As I pondered how to the write this review, I felt stymied because this is the book many readers have been anticipating for nearly six years as the culmination of the Fever series. My problem, as I write, is that everything seems like a spoiler simply because everything answers a question, while at the same time bringing up more. Saying that, I’ve worked to avoid as many spoilers as possible and hope I’ve succeeded.
MacKayla Lane first traveled to Dublin seeking answers to the brutal murder of her older sister. Since that time, she’s discovered the Fae and the deadly impact of their wars on the existence of mankind. She is also a pawn in that war and all sides want her because of her sidhe-seer ability to track the Sinsar Dubh, the book containing the Unseelie King’s dark magic, which some want to use for their gain and others want to contain. Unfortunately, Mac doesn’t know who to trust so she trusts only herself, but now she’s not even sure who or what she is.
Shadowfever is divided into five parts and the first one picks up where Dreamfever left off after Mac killed her beast with her spear only to discover that the beast was Barrons. She is absolutely anguished and broken. However, Mac 5.0 is strong and smart and ready to do whatever she must to survive and accomplish her goals. When the Lord Master appears, she buries her despair and continues forward with a new goal: She’ll use whoever she must to find the book, subdue it, and use it to remake the world and bring all those she loves, mainly Barrons, back to a new world of her making. She’s willing to destroy for him.
Little does she know, the book wants her as much as she wants it and it changes all her plans. She quickly discovers that remaking the world isn’t as important as figuring out who or what she is, what she’s capable of, and whether she’ll fall on the side of good or evil. In addition, she also has to untangle complicated relationships and determine who is working against her and her world.
This book is in no way a stand-alone story and any reader going into it as such will be lost and disappointed, as will anyone expecting a traditional romance. And, while I loved every minute of it and read it two times back to back, it has it problems that keep it from falling into the DIK territory.
My biggest problem stems from way too much time spent in Mac’s head, with more explanation and introspection than action. As far as I’m concerned, part one could have been summed up in a chapter. It’s needed because the reader needs to see Mac grow and develop, but it was simply too much. It’s length almost made me skip ahead and read the ending just to ease my uncertainty. Also, I wanted to see more of Mac with Barrons. Yes, without a doubt he’s an ass. However, I love their battles, his possessive nature and jealousy, as well of the uncertainty of their relationship. It works and I wish there were more of that instead of the long separations. While the majority of my questions were answered, there were a few rather important ones concerning the major characters of this story left unanswered. I can’t help but wonder if they’ll be addressed in a future series or if they’re questions I’ll have to write off as unanswerable.
Ms. Moning kept readers glued to the series because of the constant unexpected twists and complicated turns that provide a rich, deeply thought-out and carefully plotted reading experience. There were moments of shock and surprise from the beginning right up until the very end of this installment for me. It’s been a long time since I’ve been genuinely surprised at how different things within a story turn out, but this one kept me on my toes for nearly the entire experience. There were also gut-wrenching moments that literally caused my stomach to drop as I read. Not only was the plot moving, but the characters, good and bad, claimed an emotional investment as well. I enjoyed seeing Mac grow from the immature drama queen to the warrior she becomes. Her relationships with Barrons, Dani, V’lane, Rowena, and others fuel the intriguing plot and give it even more depth.
I was pleased with the storytelling, consistent characterizations, and resolutions found in Shadowfever and feel that it is the perfect ending to the series. However, I still want more and I can’t wait to see what Ms. Moning has planned next.