I am not the biggest urban fantasy fan and despite having tried out and enjoyed some Nalini Singh as well as vamps & shifter books, I don’t really warm up to the paranormal subgenre. However, KMM has written two of my all-time favourite comfort novels, The Dark Highlander and Kiss of the Highlander, featuring Drustan and Dageus, the two MacKeltar twins who make an appearance in Shadowfever.
At heart, I am a romance novel fan girl and when I read Darkfever years ago shortly after it came out, I was annoyed that it didn’t feature a happy ending, let alone anything remotely resembling a romance between Mac and Jericho. That’s why I decided to wait until all the other books in the series would be released in order to read it straight through which I did. I started one bright and shiny Sunday afternoon and finished Shadowfever four days later Wednesday night. There wasn’t time for anything else, I had to read, I was literally running a Faefever.
All the world was raving about Jericho Barrons, casting him as the epitome of dark, enigmatic and charismatic hero which he is. And I couldn’t stand him right until the fourth instalment when Mac became pri-ya. Jericho captivated me, made me crave to know more about him and made me pray that somewhere in this story he would finally open up and make me like him because he is utterly and deeply fascinating, but more often than not I wanted to slap him. Hard. For his own reasons, he educates Mac and instructs her to find her sidhe-seer skills, therefore using the stick without the carrot method. He drills her, pushes her, hurts her, makes her grow beyond her own imagination and in his own, twisted way treats her rather courteously.
I loved Mac, she started out as the fluffy bimbo type, and turned into a killer ninja and tough woman who grows into her role. I still would have loved more romance, but it seems urban fantasy has become the new forte of KMM, I also guess it sells better than cuddly Highlanders.
My main problem with the whole story lies with the last book which is simply too long, as in cut out 200 pages from this 600 pages oeuvre and we can re-evaluate the whole situation. Up until the ending Mac doesn’t know who or what she is and it gets kind of repetitive as we read about it again and again and again. Which is a pity as the solution to this whole clusterfuck is really great and the story has a satisfying ending and Mac and Jericho find their HEA. Another thing that totally annoyed me is that I still don’t now who or what Jerricho is. We learn several things about him and get to know his abilities, but why was he created? What’s his purpose as he does neither belong to the human nor the fae-world. The books really strung me along, making me antsy to know more about him, but all I get are a few drops of water to save me from dehydration, instead of a nice full pint. And last but not least I find the outcome rather depressing. Three billion people on this earth are dead at the end of Shadowfever, a rather sad outcome with way too many casualties. I go with a B for Darkfever, an A- for Blood-, Fae- and Dreamfever and a C for Shadowfever.
PS: Throughout the story, Danny O’Malley is introduced as the new heroine of the next mini-series set in the Fever-World. She will be fourteen when her own story starts which is too young for me for an action heroine with love interests. Also, she swears like a sailor, using “feck” at least twice in every sentence. Slap. Her language skills or lack thereof make her enough of a pain in the neck to not immediately read Iced. I also sincerely hope that she will grow up a few years to make her old enough as a love partner for whoever will be her destined, because under aged heroines and adult heroes are only acceptable to yours truly in good old-fashioned historicals from the eighties and nineties (and only with a heroine who is at least seventeen years old, and even this age hurts).