Karen Marie Moning
Received via TLC Book Tours for review
This review contains NO spoilers.
MacKayla Lane used to have a pretty simple life. She was pretty. Boys always liked her. She had a home, loving parents, and a best friend in her sister Alina. Then, with no warning, Alina was brutally taken from her, leaving behind only a cryptic message that changed Mac's life forever.
Now, having been in Dublin, Ireland for months trying to determine who killed her sister and forced into an uneasy alliance with the mysterious Jericho Barrons, Mac is no longer that pretty southern girl. She knows darkness and she knows pain. And as she finds herself more deeply immersed in the world of the fae and the hunt for the Sinsar Dubh, her life is more complicated and dangerous than ever.
She thought she knew what side she was on. She thought she'd already experienced the worst pain and loss a person can endure. She thought her sister was the one who mattered most. She was wrong. On all counts. Questions abound, blackness hovers ominously at every turn, and the young woman with a love for all things pink finds herself a key player in the most epic of battles in the conclusion to this stunning series.
The Fever Series is extraordinarily aptly named, inciting a burn in us from the very first page that increases in intensity with each subsequent book until it culminates in a finale that sends our hearts up in flames as we lose ourselves in the all-consuming visceral awareness of Mac and Barrons, and the palpable, complicated friction between them. Our body temperature ratchets up with every wordless communication they exchange and every careful avoidance of physical contact until sweat beads on our skin in a conditioned physiological response to seeing their two names side by side in inky blackness, just as the pages practically smoke as a result of the speed with which we're flipping them in our haste to know every last detail of this spectacular fantasy. This story is passion and fire, pain and loss, and vengeance and forgiveness, reaching out with invisible fingers to wrap our hearts in an unyielding grip as it promises not necessarily a tale of joy and hope, but rather one of addicting darkness. Part of the appeal is an end that has the potential to deny us the happiness we seek, keeping our feelings in constant flux as we consider the possibility we may arrive at the last page with the hope of finding our emotional wounds stitched together and healing, only to discover a mere tourniquet awaits to help slow the bleeding.
Mac is a character who begins her journey as a young girl of sunshine and warmth, content with being pretty and blond as she revels in pastel colors and other superficial trivialities. What she becomes is a woman of substance, fundamentally altered by the trials we experience vicariously by her side, watching in shock, awe, and incomprehensible pain as she is emotionally eviscerated, physically beaten, and almost completely stripped of all her comforting and recognizable attributes. Though her story is dark and she at times makes decisions with a flawed logic that results in yet another mental or physical scar, she always manages to maintain a death grip on that rainbow girl we met four books prior, and we hold tight to that remnant as the black and crimson of Dublin's battle with the fey comes in various forms to render us both monochromatic.
A man and character who utterly defies definition, Jericho Barrons has us melting at his feet despite the fierce independence of which we think ourselves so capable the moment he opens his mouth and overwhelms us with intensity of his presence. He is a man who embodies qualities that should unnerve us, emanating an unforgettable and predatory sexual ferocity as well as a confidence and intelligence that is neither assumed nor learned, but is part of his very makeup. Though we may struggle and attempt an ultimately futile resistance, we find ourselves drawn into the inexplicable force field he projects–consumed, owned, and shockingly addicted to a complete enigma. This is a man we know virtually nothing about despite having read four novels of which he is a main character, and every tidbit of information we are given in this final installment only serves to further increase our hunger for knowledge–thrusting us into a perpetual cycle of information gathering and seeking from which we have no desire to escape if it means we get to linger a few more moments in his company. In this last book we learn more about him that we ever have before, and we drink in the new facets of a man that has haunted us greedily, quenching a thirst years in the making.
A simple review can never adequately describe Shadowfever, words on a page being spectacularly poor substitutes for the strength of feeling and broad emotional spectrum captured between its covers. Ms. Moning is more than a storyteller, her characters far more tangible than fictional beings could ever be thought to be, and she has created a world of infinite complexity that openly challenges us, dares us to experience it and remain only a passive observer, and then yanks us in with a shocking brute strength as it subjects us to the sharpest of pains sparsely interspersed with the warmest of joys. Enter into this final piece of the puzzle with a first-aid kit at the ready, as Ms. Moning is a master at inflicting wounds designed to injure but not kill, and she subjects both her characters and us to numerous events that leave indelible marks on the soft flesh of our hearts. Despite the pain, we revel in the emotional injuries, honored to be privy to a book capable of having such a remarkable effect.
Thanks to the fabulous people at Random House and TLC Book Tours, I have a copy of Shadowfever to give away to one very lucky commenter. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only and will run through midnight EST on February 14th after which time a winner will be chosen and announced on the blog.
Each stop on this blog tour offers a new opportunity to win a copy of Shadowfever, so be sure and check out the other participating blogs so you can read their reviews and enter their giveaways as well! Good luck everyone!