Shadowfever - Karen Marie Moning 3,5 stars.

I'm a bit conflicted when it comes to this one. On the one hand, Moning can write an enticing story. On the other, she does so while completely ruining it. I can't say I didn't like this story, because then it would seem extremely odd to read all of the five books, but I had toooons of problems with it. After finishing the first, I was pretty sure I wouldn't read the rest, but then I read some comments here and there concerning the story as a totality and decided to give it a try. For a time, it did look like things would get much better: Mac seemed to be growing up ever so slightly and stopped going on about her fabulous looks, but then she kind of crashed in the other direction instead. Really didn't get that. All of her reactions to dramatic stuff (i.e. hard-ass, Mac v. 5 or whatever) were just... over the top. She was CONSTANTLY over the top in one way or another.

At the same time, Moning writes a 5+ star character in Barrons. He saves the entire series, and the only issue I have with him is that he is not present enough. He is what is interesting about everything. Screw Mac and her identity problems! What about Barrons? I love that he is mysterious for so long, that you are never quite sure... And that our sexy hero may just eat entire cows when he needs to feed. The only thing that makes up for Mac's childishness is Barrons' acknowledging it. As soon as she says or does something sweet he can't help but laugh at her, and he should considering he can't really be expected to care about such things after all his years. It makes sense. Barrons makes such perfect sense, so why don't 70% of the other characters?

One character I never got, and who really showed some true weakness on behalf of the author, was Rowena. The supposedly old, somewhat twisted woman who acted like she was 15 and Mac was her high school enemy. Another thing that Moning unfortunately can't pull off is describing pain. You never cringe with Mac when she is tortured or whatever, you just shrug and wait for the next scene.