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

shadowfever1

“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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Review: Faefever (#3) and Dreamfever (#4) by Karen Marie Monig

My Thoughts

The Fever series is simply unstoppable!
Stunning writing, enthralling story, unforgettable characters all come together to captivate and consume me, making me love every minute, every page, every moment of these highly addictive books! This has definitely become an all-time favorite series.

6stars

Synopsis – Faefever

faefever1The New York Times bestselling author of Darkfever and Bloodfeverreturns to Dublin’s Fae-infested shores in a bold, sensual new novel. Hurtling us into a realm of seduction and shadows, Karen Marie Moning tells the enthralling tale of a woman who explores the limits of her mysterious powers as she enters a world of ancient sorcery—and confronts an enemy more insidious than she could ever have imagined.

He calls me his Queen of the Night. I’d die for him. I’d kill for him, too.When MacKayla Lane receives a torn page from her dead sister’s journal, she is stunned by Alina’s desperate words. And now MacKaylaknows that her sister’s killer is close. But evil is closer. And suddenly the sidhe-seer is on the hunt: For answers. For revenge. And for an ancient book of dark magic so evil, it corrupts anyone who touches it.

Mac’s quest for the Sinsar Dubh takes her into the mean, shape-shifting streets of Dublin, with a suspicious cop on her tail. Forced into a dangerous triangle of alliance with V’lane, an insatiable Fae prince of lethally erotic tastes, and Jericho Barrons, a man of primal desires and untold secrets, Mac is soon locked in a battle for her body, mind, and soul. 

As All Hallows’ Eve approaches and the city descends into chaos, as a shocking truth about the Dark Book is uncovered, not even Mac can prevent a deadly race of immortals from shattering the walls between worlds—with devastating consequences.…

Synopsis – Dreamfever

dreamfever1MacKayla Lane lies naked on the cold stone floor of a church, at the mercy of the erotic Fae master she once swore to kill. Far from home, unable to control her sexual hungers, MacKayla is now fully under the Lord Master’s spell.…In New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning’s stunning new novel, the walls between human and Fae worlds have come crashing down. And as Mac fights for survival on Dublin’s battle-scarred streets, she will embark on the darkest—and most erotically charged—adventure of her life.

He has stolen her past, but MacKayla will never allow her sister’s murderer to take her future. Yet even the uniquely gifted sidhe-seer is no match for the Lord Master, who has unleashed an insatiable sexual craving that consumes Mac’s every thought—and thrusts her into the seductive realm of two very dangerous men, both of whom she desires but dares not trust.

As the enigmatic Jericho Barrons and the sensual Fae prince V’lane vie for her body and soul, as cryptic entries from her sister’s diary mysteriously appear and the power of the Dark Book weaves its annihilating path through the city, Mac’s greatest enemy delivers a final challenge.…

It’s an invitation Mac cannot refuse, one that sends her racing home to Georgia, where an even darker threat awaits. With her parents missing and the lives of her loved ones under siege, Mac is about to come face-to-face with a soul-shattering truth—about herself and her sister, about Jericho Barrons…and about the world she thought she knew.

My Review

Absolutely incredible. Unconventionally, I’ll start with the end and work my way back to my overall thoughts. To say I was shocked… horrified… is an utter understatement. I was reading with my mouth fully agape, stupefied at everything that had transpired. I have never seen endings as gripping, so expertly tearing you apart than the ones that Karen Marie Moning writes. Just wow.

“Nobody looks good in their darkest hours. But it’s those hours that make us what we are.”

This series seriously just keeps getting better and better! Fever… welcome to my top 3 spots for all-time favorite paranormal series. Un-be-freakin-leavable.  This series has the ability to shock and surprise me so completely. The plot thickens with each book, adding another layer of mystery, another profusion of questions, another level of intensity and angst that have me at the edge of my seat. And yet… there is still so much on the horizon.

“The hard lessons were yet to come, waiting for me in the craic-filled streets of the Temple Bar District of Dublin, where I would watch people die, and learn to kill, where I would meet Jericho Barrons, V’lane and the Lord Master; where I would step-up to the plate as a major player in a deadly game of the fate-of-the-world stakes.”

MacKayla is literally inundated by a sea of questions. As players in the game made their moves, she finds only one rule to be true… always expect the unexpected. There is nothing predictable, nothing certain and nothing without cost. Everyone seems to want a piece of her and she doesn’t know who she can trust. The depths of Barrons’ power and knowledge continues to be more than expected, incredibly impressive and incredibly mysterious. WHO IS BARRONS?!

“Barrons was powerful, broodingly good-looking, insanely wealthy, frighteningly intelligent, and had exquisite taste, not to mention a hard body that emitted some kind of constant low-level charge. Bottom line: He was the stuff of heroes.”

The rising level of angst between them is unbearable for me. Admittedly, I just want them to grab each other and go at it! They are such complex individuals, existing in a permanent state of gray, full of pride and true grit, yet it’s clear they care. There are times where both of them could soften, but they don’t and it’s brilliant character development and completely frustrating at the same time. But Barrons is Barrons. Undeniably and always in control.

“You’ve mistaken me for someone else. Do not wait on me, Ms. Lane. Do not construct your world around mine. I’m not that man.”

The end of Faefever shocked me as I mentioned above and the beginning of Dreamfever possibly shocked me even more. It was terrible, wonderful, fulfilling, unfulfilling and scary all at once. What happened during those early chapters completely rattled me on the inside. Unforgettable moments.

“You’re leaving me, Rainbow Girl.”

You’ve got to experience the raw power of those scenes. I’m truly fascinated at the way Karen Marie Moning constructs these stories… The plot moves forward despite the multitude of questions it leaves in its wake, gripping us so completely without giving us exactly what we desire sometimes. It’s an incredibly addictive series with so much mystery that it’s impossible to let it go even for a moment.

“I was adrift in a sea of questions and if answers were lifeboats, I was in imminent danger of drowning.”

I absolutely loved Dani O’Malley. Her and Mac together are a veritable team of bad-asses! Both of their pasts still remain an enigma. They clearly have incredible skills and possibly undiscovered power. Dani sees Mac as a sister and she’s grown to care for her a great deal. I also love that the relationship between them is a way for the author to bring in some emotional grounding… some realism…  as well as perpetually connect us with the reality that Mac’s sister had been murdered. This constantly brings into focus what she is there for. To find the Sinsar Dubh and avenge Alina.

And then of course, the ending to book 4, Dreamfever, left me once again, completely shocked, breathless and clawing for the next book. It’s a KILLER cliffhanger!!!! I am so glad I am reading these when practically all the books are available, I would NOT have survived the wait!!!!

I can’t say enough good things about these books. They are worthy of every praise imaginable. Karen Marie Moning is a brilliant storyteller and writer. 6 bright shiny stars!!!

“He is in my soul and I am in his, and we are in bed but we are in a desert, and I do not know where he begins and I end.”

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Review: Bloodfever (#2, Fever) by Karen Marie Moning

My Thoughts

Fae-tastic! Dark and dangerous, action-packed
and exciting, gruesome and vicious.
The series keeps getting better and better as the sinister situation
escalates and truths begin to be revealed in this harrowing
and captivating sequel! Could not put it down for one hot second!

6stars

Synopsis

bloodfever coverI used to be your average, everyday girl but all that changed one night in Dublin when I saw my first Fae, and got dragged into a world of deadly immortals and ancient secrets.

In her fight to stay alive, MacKayla must find the Sinsar Dubh—a million-year-old book of the blackest magic imaginable, which holds the key to power over the worlds of both the Fae and Man. Pursued by assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she can’t trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and powerful men: V’lane, the immortal Fae Prince, and Jericho Barrons, a man as irresistible as he is dangerous.

For centuries the shadowy realm of the Fae has coexisted with that of humans. Now the walls between the two are coming down, and Mac is the only thing that stands between them.

My Review

“My world began falling apart with the death of my sister, and hasn’t stopped since. And it’s not just my world that’s in trouble; it’s your world, too.”

O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D! I cannot stop reading these books! I am so consumed and gripped by the story and by its characters. I mean… WOW… JERICHO BARRONS! Has there ever been such an alluring, enigmatic, powerful man? What is he?! What are his intentions? His true motivations?! But I digress… first things first.

Bloodfever was an amazing sequel. It once again packed pulse-pumping action, suspense, mystery, murder and a new level of pent-up desire. I thought that Bloodfever was largely about Mac’s transformation… her evolution from a small-town girl, “part-time bartender, part-time sun-worshiper and full-time glamour girl” to someone who begins to harness her inner power and who is suddenly more driven by revenge than she expected to be in the first place. She was convincingly kick ass in this book, having to endure things that were torturous and agonizing to read.

“Gone is my long blond hair, chopped short for the sake of anonymity and dyed dark. Gone are my pretty pastel outfits, replaced by drab colors that don’t show blood. I’ve learned to cuss, steal, lie and kill. I’ve been assaulted by a death-by-sex Fae and made to strip, not once but twice, in public. I discovered I was adopted. I nearly died… In one short month I’ve managed to piss off virtually every being with magical power in this city. Half of those I’ve encountered want me dead; the other half want to use me to find the deadly, coveted Sinsar Dubh.”

In addition, we are revealed yet another layer of truth, only to discover the many layers still veiled beneath. So many secrets are shrouded, so many connections and motivations hidden. Not all the players in the game are known, and those that are known make it innately difficult to discern the side on which they play. Good and bad. Black and white. Alive and dead. And yet, as MacKayla attempts to piece it all together and find her place in this deadly game, she finds that they all persist in that amorphous, gray in-between. Nothing is clear. Are they all pawns of a bigger puppeteer?

“There are only shades of gray… Good and evil, in their purest form, are as intangible and forever beyond our ability to hold in our hand as any Fae illusion. We can only aim at them, aspire to them, and hope not to get lost in the shadows that we can no longer aim for light.”

The situation-at-hand infinitely intensifies, as the threats that once loomed take form and take action. Thankfully, Barrons is almost unfailingly there when it counts, saving MacKayla at the most dire hour. He’s so possessive, protective and controlling and yet it’s clear he values and cares for MacKayla, although his intentions remain hidden. It’s also evident that his power, physically and intrinsically, is far beyond what Mac first thought. He also has moments where his facade softens, his passion blazes and his desire is unexpectedly made evident… and let me tell you, it’s incredibly melt-worthy.

“One day you may kiss a man you can’t breathe without, and find breath is of little consequence.”

The push and pull between MacKayla and Barrons is captivating and exciting… I just can’t get enough. They need each other, but the make the other intensely mad. Despite Mac demanding answers, in typical Barrons fashion, he has none to offer, leaving Mac with more questions on which to ponder. Jericho Barrons is such a well-written, dark, passionate, mystery of a man that you can’t help but be drawn to him.

In summary, another unbelievable, brilliantly written book in this amazing series. SO much happens. SO much is YET to happen. But with stakes so high, however, Mac and Barrons need each other more than ever. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

“When everything else if gone, balls are all any of us really have left. The question is: Are yours made of flesh and blood, or steel?”

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Review: Darkfever (#1, Fever) by Karen Marie Moning

My Thoughts

Exciting. Consuming. Addictive. Imaginative.
An all-engrossing story that transpires amid a dark and
sinister underworld populated by a host of intriguing,
well-developed characters that left me hungry for more.
Mystery, action, murder, passion, revenge… this book has it all!

6stars

Synopsis

dark fever coverMacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman. Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane–an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women–closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book–because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands….

My Review

“It began as most thing begin. Not on a dark and stormy night. Not foreshadowed by ominous here comes the villain music, dire warning at the bottom of a teacup, or dread portents in the sky. It began small and innocuously, as most catastrophes do. A butterfly flaps its wings somewhere and the wind changes, and a warm front hits a cold front off the coast of western Africa and before you know it you’ve got an hurricane closing in. By the time anyone figured out the storm was coming, it was too late to do anything but batten down the hatches and exercise damage control.”

I just finished this book and I’m literally forcing myself to write this review because all I want to do is keep reading! I was utterly consumed by Karen Marie Moning’s world, her story, her characters. I loved everything about this book and it had honestly been awhile since a book evoked this frenzied excitement in me.

I reveled in the original realm she’s developed. Despite there being many books that deal with the Fae, I thought her take of it to be imaginative and distinct, vividly capturing the evil and ugliness that lurks in the shadowed streets of Dublin. The multidimensional characters and the connections between them are intriguing, helping to fully engross you in the allure of this suspenseful story line. The story itself really had it all… blood-curling evil, mystery, revenge, action, power and the undeniable glamor of the underworld.  I was just fully and undeniably enraptured by the story… I could see it, feel it, as if I was there myself. The characters are well-developed, although there is so much more to be learned, of that I am decisively sure.

