***Warning! This review contains spoilers from this book and previous books in the series, so continue reading at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned!***
To see my review of book #1 – Zodiac Academy: The Awakening – Click HERE
To see my review of book #2 – Zodiac Academy: Ruthless Fae – Click HERE
To see my Fancast/Dreamcast for the series so far – Click HERE
Total Star Rating: 4.25 Stars
She wasn’t just a girl though. Not to me. She was the one girl I shouldn’t want, the one I couldn’t have, the one I didn’t need. And yet I did. And everything in my life could be damaged so badly by that need that I#d fought it tooth and claw up until this point.“
– Caroline Peckham & Susanne Valenti, “Zodiac Academy: The Reckoning”
What It’s About:
The official blurb:
The answer to your question will be revealed on the Lunar Eclipse.But when finding the truth, don’t let the shadows take you.
The week of The Reckoning has begun. And senior students have been tasked with making the freshmen’s lives pure hell as they prepare to take their fateful assessment.
With the Lunar Eclipse on the horizon, Tory and Darcy have more to worry about than just passing their exams. A dark plot is unfolding and the shadows are drawing closer…
Okay, by this point when I was reading these books, my entire life outside of work and sleeping and bathing revolved around having my eyes glued to the screen of my kindle reading these books. The romance is really starting to heat up and there’s more danger and excitement and I was just so completely sucked in….
Once again I will say it’s not the heaviest material or really even the greatest written story, although I feel like now that I’m more familiar with all the characters it does feel like the writing has gotten better, but what really keeps me going are all the characters and their relationships amongst each other and the absolutely delicious way the co-authors have weaved them all together: the twins, the heirs, the twins with the heirs, Tory and Darius, Tory and Caleb, Darius and Xavier, Darius and Xavier, Seth and Darcy, Darcy and Orion, Darius and Orion. I’m telling you, the characters and these intertwining relationships are what will absorb all your attention and make you obsessed. At least that’s how it’s been for me!
You start this book immediately after the crazy events of how book #2 ended with that battle in the Pitball stadium with the Nymph’s. Tragedy and violence strikes, but everyone is expected to just quickly move past it and all the trauma associated because they are Fae and they can’t show weakness. It’s easier for some rather than others, but everyone also gets caught up in the major event called The Reckoning. It’s like a big exam/competition to weed out students who aren’t strong enough to stay at Zodiac Academy, and there’s a dangerous task for each element that the students must pass at depending what they are (of course, that means the twins have to do four tasks since they have all four elemental abilities). AND they have to deal with the horrendous week leading up these tasks from the upperclassmen bullying all the freshmen (it’s literally called “Hell Week”).
Like I said, the relationships are really the big highlight of these books for me by this point, and of course I go into more detail further down in my review!
What I Liked:
The Sexual Tension Between Darius and Tory! Thesetwo have got to have the slowest burn of a romance that I’ve ever freakin’ read because were three books in and these two haven’t even had a first kiss yet, but oh man, has it gotten scorching between these two! There’s still plenty of banter—both playful and sexy—but there are softer moments between these two that truly prove that they are endgame in this series. Their feelings are so mixed and complex with their obvious mutual attraction but sprinkled with hatred because they’re enemies, and of course the web gets even more intricate with how Caleb and Tory are still FWB’s on the side too…which I’m starting to get over. I like Caleb a lot, but he’s just a big hill to climb over at this point, and I need more romance with Darius and Tory. I loved the race scene, the scene where Tory goes back with Darius to see Xavier, and them on the beach before everything goes to hell!
You Find Out The Twins’ Orders! Obviously I won’t spoil it, but it’s nice to have at least one mystery solved with all the questions that raised about the past and everything surrounding the twins.
