Monday, July 2, 2012
Review: Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning
Title: Shadowfever (Fever #5)
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Genius. Karen Marie Moning is a genius. I can't even begin to describe my utter admiration for this woman. I think one of the hardest things to do is write a satisfying conclusion to an amazing series, but Moning makes it look so easy. Although Shadowfever is not a book without faults, it manages to tie up the loose ends, answer every nagging question in the back of our minds, and keeps you guessing until the very last page. Honestly, I didn't have anything figured out! Just when I thought I knew what was going on, Moning pulled the rug beneath me again, making me love this series even more than I possibly thought I could.
After the startling (and cliffhanger) events in Dreamfever, Mac finds herself stuck in the Silvers with Darroc, the man who she believes murdered her sister. Now however, all Mac wants is utter revenge, and she will use any means she can to get it. With the book growing steadily more powerful day by day, Mac is forced to use her powers to the fullest, uncover the true meanings behind cryptic prophecies, discover the real murderer of her sister, face the startling truth about Barrons, and finally acknowledge that she herself is not quite what she seems.
I believe I must start out by saying that I absolutely love this series. Not only is it one of the few series I can say that is utterly addicting, it also has a more than satisfactory ending to it. Mac, our protagonist, continues to surprise me with the realistic manner in which the events she goes through change her. I think part of why I adore this series so much is because of the lessons that Mac teaches us. Mac never gives up - whether it is in the face of danger, of grief, of sorrow, of insanity, or even hope. Even in the darkest of days when she is truly alone, she summons up a hidden power inside her and finds the will to move on. In all honesty, I can only say that in my darkest days, I hope I can do the same thing. Mac is easily one of my favorite female heroines in all of literature as her narration is not only fun to read, snarky, and lively, but she is also utterly kick-ass, not without her flaws, and experiences her moments of break-down, sorrow, and grief. All in all, I think one of Moning's greatest achievements throughout this series was her characterization and development of Mac. I admire the woman Mac has become and know that she will continue to shift and grow as the series progresses.
Barrons. Jericho Barrons. Do I really have to say anything more? I can count on one hand the number of men who are as swoon-worthy as Jericho Barrons and I'd probably have to tell you that there aren't any. BUT, my love for Barrons goes beyond his swoon-worthiness, alpha-male persona, and bad-ass powers. In Shadowfever, Moning enables us to see a whole new side of Barrons that completely humanizes him. As the reader, we have always had a sneaking suspicious that Barrons is a tortured male protagonist (like so many others before him), but we have no idea how tortured. By only spilling the beans on Barron's secret in this last installment, Moning enabled us to fall in love with the person Barrons was and not the tragedy that defined him. Instead, his grief only further increased our love for this character and allowed us into his mind, heart, and soul a little better.
The relationship between Mac and Barrons plays out in what I believed to be a very realistic manner. The tension between them is palpable, but so is the underlying current of trust and doubt that stands in the way of their relationship. The manner in which these two overcome those hurdles and somehow manage to find a way to be together in these dark times is heartwarming. What makes their love so special to me is the fact that it isn't all flowers and roses like most "romantic" stories. It's filled with raw need, arguments, deeper understandings, and even pain. Most importantly however, Mac and Barrons become better people because of each other. Barrons forces Mac to look beyond herself and become the best she can be and Mac brings out the same in Barrons as well. I think to me, that makes a relationship more long-lasting, all-encompassing, and passionate than anything else.
Characters aside, the plot of Shadowfever is phenomenal. Although I felt as if the first half of this novel was rather confusing and even a tad bit slow, it was integral to the overarching story arc and developed Mac's character phenomenally. I loved getting to know more about Ryodan and Barron's friends in this story as well reading about the multiple inner battles Mac faced. There were definitely some fatal flaws within the story as the first half was hard to connect with and only further increased the number of questions that needed to be answered, but the second half blew my mind away and the ending was extremely conclusive. Overall, there's nothing truly bad I can say about this book. It's a series that deserves to be read and will only succeed in drawing in readers with its richly developed schemes. I cannot recommend the Fever Series enough and encourage everyone, regardless of your genre preferences, to give it a shot. It is guaranteed to astound you with every turn and make you an instant fan of Moning. I've never been happy to catch a fever, but I sure am happy I caught this one! ;)