MacKayla Lane lives is a 22-year-old girl, who enjoys her life as a bartender and lives with her parents in a “po-dunk little town in steamy southern Georgia.” She relishes in her girly ways… her manicured nails, her perfectly put-together outfits and her sunshine blonde hair. Her life is perfect and happy. She didn’t expect her existence to shift so dramatically the moment she learns of the violent murder of her older sister, Alina, who had been studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland. With her parents shattered and lost in their grief and local authorities hitting dead ends, she took it upon herself to avenge her sister and discover the real truth behind what transpired.

“Rage watered my parched soul. I wanted answers. I wanted justice. I wanted revenge. I seemed to be the only one.”

When MacKayla arrives in Dublin, she quickly uncovers that her sister led a duplicitous life, one surprisingly entangled in the dark, magical and corrupt world of the dark Fae. Her investigation takes her across unknown streets of the city, through dark alleys and amidst the threat of looming shadows. I know there are some that don’t love MacKayla, but I thought she was a great character. I loved that she is an atypical heroine who clearly doesn’t belong, but whom musters the courage from within to find out what happened to her sister. She’s intelligent, fiesty, but very real. For a girl who’s entire world gets flipped in what seems like an instant, she does exceptionally well. She’s driven by the mystery too, trying to piece the almost non-existent clues together.

“I was flabbergasted. I was betrayed. There was a whole huge part of my sister’s life that she’d been withholding from me for months. What kind of danger had she been in? What had she been trying to keep me out of? Until what was safer for us? What did we have to find?”

One ominous evening, she gets lost and stumbles upon Barron’s Books and Baubles. Enter Jericho Barrons (and cue heart palpitations)…

“He wasn’t handsome. That was too calm a word. He was intensely masculine. He was sexual. He attracted. There was an omnipresent carnality about him, in his dark eyes, in his full mouth, in the way he stood. He was the kind of man I wouldn’t flirt with in a million years.”

Talk about alpha males. I immediately envisioned this man in my head. Dark and cunning, powerful and controlling, possessive and disarming. He was intriguing from head to toe, shrouded in a mystery that you were simultaneously drawn to and in fear of. Like a moth to a flame, I was pulled to him, captivated by him, allured by his all-consuming presence. He instantly became one of my all-time favorite characters. Furthermore, he is everything that is different from MacKayla, making them an unlikely, but fascinating duo to see together. It truly was brilliant written and devised character development.

“If he was winter, I was summer. If I was sunshine, he was night. A dark and stormy one.”

Without disclosing any aspects of the plot line, MacKayla is pulled into the vises of this dangerous, magical world where the bone-chilling Unseelie roam the dark streets of Dublin… a world where objects hold immense dark power, murders are everyday currency, people (dead and undead) wield powers to disarm and kill… and almost everything and everyone has secrets. Understandingly, she has some trouble adjusting to her new reality, particularly as she discovers she is not the person she believed herself to be.

“Sometimes, Ms. Lane,” he said, “one must break with one’s past to embrace one’s future. It is never an easy thing to do. It is one of the distinguishing characteristics between survivors and victims. Letting go of what was, to survive what is.”

As I mentioned above, the relationship she develops with Barron is fascinating to watch unfold. They are so categorically different… Barrons insists on control, answers questions with questions, hides behind secrets and has no patience for pretty much anything. MacKayla struggles… she’s new to this world, she’s trying to learn and she’s trying to accept everything that has happened to her. By the book’s end, however, she’s clearly evolved as she is summoning her own strengths and leveraging her own skills… a force to be reckoned with I’m sure. There is no romance here (yet). Desire, yes. Passion, yes. Anger, hell yes. But I love the directness of their exchanges and the fact that there is ZERO softness from Barrons. He is all alpha, all control, all power through and through.

“Because you have one hope of survival, Ms. Lane. You must believe and you must fear, or your’re wasting my time. F*** you and your ‘Let’s pretend I believe your little story.’ If you can’t give me a ‘Tell me, teach me everything, I want to live,’ then get the bloody hell out of here!”

The story ends with a cliffhanger that as mentioned above had me one-clicking book 2, Bloodfever, mere seconds after I finished. I cannot wait to read every book in the series and further lose myself in this imaginative, vivid, sinister and dark underworld that Karen Marie Moning has so vividly depicted through her brilliant writing and masterful storytelling. If you haven’t read this series, BUY IT NOW!!!!  You won’t regret it! This is one of my favorite books of the year!

“It’s often only in the lies we refuse to speak that any truth can be heard at all.”

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