Darcy and Orion’s Romance! While Darius and Tory are edging each other on, Orion and Darcy’s romance is in full swing and I love it. I really am a sucker for the assholes who secretly get soft for the one they have feelings for, and I get that in Orion, because he is still such an asshole in public, but flips it off when it’s just him and Darcy. And that smut that I’ve been told I need to wait for?…Let’s just say things are finally getting pretty spicy!
The Bromance Between Darius and Orion! Another interesting relationship that really has nothing to do with Romance, but more platonic male friendship! You honestly don’t see it a whole lot in books nowadays, at least with what I’ve read, and I like their bond a lot. It’s a strange guardian bond that Darius’s father cursed them with, but I love how they make the best of it and even tease each other about when the bond has them embrace or spoon in bed together….yes, these are two straight fae men, one vampire and another dragon-shifter, but they at least can make the best of a bad situation!
‘Hungover, Miss Vega?’ he growled and she sighed, realising her mistake.
‘Yes, sir. If you fancy sending any of your healing magic this way, that would be swell.‘
Orion gave her one of his darkest smiles that said he definitely wasn’t her friend right then. ‘Oh I won’t be doing that. If you turn up to my class hungover you can deal with the consequences.’ He shot to her side at a fierce speed and bellowed, ‘CAN’T YOU?!’ in her ear. It even made me flinch, but Tory winced with pure pain.“
– Caroline Peckham & Susanne Valenti, “Zodiac Academy: The Reckoning”
What I Didn’t Like:
Orion’s Jealous Moment…While I do love their romance and what they’ve gone through, there’s the one scene with Orion at the circus that really had me shaking my head like “WTF?!” I can’t explain it for spoilers really, but it seemed really over dramatic and maybe a little manipulative, but then again, it is the fae with these books, and it does match some of the extremities that these characters face at this magical school, much like how the teachers and faculty turn the other way with all the bullying and power-play constantly occurring.
Still Not A Fan of Seth…By now, some people like him, but I still am not a fan of how back and forth he is. With his pack and the other heirs, he’s the sweetest and kindest of them all and just wants everyone to be friends and get along. He’s like a literal human golden retriever, which of course makes sense considering he’s a werewolf. But it just completely flips whenever he’s involved with the twins and suddenly he’s so cruel and calculating and just mean, and this constant 180 with him really rubs me the wrong way…
Overall, book #3 has to be my favorite by this point with how the relationships have developed by this point in and how the romance has really kicked it up a notch by this point. Both twins have their forbidden romances developing at different speeds, and I’m loving both of them for different reasons, but both make this series so intoxicating and binge-worthy. I know I probably said that in the previous review, but it’s seriously so true!
I’m starting to notice how the co-authors really love to have these books end on really juicy cliffhangers, which I both love and hate at the same time, but either way that means you know I immediately go into the next book after I finished this, with hardly even a bathroom break in between.
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:
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!
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!
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
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…
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!
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!
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!
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.
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…
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:
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.
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!
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:
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
To see my Fancast/Dreamcast of the series – Click HERE
Total Star Rating: 4.25Stars
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…
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 SinsarDubh, 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 SinsarDubh 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:
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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!
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:
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.
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.
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!
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!
***Warning!! This Review contains spoilers from the previous books in this series, so continue reading at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned!***
To see my review for book #1 – Darkfever – Click HERE
To see my review for book #2 – Bloodfever – Click HERE
To see my review for book #3 – Faefever – Click HERE
To see my Fancast/Dreamcast for the series – Click HERE
Total Star Rating: 4 Stars
Well feck me…we got another gem of a book in Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series that has pretty much become the main highlight of my book-related 2020. It’s filled with nail-biting antics and plenty of unpredictable danger, and Karen really masterfully drags it all out to the point of insanity, but one thing is certain: she knows how to drag you in and pique your interest!
Cliffhangers are also the author’s big thing, so if that’s not your cup of tea, this may not be the series for you…because I have to say: the cliffhanger ending of this book, much like the apocalyptic ending of the previous book, they seriously mess with your head and heart. I love it but ugggghhh do I hate it too!
The plot somehow continues to thicken even further into the storyline; the world gets richer and darker, the characters continue to grow and develop, the relationships either become stronger or burn to the ground, more myth and lore is explored, and you continue to ask yourself: “What can happen next?” along with “How can things get any worse?”
What It’s About:
So it happened…based off the ending Faefever, the walls have come down, and the worlds between us humans and the powerful Fae have fallen down and there’s no longer a barrier of protection. It’s pretty much the apocalypse up in this bitch…and the number of casualties are rapidly rising on a global scale!
Mac (Mackayla Lane) has been taken by the Lord Master, Darroc, and has been turned Pri-ya by being raped by the four Unseelie Princes–what a freakin’ way to end the last book with that chilling cliffhanger…
For those that don’t remember, being Pri-ya is when a human is turned into a sex-crazed drug addict and slave to the Fae whom they’d done the bump’n’grind with.
Dreamfever continues immediately following these events, and it’s looking pretty hopeless, but Mac luckily gets rescued by Jericho Barrons, who is doing all he can to bring Mac back to normal, and I do mean everything…with being Pri-ya, she’s forgotten who she is, who everyone else is, and all that’s been happening. In her crazed Fae-sexed-brainwashed mind, the only way she responds to any sort of mental progress is sex…yep, I’m not making this up.
Usually in romance novels, the characters talk about screwing each other’s brains out, but this was the first time I’d ever read where someone is trying to screw someone’s brain back in…talk about a criss-cross! One good thing about it is you get to see a side of Jericho Barrons you’ve never seen before, and thinking Mac won’t remember any of it, even reveals some interesting little tidbits.
Slight spoiler alert but not really…Mac gets back to normal, and within five minutes is back out on the streets kicking ass, taking names, and trying to figure out more answers for herself, because like we’ve all gotten so frustrated with in these books: no one tells her shit!
There’s a few big mysteries that rise up from the night the walls came tumbling down: who was the mysterious fourth prince whom Mac didn’t actually get to see as they all raped her? Where was Jericho for the four days it took him to rescue her? Where was V’lane?? Mac called his name thanks to the spell he gave her, and he never showed! It also added to the question of WHAT is Jericho Barrons? He was able to catch Dani when she was speeding through the Abbey, and not even the Fae can do that!
Without going too into the details of this book, I can say we get to see a couple things happen: What happened to Fiona, Derek O’Bannion, Inspector Jayne, Rowena and the other Sidhe-Seers in the Abbey, Darroc shocks us with some plot-altering confessions and backstory with the history of the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, you meet Ryodan, you enter the “Hall of Days,” you learn who Mac’s mother was, where Christian ended up, and even what “IYD” on Mac’s phone means!
In fact, I’m going to give a warning right now and organize all that happens in this book and the questions/answers it raises for my own peace of mind, so I say SPOILERS AHEAD, read at your own risk:
Who was the fourth Unseelie Prince, and why couldn’t we see him?
Eight Men break into the Abbey with Jericho and help break Mac out. Whatever they are, they are the same creature as Jericho (whatever that may be)
We meet the 5 Highlanders from the authors other series: Drustan, Dageus, Christian, Cian and Christopher (a crossover!)
Mac sneaks into Jericho’s mind and see more from his past: he’d slept with and killed a Seelie Princess (which has never been done before, and thus maybe explaining the tension between him and V’lane), and a dying child in his arms in the desert–who is it?
Who’s the “Icy Blonde” in the restricted section of the Abbey library and why has Mac seen her in her dreams since her childhood? Also, why did V’lane hiss and disappear so quickly when Mac summoned him down there and disappeared for the rest of the book?
Inspector Jayne and other officers have formed a rebel group of remaining humans with weapons and are trying to fight back against the Fae–especifically the Devilish Hunters who fly over Dublin.
We learn Mac’s real mom’s name was Isla and that she was one of the best Sidhe-Seers and was a part of a secret coven within the massive group of women.
The Old woman who called Mac “Alina”…simple mistake, or does this mean something else down the line?
Mac and Jericho once again try to corner the Sinsar-Dubh, but it goes terribly wrong…also we learn Derek O’Bannion is the latest victim to be possessed by it, and the book has changed his body into some sort of chainsaw-like monster, and it’s actually pretty creepy!
Fiona shows up and learns that Jericho still hasn’t told Mac something…”She still doesn’t know. Oh, Jericho! You never change, do you? You must be so afraid—-” and he throws a knife into her heart to shut her up…OF COURSE. But what were they talking about? What chance did Jericho have with Mac?
Darroc kidnaps Mac’s parents from back home
Mac ends up in the Hall of Days (Think Palace of Versailles with thousands of mirrors everywhere), and finds Christian, who’d been missing since the walls came down, stuck in another world that’s a desert. She discovers if she takes out the three stones in her pouch that they’ll be transported to other worlds, and feeds him Unseelie flesh when he’s dying, but he reacts strangely: his skin turns black with markings and his eyes turn amber…what is happening to him? Does it have to do with whatever spell had gone wrong on Halloween?
Mac and Christian get separated during a jump, and he’s most likely not dead.
Mac finally dials IYD on her phone when she’s alone, and a terribly dark beast shows up shortly afterwards, brutally killing any living thing that gets too close to her.
Ryodan shows up and tells her Darroc had marked her like Jericho did, and tries to rescue her from the monster, but gets badly injured before the monster has him fall off a cliff right after Ryodan and Mac team up to kill it.
Mac stands over the beast’s mutilated corpse and watches it transform into someone–or something–and the book ends with her screaming in agony…omigod, who/what was it???
What I Liked:
Mac’s Character Development (Again)! I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s really apparent in this book how much Mac has changed since she’d first arrived in Dublin Ireland: she’s practically an entirely different person now!
More Fae Backstory Revealed! Both V’lane and Darroc supply you with more Fae history with the Seelie Queen and the Unseelie King, and it adds so much more to the story on a mythological level. It raises the questions of how does it pertain to what’s happening now? Are the King and Queen big players who we haven’t met yet? Will they make an appearance at some point and if so, when?
Dani O’Malley & Mac Lane Teaming Up! To our relief, one person Mac can for sure rely on is the young Sidhe-Seer Dani. Their bond continues to grow into a newfound sisterhood, and you can tell both of them desperately needed it. Mac literally went insane with how she can’t trust anyone, and it’s been hinted how Dani hasn’t a good upbringing at all, so I’m happy they both get this small victory to make the treacherous journey that much easier.
Jericho’s Intensity! He continues to get so jealous over Mac and V’lane–which is hilarious–but you also get a surprisingly tender moment with the heartbreaking line: “You’re leaving me, Rainbow Girl.” He dances around completely naked to the “I Get Knocked Down” song, but then stays the infuriating ass that he is: he gives this gem of a quote: “We fucked, Ms. Lane. Even cockroaches fuck. They eat each other too.” We see so much more depth from him in this book as a character, and I’m glad we get more moments between him and Mac…I wouldn’t really call him a romantic guy, far from it, but I like how his enemies-to-lovers subplot has been handled, and the fact that it’s not a guaranteed happily-ever-after just adds to the anticipation.
What I Didn’t Like:
Back to the Same Old Argument…Jericho rescues Mac at the very beginning and brings her back to reality, and I feel for her that she’d been through a lot and it’s all been weighing down on her: her sister’s murder, meeting her sister’s murderer, discovering the whole world of the Fae and how she’s a Sidhe-Seer, meeting Jericho Barrons and everyone else, no one telling her anything, finding out she was adopted…and I’m probably forgetting plenty of other things too, but to top it all off gets gang-bang raped by the four Unseelie Fae Princes…girl has a right to be pissed off…BUT her and Jericho just go back to the same old relationship they’d had ever since they’d met: mutual distrust with scorching sexual tension, often at odds and itching for a fight or fuck. I don’t know, I was hoping for a new-found respect or understanding between them. He continues to keep her in the dark on so many things, and she could be a little more grateful that he literally saved her life…I’m just frustrated and expected some more development in that aspect.
Still Not Enough Answers…Okay Karen…girl, we need to talk…We are now four books in and we still don’t get almost any of the answers to the many questions we’ve got since the beginning.
Dani O’Malley’s Perspective…We get a glimpse into the mind of Dani, which makes sense since I know later on in the series focus more on her and will have her narrate like Mac has been doing. That’s cool and all, but in all honesty I’m not too fond of Dani as a character yet and think she still needs some more development or maturity before she becomes so central. I’m sure she’s going to change much like Mac does and I’ll love her to death when that happens, but I’m defs not there yet.
Overall, I loved the book despite how we yet again get the same results of only getting some answers but have added plenty more questions to everything that’s happening, and it being the fourth effing book in. I’m so torn by how well Karen slowly drags it all out in a way thats frustrating but still satisfying enough to keep you reading and find out what all the answers are.
Shadowfever is the next installment for this addicting Urban Fantasy series, and I’m told it’s going to supply a lot of answers and tie up a lot of the the many subplots, so think of it as being the finale of what is going to be “Phase 1”–like the MCU–of the series, and I am SO INCREDIBLY EXCITED AND CURIOUS TO SEE HOW IT ALL PLAYS OUT!
***Warning!! This review may contain spoilers from the previous title! Continue with caution, you’ve officially been warned!***
To see my review of book #1 – Darkfever – Click HERE
To see my Fancast/Dreamcast of the series – Click HERE
Total Star Rating: 3.75 Stars
You know when you want to give someone a big highfive?
Right in the face?
With a brick?
And repeat it over and over and over?
This was me to Karen Marie Moning after I’d finished this book…Like seriously, I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake her yelling: “What the fuck?!?!”
Once again, I was shocked at how utterly absorbed into this series I’d become, but there I was reading this book into the next morning instead of getting a healthy amount of sleep. The Fever series just continues to add more and more mystery and intrigue to make readers literally addicted in wanting to find out what happens next. So many questions, but so few answered right away, but then more and more questions keep popping up and my anxiety can’t take it some of the time. I need to take breaks between these books for my own mental health…you laugh, but I’m actually serious.
This series gets deeper and deeper into the streets of Dublin, Ireland and deeper into whatever plot is going on in order for the Unseelie–the evil fae beings–are concocting in order to take over our world. We’re getting to see a different side of Mac, and her uneasy alliance with mysterious and temperamental bookstore owner, Jericho Barrons, reaches its boiling point at multiple times throughout, but the hunt is still on for that dang ancient and evil book, the Sinsar Dubh, that is the key to either our salvation or extermination…it all depends on who gets their hands on it first!
What It’s About:
So Mac had gone into the Dark Zone, discovered the Lord Master’s hideaway, battled it out with him and Mallucé with Jericho by her side, and the closing scene is her doubling over because that dang book, the Sinsar Dubh, had gotten close enough to have her blackout…
We continue into this next installment where Mac is alive and (not) well, but has a safe place to call her temporary home in Jericho’s bookstore, Barron’s Books and Baubles. That is, until a hoard of those nasty & shapeless Fae monsters called “Shades” somehow break in! Mac almost meets her gruesome end, when low and behold…V’lane, the Seelie Fae Prince, makes a surprise appearance and rescues her. Their….interesting relationships shifts into some new territory–one where maybe he doesn’t try to rape her in the middle of an art museum, but instead maybe they become tense allies, because it’s not like Mac doesn’t have enough of that with her current employer/landlord/co-hunter for Fae artifacts/lust muffin…
The hunt for the powerful and evil book, the Sinsar Dubh, continues with more adventures and tension between Mac and Jericho rise, both regular and sexual, and more players join the game of cat & mouse: we’ve got Dani O’Malley, a young sidh-seer like Mac, who discovers there’s a secret coven of seers who have similar abilities when it comes to dealing with the Fae. We’ve got Rowena, that crazy older lady we’d seen twice in the last book who turns out to be more important than some regular old batshit hag. We’ve also got the Dreamy Eyed Guy who’s shown up enough times to be considered an actual character without knowing his actual name, and we also have Christian Mackeltar, who works at the Ancient Languages Department of Trinity College, and is yet another alpha male that enters Mac’s life that is total eye-candy–with a sexy Scottish accent to boot!
The rest of the plot would reveal some major spoilers, so you’ll have to actually read the book to see what else happens!
What I Liked:
Mac is Turning Into a Total Badass! The pink loving, Elle Woods-esque barbie doll is still inside her, but that era has been hidden behind a dark makeover, along with more of an edge to her usually bubbly demeanor. Tainted with the need for revenge on her sister, Mac continues to grow and become sharper along the edges as she gets closer to Jericho, and delves deeper into the many mysteries surrounding her, even some new ones that come to light within this title. However, she is still a young woman out in the world for the first time ever, and starts to realize she might be better off not trusting anyone, not even those she’s supposedly allied with. That part is probably the most anxiety inducing: when Mac is thinking inside her head and speculating about everyone and what their motives possibly are, how can she survive amongst all the dangerous players in this deadly game?
There’s More Romance This Time! For a paranormal romance genre series, Darkfever didn’t include much romance, which was disappointing, but also made sense in the sense of setting the scene, plus Mac ain’t no chick that will just let some guy just get it. In this next title, there’s an ember that can quickly escalate into an entire raging storm of fire with the tension building between Mac and Jericho. They don’t trust each other, they keep secrets from each other, and nearly come to blows…but beneath all that lies something sensual and filled with complete unadulterated lust.
V’lane (Again)! The Seelie–good guy Fae–Prince continues to make incredibly brief appearances, but they are filled with meaning and importance. V’lane helps Mac out of a dangerous situation early on, and afterwards their relationships shifts a little bit. She still can’t trust him, but he shows her that he is looking out for her well being…so long as it probably serves his own goals and motivations–which we are still not entirely sure about quite yet….more frustrating questions commence!
TheWorldbuilding Continues! Not a whole lot is actually added, but I’d say the foundation we were given in the previous book was just enhanced even further. The author continues by adding layers over everything to make it still feel so new and exciting, and creatures we’ve only heard about in passing may or may not make their first appearance!
What I Didn’t Like:
Left with Even More Questions than Answers…We dive way deeper into the series and a whole lot happens, so much that more and more questions keep popping up, and very few actually get answered…It’s so frustrating!? Was Mallucé really a vampire? Who exactly is the Lord Master? What are everyone’s true intentions? What exactly is Jericho?…there’s plenty more where all of those come from, but that would reveal spoilers, so you get my point…
This series is quickly becoming an addiction to me, curse my co-worker friend, Erika, who turned my attention onto this series! It’s weird, it’s different, and sounds kind of trashy when I try to explain the series to my other friends, but it’s becoming another one I’m incredibly invested in, both emotionally and financially, as in: I will have no hesitation in throwing some dollar bills someone’s way to keep finding these books and sinking my teeth into them!
The story continues at a slightly slower pace with what feels like some filler in there, most of it is Mac trying to organize her thoughts on everything and figure out what everyone else’s game-plan is exactly. It’s actually making me just as anxious and paranoid, and had started giving me some strange dreams…
These books are going to kill me…especially as I looked and there’s going to be, like 11 books total in this whole series.