- Hardcover: 608 pages
- Publisher: Delacorte Press (January 18, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385341679
- ISBN-13: 978-0385341677
My review: 3 Stars
Let me preface my review by saying I really enjoy Karen Marie Moning's books, and loved her Fever series, and the overall story arc. This just wasn't my favorite.
Shadowfever was surprising, and clever at times, but 80% of the book left me waiting for something truly amazing to happen. Perhaps my expectation was the problem. The last 20% of the book makes up for it; the ending is awesome, and I love how she pulls things together. It's a must read if you've been following the series.
All questions were answered, but without Moning's usual finesse. I can not say this enough. Normally, she is an eloquent writer, but Shadowfever seemed plain, riddled with cliches. I want books to lure me in, seduce and enchant me, whether they're book one or book five. It felt like the author already had us hooked on her series line, so she just pounded out words to get to the end. It didn't even seem like she tried to make it pretty. Mac's internal dialogue was redundant, and at times a struggle to get through.
The eroticism of the male characters, and their effect on Mac was over emphasized, and it seemed silly; in some instances it felt odd and inappropriate for the circumstances. Hot, sensuous males is a Moning trademark, but in some scenes, it just didn't fit. I just saw you die now I have to *&^% you. I get where she's coming from--the male expressing emotion after a traumatizing event-- but it doesn't flow, and to me, comes across as ridiculous, laughable. The picture Mac finds of Darroc is creepy, and there are no words she could throw at it to make it anything else. Oh, and poor Darroc, the Lord Master. The resolution of his storyline is sadly anticlimactic.
Finally, we find out what Barrons is. I'm not upset at what he turned out to be, but after the big reveal, he's no longer the classy, barely- contained sexual Barrons we've come to know and love. He's suddenly just a boorish tough guy. The sexual tension just isn't there and that's a sad thing because Moning writes it very well.
I was very surprised to learn the mystery behind the sounds in the garage, but even this was fumbled by Barrons pretending to fall for a lie Mac tells him. He smiles his winning smile because the lie makes him realize Mac loves him. What? After all his suffering, a MILLENNIUM of pain and suffering, and suddenly rainbow girl loves him (he's only know her a few months) and all is right with the world? NO. WAY. It would be far more palatable for Barrons to be angry, hurt, disappointed (pick your adjective), and have these feelings force Mac deep within herself in search of a solution to help the man she loves.
Moning wanted to create a monster unknown to readers, one that would defy categorization and labels, but Barrons is just an amalgam of all the fiendish horrors without all the brooding and self pity.
When done well, I love young adult novels full of raw, coming-of-age emotions, and I enjoy young characters in adult fiction, but Dani, the fourteen-year-old sidhe seer, is simply annoying--no funny snark there. Moning needs to practice writing a YA character that is believable to the reader. Portraying young adults is a completely different animal, and not just an adult projection of what a young adult "should be."
Shadowfever gets a generous three stars for the few surprise appearances and revelations in the magical denouement of the fever series. It's obvious the author is planning to write more in the fever world but this reader is done, done, done. My curiosity hasn't been piqued quite enough, and I have absolutely no interest in Dani at all. Wait! But what about Christian? Ahh. Never say never.