Review: Burned (#7, Fever) by Karen Marie Moning

My Thoughts

Burned scorches with fierce intensity, suspense and sexiness

5stars

My Thoughts

burned cover feverIt’s easy to walk away from lies. Power is another thing.

MacKayla Lane would do anything to save the home she loves. A gifted sidhe-seer, she’s already fought and defeated the deadly Sinsar Dubh—an ancient book of terrible evil—yet its hold on her has never been stronger.

When the wall that protected humans from the seductive, insatiable Fae was destroyed on Halloween, long-imprisoned immortals ravaged the planet. Now Dublin is a war zone with factions battling for control. As the city heats up and the ice left by the Hoar Frost King melts, tempers flare, passions run red-hot, and dangerous lines get crossed.

Seelie and Unseelie vie for power against nine ancient immortals who have governed Dublin for millennia; a rival band of sidhe-seers invades the city, determined to claim it for their own; Mac’s former protégé and best friend, Dani “Mega” O’Malley, is now her fierce enemy; and even more urgent, Highland druid Christian MacKeltar has been captured by the Crimson Hag and is being driven deeper into Unseelie madness with each passing day. The only one Mac can depend on is the powerful, dangerous immortal Jericho Barrons, but even their fiery bond is tested by betrayal.

It’s a world where staying alive is a constant struggle, the line between good and evil gets blurred, and every alliance comes at a price. In an epic battle against dark forces, Mac must decide who she can trust, and what her survival is ultimately worth.

My Review

As first published on USA Today

Fever fans, get ready. Karen Marie Moning is back, delivering the kind of spellbinding, addictive, twisted tale we love to devour. Magic and madness, intrigue and illusion, passion and power, sexual tension and more sexual tension —  Burned represents everything I love about the series. Mac, Barrons, Ryodan, Christian, Dani, Lor, Kat and so many others weave this story together, picking up where Iced left off, with Dani and Mac at a much-anticipated impasse. In an instant, Moning propels the story in an unexpected direction, which is both scary and exciting. She also explores the complicated dynamic of past relationships and the ever-shifting landscape of Dublin, as the powerful battle for dominion.

“Fire purifies and distills … Fire transforms. You must remember that when the time comes it seems only to ravage and destroy.”

One of the aspects I love about Burned is that we see more Barrons and Mac together … more of their mega-intense, superhot, set-the-world-ablaze kind of dynamic. They are always so attuned to each other, despite their constant antagonism. It’s an undeniable, fever-inducing connection that many times burns beneath the surface, between the beast that Barrons is and his “rainbow girl,” Ms. Lane.

“She’s chiffon and satin ribbons. I’m raw meat and razor blades.”

Despite the destruction of the Sinsar Dubh, its hold on Mac intensifies. Mac is the primary narrator in the book (although we also have seven other POVs), and we experience her struggles as new demons chase her and insecurities haunt her. The city she loves is under siege, and she needs to step up and fight once more. She needs to overcome the turmoil in her head and heart if she’s to again become the fierce sidhe-seer we’ve come to know and love.

“… when you fight evil every day, stare it in the face, engage it, learn to think like it, you face a choice: Be defeated by the limits of your own morality, or summon a beast in yourself that obeys none.”

In addition, in the terrible aftermath of the Hoar Frost King, there are new mysteries to unravel and solve before the world is sucked into darkness. Villains who made me shudder with their sheer brutality and creepiness. And past evildoers who return to fuel widening unrest. All of this, of course, while battles for power escalate and new characters emerge to threaten the already volatile faction of badasses.

And yes, yes, yes, oh yes, we get some more of that thrilling, rousing sexual tension for which Moning is renowned — you’ll have to read it to see exactly what and whom I refer to!

“Two wolves stand in this room, with a complicated past and an uncertain future, their lips a breath apart, and I’m not sure if they’ll kiss or kill each other.”

All in all, Burned is a book that shouldn’t be missed. Thrilling, suspenseful, sexy — it has all the right stuff to delight the most ardent of Fever fans.

“… revenge is a devil you don’t want to worship. In destroying your enemy you become it.”

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Reading Order and Links

Burned is the seventh book in the Fever series. Two more books are expected: Feverborn and Feversong.

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

My Thoughts

An intense, action-packed story worth every minute of the wait.
Long-awaited truths are exposed amidst betrayals, revelations and heart-stopping action as legends come to life in this epic conclusion.

6stars

Synopsis

shadowfever1

“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.

My Review

Jericho Barrons. What will I do without you?! This series consumed me so completely for a week. I was deeply immersed in this sinister Dublin underworld, fascinated by it’s complex, enigmatic characters, driven by the pursuit of solving the multi-layered mysteries, waiting for the moment MacKayla and Barrons would succumb to their desires, heart, body and soul. Karen Marie Moning is a master storyteller, who brilliantly constructed the series to keep us hooked, keep us guessing and undeniably keep us in a state of shock with plot twist after plot twist. Her endings are epic. They are the kind that make you start talking to yourself as you repeatedly say Ohmygod, Ohmygod, NO, Ohmygod, Ohmygod!!!! Yes. those are her books and this is the series that has become one of my all-time favorites and my recent obsession.

But back to Barrons. A man. A beast. A mystery. All-knowing. All-powerful. Unstoppable. Unkillable. Passionate. Powerful. Possessive. Always in control. And always sexy as hell. If at all possible, I actually fell a little harder for Barrons in Shadowfever. No one else makes controlling and overbearing so incredibly desirable.

“The moment I laid eyes on you, I knew you were trouble.”
“Ditto.”
“I wanted to drag you between the shelves, fuck you senseless, and send you home.”
“If you’d done that, I never would have left.”
“You’re still here anyway.”
“You don’t have to sound so sour about it.”
“You’re upsetting my entire existence.”
“Fine, I’ll leave.”
“Try and I’ll chain you up.”

After the shocking, heart-attack-inducing cliffhanger in Dreamfever that left me breathless and distressed, I locked myself away to finish this final installment in the Fever series. What can I say that I haven’t said before… it packs some serious action, unforseeable heart-stopping plot twists, bone-chilling evil, surprising betrayals and a whole lot more angst!!! The desire and passion between Mac and Barrons is palpable, maddening.

“Some people bring out the worst in you, others bring out the best, and then there are those remarkably rare, addictive ones who just bring out the most. Of everything. They make you feel so alive that you’d follow them straight into hell, just to keep getting your fix.”

The final race to the truth is jarring, bloody, formidable, unexpected and full of clever participants with their own agenda. Yes, we finally get to know what Barrons is (kind of), who really killed Alina, who Mac really is and who everyone else truly is and what their intentions have always been. The wait is so worth it as the final scenes unfurl. And through it all, Barrons keeps his promise to do everything possible to keep Mac alive. And every time you think this is it… they’re going to be together… something inevitably happens. But boy did I relish in some of these moments.

“You’re Mac,” he says. “And I’m Jericho. And nothing else matters. Never will. You exist in a place that is beyond all rules for me. Do you understand that?”

The end is epic, worth the wait and conclusive. Even though we have the spinoff Dani O’Malley series and TWO more Mac and Barrons books everything was tied together nicely and I felt happy… save for the giant book hangover I am left with. This was my favorite book of this amazing, unforgettable 6-star series.

In my opinion, a good book is comprised of multiple elements coming together, but fundamentally, I think it’s two basic building blocks — good storytelling and good writing. Karen Marie Moning is a master of both and that is a very rare skill. She’s able to manipulate the story in such a way that keeps us in suspense, wanting more, questioning more.  To me, this series encapsulates everything I love about reading… the unrelenting fascination, the story that won’t let go, the characters that live within you, the complex mystery you can’t unravel, the adept ability to enthrall me, consume me and make me an addict to its very words.  I honestly couldn’t love this series any more than I do.  Perfection.

“I never get enough of him.
Never will.
He lives.
I breathe.
I want. Him. Always.
Fire to my ice. Ice to my fever.”

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