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!***

~~~

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, Romance

My Review: Feverborn (Fever #8): by Karen Marie Moning

Publish Date: January 16th, 2016

Number of Pages: 436 Pages

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genre(s): Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy

***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 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 Fancast/Dreamcast of the series – Click HERE

Total Star Rating: 2.75 Stars

When you love too hard, you can lose the will to live without them. Everywhere you look is a great big sucking absence of what you once had and will never have again. And life gets weirdly flat and too sharp and painful at the same time, and nothing feels right and everything cuts.”

– Karen Marie Moning, “Feverborn”

I’m going to start off by saying how I find it so strange how torn the Fever series is ever since Karen Marie Moning continued after the fifth book, Shadowfever. I will say, the first five books do stand together as a united front while it had a lot of the issues tied up to reach a reasonable conclusion while a few story aspects were left up in the air, and all the books past it have seemed to veer off, or teeter totter, to explore more uncharted territory while not feeling like KMM is fully latching onto one main conflict anymore. Some people loved Iced, some didn’t, and the same can be said for Burned and now the latest book I’ve read in the series: Feverborn. I try to see all sides in the points made from other reviewers as to why they liked or disliked the books, all while making sure I kept my own opinions on them, and I can conclude that I’m in the subgroup that wasn’t a huge fan of Iced, I loved Burned, and I liked Feverborn just a smidge more than Iced, but I still didn’t love it.

For me, I’ve been pretty open to the spread out feeling that KMM has given us with this phase 2 of the series as I like to call it. Both Iced and Burned allowed her to explore new ideas as to where the series could possibly go next. There are several big conflicts with Cruce and the Black-holes that both threaten the future of our world, and there’s a much larger cast of characters to develop now that the spotlight is shining away from Mac and Barrons a little bit more. Characters like Dani, Ryodan, Christian, Jo, Jada, Kat, and Lor have been given excellent development and only add to series in a positive way—although I like how people are torn about Ryodan showing more emotion in these later books.

I guess for Feverborn, I’m officially at the point of impatience and I want to look at KMM and be like “Girl… just pick a direction already… and stop with the so many recaps we get in literally every book!” This book just felt off because not that much really happened. It’s another thick volume to add to the stack, but that’s only because it’s once again filled with the many inner monologues/thought processes and the many recaps we’ve gotten so often before. Sure, I’m binge-reading these back to back and not waiting a year like if I were to have been reading these books as they release, but c’mon Karen… we get it already! It’s book 8 in the series already, and honestly I thought we’d get further along by now with all that’s going down.

For me, this was just a slower read with a lack of REALLY important plot points happening not until the last fifty or so pages when all of a sudden everything is happening at once, and at least then it seriously revived this book. The ending was the saving grace with all that happens with Jada, Ryodan, and Mac of course! I won’t spoil it, but wow does Karen know how to leave a heart-wrenching cliffhanger!

I’m not gonna lie, this book is making me not want to immediately get into the next one, Feversong, quite as quickly even though there’s that killer cliffhanger I mentioned. I don’t know… maybe I’m nervous about me losing faith in Karen and the series because it’s been so back and forth with these last three books in the series. I love the continuation and the fact that we’re getting more material, but I can’t disagree that it’s been majorly inconsistent when compared to the first five books, and there’s even sub-groups of the fandom that only regard those as the actual series.

There were plenty of things I did like about this book, never fear! There was more romance than normal in this one which I can appreciate; Karen has been matching her characters together and so far I haven’t been disappointed with any of the actual pairings. As we’ve known for awhile now, Cruce is not completely out of the picture and is plotting his escape, so I can’t wait to see when that finally happens. and of course, that cliffhanger ending that has us absolutely terrified because it reveals something maybe all us fans were afraid was going to happen at some point.

What It’s About:

Continuing immediately off the previous book, Burned, we’re back down in Ryodan’s office with our favorite blond member of the pack of nine, Lor, and an invisible Mac to discover something quite unexpected: Dageus Mackeltar isn’t dead! In fact, by the look of it, he’s become a tenth member of the pack of nine… Ryodan is keeping him in a dark cavern while the new member is getting used to his new situation.

The issue of the black holes forming all over is still becoming a huge issue too. In book #6, Iced, a powerful unseelie monster that was known as the Hoar Frost King left these vortex’s that are pretty much mini black-holes wherever he appeared and caused frozen destruction. He’s gone, but these black-holes aren’t, and if they continue to grow and pop up like they are, it’s only a matter of time before the whole planet is sucked in and life as we all know it is absolutely fucked…

There’s an organization called “WeCare” that’s printing off dailies like Dani’s, and they have officially put a price on the heads of Mac, Jada, and the pack of nine…

Cruce is still plotting to get free from the Abbey and is getting some help…

Christian might have to make uneasy alliances in order to help reunite him with his uncle…

Lor and Jo continue doing their thing…

And someone you never thought you’d ever see again makes a shocking return…

What we achieve at our best moment doesn’t say much about who we are. It all boils down to what we become at our worst moment.”

– Karen Marie Moning, “Feverborn”

What I Liked:

  1. New Monster: The Sweeper! Yet Another nasty boss character is introduced into the series: an old, “god-like” character called “The Sweeper” who is actually the real leader behind those weird-ass, creepy cloaked ZEW’s—Zombie-Eating Wraiths—that have been following Mac around since Iced. Not much is known about him, and what is known is revealed in this book and I can’t spoil that for readers, but just know going in that it can’t be good if even the Unseelie King, or technically “Dreamy Eyed Guy,” warns Mac to stay away from him like he did in Burned!
  2. Lot’s of Romance! Like a Sarah J. Maas novel, it seems like all the main characters are getting paired off into couples, some are further along than others, of course. With this is mind, there’s a lot of sex in this book! Like, more sex than usual within one book in this series, which I can’t complain about! Barrons and Mac are still one of my favorite literary couples ever, and they go at it no-holds-barred whenever they get the chance! The romantic tension between Jada and Ryodan seductively continues into this book as well as they slowly but surely learn they need to rely on each other and earn each other’s trust once again, but not without some steamy tattooing scenes between them.
  3. Cruce is Plotting! It’s still moving at a slow pace, but Cruce is still very much in the picture, and he’s not working alone… More happens along these regards, but again, I don’t want to spoil too much!
  4. New Major Goal: Find the Song of Making! So I love how KMM is incorporating more of what happened in Iced even more relevant towards the whole series plot, which are how the black holes that are popping up in every location that the Hoar Frost King had struck. Soon, the entire world could be sucked away and just disappear forever, and it’s learned that the only way to save everyone is to find a spell to use The Song of Making: the Fae’s most pure and powerful form of magic, the most powerful force in the universe. All forms of life stems from it, and it’s a tool that has been passed down from every Seelie Fae Queen to the next, and it’s only to be used in the most dire of emergencies. Ryodan and Barrons have a plan to find out how to use it to save the world!
  5. That Cliffhanger Ending! Wow… what a cruel way to end this book! I loved it even though I’m not okay after it, and I also read it close to 4 in the morning and couldn’t fall asleep afterwards! Worth it though! I won’t give it away, but all I can say is that you’re rewarded with a small victory for two main characters, but then something that we’ve all feared happening becomes canon… do with that what you will!

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. It Felt Like Not as Much Happened…Not gonna lie… Except for the last 50 or so pages, it’s exactly what I said for this point. There were some startling discoveries here and there, but overall I felt like it was the slowest moving book of the whole series! I still liked it more than Iced, but even that book had more going on than this one! It was just a lot of filler with recaps and repetitiveness that we’ve seen since the beginning of the series that we really shouldn’t be seeing by this point.
  2. Where’s the Unseelie Princess?…Where’d you go? I miss you so. Seems like it’s been forever… that you’ve been gone. Okay seriously…. where this bitch at? She has probably one of the coolest introductions into this whole series in the previous book, Burned, and she doesn’t even make an appearance in this one! She’s only mentioned, but c’mon, if even Cruce and the Unseelie Princes are shocked about her, you can’t just leave her out like that! I WANT MORE
  3. Jada’s New Friend…Turns out Jada has a new roommate that goes by the name Shazam. They met while she’d been in the Mirrors for five and a half years, and it turns out she’d brought him back with her into the Abbey with the other Sidhe-Seers… There’s more to this development, but honestly, I thought it was a bit of a stretch. Not that I’ve experienced trauma quite like Dani/Jada has, but this whole storyline just seemed odd to me, and I’m still not entirely sold on the whole “Jada” alter ego thing either…
  4. A Surprise Return…I’m not going to say who, but someone who you believed to never to be seen again makes quite a shocking return to Dublin, and you’d actually never guess who! While I certainly love the unpredictability of it, I’m also extremely torn because it also ruins a character’s whole story arc at the same time. I’m really hoping there’s more explanation on this in the next book, where I feel like their presence will help against how this book ends.

Conclusion:

Feverborn is Another thrilling and unpredictable addition to Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series, but probably the slowest of all the books too. It felt like not as much happened in this title, and I wasn’t as into it until the very end when everything goes wrong. I still say I liked it more than Iced, but that doesn’t mean I still wasn’t disappointed with Feverborn, or that I don’t wish more happened in this book. The issue was the too many recaps that occur… sure, a lot is going on in this story and a lot has also already happened to get us all to this point, but I read the hardcover version of this book, and it is a thicccc volume when it feels like it didn’t need to be.

I love the higher number of romance scenes in this title; FINALLY we get past the sometimes juvenile arguments between Barrons and Mac and just let them be together and put more angst on the other developing couples.

That cliffhanger ending is one hell of a doozy, so of course I want to sink my teeth into the next installment, Feversong, which is already the second to the last book of the whole dang series! I feel like KMM has announced that this series will end, like, three times already but then just keeps going with it anyways, which I won’t complain about, as the Fever series is probably the biggest literary obsession of my 2020.

Maybe with how the next book is set that KMM will finally crank up the nitrous oxide and speed us to where the series should be at this point; we will have to wait and see.

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell