Fantasy, New Adult Romance, Paranormal

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

Publish Date: January 18th, 2011
Number of Pages: 608 Pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

***Warning!! This review contains spoilers from the previous books in the series, continue reading at your own risk. You’ve officially been warned!***

To see my review of book #1 – Darkfever — Click HERE

To see my review of book #2 – Bloodfever — Click HERE

To see my review of book #3 – Faefever — Click HERE

To see my review of book #4 – Dreamfever — Click HERE

To see my Fancast/Dreamcast of the series – Click HERE

Total Star Rating: 4.5 Stars

Finally…

At long last…

The time has come to get answers to the ever-growing list of questions that have come up since starting this blasted series, but I can say without a doubt that SO. MUCH. HAPPENS. IN. THIS. BOOK!

A few words to describe it: wicked, vicious, sexy, intoxicating, twisted, unpredictable, startling, unrelenting, infuriating, addicting, enchanting, and utterly mind-blowing! The most satisfying component about this book by far is how we finally get some answers that Karen Marie Moning had been deviously hiding from us since the very beginning. From the very first chapter, your heart and your soul is put to the ultimate test as you’re put right back into the thick of it with how the previous book ended, and from there on it just feels like a never ending emotional roller coaster!

Looking back on this series and where it’s taken me, I had no idea that it would truly suck me in like it has since the start of the new decade. I know I’ve probably said this before in my past reviews, but I seriously just remember scoffing at the description of Darkfever a little bit when my work friend, Erika, first told me about these books and how they’d completely sucked her in. Plus, with some of the cover designs, I figured it would just be another really stupid and trashy paranormal romance series… While I can say there have been over sexualized, strange moments in this series to prove my point, I can’t stress enough that they had quickly become so much more than that as I’d read on!

I was especially surprised at how deep the plot had ended up becoming as I’d devoured each book after the last; the Fae lore and all the big players that have only been mentioned in all the stories that we’ve been told, the Sinsar Dubh–that freaky as fuck possessed book that everyone is hunting and has been following Mac like some creepy stalker…not to mention all the incredible side characters we’ve gotten to know too! There’s Christian Mackeltar, Ryodan, V’Lane, Dani O’Malley, Inspector Jayne, the other Sidhe-Seers, Dreamy-Eyed Guy, the monsters, the Unseelie Princes, and even Darroc–aka The Lord Master–has become someone truly intriguing in this series. Also, I just love the unpredictability of it all…not the character tropes because I will admit a few of them are pretty cliché, but just how I truly didn’t know what was going to happen next and what direction everything was going to take…I had my guesses throughout, but almost every time was way off.

Before I can go further, all I can say to those who’ve made it this far; all the cliffhangers and frustration hasn’t driven you away, and I can say without a doubt this book will not disappoint. It finally answers a lot of questions while still leaving us with some loose ends in order to keep the series going further, BUT it’s not nearly as bd as it has been! It’s truly a satisfying ending.

What It’s About:

We left off with Mac losing her frickin’ mind over whoever the beast had turned out to be. She and Ryodan teamed up to kill the big, bad beastie while Ryodan had been tossed over a cliff to disappear, and were left wondering if he’s dead. Mac absolutely loses it and ends up on the ground in the fetal position over the body of….

…major spoiler ahead…

…Jericho Barrons. That’s right, he’s the beast that showed up shortly after she’d dialed the “IYD” number on her phone Jericho had given her way back. She’s sobbing, she can’t go on, she doesn’t know how to keep going, she realizes her true feelings for the mysterious and brooding alpha-hole we’d all come to appreciate. She’s devastated until there’s a shift within her, and suddenly she’s not anymore. She becomes like a shell of herself, and becomes cold. calculating. sinister. vengeful. She vows the last thing she’ll do is to finally capture that damned book and use it to create a new world. A better world with her dead sister, Alina, and Jericho both brought back to her. To do that, she has to gain help from the most unlikely source of them all…The Lord Master himself, Darroc!

Mac truly seems to have gone over to the dark side with her new alliance, and the Lord Master provides her with more information about the book itself, and believes he knows a way to be able to merge with it without letting it possess him and corrupt his soul. All the while, Mac waits like an Angel Shark beneath the sand and patiently waits for the perfect moment to strike.

The war between humans and the Fae continues to escalate, and become even more dangerous as new alliances are formed, shocking and bitter betrayals steal our breath away, and finally figuring out how exactly to stop the Sinsar Dubh, what exactly Barrons and his other men are, also figuring out who exactly Mac is. It’s been played with for a little bit now, but there’s definitely something off about the visions and memories she has that aren’t her own, other clues and newfound powers…what’s going on there? Also, the grand finale of it all will reveal a enemy that has been like a wolf hidden amongst the sheep: someone who’s started all of this, and someone who had the most to gain through everything that has happened…

What I Liked:

  1. That Finale! What a surprise! There were two major reveals in the climax of the book: one that involved multiple people and the other that was shocking, but part of me just wants to say…I FUCKING CALLED IT! Ever since I’d met this character, I’ve had an off feeling about them, and I’m happy to say my gut reaction was right about them all along!
  2. Dani O’Malley! Let me start off by saying that I haven’t always been the biggest fan of Dani, especially as she becomes a more central character and you hear from her perspective in a few chapters…Not a fan. I think she needs to go through some more growth before she takes center stage, HOWEVER…something happens in this book that makes her character a whole lot more interesting, and raises many eyebrows too. Suddenly, I want to hear more about what’s going through her head, and how certain things came to be.
  3. How Nicely Everything Ties (Mostly) Together! I’ve loved how tightly woven the plot and all it’s mysteries have been planned out throughout this series since the very first book. So many little factors that have stacked on top of each other and have added to the anxiety produced at how slowly things are revealed. I have to say overall how everything tied together in the end really well with this book; it was obvious that Karen Marie Moning knew about how this outcome would come to be since the very beginning and gave us clues and tidbits of info at an achingly slow pace that built until this moment. As far as I’m aware, every question that’s popped up has been accounted for, and there aren’t any holes left untouched!
  4. Mac and Jericho’s Relationship! In this book, it’s shown how their relationship has changed and honestly has become more satisfying than any of the other books in this regard. What I can truly appreciate about KMM’s work on Barrons is that he stays true to his character. He’s not some soft, vulnerable being who shows a sensitive side of himself whenever it’s just him and Mac, and he never becomes that guy either. He stays hard, cheeky, cold, snippy, but we love him for it anyways. The two of them still have those many, many arguments, but they also have those important conversations with them just looking at each other. The sexual tension continues to build and build between them, and while he doesn’t lose his edge to do it, Barrons finally reveals what his true feelings are and I am HERE for it!

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. The Highlanders Cross-Over…For many fans of Karen Marie Moning, I’m sure you’re aware of her other series out there: The Highlander series. I personally have not read it, and honestly don’t plan on reading it either, but can tell you that the main characters of that series come over to Dublin. You’d met some of them in the previous book too, but as they’re the group of Druids that assisted the Seelie Fae Court since ancient times, they are needed in order to assist in the capture and containment of the Sinsar Dubh. For me, it was a jumble of other characters that were a struggle to be able to tell the difference between. I know some fans were probably jumping with glee about this crossover–I probs would be too–but with me not touching the other series, this addition was honestly kind of lost on me.
  2. What Barrons Turns Out To Be…I’m not gonna lie…this reveal was disappointing to me. I just thought with so much emphasis around the mystery of what exactly Jericho Barrons was would’ve lead to a much bigger reveal in the end. I was someone who’d suspected he was the Unseelie King, and he was after the Sinsar Dubh because as the king, he’d created it, but realized he’d made it too powerful, and wanted to destroy it once and for all. I think what he turns out to be is cool enough, and would be interested in learning more background info/history of what he is later on in the series, so we’ll see I guess…

Conclusion:

An epic finale of what I guess is only the first phase of this intricate and twisted urban fantasy series that has become a serious addiction since the start of 2020. All our frustrations as readers has finally been rewarded, and KMM gives us so many answers to our questions that have been with us since the very first book, Darkfever. While she ties pretty much all of her loose ends together, she’s also able to reveal some shocking new information too that tells us things are very much far from over…

Part of me really wishes I could go back and reread all these first five books, and catch all the little details and easter eggs I’d missed and become even more impressed at the masterful storytelling this series has given me, but know I have so many other books I haven’t touched on my “to read” shelf that I seriously need to give a try already. It’s okay, because I love this series so much already that I have hardcover copies already giving my bookshelf a massive glow-up with their presence, so it’ll happen at some point, that much is guaranteed.

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Fantasy, New Adult, New Adult Romance, Paranormal, Romance

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

Publish Date: August 26th, 2008
Number of Pages: 347 Pages
Publisher: Dell
Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal

Total Star Rating: 4 Stars

So just what I needed…another series to dig my hands into.

Especially, another book about the Fae – not that I’m necessarily complaining – I’ve absolutely adored other series like Throne of Glass, and The Folk of the Air to be specific that have had the Fae as a central part of their story plot. It’s really fun to see how authors showcase different variations of the fair folk, all the while, still using the same rule set as a base to go off.

Darkfever is the first book in what looks like a long series involving the Fae: an urban fantasy, paranormal romance that I can tell – even just by the first book – can be something that is absolutely addicting to read. It seriously has it all: murder mystery, a well developed world rich in myth and lore, comedic one-liners and commentary, multiple swoon-worthy leading men, and what is most likely going to turn into a slow-burn romance between one of them.

Recommended to me from a friend and coworker, I started the book with honestly no expectations, and then found myself enjoying it, and really getting into the world the author had created. I saw something special in the main character, Mackayla Lane: I loved her hilarious commentary throughout the story, especially as she’d called out a certain character who may or may not be a vampire – she wasn’t afraid to point out the clichés like the creepy castle on the hilltop, the lightning timed perfectly to their arrival, his secret lair in a cave, his whole creepy demeanor: the works.

