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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet


Author: Karen Marie Moning
Originally Published: 2011
Publisher: Dell, an imprint of The Random House Published Group
Source: Purchased

The Story

From the inside cover of the book:

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.

The Response

I have been putting this off since I finished Dreamfever because gosh darn it, I did NOT like how that book ended, and didn’t want what happened there to be real. Still am slightly bitter about how it ended – what a horrid place to end a book. (This is why I get angry during a series. Too often, they end the book at the worst possible place.)

So I didn’t want to pick this up and have what happened to be true… Finally, I could put off reading this last one no longer (because no matter how angry I am at it, this is still a darned good series, and I am in love with Jericho Barrons).

And at first, I was still angry, but then something awesome happened that undid all of my anger at the previous book’s ending: Mac got kick-ass. So much so that she really ought to be a part of the BAMF Girls Club. We all know I’m a sucker for kick ass female leads, so the fact that the character I had a hard time caring about at the beginning of the series was ready to seriously take down all the fey, humans and other beings that stood in her way to get her hands on the Sinsar Dubh left me thrilled and excited, and helped me to forget all my past grievances with this series.

In fact, I think that they way Mac acted in this book was the best part about the whole series – who she became and what she realized that she is. It was wonderful! (Seriously, is there anything better than a crazy strong kick-ass female lead? NO, of course there isn’t!)

Not that Mac’s character development was the only awesome thing about this book – the conflict between the whole large ensemble of characters always kept me entertained, and knowing that all of the characters had their own secret reasons for wanting the Sinsar Dubh was definitely interesting. You never really knew who to trust or what fully motivates them… So much conflict!

Shadowfever kept surprising me. Whether they were the big huge surprises (Seriously? Cruce is WHO? WTH) or even smaller ones (and these really shouldn’t have been smaller surprises because they were actually rather big things, like Barrons’ son, but compared to Cruce they were all tiny), I’m always impressed by a book that keeps throwing curve balls at me.

So, while this was the last in the series, I know there are more than Moning has written that take place in the same universe. I’m interested in both Fever Moon and the new series about Dani (Fever World), but I’m a little worried that I won’t love them as much as I did this series.

The Bottom Line

Loved this. Want more Jericho Barrons. Love Jericho Barrons. Also, fans of urban fantasy should read this.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 7:32 am November 26, 2012.
Category: Speculative Fiction
Book Author(s):
Publisher(s): ,

  • Penny

    The books irritated me a lot. I think because Mac irritated me. However, I couldn’t stop reading them because I fell so hard for Barrons. I have Fever Moon and I liked it. I’m on the waiting list at the library for Iced.

  • Kailana

    Decisions, decisions. When you read the first book I was going to check it out, but then a friend told me she really didn’t think I would like it. So, I haven’t yet… Now I want to again.