Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Book CoverGwen’s review of Shadowfever (Fever Series, Book 5) by Karen Marie Moning
Urban fantasy hardcover released by Delacorte Press 18 Jan 2011

Well, well, well.  Here we are.  Finally at the end of this innovative and addictive series.  I started reading it because I love Moning’s historical/time-traveling romances.  I thought I’d see how one of my favorite authors fared in a completely new genre – not always a successful venture for some authors.  I should have had more faith in Moning’s skill.  I have never been disappointed in this series – frustrated, yes, anxious for the next release, definitely, but never, ever disappointed.

Mac Lane is a unique heroine. She is immediately identifiable to those of us raised in the South – pretty, pampered, and generally spoiled by an easy life.  Then tragedy sends her life in an altogether different direction. She is dragged, sometimes kicking and screaming, into the world of fae, druidry, and hot men who do all they can to manipulate her.

Mac’s “hero”, Jericho Z. Barrons, is a contrary, perversely closedmouthed hunk of a man that she is never able to figure out.  She also lusts after him with a sometimes inexplicable fervor.  JZB also has an agenda that Mac isn’t sure is on the side of the angels, so to speak.

The development of the story arc throughout the series is one of the more intricate bits of writing I’ve experienced.  There’s a push/pull between the main characters, the secondary characters, the story elements, and all the other bits that keep the reader from knowing what to expect from anyone or anything.  This leads to one surprise after another and makes for some very entertaining books.

In Shadowfever, we see the culmination of all these elements and characters.  It’s definitely not the end of the story – no sir-ee –  but it is the end of this initial arc.  These books have developed a new world that is lavish in details, and full of characters that are fun to love, fun to hate, and everything jumbled up in between.  We see whole new sides to some of the main characters and all is revealed.  Well, almost all.  We still don’t know what the heck one of the main characters is (stepping lightly here to avoid spoilers).

For the romance readers out there, you’re given a very tender peek into the Mac & JZB dynamic.  Shadowfever begins in the most gut-wrenching scene I’ve read in some time.  This leads to a crystallization of Mackayla into the powerful being she must be to live through all the events of this book and some of them are wowzers.

I highly recommend this series to anyone looking for a good urban fantasy that takes us down a very different, very entertaining road. I do not recommend reading this on its own – each book builds on the story and the tension into this first-rate finale.  If you haven’t started the series, please run, don’t walk, to your closest bookstore.

Gwens IconGrade: A

Read other reviews and info for this series here.


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.

Read an excerpt here.

Other books in this series (links to the mass-market paperbacks where available):

Book 1 Book 2 Book 3 Book 4