I have to say, Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning is probably not my favorite novel of the Fever series. It’s still a good read as it does tie up a lot of loose ends, but it starts off badly and that’s the first impression anyone gets. It’s that impression that lasts with a reader, and for me, can taint the story.
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?
First off, I’m not digging the changing first person point of views. Seriously. There’s no obvious tell as to who is talking until they say something that you can associate them with. Plus, I really dislike hearing Dani’s voice. I just don’t find her to be an enjoyable person to ride. She’s too arrogant, unjustifiably so, and her language is just so…why? I don’t normally have an issue with strong language, but when it’s used all the time, and I mean all the time, it’s just too much. Especially coming from a thirteen year old mouth. Thankfully, this switching POVs is really only in the first two sections.
As for Mac – what. the. hell. Where in the world does this “black” Mac come from? All through the first part of Shadowfever, we have this grief-stricken Mac that has decided to be the complete opposite of herself. Granted, I get it. She’s so upset over the death of the beast (and who the beast is), that she goes postal. That part of the equation makes sense. What doesn’t make sense to me is how extreme she goes. Nothing in the previous books has given any indication that she could pull this attitude off and then she does. It’s just a complete role reversal that I just can’t get behind. Seriously. I started Shadowfever right after it came out on January 18th and actually put it down because she was just so off the wall for me.
Thankfully, once you get past the first section of Shadowfever, it gets better. I had a hard time getting into the story. Even knowing that this was the end and we would finally get answers, I didn’t feel compelled to read it. However, I wanted to finish Shadowfever. The previous Fever novels were fantastic and I didn’t want to end it like this. Once I made it to the resurrection, the story started to pick up and it finally caught my interest. Coincidentally, this is also where Mac reverts back to someone more believable. At least for me.
I have to say, though, I was kind of surprised by how quickly the Lord Master, Darroc, was taken down. And if it’s a surprise to anyone that he dies, come on now, don’t be naive. We all knew it was going to happen, but honestly, I was expecting something a bit more…spectacular. It was kind of a WTF moment. As in that’s how he’s taken out! It just seemed really anticlimactic. That could also be part of the reason I’ve seen comments as to why the story was more dialogue than action. Once Darroc is gone, it’s pretty much Mac vs the Sinsar Dubh and really, exactly how much action can I book contribute to? It’s pretty much a one trick pony and it can only influence someone for so long. So hopefully it doesn’t come as a shock that the rest of Shadowfever is more of Mac trying to figure out who she is than trying to capture the book.
At this point, where Darroc is finally dealt with, the biggest question finally gets answered – what is Jericho Barrons!? And yes, we do find out what he is. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. We are not only shown what he is, but we are right there with Mac as she tries to understand what Barrons is. Others may say we never find out and they are right to an extend – we’re never given a name as to what Barrons is, but I don’t think he needs one. For one, Barrons doesn’t know what he is, just what he has become.
By now, I’m sure everyone has had a chance to read Shadowfever and has developed their own opinion. However, I have to say that this last novel in the Fever series just didn’t seem as epic as it could have been. With the variations in Mac’s attitude, the action being so…out of character from the rest of the series…I’m just not left with any strong feelings toward Shadowfever. I can say this though, Dani definitely left an impression and I wouldn’t say it’s a good one. I LOVE the Fever series, but I’m honestly not excited for Dani’s series to start off this fall with Iced. She’s not a character I enjoyed. I’m actually more excited for Fever Moon, which gives us a whole new adventure with Mac and Barrons.