Fantasy, New Adult Romance, Paranormal, Romance

My Review: A Kingdom of Shadow and Light (Fever #11): by Karen Marie Moning

Publish Date: February 23rd, 2021
Number of Pages: 496 Pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre(s): Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

***WARNING: This review contains spoilers of previous books in the series, so continue reading at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned!***

To see my review of book #1 – Darkfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #2 – Bloodfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #3 – Faefever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #4 – Dreamfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #5 – Shadowfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #6 – Iced – Click HERE

To see my review of book #7 – Burned – Click HERE

To see my review of book #8 – Feverborn – Click HERE

To see my review of book #9 – Feversong – Click HERE

To see my review of book #10 – High Voltage – Click HERE

To see my Fancast/Dreamcast for the whole series – Click HERE

Total Star Rating: 3.5 Stars

It’s always such a bittersweet moment when you get to the end of a book series that means a whole lot to you and one that you’ve been a big fan of ever since you started it. I haven’t been a fan of the Fever series for as long as some members of the fandom, but I can say that I know that pain that it’s all over; that feeling off being lost and like there’s no longer a presence in your life that you’ve grown used to. What do you do next? What do you read next? Is it better to reread the whole series again or to just begin a new one? This is what some may call a book hangover, and they’re just about as bad as an alcohol-infused one too.

A Kingdom of Shadow and Light was one of my most anticipated books of 2021 (the only others belong to Jennifer L. Armentrout and Sarah J. Maas), and I couldn’t wait to see how Karen Marie Moning was going to end her amazing series! As I kept with the books until the very end, all that’s happened in the story has come back into my mind of when I started book #1, Darkfever: Mac moving to Dublin, meeting Barrons, Darroc, The O’Bannion brothers, Fiona, The Shades, Dreamy Eyed Guy, The Gray Man and Woman, Rowena, the Sinsar-Dubh, the walls coming down, Mallucé, Dancer, the Nine, to Alina coming back to life, to Mac being possessed by the Sinsar-Dubh and eating Jo, and meeting the endgame characters like Dani, Christian, V’lane/Cruce, Ryodan, The Unseelie King, and of course Jericho Barrons. SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED. And now we’re here, it’s the final book….ugh, so many feels!

Upon reading it, either my excitement was getting the best of me or maybe it just wasn’t up to my expectations, but I found myself kind of bored with this book. All the chapters were delving into the minds of whoever’s chapter it was, but by the time I’d reached past page 100, and it felt like hardly anything actually happened… like their chapters were only their inner thoughts filled with recaps and all the questions they had of what was going on, or about sex. They all think about sex a lot, but I’m not really complaining about that since that’s kind of been the tone of the series for quite some time.

Honestly, there’s not a whole lot of things that happened within this book that I was looking forward to, but I go more into all that later on in my review, so I won’t bore you into reading it all twice. What I will show you is my final thoughts on some of the major characters throughout the whole series below:

Mackayla Lane:

What a character… I find it so funny when people gave up on the series too early because they read the first few chapters and decide they can’t stand her and don’t wish to keep reading on. I mean, how do you explain that the Mac at the very beginning and all that she goes through, how much she changes and how much she grows? You can’t, that person just really needs to keep reading and see all that happens for yourself. I see it though, Mackayla Lane wasn’t a great character in the beginning: imagine that stereotypical blonde, bubbly, Elle Woods-esque party girl and that’s all who she was. She’d never really faced any hardships and everything was mindless and easy for her, then the news of her sister’s death rocks her and her family’s whole world apart, but the thing that immediately makes her interesting is the dark vengeance she seeks while her parents stay broken and deep in grief. She’s been through the wringer, I loved how outspoken and strong she became when she (and us readers) got frustrated with V’Lane and Barrons both tugging her along and not sharing any information with her, her relationship with Dani, to her becoming the new Seelie Queen…She’s definitely up there with a lot of the great female heroines of these kinds of stories!

Jericho Barrons:

Karen Moning’s post on the “Moning’s Maniac’s” Facebook page really goes in depth with him as a character, probably more so than anyone else would possibly be able to, but it definitely sheds a whole lot of light of who he is as a character and where he comes from in his personality and overall demeanor when you first meet him. Like Mac, he felt like an incredibly cliché character: the tall, dark, handsome, and brooding masculine figure who’s a potential love interest for the main protagonist. He’s cynical and moody, a textbook example of an Alphahole, and others would say he was even somewhat abusive towards Mac with the mind games he played and the jealousy he showed with Mac and the potential with V’Lane, and he’s most likely someone who has a tragic backstory that left him believing he was too dark to ever find love again…While after reading this series and knowing that it’s kind of true, that doesn’t mean there’s not more to him. As you slowly learn more about him and his past, he becomes so much more fleshed out and three-dimensional. One good thing about him is that he never lost his edge, even as his relationship with Mac changes over the course of the story. He never becomes the dotting, weeping, soft and confessing his love kind of guy to Mac—not that there’s anything wrong with those guys—that’s not who Barrons is. He shows his true feelings through actions and gestures and letting Mac go off and make her own choices while still protecting her when absolutely necessary. He allows her to become a better version of herself, and (eventually) doesn’t alter situations to his liking. They aren’t the perfect couple, but they bring out the best in each other, they know how they both operate, and while it’s not the most romantic love story out in the world, there’s no denying that they’re kind of perfect for each other. I suspected he was the Unseelie King so many times throughout this series too, KMM does totally play with the idea several times, but part of me was still a little put down about the eventual reveal of what kind of creature he is exactly… I was just hoping for something more? Love the character Barrons: he’s a much more complex character than some give him credit for!

Ryodan:

I liked the mystery around Ryodan as we first met him in these books. He was one of the numbers Mac was to call if she was ever alone and in extreme danger, and just like Barrons, he was a total Alphahole. It’s weird, but I hate those kinds of characters and kind of love them at the same time? It’s complicated… but part of me really liked how much of an asshole this guy was at the beginning. I think it’s the antihero character trope that I like surrounding his arc, but he’s incredibly far from our typical Superman-like heroes. Despite their animosity towards each other for most of the books if not all, I really enjoyed the banter between him and Mac. Of course, she gets another alpha male who keeps her out of the loop, reminds her of the danger she’s in, while he’s secretly wondering what Barrons sees in her—c’mon, you know it’s true, especially when they first meet!) His relationship with Dani over the course of the series is… interesting to say the least. It’s certainly not the most orthodox love story in the world of literature, and it was funny/strange/curious to see how torn the fandom was about it ever since the potential for them to end up together started in book #6, Iced. Some would call it disturbing because an ancient being is lusting after and grooming a 14-year-old girl, but their story goes through so many twists and turns that you eventually get used to it? There’s a lot of factors that come into play with it, but what I can say is that once they ended up together I exhaled a deep sigh of relief and uttered “Finally…” I will say, it felt like he was a much different character in book #10, High Voltage, and it wasn’t necessarily a good thing. He felt so much more angsty and pining and moody than he usually is, and even listens to “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus with Dani in the car…there’s more than just that, but it just didn’t feel like a believable shift for him as a character, but that book is so random in general. No worries though, still like him as a character, and his conclusion in this final book is incredibly fitting ac

Dani O’Malley:

I did not really care for her for a good chunk of the series, specifically the first few books. A lot of other fans seemed to be so “TeamDani” or “TeamMega” and I was just not seeing it. To me she was just a bratty teenager who was the Robin to Mac’s Batman, but I will say when we make the startling discovery of her involvement of the murder of Mac’s sister in Shadowfever, I’ll admit that was when my interest began to pique. I was still not sold on her in Iced—the first book that focuses on her as the main protagonist—but she was still continuing to grow on me, but I began to like her once the whole storyline with her and her Jada alter ego came into play. I liked her a whole lot more towards the end of the Fever series, but based on my observation of her two books being my least favorite, I can also say that in my opinion, Dani was not meant to lead these books, that’s Mac. I say it would’ve been better off possibly to make a whole new series revolving around her, but the books work as a unit either way! I can say I didn’t see how Dani’s arc was going to end, I think the whole thing with the hunters is so random, but I like that she eventually ended up with Ryodan, even if the whole journey there was all over the place…

V’Lane/Cruce:

I knew there was something off about V’Lane from the very beginning… I didn’t know what exactly it was, but I knew his loyalty and what side he was on was definitely called into question ever since we met him in the very beginning. He was definitely a more well developed villain than most in a fantasy series, and KMM managed to add some real depth to him as the books still were being published by making him a character with deep daddy issues with the Unseelie King, yet ultimately turning him into a mirror copy of him too. The road to vengeance usually never ends well for the one to travel down its dark path, but Cruce kind of lost himself along the way and became the very thing he hates most in his existence, and that of course is his father. I’ll admit it was the most fun with him when he was still under the disguise of V’lane and there was some mind games/potential love interest with Mac in the first five books with Barrons as his competition. He was fun even past that phase of the whole series, and his mind games became even more sinister and insidious as he visited his enemies/victims in their dreams and delighted in their torment. Overall, he was a fun villain for the series, and it was great to see how he outsmarted Mac and the others over the course of the eleven books!

Christian Mackeltar:

I felt so bad for Christian throughout the whole series, he always seemed to get the short end of the stick with a lot of situations… not having a chance with Mac, getting sucked into another dimension, getting turned into an Unseelie Prince by Mac (on accident), plus probably more but those were the big ones. I understood his anger towards Mac and Barrons and his need to exact his form of justice, but I’m also relieved he didn’t go fully dark on us too and remained a good guy despite being turned into a bad guy’s body…I’m not sure if that makes sense, but I’m rolling with it! I liked him a lot, and I’m glad he gets his own HEA moment in this final book, LORD knows he deserves it!

Lor:

Once he became a more prominent character in book #7, Burned, I quickly grew to like him! Sure, he was a total manwhore, but at least he was upfront about it. Him and Jo had a rather nice dynamic when they were hooking up and I thought they’d make it until the very end, but then Mac freakin’ ate her! I hate when that happens… I wish Lor stayed more prominent in the series, but once his relationship with Jo met a brutal end, he kind of went back into the background, which is disappointing. I really hope KMM considers making a spinoff series with the Nine and he’s right at the forefront where he belongs!

Dancer:

He’s a really conflicting character because I really do like him, but if I can be an asshole for a second, this boy was kind of plot convenience for Dani and her eventual storyline with Ryodan. He was the younger love interest for Dani when she was 14 and Ryodan was wayyyyyyyyyyyy too old for her, and we met him in book #6, Iced, when Dani has distanced herself from Mac but still hunts unseelie fae to protect Dublin. He was adorable and kind of dorky, but him and Dani had a really cute dynamic. Part of me felt bad for him because lets be honest, Dani and Ryodan were obvious endgame since the idea was introduced to us, but so then the question was raised about what would happen to Dancer? Truth hit hard, because once his heart condition was revealed later, I knew he was a goner. I didn’t know when exactly, but no writer reveals a character has a serious medical condition like that and NOT kill them off at some point, but of course it’s after him and Dani make love for the first time…heartbreaking, absolutely heartbreaking. I liked him as a character, but I can’t ignore how his death was a catalyst to help push Dani and Ryodan to be together.

Kat McLaughlin:

I hate to say it, but I just don’t really have an opinion on her. She’s tough, she’s brave, but so are so many other characters… I just didn’t really see much from her that really set her apart other than how she was a great choice to become the new leader of the Sidhe-Seers once Rowena was gone. I found myself really bored with her chapters…

Rowena:

That bitch can choke.

What It’s About:

The official blurb:

MacKayla Lane faces the ultimate threat when war breaks out between the kingdoms of shadow and light, as the #1 New York Times bestselling Fever series races to an explosive revelation.

From the moment MacKayla Lane arrived in Dublin to hunt her sister’s murderer, she’s had to fight one dangerous battle after the next: to survive, to secure power, to keep her city safe, to protect the people she loves.

The matter of who’s good and who’s evil can be decided by the answer to a single question: Whose side are you on?

Now, as High Queen of the Fae, Mac faces her greatest challenge yet: ruling the very race she was born to hunt and kill – a race that wants her dead yesterday, so they can put a pure-blooded Fae queen on the throne.

But challenges with her subjects are the least of her concerns when an ancient, deadly foe resurfaces, changing not only the rules of the game but the very game itself, initiating a catastrophic sequence of events that have devastating consequences and leave Mac questioning everything she’s ever learned and everyone she’s ever loved. Now begins an epic battle between Mortal and Fae, Seelie and Unseelie, would-be kings and would-be queens, with possession of the Unseelie King’s virtually unlimited power and the fate of humanity at stake.

From the exquisite, deadly gardens of the High Queen’s court, to long-forgotten truths found in the Sacred Grove of Creation, from the erotic bed of her enigmatic, powerful lover to the darkest, seductive reaches of the Unseelie kingdom, Mac’s final journey takes her places no human has been before, and only one human could possibly survive…One who’s willing to sacrifice everything.

What I Liked:

  1. Christian Gets A Love Interest! First thing I can say about this is FINALLY! After getting the short end of the stick for basically the entire series, KMM finally threw him a freakin’ bone and allowed him a little bit of happiness to put an end to his whole overall story arc.
  2. Someone Becomes The New Unseelie King! Yes, the floating Shades-like power of the Unseelie King finally makes a decision on who is the best choice to take over, and when you find out it’s such a Duh! moment, like once it happens it’s like such an obvious choice; how did I never even think of that?! As long as you’ve known them in the series, they showed they are more than up to the task!
  3. More Mac & Barrons Romance! So RyodanxDani fans will be disappointed, but once again MacxBarrons are put in the center of this book’s plot even though KMM said their storyline is basically done—yeah, and this series was supposed to end on two separate occasions too—but honestly I’m not complaining because I really enjoy them and their dynamic. It’s changed dramatically since the earliest books and now Barrons even sits back and allows Mac to make her own major decisions and offers his reassurance whenever she needs it, plus reminds her that no matter what choices she makes, he’ll be by her side no matter what. It’s weird because I don’t think he actually ever says the words “I love you” out loud and in that order, but his own words and actions prove it and makes their relationship more deep and meaningful than most of the other relationships I’ve ever read!

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. The Attention on the Seelie Ice Princess… At this point in the series with it being book #11 and the final final book, why would there be so much emphasis on a character like this? I wasn’t sold on it unless KMM plans to maybe have it be a potential new spinoff series she’d work on in the future. She wasn’t a bad character by any means, but why should I care about her and the other Seelie Court royalty and not address other things that have been around in the books for much longer?
  2. Lacking Action… The first chunk of this book was boring. Just being blunt, but too much of it was just all about the introspective mindsets of most of the main characters, and by page 100 I’m like: “…Nothing has actually happened. All they’re doing is recapping everything that’s happened already…” I don’t like it when authors excessively do this… some people like in case it’s been awhile since they’ve read the books, but I know that most readers also usually do rereads before the new book releases, so a little recap is fine, but trust your readers have a better memory than what you’re giving them credit for.
  3. Where were the Old Earth Gods?… Literally nonexistent in this book…So what was the point of bringing them into the series in the previous book? Sure, the big baddie Balor was defeated and killed by Dani, but what about AOZ or the others? They were technically still alive to my knowledge, but just never showed up again? Really disappointed they didn’t make an appearance and have a badass battle amongst the Fae, who are their sworn enemies.
  4. Dani Captured… to add further disappointment to those who are really big fans of this relationship, Dani is captured and is basically separated from the whole group for the whole book! It becomes more significant when you realize why later on in the book, but this also made it so KMM didn’t give us some much needed interactions between her and Lor, her and Ryodan and Shazam, or even her and Kat, and I just find it disappointing we didn’t get these interactions in the book at all.

Conclusion:

Overall, It was a nice way to wrap up the whole dang series, but I feel like the author didn’t put attention in some the right storylines in order to make this book “great” instead of just “good.” I enjoyed the book, especially towards the end, but there was quite a few things left out that I can’t help but be disappointed that it didn’t happen. I kind of want to compare this book to Holly Black’s The Queen of Nothing from her The Folk of the Air trilogy because it has some similar issues: the romance between the two main characters is great and goes incredibly far, the heroine’s relationship with the villain is addressed and shows complexity from it’s timeline through the whole series, but a lot of the interesting side storylines just get pushed to the background or ignored entirely. Not enough factors made it into the final draft in order to make this book as satisfying as we wanted it to be.

I’m someone who only just recently got into this series, at least I got into it a lot later back in December 2019 when this series has been around since, like, 2006? I hope the readers that have been with these books since the very beginning fully enjoyed this final installment.

I can still say this is has been one of my favorite book series in recent memory; the first five books were the major highlight for me for their twisted ways of revealing backstory and lore, and how they’re more cohesive and jump off each other as a stronger unit than the books afterwards. They were more tightly packed and exciting, where the later books up until book #9, Feversong, felt like the author played around with her worldbuilding but couldn’t gain as good of a footing with the plot/major conflict of them as a whole. They’re still worth checking out, but I can’t deny it that there was something magical about the first five books.

Yet another series draws to a close, I’m a mix of emotions as these books have been a large part of my thoughts and interest ever since I started them. They’re for sure going to be taking up room on my personal shelf for quite some time, and I plan to do a huge reread sometime in the future, and I hope you readers have enjoyed the journey along with me and got plenty of entertainment with reading along with me & reading my emotionally driven reviews of each book along the way too.

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

My Review: Feversong (Fever #9): by Karen Marie Moning

Publish Date: January 17th, 2017

Number of Pages: 541 Pages

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genre(s): Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

***Warning! This review contains spoilers from previous books in this series, continue reading at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned!***

To see my review of book #1 – Darkfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #2 – Bloodfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #3 – Faefever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #4 – Dreamfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #5 – Shadowfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #6 – Iced – Click HERE

To see my review of book #7 – Burned – Click HERE

To see my review of book #8 – Feverborn – Click HERE

To see my official Fancast/Dreamcast of the series – Click HERE

Total Star Rating: 4.25 Stars

He’d told me once that fear was more than a wasted emotion, it was the ultimate set of blinders; that if I couldn’t face the truth of my reality, I could never control it, and would be subject to the wishes of anyone whose will was stronger than mine. He knew too well, from battling his own inner monster, what I’ve come to fathom only here and now. The most critical, defining battles we wage in life, we wage alone. Against ourselves.”

— Karen Marie Moning, “Feversong”

Alright, for this reader of the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning, I’m happy–and slightly relieved–to say how with reading Feversong, it feels like the series is back on track with many unpredictable twists, many secrets revealed, scorching romance, and so much danger too! While my liking of what I call “Phase 2” of the Fever series–every book past Shadowfever, aka “The Original Series”–has been back and forth, I can say this book should satisfy over disappointing readers who have stuck it out up to this point!

While there are still some loose ends that haven’t reached a full conclusion, I’d compare this book to being like Shadowfever, where all the main plots are resolved here, which is a relief in the sense that there seemed to be so many this time around. More so in the sense that the quality of the story could be argued to be diluted by this point because the books in my Phase 2 have teeter-tottered in whether I enjoyed them as much, and how they stand together as a cohesive unit for telling a story. I was lukewarm about Iced, surprisingly really enjoyed Burned, I was bored with Feverborn, but I was enthralled and my interest was fully piqued when I started Feversong. It felt like how it was with the earlier books, but with more characters to root for this time around too. It was something new, yet still familiar, which is always a good thing with humans and any sort of story.

~~~

***Warning! There are Spoilers of “Feversong” beyond this point, so continue reading at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned once again!***

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You get an even more in depth look into Dani’s past, learning truly what happened to her before even Rowena and the other Sidhe-Seers got their hands on her. She’s certainly been through some of the worst experiences a child could ever have to endure, it speaks so much to her character that she’s still around and still able to smile and laugh after all that torment and trauma, to which Ryodan noticed all those years ago and vowed to look after her!

Speaking of Ryodan, I continue to love him even more in this book. I can understand how some readers wished he stayed the heartless, cold bastard he was when we originally met him, I like the development KMM has given him and even now how things have developed between him and Dani up to this point. It’s taken some weird turns, especially with her coming back as Jada, but once again we see how much he truly cares for her when he steps aside in order for her to have a small chance at normal happiness with Dancer, despite his own feelings regarding her.

Barrons is Barrons, that is all I can really say. I love him and how he’s developed over the series, I have nothing negative to say about him. I love how little signs of affection creep out of him whenever him and Mac interact, and how it’s obvious how he’s truly smitten in love with her, even if he never says it. To him, actions speak louder than words, and we’d expect nothing less from him.

With Mac, it was really fun to see her darkest side yet with her becoming possessed by the Sinsar Dubh, I’m not going to lie! KMM really got dark with some of her passages early on in the book, and I was oddly a big fan of the gore and violence. It honestly surprised me, which is not something a book can do to me as often now a days. I was sad to see a character get brutally murdered by her possessed hands, but part of me also wished more were killed to make an even bigger impact.

I continue to hope for the best with Christian, who’s another character who’s really been through the wringer. He’s perhaps my favorite side character besides Ryodan, and was happy he’s still around after everything too! There’s the potential for another chance at romance that’s teased in this book, so I sincerely hope he gets at least ONE “happily ever after moment.”

Inspector Jayne is turning into a Seelie Prince, which I just love the irony of that since he’d been training his guardians to hunt and kill fae ever since the walls came down back in October. I hope KMM plays more with this in the next two books before the series is actually over this time!

Not to give too much else away, there are just a few more really interesting events that occur, leaving more loose ends like I said, and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out now that we are ACTUALLY on the home stretch of this series once and for all!

What It’s About:

In typical Fever series fashion, Feversong continues immediately after how we left things in Feverborn: Mac and Jada have both been captured by The Sweeper, an ancient creature olden than even the Unseelie King! They make amends and are best friends again, but Mac used the Sinsar Dubh in order to escape, the chunk of it that was placed inside her, and it snuck in and took possession over her!

Along with STILL dealing with Cruce and the Black Holes that are threatening to slurp up the whole freaking planet, now Barrons and the rest of the crew have to try and rescue Mac from the demonic, psychotic book that’s taken over her body! With this unspeakable danger that wants to kill everything in sight, this leads them to making a deal with the devil: the Unseelie Prince, Cruce. Enemies become allies, some allies could turn into enemies, but with plenty of twists and turns, this is the intricately drawn out conclusion of whether they will be able to save our world from its ultimate demise.

What I Liked:

  1. Demonic Mac! This book starts off on such a thrilling note with Mac actually being possessed by the Sinsar Dubh, which by this point we all know is the real villain of the series. I was pleasantly surprised at how dark the author was able to get with some of the more gruesome and gory scenes with what Mac does under its control, not that I’m necessarily complaining as I feel like it’s hard for an author to really shock me these days, but it’s still sad one of the more familiar characters gets brutally murdered under her hands.
  2. Mac and Barrons Relationship Development! I don’t care what others say, I continue to love seeing how the two of these characters and their relationship continue to evolve. Some complain that Barrons has lost his edge, that they miss the mystery and harshness from him in the earlier books, but here’s my opinion: sure, he was great back then when they first met, but think about a long term relationship after a year when compared to when it first started out. Obviously the dynamics will change over time, and the two change alongside each other along with how they behave around each other. Some of it’s still there, but they’ve moved past the distrust, the sexual tension, the arguments–well, not entirely–but another way to describe all this: GROWTH. I’m sure even more people would complain if Jericho didn’t change at all by this point in the whole series; hell, I was whining about them arguing two books ago in burned when he erased the memory of them doing it like rabbits in heat the first night they met! Back to them in this book, It’s amazing to me to see how they’ve changed over time and now Barrons is caught staring at her with a gaze mixed with curiosity, admiration and now even respect.
  3. Dani Returns! So I was never a huge fan of the whole Dani/Jada alter ego/multiple personality storyline the author came up with. I mean, I can agree that Dani has been through A LOT… there are even some passages in this book that describe the abuse and torment she’s endured, so while I can’t say for certain that it’s entirely far fetched that she’d produce an alter ego in order to deal with/block out the trauma, I still thought it was a little bit of a stretch. Anyways, after what happened at the end of Feverborn, Jada had begun to crack along the edges and Dani was peaking through once again. I almost wish Jada could’ve been a separate character entirely, because there were parts of her I will miss, but seeing Dani return due to the love everyone shows her, especially Dancer, was great to see! It’s safe to say that after reading Feversong, I’m officially a fan of Dani O’Malley.
  4. The Enemy of my Enemy is My Friend! So with the Sinsar Dubh once again back in the picture and being the big villain to defeat, it was cool to see how the characters needed to band together, like even with Cruce who was released by Sinsar-Mac before he got his wings ripped out! Cruce was a huge antagonist and made the alliance difficult for everyone, and I always love it when this sort of thing happens in stories!
  5. Ryodan Continue to Impress! Ryodan continues to grow and develop in this story, especially when it comes to Dani. Like Barrons, some fans complain the author softened him up and should’ve kept him as the brutal/heartless asshole that he was in Dreamfever and Shadowfever, and I did like him in those books too, but again like I said about Barrons, there needs to be growth! Good characters hardly stay the same throughout a series.
  6. Mac 5.0! We get another version of Mac in this book, and screw it……. I’m going to spoil it….. but Mac becomes the Seelie Queen! It was necessary in order to help defeat the Sinsar Dubh and learn the Song of Making to get rid of the black holes threatening to destroy the earth!
  7. Shazam’s Reveal! Such a small detail to include, because I’m not a big fan about having some creature named “Shazam” from another dimension even be in this story, when we get revealed something about him that does pique my interest about him, as it’s sure to be the cause of some major chaos in the last two books after this one!

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. How Short the Possession Was…So kind of spoilery………………………………………. …………………………………. ………………… but Mac, Barrons, and others defeat the Sinsar Dubh at around the 50% mark of the book! I was hoping for more to happen in that; for more chaos to rain down upon them, but hey, it had to happen at some point! I was just more worried how afterwards, they subdue the Sinsar Dubh, but there was still over like 200 pages left of the book and I was wondering like what else could possibly happen/go wrong?
  2. Where Did All These Side Characters Go?…Okay, what was the point of Kat going off with Kasteo into that training room underground if it ended up not meaning anything? Where was Lor for like the entire book? Is Dageus turning into one of the 9 going to mean anything? There’s just so many side-stories that are not getting enough attention! I love Mac and Barrons, but KMM needs to stop a little bit with them and the many inner monologues and focus on these storylines more! I mean, Kat was gone for so long, I thought she’d have such a bigger part to play in all honesty.
  3. How The Rape Was Used…So with Cruce momentarily aligning himself with Mac, and I was way turned off by how it seemed like Mac had forgiven him for all that he’d done to her in the past (i.e: when she was gang raped by all the Unseelie Princes on Halloween night when the walls came down). They almost try to have us forgive him too, like he’s a lesser evil than the book or not actually evil at all, and even has Mac admit that maybe she would’ve fallen in love with V’lane/Cruce if she’d met him before she met Jericho Barrons. I sincerely hope she was lying to him when she said that just because she needed his help to create the Song of Making to Destroy the world. But they share a passionate kiss, and this whole thing was just cringe. Like, I’m not a victim of rape myself, and sure the circumstances surrounding it in the story are pretty extraordinary, but I seriously was not a fan of this detail, and at least the author made a note at the end that just because it happened here, does not mean she’s for rape apologists either. I’m not sure how much further I can go on the subject, but I can recognize that it’s problematic material in the book and deserves a trigger warning.
  4. Huge Character Death…So I legitimately cried when this was happening, and I honestly wasn’t expecting it to affect me as much as it did. I’m going to spoil it so feel free to scroll down past this if you want……………….. ………………….. ………………………………….. …………….. ……………………… …………………. ……………………………. …………………………………. …………. ……………… Dancer dies, and I knew it was going to happen as soon as KMM revealed the important little tidbit about his heart condition. Now, it’s been safe to say that KMM has been setting up Ryodan and Dani since Iced, but there was a love triangle with Dancer in the mix. There are many factors going into play, like with Dani becoming Jada so the whole age thing was less creepy, but KMM wasn’t going to make the decision easy for her either way. Both Dancer and Ryodan brought out the best of her, and both were good for her in different ways. Dancer was there when she felt like she had no one else, and helped her keep her humanity and save her when she was in a dark place. Unfortunately, KMM also made the decisions easier for her while also satisfying those who were more team-Dancer, but again: as soon as you learn about Dancer’s condition, you had to know it was only a matter of time before the final trigger was pulled, so to speak. I’m looking at it as a way for Dancer to pass the baton, and hope he knows Dani can be happy and how much he helped her. I’m going to miss him, he was like the kindest and most innocent character of them all.
  5. This Was the End?… Again?…I’m getting confused as to how this book says it’s the conclusion of the Fever series? The same thing was said about Shadowfever, yet here we are four books later. Then KMM seems to go off in many directions from a trilogy with Dani and Ryodan to nixing that to the other books past Shadowfever aren’t as cohesive as the “original” series was, and I’m glad at how there’s still so much explored, but it just feels more inconsistent now. Feversong says it was the conclusion to the series, yet I know there’s two more books after this: High Voltage and Kingdom of Shadow and Light. KMM still left quite a bit up in the air, so I’m glad she’s got two more books for me to read, but I’m just so confused as to the whole planning of this series has been, and that’s coming from someone who’s just started reading them this year (2020) alone.

Conclusion:

Things we had, like respect and trust, but also freely expressed desires and accountability to whatever degree it took to make both people happy. It took work, a willingness to fight passionately and fairly–out of bed, not just in it–commitment and honesty. It took waking up and saying each day, ‘I hold this man sacred and always will. He’s my sun, moon, and stars.’

It took letting the other person in; a thing I’d stopped doing. It took being unafraid to ask for what you wanted, to put yourself on the line, to risk it all for love.”

— Karen Marie Moning, “Feversong”

The Shadowfever of phase #2 of the Fever series, this book is wild thrills and delights as yet again major conflicts are resolved in this installment, but of course there are also plenty of things left up in the air as to help transition the series into phase #3 and it’s final section: books 10 and 11, High Voltage and Kingdom of Shadow and Light.

High Voltage looks like it once again puts the main focus on Dani and Ryodan as the storie’s main characters, which is now fine with me as they’re both so different than the first time this happened with Iced, and now I feel like Mac and Barrons story is at a much better stopping point, despite that vague and questioning final chapter with them and the mural in BB&B!

So many emotions came with reading this latest book in this wild and crazy series, it felt nostalgic with similar feelings I had when reading the earlier books in all their glory! I’m sad to see how based on some reviews and some lack of by certain Goodreads reviewers I follow, not everyone has kept up with the series by this point. I get it, the books past Shadowfever aren’t as cohesive and KMM really seems to grasp at straws with some of her subplots, central conflicts, and even some of her character development, but I can say I’ve stuck with it, and will continue to do so until the very end. Despite my less than thrilled reactions to books like Iced and Feverborn, I’m still so emotionally invested in these books, these characters that I absolutely have to see them until the end! I don’t think I could really quit the series by now, even if I actually wanted to! At book nine and only two more to go, I have to see what KMM truly comes up with to truly finalize all of it.

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Fantasy, Paranormal

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

Publish Date: January 20th, 2015
Number of Pages: 457 Pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy

***Warning!!! This book contains spoilers from the previous books in the series! Continue at your own risk, you’ve officially been warned!!!***

To see my review of book #1 – Darkfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #2 – Bloodfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #3 – Dreamfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #4 – Faefever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #5 – Shadowfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #6 – Iced – Click HERE

To see my Fancast/Dreamcast of the series – Click HERE

Total Star Rating: 4.25 Stars

With the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning getting up there in the number of books it holds, it still manages to completely thrill, completely keep me guessing what will happen next, completely OBSESS over the couples developing and the romance in general, and continue to introduce intriguing characters to keep the story feeling fresh!

I liked but didn’t love the previous book, Iced, but that’s just because I wasn’t completely sold of having the story shift over to the 14-year-old Dani O’Malley, who for awhile was Mac’s partner in crime and best friend until their falling out when it turned out Dani had a hand in the murder of Mac’s sister. That truly made Dani a much more interesting character for me, but I still wasn’t completely behind having her become the main protagonist. I liked her a little more after reading Iced, but I still think she has a ways to go before I’m 100% behind her. With all this in mind, I was happy to see Mac return to the spotlight in this book.

Now, while I loved Burned, I do need to give somewhat of a warning that it doesn’t have all that much of an actual plot, it’s more about developing a lot of the characters. By plot, I mean it just lacks a more direct focus like the previous books did. One of the main points of the story is defeating the Crimson Hag and rescuing Christian Mackeltar from her clutches, but there’s so much else that’s going on it’s actually kind of crazy, but I go more into that in the next section. What I can say is this book may feel like a bunch of filler/set up for what’s to happen later, but that’s not exactly anything too new when it comes to this series… This book is just more substantial in size when compared to the earlier books before Shadowfever, and while it may be a lot of filler material, that in no way means this book is weaker in comparison to the rest of the story so far! The character development is absolutely top notch, and there’s so much depth added to those that you honestly didn’t think it’d happen for! Ryodan, Dani, Kat, Jo, and even Lor get some major limelight cast upon them and you read more into them and the relationships they’re forming amongst the growing cast.

I was especially surprised at how much more I liked Lor after reading this book, but it just further proves at how KMM really knows how to write alpha-holes. She may even be better at it than Sarah J. Maas, but I’m still up in the air about that comparison as both do such an amazing job! Lor was actually a really fun character to get inside the head of! He turned out to be a hidden treasure. I mean, he’s a total beef-head himbo who only cares about tits and ass and long, blonde hair, but he still has his moments; he especially shines when he gets with a certain character, and shows his protective side with Dani. He totally gives me Chris Hemsworth as Marvel’s Thor vibes, or his character in the Ghostbusters female led reboot, and I loved every second of it, especially when he…

***Spoiler Alert***

…goes Pri-ya!

This was definitely the funniest book by far with the rest of the series so far too! Lor got involved with some of it which is also partly why I love him now, but KMM allowed for a lot more humor to show up with one particular character gets themselves into a little conundrum, but takes advantage of it all the same! I go more into it down below!

Ryodan also really surprised me in this book too! Multiple things get revealed about him, but one thing in particular I need to address is when he’s talking and admits a bit of his history with Dani and how he’s been watching over her over the years as like a guardian-angel sort of figure, not that she was aware of it. It’s not as creepy as it sounds, but what he says was actually really touching and made me absolutely, 100% behind him as a character and now an excellent candidate to add to my ever-growing list of book boyfriends (click to see my list so far, part 2 is coming soon!)

One thing I’m confused about is the idea of the trilogy that was supposed to focus on Dani and Ryodan that started with Iced… is that still a thing, or was that plan crossed out? Will other books go back to them, or it’s just done and forgotten about? If anyone wants to get back to me on that, it’d be greatly appreciated! I didn’t find anything myself after a google search, but I might have skipped over it without even knowing it. I admit though, the idea of this side trilogy may be put on hold/cancelled after what happens in this book too, but who knows honestly…

Overall, Burned is yet another great addition to what has to be my top pick for favorite book/series of 2020 so far: the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning! While it lacks a main focus/conflict, its main focus was the character development, and boy was there an amazing amount of it! So much is explored and hinted at for more to come, and even though Cruce is defeated… for now… there’s still plenty of danger to go around and plenty of drama to keep the series thriving and our minds racing!

What It’s About:

Burned continues immediately after how Iced ended: Mac and Dani finally have their much anticipated face-off. We learned back in Shadowfever that it was actually Dani who lead Mac’s sister, Alina, to her death by an Unseelie monster which lead Mac to coming over to Dublin in the first place. However, we also learned that Dani’s former leader, Rowena, actually used her Sidhe-Seer abilities of coercion to make Dani perform the terrible act, which Dani doesn’t know that Mac knows about that. It’s all a very twisty circumstance, but both sides desperately just need to hash it out already in order to make amends and get on the same page again, so long as they can actually face not only the other person, but themselves…

The Unseelie Princes have teamed up, and are gaining Pri-ya followers, a new Seelie ruler, plus a new group of Sidhe-Seers, led by the mysterious and lethal Jada, who’ve set their sights on Dublin, so there’s an epic turf war waiting to happen on who will gain control of the city, and ultimately planet Earth…

Mac also discovers a shocking secret about Barrons that will put a real test to their relationship! While dealing with that scandal, she’s also on the hunt for the Unseelie King to hopefully make another appearance and help her with the Sinsar Dubh, or to get rid of it from her mind entirely, but of course, he’s nowhere to be found after being reunited with his Concubine…

Ryodan continues to have his little minions everywhere to be able to whisper into his ear all the happenings of what’s all going down so he can make sure he’s able to stay three steps ahead of everyone…

There’s the hope of a search and rescue mission for Christian Mackeltar, who was snatched up by the Crimson Hag in the climax of Iced

… And on top of all that, the Hoar Frost King, the villian we met in Iced, has left aftershocks of where he’s literally iced folks all over, and they’re turning into blackholes that threaten to continue to tear apart our world until it is no more…

Yeah, we thought it all ended with Cruce and his plot to take the Sinsar Dubh for himself, but it turns out he was only the beginning! There’s something brewing, and the world KMM has created in these books is far from over!

What I Liked:

  1. Mac is Back! Our familiar protagonist and main character, Mackayla Lane, returns in this book and immediately brings the series back to it’s well deserved glory! It was a huge relief because of how meh I found Iced to be with having Dani as the main character. We’re also given back our lusty tall, dark, and handsome Barrons too for anyone possibly worried about that as well. It was just good to see the story once again come back and focus around them as the core central characters.
  2. A Secret of Barrons Get’s Exposed! It’s actually revealed in the prologue of the book and brings up an important scene from the very first book that will surely make you not able to look at Barrons the same way ever again. Even better is that he explains his actions within the book as well too, so it’s definitely a not-miss moment you need to read it to believe it. I for one think it adds so much depth to his character, because everything he does thats questionable to readers, one thing we can all agree on is that his actions are all about his need to protect Mac, even if it’s from herself. How can you not love a guy who’d go to the ends of the earth for the one they love?
  3. New Character: Jada! There’s a new badass Sidhe-Seer babe in town who’s shrouded like a certain group of shadow-groupies with mystery and grandeur, and her name is Jada. As soon as she makes her first appearance in the book, major change within the realm of the Fever series is abundant, but that’s not all; there’s a big reveal with her you won’t see coming.
  4. Major Character Development for Ryodan! Ryodan continues to develop so much, even more than in the previous book, Iced. You learn even more about his background and his character overall has unexplored depths that are no longer hidden; he’s quickly becoming a huge favorite character of mine because of all this. His development with Dani really takes on a heart-wrenching development, and his admission about her was actually so touching! I actually—legitimately—had tears in my eyes when he talks about Dani and his history with her; it was the moment that Ryodan became a favorite character of mine!
  5. The Humor! Burned was definitely the funniest novel of the series, and all because ***SPOILER ALERT***—a character goes invisible and doesn’t know how to change back! I will at least leave their name out of it, but what I can say is it gives them—and you, the reader—a backstage pass to get away with some hijinks, also Lor gets involved in probably the best way possible, and you see and learn things that you’d never have believed if the character wasn’t secretly there to witness it all firsthand.
  6. New Monsters! The Unseelie have some more faces to reveal themselves, and while I won’t give too much away, the female monsters are the MVP’s of the bad guys in this novel, and there’s even one more type of monster to debut… all I can say is, watch what you say around cockroaches!
  7. Character Development: Lor! You get inside the head of another member of the pack of 9, and this time it’s the big, blond, caveman-viking-like Lor. You met him in Shadowfever, you got to know him a little better in Iced, but in Burned you even get inside his head a little bit, and wouldn’t you know it, you fall for him too just like Ryodan and Barrons. Absolutely loved him in this book, and may or may not even be a part of another ship for you to stan in this series!

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. The Return of the Highlanders…Once again, the Highlanders of KMM’s other hit series make an appearance, and I only say I don’t like this just because I haven’t read them, nor do I really plan on reading them either, so their appearance is very meh for me, just like it was in Shadowfever. I know they hold a special place in the hearts of a lot of other KMM fans, so feel free to take this criticism with a grain of salt.
  2. Jada’s Big Reveal…So I mentioned this big reveal earlier, and while it’s big and makes you stop and make sure you read it right, I still can’t help but feel so conflicted about it… The main reasoning behind this is because it almost ruins another character entirely… It’s a confusing plot twist, and I feel like maybe this book explains it enough and I still don’t entirely follow it. Maybe there’ll be more justification in the next book, but I’m not entirely sold on it, especially if it means we’re possibly saying goodbye to another beloved character for good.
  3. The Drama That Goes with Barrons’s Secret Revealed…While I appreciate the author going back to maybe add some justification to a scene that many people have criticized in the past and that is a huge reason some readers don’t like Barrons, what I wasn’t a fan of was the drama it caused to happen between him and Mac. I said this before, but it’s kind of getting annoying at how these two end up going in circles right back to where they started in terms of arguing with each other… can we please move on from it already? Let’s put some angst into other’s relationships, but can Mac and Barrons just move on already?? It’s showing a lack of development with her two main characters that started this whole dang series!

Conclusion:

Another scorching addition to the Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning; this series still somehow continues to impress me and throw me through a loop every time I open whatever the next book is, and it’s actually so unpredictable. I swear, every time I think I have it all figured out, KMM manages to throw in something that blows away the path I think the story is traveling down, and I absolutely love it!

It’s the only Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance books/series I’ve really read, but part of me worries if it’s considered one of the best ones, what other ones would I be able to enjoy at this point? I mean, I’m going to compare any other books/series to it after this, so who has any recommendations? I’m all ears, be sure to leave me a message somewhere to let me know (scroll up to the CONTACT INFO tab on the main menu), or we can just gush about this series and others we’ve read too, I will never say no to a convo about books!

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Fantasy, Paranormal

My Review: Iced (Fever #6): by Karen Marie Moning

Publish Date: October 29th, 2012

Number of Pages: 512 Pages

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

***Warning!!! This review contains spoilers from previous books in the series, continue reading at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned!***

To see my review of book #1 – Darkfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #2 – Bloodfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #3 – Faefever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #4 – Dreamfever – Click HERE

To see my review of book #5 – Shadowfever – Click HERE

To see my Fancast/Dreamcast of the series – Click HERE

Total Star Rating: 2.5 Stars

The Fever series has become a total book obsession of 2020 for me, and is easily probably my favorite set of books so far this year too. It was originally said the series would only be five books, and I could see the series ending based off all that happened in the previous book, Shadowfever, but I’m not going to complain that there’s a whole lot more books to be added.

I’m sad to say that Iced is also probably the weakest book of the bunch so far, at least that’s just my opinion. Even though I had lowered expectations going in, the book wasn’t able to exceed them or even really meet them either. I’m going to put the blame on how this book shifts from Mackayla Lane to Dani O’Malley as the main protagonist, but who also isn’t nearly as developed of a character. Sure, this opportunity would allow her to do just that, but I was hoping she’d be further along in her development before she took center stage. She’s just too immature for me, with all the brattiness, the “fecks” and “dudes” constantly said, and all the cocky bravado she repeats to herself in her many many inner monologues… Those inner monologues are also the main reason this book is so thick.

Iced is 512 pages, but it felt like it needed to be a much shorter 300 pages instead. With the many inner monologues of Dani, and characters like Christian and Kat, they really fill the book up and make it as substantial as it is when it wasn’t completely necessary. Sure, we could say it’s been like that since the beginning back when Mac was the main focus, but now it’s a little annoying now that we have three characters whom we’re following in this story.

One positive thing I can say is the whodunnit mystery that’s the main plot. Basically, there’s someone or something that’s going around Dublin and literally “Icing” people, both fae and human, to death. They become solid blocks of ice that explode into shards, and Dublin is supposed to be in it’s summer season, so it won’t survive if this keeps going on unchecked. Rydoan “asks” Dani for her help in trying to solve the case, and several other characters get pulled into the story, some new and some familiar. There’s Christian Mackeltar, who’s even further along in becoming the fourth Unseelie Prince and almost completely turned over to the dark-side with a strange obsession for Dani, and there’s a new character named Dancer, a 17-year-old genius who helps Dani set traps to try and save the city.

This book wasn’t as romance filled as some may believe, even though Dani has 3 potential love interests. Out of them all, only one actually seems like a non-creepy option. There’s Christian, Dancer, and even Ryodan who all seem to be drawn towards Dani O’Malley, who let me remind you is only 14. Christian is in his mid-to-late 20’s, but is going dark and is basically becoming a demon, and admits how much he wants to have sex with her… I’m not joking. Ryodan, who’s probably thousands of years old, is much more silent and vague about his feelings, but it’s obvious he’s drawn to her is some way. Both are willing to wait for her to come of age, which can be seen as either romantic or creepy depending on how you look at it. Dancer is the only logical choice right now, but how I see it is that he’s the nerdy best friend who’s hopelessly in love with his best friend, and hasn’t Cassandra Clare already written that trope to death? He’s a sweetheart, but I know he’s not going to end up with her, it’s most likely going to be Ryodan, but I’m curious how KMM is going to develop it and (hopefully) make it feel less child molest-y.

The Book is entertaining enough; I was glued to the pages deep into the night like pretty much every other book I’ve read in this series. My real complaint is that I didn’t get enough growth from Dani O’Malley as I’d hoped, and she really so desperately needs it. She’ll get there, and she is starting to grow on me, but she’s still not the 100 emoji for me yet.

What It’s About:

The Official Blurb:

The year is 1 AWC—After the Wall Crash. The Fae are free and hunting us. It’s a war zone out there, and no two days are alike. I’m Dani O’Malley, the chaos-filled streets of Dublin are my home, and there’s no place I’d rather be.

Dani “Mega” O’Malley plays by her own set of rules—and in a world overrun by Dark Fae, her biggest rule is: Do what it takes to survive. Possessing rare talents and the all-powerful Sword of Light, Dani is more than equipped for the task. In fact, she’s one of the rare humans who can defend themselves against the Unseelie. But now, amid the pandemonium, her greatest gifts have turned into serious liabilities.

Dani’s ex–best friend, MacKayla Lane, wants her dead, the terrifying Unseelie princes have put a price on her head, and Inspector Jayne, the head of the police force, is after her sword and will stop at nothing to get it. What’s more, people are being mysteriously frozen to death all over the city, encased on the spot in sub-zero, icy tableaux.

When Dublin’s most seductive nightclub gets blanketed in hoarfrost, Dani finds herself at the mercy of Ryodan, the club’s ruthless, immortal owner. He needs her quick wit and exceptional skill to figure out what’s freezing Fae and humans dead in their tracks—and Ryodan will do anything to ensure her compliance.

Dodging bullets, fangs, and fists, Dani must strike treacherous bargains and make desperate alliances to save her beloved Dublin—before everything and everyone in it gets iced.

What I Liked:

  1. Dancer! He’s a new character who was mentioned in Shadowfever, but now makes his physical debut as a close & personal friend to our new protagonist. He’s a tall, lanky, dark hair + blue eyes combo, 17-year-old male who has the whole cute’n’nerdy thing working for him because he’s a total genius! He traveled over to Dublin before the Walls came down to tour Trinity, but was on his own until Dani came along. He’s a great sidekick who obviously has strong feelings for her, but as our empath Kat mentioned, he’s got some dark secrets brewing beneath the surface, so there’s more than meets the eye with him… just like pretty much every other male character in this fecking series.
  2. Cruce is Still A Threat! Still loving how I totally called it that there was something majorly off about V’lane the whole time! Quick recap: V’lane turned out to be Cruce in disguise, the Unseelie King’s first and most powerful dark prince, who’s been masquerading as the Seelie Prince, and has been plotting for almost a million years to capture the Sinsar Dubh and completely take over our universe. When we last saw him, the King had encased him in an enchanted ice cage to keep him at bay deep below the abbey for the Sidhe-Seers to once again watch over and protect the book… but of course he’s not completely out of the picture. He sneaks into the dreams of the women and tempts them into helping him escape, and there’s a lot of raised eyebrows at how things will develop with him!
  3. New Monsters! With the addition of Christian Mackeltar going all Unseelie royalty on us, there are two new big monsters to make life in Dublin even more difficult for everyone! I can’t give too much away, but one I also want to mention is the Crimson Hag. I’m going to leave it there for you to think up what exactly she may be… For shits and giggles, imagine the Witch’s Ghost in that Scooby Doo animated movie mixed with Lady Gaga when she wore the meat dress at the VMA’s and maybe that will give you some amazing visuals!
  4. Ryodan! He really grew on me in this book; he showed more personality behind the eerily veiled threats and little smirks. He’s still a total alphahole; it’s basically a prerequisite in order to be a part of the pack of nine, but we interact more with him and see more depths to his character… the sexual tension with Dani O’Malley was a bit creepy to say the least, so hopefully KMM shifts it so that if they do end up together while he’s waiting for her to become of age, it’s not child molester-y.

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. Hardly Any Mac or Barrons Sightings…What made the first 5 books in the series so memorable was having Mac and Barrons be the main focus and following them, and in this book, they’re probably the characters you see the least of. Their absence was definitely felt; I know this book is supposed to focus on Dani now and give her a redemption arc, but wow… this book suffers without the Fever series’s OTP.
  2. Dani’s 14 and has 3 Potential Love Interests…So Dani’s a 14 year-old girl out on the streets, kicking ass and taking names, and all the while she’s got 3 love interests: Dancer, Christian Mackeltar, and Ryodan. Dancer is obviously the safest and most logical choice, but he’s doomed since he falls under the nerdy friend who’s secretly in love with her. Christian is at least 10 years or so older than her and is going through the final stages of fully crossing over and becoming the fourth Unseelie Prince, and while he’s fighting his dark and perverted thoughts because of it, he’s also pretty blunt about his sexual appetite and his yearning for our 14 year old MC which gets pretty weird, not gonna lie… Ryodan is also a potential love interest, even though he’s “boinking” Dani’s friend and fellow Sidhe-Seer, Jo. It’s never fully confirmed or spelled out for you, but similar to Mac and Barrons, if you read between the lines and pay attention to his wording and his actions, it’s obvious there’s something there. Both the (much) older suitors are willing to wait for her until she’s of age—thank god—but the whole thing is still a little odd to say the least… but it is the Fever Series, so I guess weirdness is kind of expected?
  3. Christian Mackeltar Continues to Get the Short End…This poor Highlander continues to have just about everything bad happen to him…I don’t need to go into specifics, but it makes my chest hurt when he internally admitted how much he hated Mac and Barrons and wants revenge on both of them! I mean I get it; they’ve both done him dirty too many times to count by now and have basically been the cause for all that’s caused his life to go down the shitthole… I really feel for him and hope he gets better. Hopefully a nice woman—or man, if he’s swings that way too at all—comes along and helps give him an HEA moment that he deserves!
  4. Still Not Completely Sold on Dani O’Malley…After reading this book, I like her a little more and have seen some growth in her character, but I’m still not completely sold on her like I am with Mac. I’ll admit, when we found out about Dani’s involvement with the murder of Mac’s sister, Dani became 100x more interesting to me, and I really want to find out more from Dani’s perspective on it, and I supposed maybe you kind of do, but it felt like it wasn’t enough with what we’re given, and all we really hear is how guilty she feels while avoiding Mac all together. You do learn more about her terrible upbringing and what she’s gone through, and it really makes you feel for her, but I’m still just not fully behind her. We’ll have to see what else happens in the later books.

Conclusion:

After taking a brief hiatus from this anxiety-inducing series, I have to admit that this book is probably my least favorite of the bunch so far. This doesn’t mean I necessarily hated it; I still cruised through the pages to see what all happens, but with Dani O’Malley shifting towards the front and leaving Mac in the background, I just wasn’t as invested in this story as I have been in the past.

Not to worry though, I’m still so heavily invested in this series and definitely plan to keep going on with the rest of the books because I’m not ready to leave these characters behind or stop learning more about the mythology and history of everything, plus more. With new characters along with adding much more depth for more established characters, more questions keep arising along with plenty of tension and opportunity for more drama to happen in order to make this an even more addicting series!

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Fantasy, New Adult Romance, Paranormal

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

Publish Date: January 18th, 2011
Number of Pages: 608 Pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

***Warning!! This review contains spoilers from the previous books in the series, continue reading at your own risk. You’ve officially been warned!***

To see my review of book #1 – Darkfever — Click HERE

To see my review of book #2 – Bloodfever — Click HERE

To see my review of book #3 – Faefever — Click HERE

To see my review of book #4 – Dreamfever — Click HERE

To see my Fancast/Dreamcast of the series – Click HERE

Total Star Rating: 4.5 Stars

Finally…

At long last…

The time has come to get answers to the ever-growing list of questions that have come up since starting this blasted series, but I can say without a doubt that SO. MUCH. HAPPENS. IN. THIS. BOOK!

A few words to describe it: wicked, vicious, sexy, intoxicating, twisted, unpredictable, startling, unrelenting, infuriating, addicting, enchanting, and utterly mind-blowing! The most satisfying component about this book by far is how we finally get some answers that Karen Marie Moning had been deviously hiding from us since the very beginning. From the very first chapter, your heart and your soul is put to the ultimate test as you’re put right back into the thick of it with how the previous book ended, and from there on it just feels like a never ending emotional roller coaster!

Looking back on this series and where it’s taken me, I had no idea that it would truly suck me in like it has since the start of the new decade. I know I’ve probably said this before in my past reviews, but I seriously just remember scoffing at the description of Darkfever a little bit when my work friend, Erika, first told me about these books and how they’d completely sucked her in. Plus, with some of the cover designs, I figured it would just be another really stupid and trashy paranormal romance series… While I can say there have been over sexualized, strange moments in this series to prove my point, I can’t stress enough that they had quickly become so much more than that as I’d read on!

I was especially surprised at how deep the plot had ended up becoming as I’d devoured each book after the last; the Fae lore and all the big players that have only been mentioned in all the stories that we’ve been told, the Sinsar Dubh–that freaky as fuck possessed book that everyone is hunting and has been following Mac like some creepy stalker…not to mention all the incredible side characters we’ve gotten to know too! There’s Christian Mackeltar, Ryodan, V’Lane, Dani O’Malley, Inspector Jayne, the other Sidhe-Seers, Dreamy-Eyed Guy, the monsters, the Unseelie Princes, and even Darroc–aka The Lord Master–has become someone truly intriguing in this series. Also, I just love the unpredictability of it all…not the character tropes because I will admit a few of them are pretty cliché, but just how I truly didn’t know what was going to happen next and what direction everything was going to take…I had my guesses throughout, but almost every time was way off.

Before I can go further, all I can say to those who’ve made it this far; all the cliffhangers and frustration hasn’t driven you away, and I can say without a doubt this book will not disappoint. It finally answers a lot of questions while still leaving us with some loose ends in order to keep the series going further, BUT it’s not nearly as bd as it has been! It’s truly a satisfying ending.

What It’s About:

We left off with Mac losing her frickin’ mind over whoever the beast had turned out to be. She and Ryodan teamed up to kill the big, bad beastie while Ryodan had been tossed over a cliff to disappear, and were left wondering if he’s dead. Mac absolutely loses it and ends up on the ground in the fetal position over the body of….

…major spoiler ahead…

…Jericho Barrons. That’s right, he’s the beast that showed up shortly after she’d dialed the “IYD” number on her phone Jericho had given her way back. She’s sobbing, she can’t go on, she doesn’t know how to keep going, she realizes her true feelings for the mysterious and brooding alpha-hole we’d all come to appreciate. She’s devastated until there’s a shift within her, and suddenly she’s not anymore. She becomes like a shell of herself, and becomes cold. calculating. sinister. vengeful. She vows the last thing she’ll do is to finally capture that damned book and use it to create a new world. A better world with her dead sister, Alina, and Jericho both brought back to her. To do that, she has to gain help from the most unlikely source of them all…The Lord Master himself, Darroc!

Mac truly seems to have gone over to the dark side with her new alliance, and the Lord Master provides her with more information about the book itself, and believes he knows a way to be able to merge with it without letting it possess him and corrupt his soul. All the while, Mac waits like an Angel Shark beneath the sand and patiently waits for the perfect moment to strike.

The war between humans and the Fae continues to escalate, and become even more dangerous as new alliances are formed, shocking and bitter betrayals steal our breath away, and finally figuring out how exactly to stop the Sinsar Dubh, what exactly Barrons and his other men are, also figuring out who exactly Mac is. It’s been played with for a little bit now, but there’s definitely something off about the visions and memories she has that aren’t her own, other clues and newfound powers…what’s going on there? Also, the grand finale of it all will reveal a enemy that has been like a wolf hidden amongst the sheep: someone who’s started all of this, and someone who had the most to gain through everything that has happened…

What I Liked:

  1. That Finale! What a surprise! There were two major reveals in the climax of the book: one that involved multiple people and the other that was shocking, but part of me just wants to say…I FUCKING CALLED IT! Ever since I’d met this character, I’ve had an off feeling about them, and I’m happy to say my gut reaction was right about them all along!
  2. Dani O’Malley! Let me start off by saying that I haven’t always been the biggest fan of Dani, especially as she becomes a more central character and you hear from her perspective in a few chapters…Not a fan. I think she needs to go through some more growth before she takes center stage, HOWEVER…something happens in this book that makes her character a whole lot more interesting, and raises many eyebrows too. Suddenly, I want to hear more about what’s going through her head, and how certain things came to be.
  3. How Nicely Everything Ties (Mostly) Together! I’ve loved how tightly woven the plot and all it’s mysteries have been planned out throughout this series since the very first book. So many little factors that have stacked on top of each other and have added to the anxiety produced at how slowly things are revealed. I have to say overall how everything tied together in the end really well with this book; it was obvious that Karen Marie Moning knew about how this outcome would come to be since the very beginning and gave us clues and tidbits of info at an achingly slow pace that built until this moment. As far as I’m aware, every question that’s popped up has been accounted for, and there aren’t any holes left untouched!
  4. Mac and Jericho’s Relationship! In this book, it’s shown how their relationship has changed and honestly has become more satisfying than any of the other books in this regard. What I can truly appreciate about KMM’s work on Barrons is that he stays true to his character. He’s not some soft, vulnerable being who shows a sensitive side of himself whenever it’s just him and Mac, and he never becomes that guy either. He stays hard, cheeky, cold, snippy, but we love him for it anyways. The two of them still have those many, many arguments, but they also have those important conversations with them just looking at each other. The sexual tension continues to build and build between them, and while he doesn’t lose his edge to do it, Barrons finally reveals what his true feelings are and I am HERE for it!

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. The Highlanders Cross-Over…For many fans of Karen Marie Moning, I’m sure you’re aware of her other series out there: The Highlander series. I personally have not read it, and honestly don’t plan on reading it either, but can tell you that the main characters of that series come over to Dublin. You’d met some of them in the previous book too, but as they’re the group of Druids that assisted the Seelie Fae Court since ancient times, they are needed in order to assist in the capture and containment of the Sinsar Dubh. For me, it was a jumble of other characters that were a struggle to be able to tell the difference between. I know some fans were probably jumping with glee about this crossover–I probs would be too–but with me not touching the other series, this addition was honestly kind of lost on me.
  2. What Barrons Turns Out To Be…I’m not gonna lie…this reveal was disappointing to me. I just thought with so much emphasis around the mystery of what exactly Jericho Barrons was would’ve lead to a much bigger reveal in the end. I was someone who’d suspected he was the Unseelie King, and he was after the Sinsar Dubh because as the king, he’d created it, but realized he’d made it too powerful, and wanted to destroy it once and for all. I think what he turns out to be is cool enough, and would be interested in learning more background info/history of what he is later on in the series, so we’ll see I guess…

Conclusion:

An epic finale of what I guess is only the first phase of this intricate and twisted urban fantasy series that has become a serious addiction since the start of 2020. All our frustrations as readers has finally been rewarded, and KMM gives us so many answers to our questions that have been with us since the very first book, Darkfever. While she ties pretty much all of her loose ends together, she’s also able to reveal some shocking new information too that tells us things are very much far from over…

Part of me really wishes I could go back and reread all these first five books, and catch all the little details and easter eggs I’d missed and become even more impressed at the masterful storytelling this series has given me, but know I have so many other books I haven’t touched on my “to read” shelf that I seriously need to give a try already. It’s okay, because I love this series so much already that I have hardcover copies already giving my bookshelf a massive glow-up with their presence, so it’ll happen at some point, that much is guaranteed.

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell