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“Evil is a completely different creature, Mac. Evil is bad that believes it’s good.”
MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina, were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever.
Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister’s murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals who have lived concealed among us for thousands of years.
What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinsar Dubh—a book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King, containing the power to create and destroy worlds.
In an epic battle between humans and Fae, the hunter becomes the hunted when the Sinsar Dubh turns on Mac and begins mowing a deadly path through those she loves.
Who can she turn to? Who can she trust? Who is the woman haunting her dreams? More important, who is Mac herself and what is the destiny she glimpses in the black and crimson designs of an ancient tarot card?
From the luxury of the Lord Master’s penthouse to the sordid depths of an Unseelie nightclub, from the erotic bed of her lover to the terrifying bed of the Unseelie King, Mac’s journey will force her to face the truth of her exile, and to make a choice that will either save the world . . . or destroy it.
I know a lot of friend readers and bloggers adored this book, and I completely understand and respect that. Usually every book I read has at least some issues that are, to a varying degree, overlookable. The tragedy happens when the flaws for the reader overpower the attractions, and sadly, this is what happened for me (and Nat!) with Shadowfever.
Here is the truth: This book drove me BANANAS with the endless paragraphs of questions. Shadowfever did NOT need to be the length that it was, that it was stretched out entirely too long with unnecessary emo verse and Mac Version 200 Questions made me want to stab someone.
Here are just 2 of endless examples in which a paragraph of questions are used to tell the story:
“What would happen when we finally had the Book under lock and key? How did Barrons think he was going to use it once it was contained? Did he know the First Language? Was he that old? Had he learned it over time, or been taught? Did he plan to let us re-inter it at the abbey again, then sit down and read it? And do what with the knowledge?” pg 372
“Was she bad because she’d loved him? Was he evil because he’d wanted to reclaim what had been taken from him? Hadn’t the same motives driven the Unseelie King and his concubine? Didn’t the same motives drive humans every day?
Why hadn’t the queen just let the king have the woman he loved? Why couldn’t the king be happy with one lifetime? What might have happened to the Unseelie if they’d never been imprisoned? Might they have turned out like the Seelie court?
And what about my sister and me? Would we really doom the world? Nurture or nature: What were we?” pg 452
That is just crappy storytelling, for me. The equivalent to pages and pages of paragraph questions like this throughout the book is not endearing to me. I know that KMM has used this style of writing in previous books, but it was too excessive for me to forgive.
Should I go on with the things that really bothered me? She is looking through a photo album of Alina’s, and she opens up to a picture Alina took of her and Darroc having sex and the shot is him as he’s coming. Wait. What? Let me get this straight. Alina took a picture of Darroc right when he is orgasming inside of her, had it developed, and then put it in to her photo album along with photos of her birthday parties and shit? Are you serious? /INSERT ME GAGGING HERE/: “From the look on his face, I knew he was coming when she took it. And I could see it in his eyes. He’d loved her, too.” That just ain’t right!
By the middle of the book I was channeling Dave Chappelle chanting “Wrap. It. Up!” She’s the concubine. No, she’s the Unseelie King, no wait, she’s only one of many parts of him, she’s becoming Fae, she’s here, she’s there, what is he, where is he, it just became ridiculous. By the time she takes Barrons by the hand and kills him AGAIN by trying to get him through the Unseelie King’s silver in his boudoir, I threw in the towel. Again she kills him? Again she says “I’m sorry?” Overkill. Enough! Tell us what the BLEEP is going on, already! Then, what is ultimately revealed about who Mac is, is just silly. She was “touched” in the womb by the Sinshar Du and that’s how she and it are connected? How she has all these memories? I’ve waited over a year for this? And Christian. What was the point of Christian’s evolution from Druid to Unseelie Prince? Huh?
I did like several parts of the book. I enjoyed the world building. I felt like I could really see the White Mansion, and the Unseelie Prison. I also loved when Darroc was decapitated, and all Mac was concerned about was putting his head back on and torturing information out of him. That was AWESOME! I think this was my favorite quote from the book:
“Darroc is no longer about to kiss me, because his head is gone—just gone—and you’re never ready for that, no matter how cold and hard and dead you think you are inside. Being sprayed by the blood of a headless corpse—especially someone you know, whether you like him or not—gets you on a visceral level. Doubly so when you were about to kiss that person. But even more upsetting is that I don’t know how to merge with the Book. All I can think is: His head is gone and I don’t know how to merge with the Book. He eats Unseelie. Can I put his head back on? If I do, can he talk? Maybe I can patch him up and torture it out of him.” pg 149
Another part that highly amused me, even if it was not totally buyable, was that V’lane this entire time was Cruce, the last Unseelie Prince. I honestly did not see V’lane’s deception coming at all. I did like the plot twist of Dani leading Alina to her demise, too.
I loved of course that she and Barrons AFTER 4 BOOKS and 450 PAGES OF THIS BOOK finally gave in to one another, but by the time it happened, for me it was too little too late. I was really passed the point where I could take their anger/stress/sexual tension any longer and I was sick of them both by part 4.
And then, after all these millennia of Barrons searching for the Sinshar Du at all costs to end his son’s suffering, that part of the story is resolved in the last 2 pages and it is something so ridiculously simple? All the things he has done to track the book, the people he has hurt and killed, and his problem is solved, wrapped up in a nice little bow at the very end? And we never learn what Barrons really is other than “a Beast”. What are he and his 8 really? She couldn’t give that to her readers? Who was the mother of his child? And how did Fiona know all of this about his inability to die and more, more than Mac did? How did Fiona initially fit in to all this? Hey! This entire paragraph of questions makes me sound like… wait for it… Mac Version 200 Questions!
Sorry, KMM, but 2.5 stars. I am disappointed with the end result. I don’t feel you gave us readers the true ending to the series we deserved, but I ain’t mad at ya. You had a story to tell and I am just one fan who didn’t like it.
Qué sera sera.
Pam rated Shadowfever higher then I did (Nat here) I gave it:
I had much the same issues Pam did, I just felt it was way too much and way too drawn out. To each their own right? THIS is why we review books, not all of us like the same thing & we aren’t afraid (okay maybe a little) to share our displeasure.