never get enough of him.
Never will.
He lives.
I breathe.
I want. Him. Always.
Fire to my ice. Ice to my fever.”

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