What It’s About:

When MacKayla’s sister was murdered, she left a single clue to her death: a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone. Journeying to Dublin, Ireland in search of answers, Mac is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to master 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 bookstore owner, Jericho Barrons. They decide to work together in order to find a rare artifact that her sister had been searching for, but their alliance doesn’t ease both their reluctance to put their trust in each other, especially with the plethora of secrets they both carry.

Despite discovering the reveal of monsters literally littering the streets, theres also V’lane – an alpha Fae Prince – who’s hot on her trail, no pun intended, because he’s some High Fae who drags out human sexual attraction to incredibly dangerous levels.

As the boundary between our world and the fae’s begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: to find the elusive Sinsar Dubh – the rare artifact both her and Jericho are searching for – before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book of magic. Whoever gets to it first would hold nothing less than complete control of both worlds, human and fae.

What I Liked:

  1. Mackayla’s Character Growth! Mackayla, or Mac, starts off as a literal human barbie doll living in Atlanta, Georgia: she has long blonde hair, a bubbly personality, loves the color pink, and has tons of gorgeous friends to go on shopping excursions with. She seems pretty shallow and vapid to start off with, but actually develops even in just the first chapter when she learns that her sister has been murdered. Her parents are absolutely torn apart about the devastating news, but Mackayla reacts unexpectedly; she burns with the need for revenge.
  2. The Murder Mystery! Her sister’s murder is the lead driving point of the plot, it drives Mac to drop everything and catch the first flight to Dublin, Ireland where her sister had been studying abroad. I always love a good whodunnit murder mystery, and while I wished it’d stayed more central to the plot, even after Mac discovers the whole world of the fae, it still drives her whole story arc and the book in general.
  3. The Worldbuilding! I hadn’t expected this to have become such a big draw of the book! Anyone who is a fan of the fae has probably read plenty of other books, but what I liked was the lore behind this series in particular. Basically, theres the Seelie and the Unseelie: the good and the bad. Each court has a ruler: The Seelie Queen and the Unseelie King, along with their followers of either Fae warriors or vile monsters. There’s also sidhe-seers, mortal beings that can see through the glamours of the fae. Mac, of course, turns out to be a sidhe-seer, along with having the other abilities to sense sacred fae artifacts and being able to stop fae power with the touch of her fingers for an extended period of time.
  4. V’lane! He was probably the character that had drawn my attention the most, which is ironic considering he was the one who’d appeared the least… He’s a powerful Fae prince to the Seelie Queen, and has the ability to draw out sexual attraction in humans that come into contact with him, like some pheromone on steroids. I’m not even joking: Mac gets so hot and bothered in his presence that she actually strips in public several times and has to try to stop touching herself – seriously…it was some really fucking weird shit that actually made me crack up. Anyways, because we see so little of him and his gorgeous face, I’m extremely curious to see how he plays out as the series develops. Is he a potential love interest to Mac? Where do his loyalties really lie? Will he become a villain? What’s his purpose to the story?? SO MANY QUESTIONS!

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. The (Lack of) Romance…It’s called a paranormal romance series, but besides a few quickly thrown in actions towards the end, there was actually very little romance involved with this first title between Mac and Jericho. I’m all for slow burn romance, and obviously their relationship is incredibly unconventional with plenty of tension, secrets, and lack of trust does not make for sexy times…I was still hoping to be given a little more than daydreams, a quick peck that may or may not have happened, and Mac being turned into a freaky exhibitionist in the middle of a museum because of V’lane.
  2. The Stereotypical Characters…Some readers would be turned off to keep going with this series because I can admit it: the characters do seem pretty cliché. Mac is the stereotypical bubbly, shallow blonde who is naive and maybe not the brightest crayon in the box – a complete Elle Woods knockoff who at least turns into a Buffy the Vampire Slayer warrior babe who wants to kick ass and take names. Jericho Barrons is also given a similar treatment: he’s the tall, dark, brooding and handsome type who has a fiery temper and little time for gorgeous little blonde’s who stumble into his bookstore with dangerous questions. He’s the type of alpha anti-hero we’ve probably all seen before. I do suggest taking all this with a grain of salt, as this series has been out for quite some time now. This book was first published in 2006, and I’m reviewing this in 2020…obviously books don’t always hold up well, even just five or six years after their published. I mean, look at all the “classics”: They’re boring and probably wouldn’t even get published in today’s world of literature.

Conclusion:

A series that I didn’t need to add on top of all the other series I’m reading, but enjoy nonetheless! It’s going around the office amongst my coworkers as the next juicy series to sink our fangs into, so consider me added to the bandwagon! I’m VERY curious to see how this series plays out!

I recommend this title to anyone who enjoy’s reading about the fae, or enjoy’s Urban Fantasy genre titles like TV Shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Trueblood, The Vampire Diaries, or pretty much any book written by Cassandra Clare. To me, they all match the tone of the Fever series in both plot and characters.

I’ve started the second title almost immediately after completing this first book, so I can say it’s a good sign that I’m that eager to see what happens next!

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell