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Shadowfever (Fever, #5)Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Note to readers: I’m not going to give away any spoilers because there are many Fever fans out there who haven’t read this book and I don’t want to ruin one moment of their reading pleasure. So this review is really more about storytelling than the plot of this specific book.

Ms. Moning is a master storyteller who I’m sure is inspiring new generations of would-be authors. She wields the written word like a weapon cutting at our hero and heroine, drawing out both their blood and spirit and every reader’s breath as we turn the page. I truly bow to her as a master of her craft. There are few who have ever written more compelling stories than Moning. However, this fifth and final book of the Fever Series was not the orgasmic finish that I had been building to and I am left feeling somewhat frustrated on the final pages.

On Amazon.com Moning gives the best description of the series:

The Fever Series is all about seeing the truths beneath the illusions and figuring out how to deal with them—or die.

Moning has been working up to Shadowfever since she began her Highlander Series; which you don’t have to have read to enjoy the Fever Series, but it certainly adds to this storyline. Moning writes page-turning books so I was immediately on guard when Shadowfever came in at 608 pages. It is hard to keep up that fast pace for that long. Readers can only take so much without fainting. Take a good breath before the first section because the wild ride starts immediately. (It is also good if you have recently read Dreamfever as this one picks right up where the other ends.) But as I feared, there’s a lot of introspection and rehashing in the middle of the book that beats Moning’s fast-paced writing horse to death.

As a reader, I often don’t want a series to end because I like the characters too much to say good-bye; it is a sign that the author is doing their job when the reader feels this way. But with Shadowfever there are so many unnecessary words that I can only think that Moning herself was dreading the end of the Mac and Barrons storyline which she has been building toward since Beyond the Mist was published in 1999.

That being said, there is action in Shadowfever. There are secrets revealed. There is passion that would burn the pages if not for the long passages of repeating the same internal struggle over and over. In some areas this was a very satisfying book to read. In other ways, I was disappointed that the Fever Series did not go out with the same intense fire that the entire storyline burned.

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