Burned by Karen Marie Moning – a Dual Review
It’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
Burned by Karen Moning is the 7th book in her fabulous Fever series. When we last left off in the world of MacKayla Lane and Jericho Barrons in Shadowfever, it was technically the end of their arc. The last book, Iced, entered a new arc with Dani, Ryodan and Christian, which I did enjoy. However, there was some backlash that some fans felt that Dani, at 14, was way too young for Ryodan, even though there was no real romance between them…yet.
In Burned, we return to the world of Mac, Jericho, Dani, Ryodan and the rest of the Fever gang. I was so happy to spend time again with Mac and Jericho, and Dani, even if we only got a glimpse of her early on. Burned was a fantastic read, and I have come away with such respect for Karen Moning. She has enhanced this story, answering some of the questions left open in Iced, as well as brought back Mac in her full glory. Burned was a culmination of all of our favorite characters, the abbey and the sidhe-seers; and the ones we disliked such as the Faes (Seelie , Unseelie) and the creatures they have created; as well as the evil Sinsar Dubh, still lurking;. But most of all Moning has miraculously come up with a solution many fans were crying for, Dani being too young for Ryodan. Wow. I didn’t see this coming, and it was an amazing twist. Loved it, even if I still miss & love the wild and crazy Dani, and before you ask, there is still no sexual relations between them yet. If you want to know about the twist, you will need to read this book.
What follows is a fantastic story that keeps you hooked until the very last page. With Dublin still iced, there are some dangerous elements that need resolution. The MacKeltars are working with Barrons and Ryodan to find a way to rescue Christian from his daily torture at the hands of the Crimson Hag. The Unseelie Princes, and the new Seelie King are also around, creating more havoc. But the major part of the story is the new group of sidhe-seers, now taking over the abbey. These sidhe-seers are more like mercenaries, able to fight anyone and everything; they are led by their leader, Jada, who is bad assed & ultra powerful. Whereas the previous group from the abbey were friends with Mac, not so this newer and dangerous group.
Though everyone played a big part of this book, I felt Mac was the star and loved her. I do have to say that my opinion of Ryodan has changed for the better. We learn more about him, some eye openers, and know he truly does care about Dani.
There is so much more to tell, but it would then become spoilers. I do want to add that I absolutely love love Lor. LOL I did think that some parts, with Mac or Christian delving into the past was not necessary, adding on to the pages. But it did not change my thoughts on this wonderful book. The last half of the book was a wild ride that was very exciting, with tense and fun moments. The ending has you holding on to your last breath, and then there was a cliffhanger, which of course, Moning is known for. But I can’t wait, for the next book. I want to know more about Mac, Barrons, Dani, Ryodan, Christian, Lor and Jada.
BURNED, written by Karen Marie Moning, is the highly anticipated 7th installment of the Fever series. This is a novel surrounded by large amounts of hype, controversy, and mixed reviews. If you are a long time fan, with the expectation that this will feel like the original five books of the Fever series, I will tell you it does not. If you are coming to this book with the hopes that it contains a different mood than we received in ICED, this is a complete 180. If you are coming to this book simply for the enjoyment of the adventure Ms. Moning takes us upon, BURNED will feel like the beginning of a brand new journey.
If you have never read Karen Marie Moning, and are a fan of an author who continuously changes it up, and keeps you guessing, this is a series for you. I have been reading her work for close to ten years now, and over those years, she has flipped the game on readers more times than I can count. I used to think of her work as predictable. (Not in a bad way.) I used to know where I stood when opening one of her books, and like many others, I was perfectly content with the previous style of Moning’s Highlander series. Having been a long time reader of the Fantasy genre, which is oft times dark & heart wrenching, I knew I could always count on the World of the Kelter for a happily ever after. I can honestly say that the Fever series is the polar opposite, and one of those pieces in literature that will push a reader to their limits, and beyond their comfort zone.
I did not enter the Fever world easily, or quietly. Gone was my guarantee of a HEA. Gone was my ability to discern the “good guys” from the bad. Gone was the beautiful, calming descriptions of The Highlands; and In their stead, was a dark, twisted world, where the lines between evil and good are blurred. No one is who they appear to be, and survival is guaranteed to none–let alone the attainment of happiness. I struggled many times throughout my journey of this series, and nearly gave it up twice…and would have, but for one reason. Jericho Barrons. Those that have read this series, know there is no need to explain further why I kept coming back, book after book. I will only elaborate by saying the character of Jericho Barrons truly has no equal. Upon the completion of Shadow Fever, I was very glad that I held on. In one of the most satisfying conclusions to a story arc I have ever had the pleasure to read, KMM culminated every agonizing step, masterfully.
After reading ICED, I debated for the third time, whether or not to continue with this roller coaster I found myself on. There were things I loved, and there were things I despised. One of the things I enjoyed, was seeing the world through the eyes of Dani O’ Malley. Although I do not typically find a “young” perspective very enjoyable. Dani’s narration was different than what I had come to expect from such. I found her completely refreshing as a main female lead, and as each page turned, I learned more about the travesty that was Dani’s childhood. For me, this made her vibrance all the more incredible. In Dani’s character, readers will discover someone that lives each day as if it were her last. In example, I present one of my favorite quotes from Dani’s point of view. “Life’s a choice: you can live in black and white, or you can live in colour. I’ll take every shade of the rainbow and the gazillion in between!” To put it simply, Dani splashes the dark Fever world with color. Despite my love of Dani…I spent two years on the fence as to whether or not I should read BURNED. The decision was made, when I discovered that the 7th installment would bring us back to the perspective of Mackayla Lane.
Admittedly, I have some mixed emotions about this. I was incredibly happy to be back with “Barrons” and “Ms. Lane.” Yet my one complaint…is that I missed Dani’s energy terribly. Where does Dani go you ask? You might think you can guess…you may have heard from others who have read the book, but what actually happens to Dani is something completely unexpected. Read, and learn the truth for yourself. Although we seem to be playing a bit of musical chairs with all the changes in P.O.V, readers will fall back into Mac’s perspective as easily as if we had never left. This is a heroine who has always been made up of a complex blend of dimensions. Endearingly clueless, infuriatingly self-doubtful. Like many of us in life, she doesn’t have all the answers, and she rarely knows what to do…and like many of us, she probably never will. Mac is flawed, and Mac is real. This is a character who is innately good at her core, and yet, has been forced to become a little bad. Pink Mac vs. Savage Mac. Right or wrong. Love her, or hate her. In the end, she will do whatever it takes, and she will get the job done. I find her narration unique, and entertaining on all levels, and cannot get enough of her witty, laugh out loud thought processes.
Overall, I found BURNED to be a fast paced, complicated, and jarring orchestra of events. Brimming with informative dialog, fascinating mystery, and intense emotion. Once again, readers will be unable to recognize the World they find themselves in. A place that is somehow more dark, more twisted, and more terrifying. One where bitter enemies must stand together, and former alliances fall. New challenges, and danger come forth, and everything we have learned, is brought into question. Characters we thought we knew, become strangers before our very eyes, while others, like Jericho Z. Barrons, remain ever constant. And still others, will reveal elements about themselves, we never could have imagined. After ICED, I thought I knew all the answers…kudos to Ms. Moning for changing the questions. I look forward to where she will take us next.