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 is 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.
by Karen Marie Moning
Fever #7, Dani O’Malley #2
January 20, 2015
Last night, on my way home from work, I finished the audio book for Burned.
AND NOW I AM SUFFERING FROM ONE OF THE
WORST BOOK HANGOVERS I’VE EVER HAD!!!!
Ok, this review is going to feel a little spoilery without actually having any spoilers. If you haven’t read the book yet, I promise there are no plot points blown here.
I once reviewed a book by an author I absolutely love, and at the end of the day, it earned me the lovely experience of some bitch commenting on my review, calling me sycophantic. I am not a sycophant. I’m just not ashamed to admit it when I totally fangirl out over something I loved to the core, regardless of the hate being slung around the interwebz over said subject. I am so sorry to say this, but, this is going to be one of those times. I’m not sorry for my actions, just that so much hate surrounds Burned on the review circuit. I genuinely cant figure out what everyone’s problem is. My spoiler-filled mini-rant all the way at the bottom of this post is probably going to get me called a sycophant again, but I don’t care. I have placed a LARGE spoiler alert banner before the rant, so, if you haven’t read, proceed from that point on with extreme caution. And don’t blame me if the book gets blown for you. I warned you.
On with the review!
Burned does not pick up from the moment Iced ends. I read this book via audio book, and when it started, I thought I had clicked on the wrong file because what I was hearing was very familiar. The book kicks off with the now infamous Jericho Z. Barrons POV sex scene.
Have you heard Phil Gigante read as Barrons???
HAVE YOU HEARD PHIL GIGANTE READING
ALL LUSTY AS JERICHO BARRONS?????
Yep, she went there again, and there’s a good reason for it which unfolds much later in the book. And no, I am not telling. That would be spoilers.
Although I loved Iced, I felt that Burned was WORLDS better. I know the point of Iced was to tell the story from Dani’s POV, but she was so juvenile still. Burned gives us readers a POV shift. Several, in fact. We hear most of the story from Mac’s POV. However, we get some Ryo, some Lor, some Dani, some Kat, some Jo, and some Christian, all of whom bring us back to the more adult side of things. It may sound like a lot of shifting in the story, but it’s so well-written that you really don’t feel it. I felt it was structured in such a way that even with all there was going on, approaching each piece of the story from a different POV afforded the reader an extra level of segregation and it breaks the story up into manageable chunks without sacrificing any details. If you’re a reader of my urban fantasy series, you know that I am a fan of the shifting POV’s, so, for me, this was no big deal.
Mac. Oh, I missed our little Rainbow Girl so much!!! When I went into this book, she was not who I was most looking forward to. Yes ladies, you know me. I was DYING to dive back into a world where Jericho Barrons exists, but, I kind of feel like Mac stole the show this time around. Ok, I’m still a chick and far from dead. Between Barrons, Ryodan, and Lor, there’s plenty of testosteroney goodness to go around, but, this book gives you a good amount insight into Mac and I think it was needed. We are beyond the crisis mode in the Fever world. Mac isn’t spending all of her time suppressing emotions while running around trying to stop the sky from falling.
Time to deal.
Burned gives us a glimpse into what comes next. The aftermath and clean up. Fae presence is now a way of life and Mac isn’t entirely sure what her place is anymore thanks to the events at the end of Shadowfever. She’s got some vulnerable moments, some needy moments, and some moments where she needs to be a hard ass. I did find that there was one particular moment where she actually reaches the point of whiny, but, to me, it felt more like a little bit of a reminder of who Mac was. The Mac we were introduced to when she first arrived in Dublin. The whole fae debacle, every aspect of it, changed her on a visceral level, but, I think this book was sprinkled with reminders of the Mac that was.
Barrons. I don’t even give a shit. I’ll never get sick of this man and I will take questions about him to my grave, I’m sure. Not knowing 100% of the answers surrounding Jericho is what keeps me hanging on. He’s an enigma. He’s ancient and wild. He’s serial-killer intelligent, and I think he knows more secrets than anyone can possibly imagine. He is sex and primal energy. Pure and simple. Yep, I still have a MAJOR jones for that character. Sigh…..
Gawdammit, I love him….
OH!!!!!!!!! And Burned starts revealing some secrets about Ryodan. Now, I know he’s not everyone’s favorite character, but, I have been a BIG fan of his since his very first introduction as the mysterious voice behind IYCGM. He intrigues me almost as much as Barrons.
Well, in Burned, you still don’t get all the answers (it wouldn’t be a Karen Marie Moning joint if you did), but you get just enough to make you want more. He has a few particularly shiny moments in Burned and now I am crushing on him pretty hard, too. Thanks Karen. lol I needed another book boyfriend.
Dani goes through some shit in Burned, but you actually don’t see most of it. You kind of see the before and after. There’s definitely trouble in the Mega-verse, but I’m not entirely convinced it’s a bad thing for the character. I am really excited to see how her story line pans out in the end.
Lor has a completely HILARIOUS chapter in Burned and that makes book boyfriend #3 in THIS BOOK ALONE. I think I may have fallen a little bit in love with Lor in Burned.
Burned also revisits the whole Christian thing and what horrible nastiness he’s enduring. It’s all sad and gruesome. I loved it.
BAH!!!!!!! How could I forget?!?!?!?! Yeah, so, you’re all familiar with The Nine, correct??? We’ve all seen (and may have drooled on our laptop screens/keyboards while looking at) this picture:
Then, a few months back, Moning goes and does this to her fans on Facebook:
Yeah, you bitches are going to SHIT FRISBEES when you see who it is. Just sayin’. I love a good cliffhanger, but damn, woman.
Overall, I loved Burned. There was laughter. There were tears. There were some serious ewwww moments. There were a few WTF?! moments. I thought it was very well written and most definitely worth the wait. However, Karen, I am BEGGING YOU, don’t make me wait another two years for the next book. I know we have a October 2015 release date right now, but, dates can be pushed. Just try not to push it out too far. The withdrawals from this one are going to damn near kill me.
If you’re a fan of dark urban fantasy where the good guys aren’t afraid to get a little bloody, this is a series for you. I am still SHOCKED every time I meet someone who hasn’t read these books. Then again, I was standing in those very shoes a little less than three years ago.
For my spoilery rant, scroll all the way to the bottom of this review.
Here are a handful of my favorite quotes from Burned:
“Welcome to war games, Mac, where the terrain never stops changing and he who adapts fastest wins.” – Ryodan
“If you can’t fuck it, eat it or use it for a weapon–kill it.” – Lor
“I’m obsessed and addicted and ripped-down-raw in love with Jericho Barrons.” – Mac
“He moves in, standing close without touching. He doesn’t need to. I sometimes think our atoms are so glad to see each other that they send little messengers back and forth, ferrying desire, strength, and love between the islands we are.” – Mac
The review copy of Burned was purchased by the reviewer.
I knew this book was going to be a hot button for some fans out there given the bitchfest that ensued after Iced came out, but nothing at all prepared me for what I witnessed.
I have carefully steered clear of the reviews for Burned until I was done reading the book and had formed my own opinion. With the exception of one friend on Facebook going off about how she had just finished and was still reeling, I didn’t know a single thing about the book aside from what I gathered from KMM’s Facebook posts.
As I stated in my review above, I actually loved Iced. I thought it was a great book, but the masses freaked out over one tiny detail.
In the book, Dani is only 14 years old and Ryodan has an interest in her. During Iced, we never get the full grasp of what Ryo’s interest is, whether it be romantic or just as another instrument among many who play a part in his personal agenda tool box.
But that didn’t stop the conclusions a good number of readers jumped to. After Iced hit the shelves, I read post after post after post about how sick it was that Ryodan and Dani were headed down that road. People called Ryodan a pedophile. A PEDOPHILE!!!! They screamed felony from the rooftops. I read Iced THREE DAMN TIMES. Can someone PLEASE point out to me where exactly you all got that Ryodan was planning on diddling a kid?!?!?!?!
Because I cant find it.
What I took away from Iced was that Ryodan had a vested interest of some sort in Dani, and he even goes so far as to mention how he can see the woman she’s going to become. So the fuck what if he wants to wait for her to grow up! It’s his choice if he wants to watch out for her until she’s grown and ready to think about becoming something more with him. He’s the one who will be waiting. If he had wanted to “violate” her, and take her innocence, he could have. At any point. He didn’t. Sooooo, what’s the problem???
Fast forward to Burned. Thanks to Dani not wanting to sit and talk for two minutes, because she is an irrationally thinking CHILD, she runs from Mac and disappears into the Silvers (her own damn fault, IMO). When she turns back up, she’s grown.
As we have heard a MILLION TIMES throughout this whole series, time doesn’t move right in Faerie. She was only gone a matter of weeks in our time, but in Faerie, she was stuck there for FIVE YEARS.
She’s also completely changed. Like, a new person. She has essentially got a split personality as a result of her tortured life as a young child. Compound that with five years trapped in the Silvers and you’ve got yourself a perfect cocktail for the protective personality, Jada, to take over. She’s not the same girl anymore. More importantly, she’s not a girl at all. She’s a woman now, and if Ryodan wants to stick it in, and she’s consenting, HE CAN, DAMMIT! lol
As a fan of the series who has read it more times than would probably be considered normal, all of this made PERFECT SENSE to me. Now, whether Moning did this as a direct response to her fans screaming ‘pedophile’ about one of her characters, I don’t know, but the harshness with which she is being judged on Burned is disgusting. People are yelling and screaming about how the move made no sense and how it was just a way-too-convenient fix for what they were yelling and screaming about to begin with. Really? Really??
Today, I read review after review tearing her to bloody shreds for doing what she did to the character of Dani. If she did alter her overall story to appease the masses, I think these critics should be grateful that she cared enough about her fans and their opinions to address their grievances with the direction of her story line. If she didn’t alter her overall story, and this is how it was planned to go down from the start, then you should all be ashamed of yourselves for making the assumptions you did. Either way, the bottom line is it’s HER STORY TO TELL.
If she’s going to create a couple out of Ryo and Dani, the fiery redhead had to grow up. In Iced, Ryodan made such a big deal about how he could see the woman she was going to become. How exactly did you all think we were going to see that happen with only two books left in the series??? If she did it as an Epilogue, we never would have organically made it to the point of accepting Ryodan and Dani as a couple as the time to develop them as a couple would have been spent as a child. And again, you all would have hauled out your torches and pitchforks and demanded our beloved storyteller’s head on a fucking platter.
The author is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t. Luckily, this is the type of attitude this writer has and it’s half the reason I love her sooooo much:
I know there is a large contingent of die-hard fans out there who, like me, take every new book as just that. A new book. I’m not looking for a repeat. I’m not looking for the same shit. In a series, I am looking for an author to shake shit up a bit as the series moves on. I read this book and I think that’s EXACTLY what Moning accomplished. I feel sorry for all of you who felt let down by this book. To those who enjoyed it as much as I did, GO LEAVE A REVIEW!!! Show KMM that you’re still on her side and still love her writing! I would love to see the number of positive reviews outweigh the negative.
There are many other things people took issue with in this book, but, the Dani/Ryodan thing was the one that really rubbed me the wrong way. I’m not going to get into everything else. Simply put: I LOVED THE DAMN BOOK!
*throws microphone to the ground and steps off soapbox*