Fantasy, New Adult Romance, Paranormal, Romance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Total Star Rating: 3.5 Stars

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

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

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

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

Mackayla Lane:

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

Jericho Barrons:

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

Ryodan:

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

Dani O’Malley:

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

V’Lane/Cruce:

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

Christian Mackeltar:

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

Lor:

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

Dancer:

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

Kat McLaughlin:

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

Rowena:

That bitch can choke.

What It’s About:

The official blurb:

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

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

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

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

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

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

What I Liked:

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

What I Didn’t Like:

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

Conclusion:

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

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

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

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

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Fantasy, New Adult Romance, Paranormal, Romance

My Review: High Voltage (Fever #10): by Karen Marie Moning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To see my Fancast/Dreamcast of the series up to this point – Click HERE

Total Star Rating: 3.5 Stars

Yet another crazy installment to what has very quickly been a favorite series of mine, I’m a little bummed that my reaction to it is…less than enthusiastic as it has been with the other books. This was a potential fear of mine going in since I had similar feelings about the other book that had Dani as the main protagonist: Iced. Like that book earlier down the line, I just thought this book wasn’t as exciting and was honestly just a lot more random and weird. I like Dani enough, she’s really grown into a strong character after everything she’s endured, but I guess I’m still just not the biggest fan of her taking center-stage in these books. There are other qualms I had with this book too, but don’t you worry, I have those further down in this review.

I’m not surprised but still disappointed about my fears becoming true with this book, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad book by any means! It still had its high moments, mainly with how her relationship with Ryodan continues to develop and how this series is continuing overall because it’s always hard to say goodbye to a world and cast of characters you care so much for, even if it seems like this series could’ve ended twice now in both Shadowfever and Feversong. I’m still all for the next book: A Kingdom of Shadow and Light and know that Karen Marie Moning won’t let her fans down and that it will be an exhilarating conclusion to these books that have been going on for like 15 years now.

I would say this book’s biggest downfall was that it all mostly felt like setup for that final book to come. It had a lot more filler and hints at the final war several times while giving you just enough to keep you interested in reading on, but I still felt like more could’ve happened to help make this book feel more exciting in itself. You get to see just about every major character at least once in this book, some have bigger storylines going on than others like usual, but this brings me back to my comment about it all just being setup. With the exception of Dani and Ryodan, there wasn’t a whole lot of conclusions or wrap-ups for anyone else, so I’m to expect that all in the eleventh book itself.

What It’s About:

The official blurb:

There is no action without consequence…

Dani O’Malley was nine years old when the delusional, sadistic Rowena transformed her into a ruthless killer. Years later, she’s tough, hardened, yet achingly vulnerable and fiercely compassionate, living alone by her own exacting code. Despite the scars on her body, driven by deeper ones carved into her soul, no one is more committed to protecting Dublin. By day, she ensures the safety of those she rescues, by night she hunts evil, dispensing justice swiftly and without mercy, determined to give those she cares for the peace she has never known.

There is no power without price…

When the Faerie Queen used the dangerously powerful Song of Making to heal the world from the damage done by the Hoar Frost King, catastrophic magic seeped deep into the earth, giving rise to horrifying, unforeseen consequences–and now deadly enemies plot in the darkness, preparing to enslave the human race and unleash an ancient reign of hell on Earth.

There is no future without sacrifice…

With the lethal, immortal Ryodan at her side, armed with the epic Sword of Light, Dani once again battles to save the world but her past comes back to haunt her with a vengeance, demanding an unspeakable price for the power she needs to save the human race and no one—not even Ryodan who’d move the very stars for her—can save her this time… 

What I Liked:

  1. More Mythology Explored! I was curious to see how this book was going to keep the series alive because let’s be honest, KMM could’ve (and kind of did) end this series twice now! It felt like she’s ended the books at both Shadowfever and Feversong (the blurb in the book even said it’s the final installment I’m sure), so what else could possibly happen?! I’ll tell you what: more Irish Mythology, that’s what! KMM has used small chunks of certain stories within as inspiration to her own world-building and adding her own twists to it, and this time she uses another race of beings to stir the pot and add more tension! I won’t go into details past that, you have to read to see what I mean.
  2. Dani and Ryodan’s Relationship! First thing I can say is FIN-AL-LY! These two have been so back and forth in revealing their feelings for each other and all that’s gone down, I’ve been to the point of wanting to shake them and be like “JUST F*CK ALREADY!” (They could both literally kill me in the worst ways if I ever did that, and I can say I was like this once Burned happened for statutory reasons). I’m just happy they can finally, like, be together because talk about being drawn out longer than needed…Sure, I did feel like there wasn’t nearly as much sexual tension as there has been in the previous books; the scene in a previous book where he’s tattooing her and licks her had more heat than anything that happens in this book, but I liked them finally being together at the very least!
  3. Dancer’s Letter! Holy Crap…somehow our lovable little boy genius can take our hearts away even post death because that letter he ended up leaving for Dani HURT. Like, ouch that ached like a mofo right in the chest! Without saying all that it reveals, it certainly shows everyone including Dani herself, not only how much Dancer cared about her but Ryodan too! Man, oh man…read it yourself and try not to get even a little teary eyed afterwards.
  4. Shazam’s Random Twist! Okay to be honest, I’m actually pretty torn about this whole development…I wouldn’t say I love it but I don’t hate it either, the whole thing is just so super random! It’s like, what was the point of all this?…Maybe it was all a part of KMM’s plan to help Dani and Ryodan stay together forever so they can be immortal together too? I really don’t know…
  5. There’s A Lemur! A random little tidbit really, but Mac conjures up one to hang out around one in the bookstore as part of her training to work on her magical abilities, and seeing how pissy Barrons gets about the creature making a mess in the store was just such a random delight!

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. The Writing Style Just Felt Different…Something honestly just felt off about this book, kind of like how I felt about Iced since that’s the other book that centers around Dani more. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t like how KMM tries to sound like a 14 year old in that one then a 22 year old in this one, but it felt a little out of place when compared to the other books with Mac on the forefront. There did seem to be a lot more pop culture references than usual, and maybe that’s the author’s way of being in Dani’s head? Maybe it’s just how with Iced and Burned the overall series plot became more muddled? I’m honestly not sure…
  2. First Chunk Missing Major Characters…Right off the bat it’s revealed that pretty much all the main characters whom anyone who’s stayed with this series up to this point loves by now: Mac, Barrons, Lor and the rest of The Nine, Kat, and even Ryodan all leave and are off to do other things. They all just leave Dani in Dublin, and having that happen right away in the beginning was a major turnoff for me…It’s like when you’re out with your friend group at the bars, and suddenly they all get up to go to the bathroom together, and you’re stuck there alone with one of their random significant others whom you’ve never interacted with up until that point! I like Dani, don’t get me wrong, but she certainly can’t carry my interest through the whole book by herself. This made it hard to want to keep reading on, especially as I’m in a major book slump at the time I’m typing this.
  3. The Plot Is Overall Slower…Like with how the writing just felt off about this book, the plot felt so much slower too. Everyone leaves Dublin to do other things and tasks, and once we even get a sliver of something interesting with a new villain emerging from the shadows, there’s only one scene with them and then that’s it! The boss villain who they work for also didn’t really appear all that much either, and I think this book could’ve been a lot more exciting in that regards.
  4. Ryodan Felt Off…There was so much angst rolling off his wide and sexy shoulders, his time away from Dani in the beginning felt like he’d transformed into a lovesick emo kid who listens to Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” too much in his freetime. Sure, he finally just grows a pair and reveals how deep his feelings for Dani really go, but I felt like the cool, calm, and collected asshole nightclub owner shifted and became a much different character. I’m all for growth and development of a character through a series, this is why I freakin’ love Barrons, but this development for him felt like it wasn’t as successful. His new nickname for her: “Stardust” also felt a little cheesy for me, but I did like the image of him, Dani, and Shazam frollicking around on other planets together in their beast modes. It was still very cheesy, but also at least got a chuckle out of me.
  5. Random Character Death…While I’m glad he’s gone, I thought even this character deserved a bigger death than what he got. He’s able to spread out with thousands of little bodies to spy on whomever he pleases, but having his death only mentioned by a different character in the end felt really anticlimactic…

Conclusion:

Well there’s one more addition to this series, and I gotta say that it’s quite a random addition too. It’s still good, it’s still enjoyable, but it feels like it’s reaching a little bit further by this point in order to stay alive and interesting. Most fans seem to enjoy it, but I’m wondering to myself why I consider it one of the weaker books in the whole series, the other one being Iced? Maybe I’m not as big of a fan of Dani as I like to try and convince myself I am, because those are her two books!

They’re still enjoyable to read, and I am in a bit of a self-diagnosed reading slump at this moment in time in the middle of a really (really) cold winter and still being in a pandemic along with the usual issues with anxiety and depression…but besides all that, I wasn’t up late into the night wanting to see what happens next. I got a glimmer of excite when another race of beings were reawakened with the Song of Making in Feversong and their feud with the Tuathe de Danann (the Fae) is adding fuel to the war that’s to come in the next and final book of the whole series, but it wasn’t explored enough as I’d hoped. It was merely hinted at and was set up for all that’s to come in The Kingdom of Shadow and Light, which I’m glad to say is coming out in just over a week from the date I’m typing this.

I feel like this series has been with me for so much longer than just a little over a year now, but maybe that’s because so much happens and the characters have gone through so much and have grown all alongside it all. I can’t imagine how some fans must feel that the series is drawing to a close after 15 years of being a part of it all! While my reaction to this book was lukewarm, that certainly doesn’t deteriorate my excitement for the next and final book! I will definitely be going to my local B&N to grab a hardcover copy to add to my shelf once I read it.

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Fancasts/Dreamcasts

My Fancast/Dreamcast: The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning

Image courtesy of Instagram account: @my_heart_is_booked

***Fair Warning: This post will contain spoilers on the book series, read on at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned!***

The Fever series is one of my 2020 addictions as I’d discovered it thanks to the recommendation from a work friend, and I’ve devoured each book immediately after the next to see what happens with KMM’s masterful storytelling, and her ability to reveal valuable plot information at an achingly slow pace!

For those that don’t know already, this story revolves around a young, blonde party girl from Georgia named MacKayla Lane, and how she’s devastated when she discovers her older sister, Alina, was mysteriously murdered while studying at Trinity University over in Dublin, Ireland. Vengeful and seeking answers—along with retribution against her killer—Mac sets off for Dublin and discovers some even more shocking news…it turns out that she is a Sidhe-Seer: a person who can see past the glamours and illusions of the otherworldly race of creatures of the Fae, who have been living in the shadows of our world for longer than we’d ever realized.

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, she meets many different and mysterious characters along the way; two in particular are the rare and collectible bookstore owner, Jericho Barrons, along with the vicious and conniving Fae prince, V’lane. It turns out, they and a slew of other dangerous players are all searching for a dark, ancient, and powerful Fae artifact: the Sinsar Dubh. It’s an evil book that holds the power to create and destroy entire worlds, and Mac needs to find it before it gets into the wrong hands…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To see my review of book #11 – A Kingdom of Shadow and Light – Click HERE

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Here is my official Fancast/Dreamcast:

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V’lane: Gabriel Aubry, or Jacey Elthalion

Gabriel Aubry, Image courtesy of gettyimages.com
Jacey Elthalion, Image courtesy of listal.com

V’lane is the Seelie Prince of the high court, and is the Queen’s consort, and apparently was so good looking that a human woman can reach climax just by being in his presence. He’s described as having long golden hair and hypnotic golden eyes that aren’t of this world, and these two male models came to mind when I had begun casting.

Alina Lane: Katheryn Winnick

Image courtesy of celebzz.com

Katheryn is most well known for her role in the hit TV show, Vikings, and has been seen in plenty of other fancastings of books/series I’ve read where there’s a blonde badass female lead. The role of Mac’s dead older sister isn’t a leading role, but I think she’d look the part, especially side by side with who I selected to play Mac.

Fiona Asheton: Lana Parilla

Image courtesy of coveteur.com

You may or may not have seen her play Regina, aka The Evil Queen in ABC’s Once Upon a Time, and I’ve loved her ever since those days. She has shown that she can play an incredibly complex role, and while that’s not really the case with Fiona’s role, I’d still think she’d play the irksome character just as well!

Inspector O’Duffy: Sean Bean

Image courtesy of bean-daily.livejournal.com

Sean Bean is known for many, many, many roles…For me, the most memorable are his times with Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. While I doubt he’d ever do a role like this for the Fever series if it were ever to get the green light, I’d still think he’d be an excellent choice! It would be…fitting.

Mallucé: Cody Fern

Image courtesy of popbuzz.com

I’d been introduced to Cody Fern when he’d been the Antichrist on American Horror Story, and I was blown away by his skill as an actor with that! He had the long, red hair and shortly after, I’d started reading the Fever series and got introduced to this interesting character who may or may not have been a vampire.

Roark “Rocky” O’Bannion: Manu Bennett

Image courtesy of the actor’s section on the CW’s Arrow wikia page

I know he may not exactly fit the physical description of the former boxer-turned-mob boss, but Manu has the physical presence in the roles he plays that match the intimidation the character gives off. If you don’t recognize this guy, he was in Spartacus, Arrow, and was the White orc in The Hobbit movies.

Derek O’Bannion: DJ Cotrona

Image courtesy of the actor’s IMDB profile

He’s an actor I like to look at, plain and simple. Despite the character, Mac did describe him as being pretty good looking, plus I’d believe it if he was casted as Manu Bennett’s on-screen younger brother. He was in the second GI Joe Movie, along with DC’s Shazam.

Dani O’Malley: Abigail Cowen

Image courtesy of chrislabadiephotography.com

This gorgeous actress is seen on Netflix shows like Stranger Things and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and has the perfect look for our younger cast member of the world of the Fever series!

Christian Mackeltar: Emilio Alcarez, Taylor Kitsch, or Andrew Biernat

Emilio, image courtesy of the model’s Instagram profile
Taylor Kitsch, credit to owner
Andrew Biernat, image courtesy of the model/actor’s IMDB profile

Emilio is a model I’d found on Instagram, and I know he’s not technically from the same background as the member of the Druid’s that have helped the Seelie since ancient times, but I think he does fit the physical description pretty well. Another option is Taylor Kitsch, especially if he’d grow out his hair again like during his Friday Night Lights TV show days. Andrew is a model I found on Instagram who’s been on countless romance novel book covers, and is a more recent choice that would be a sexy male fae prince!

Ryodan: Ryan Paevey

Image courtesy of weareallsmith.com

What made this casting easy for me was Ryan’s eyes. They’re utterly mesmerizing and hypnotic, so this casting for me was almost instant once I’d finally met the Night Club owner in the books.

Jack Lane: Dennis Quaid

Image courtesy of People Magazine

Dennis Quaid, who doesn’t need any sort of reminder of who he is or what he’s been in, has been a favorite for fancasting Mac’s father, and I am completely on board with it!

Rainey Lane: Christie Brinkley

Image courtesy of wealthypersons.com

I’d watched Christie make a surprise appearance on Parks and Recreation as Jerry’s wife, and have known her since her Bowflex commercials with Chuck Norris. She’s a classic hollywood name, kind of up there with Pamela Anderson. She’d make a perfect casting for the Georgian southern belle of a mother, Rainey Lane.

Dreamy Eyed Guy: Nick Ayler

Image courtesy of the model’s Facebook page

Lord Master/Darroc: Sam Heughan

Credit to owner

Watch Outlander and know why everyone loves the TV version of Jamie Fraser, but I would be curious to see how he’d play a villain like the Lord Master in the Fever Series. He’s a terrific actor, and I’d know he’d absolutely crush it.

Inspector Jayne: Richard Armitage

Image courtesy of theonering.org

Inspector Duffy needs to look like a hero, like a Liam Neeson coming to find his daughter in Europe and somehow make more than one sequel on that…Well, At least KMM described him as a Liam Neeson type of character. Richard Armitage was Thorin in The Hobbit movies, and I think he’d be an excellent choice for Jayne!

Rowena O’Reilly: Miranda Otto

Image courtesy of BELLO Magazine

I’ve loved her ever since her days as Eowyn from the Lord of the Rings, but seeing her play aunt Zelda on the Netflix hit show, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, has made me think she’d be an amazing choice to play the role of the leader of the Sidhe Seers in the Fever Series!

Kat McLaughlin: Alexandra Daddario

Image courtesy hawtcelebs.com

Like a few guys on this casting, Alexandra’s eyes are truly magnificent! They’re utterly bewitching, and Kat’s eyes have been described as having a similar effect even though hers are gray instead of the light blue this actress’s are.

Jo Brennan: Hayley Marie Norman, or Jerrika Hinton

Image courtesy of essence.com
Image courtesy of hollywoodsblackrenaissance.com

Jo is described as being in her mid-twenties with dark, short & spiky hair, so these two actresses came to mind. Hayley was in the cheerleader movie, Fired Up, and was in the pilot episode of New Girl, while Jerrika was on Grey’s Anatomy for quite some time!

Isla O’Connor: Emily Blunt

Image courtesy of harpersbazaar.com

A lot of people are fancasting Charlize Theron as Isla O’Connor, and while I love Charlize and usually have her as a favorite for powerful blondes, I pictured Emily Blunt more as Mac’s biological mother because she’s also a beautiful woman, but in a different way than Charlize that I feel captures the essence of the character better.

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Updated: Here’s Part 2 of my Fancast/Dreamcast after reading past book #7: Burned

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Dancer: Ronen Rubinstein, David Corenswet, or Jonah Hauer-King

Ronen Rubinstein, image courtesy of notedames.com
David Corenswet, image courtesy of popbuzz.com
Jonah Hauer-King, image courtesy of 1883magazine.com

Dancer is quickly a favorite of mine, despite how he’s the character trope of being the cute & nerdy best friend who’s hopelessly in love with the protagonist, who was Dani when we met him in Book #6: Iced. Any of these actors could play our boy genius, they’re actually only 25 or 26, so they fit the age better than my other choice, who was Nicholas Hoult.

Lor: Kaman Sheldon, Philippe Leblond, or Steven Christensen

Kaman Sheldon, image courtesy of the model’s Instagram profile
Philippe Leblond, image courtesy of the model’s Instagram profile
Steven Christensen, image courtesy of the model’s Facebook page

I would go for Chris Hemsworth, who plays the lovable blond himbo role perfectly, I feel like he’s too easy of a choice, plus he’s way too big an actor to play him. Any of these models could be my pick, especially when we see sooooo much of Lor in Burned 😉

Fade: Joe Manganiello, or Casey Christopher

Joe Manganiello, image courtesy of thefashionisto.com
Casey Christopher, image courtesy of newzopedia.com

Both of these men have the Italian features of tan skin with dark hair and eyes, and both could be good choices to play the member of the pack of 9.

Jada: Miguelle Landry

Image courtesy of the model’s Instagram profile

So she was originally my Dani O’Malley, and without giving much away except that I’ve read Burned by now, I had to make a switch on my casting!

Sean O’Bannion: Flamur Ukshini

Image courtesy of the model’s Instagram profile

The O’Bannion family tree has a truly unique ethnic background: I believe they’re Black Irish with Arabian/Middle Eastern features as well… okay, well someone guide me to models/actors that fit that bill, but while I’m waiting, this Zayn Malik-lookalike model is my choice to play the last O’Bannion member who is betrothed to our Sidhe-Seer Empath, Kat.

Unseelie Prince Rath: Jay Byars

Credit to owner

Unseelie Prince Kiall: Alex Sewell

Image courtesy of the model’s Instagram profile

Seelie Prince/King R’Jan: Rick Cosnett

Image courtesy of mixedarticle.com

You may or may not remember this guy making a short appearance in the fifth season of The Vampire Diaries where he played that professor that was much more than a pretentious jerk? I thought he’d play this part wonderfully!

Kasteo: Kenta Sakurai

Image courtesy of the model’s Instagram profile

I made Kasteo a POC, why not? Not much is known about this silent member of the pack of 9, except that he is incredibly justified in exacting revenge on Barrons and Ryodan at some point! This Mexican/Japanese model has such a beautiful face, he gives me major vibes of Kasteo!

Dageus Mackeltar: Colin O’Donoghue

Credit to owner

Drustan Mackeltar: Sean Maguire

Image courtesy of sean-maguire.net

Margery Bean-McLaughlin: Katharine McPhee, Camilla Luddington, or Odette Annable

Katharine Mcphee, image courtesy of last.fm
Camilla Luddington, image courtesy of 9gag.com
Odette Annable, image courtesy of theplace2.ru

Any three of these credible actress’s could play the conniving and backstabbing Sidhe-Seer who’s looking to take over from Kat’s position past Shadowfever! They all give me vibes of what I pictured Margery appearing as.

Seelie Queen Aoibheal: Rachel McAdams

Image courtesy of 9gag.com

That’s right, Ms. Regina George herself is my queen of the fae because she’s been my real life queen ever since she’s been Regina George in my favorite quotable movie of all time: Mean Girls. I’m making it happen, it’s GONNA happen!

Unseelie King: Gerard Butler

Credit to owner

Gerard is such a terrific actor who has such variety and range in whatever roles he takes on. He also has such a powerful and commanding presence on the big screen, I know he’d make an excellent king now that we’re starting to see him in his actual form!

Unseelie Princess: Zoe Saldana

Image courtesy of Chris M. on Instagram

Zoe Saldana is no stranger to playing these kinds of roles, from Avatar to Guardians of the Galaxy, I know she’d be absolutely wonderful at playing this character too!

Cruce: Sahib Faber

Image courtesy of malemodelscene.net

That’s right, Cruce gets his own casting because V’lane was merely a glamour that he’d placed upon himself for so many years to fool us all! This male model is a perfect choice to play our first and most powerful Unseelie Prince who’s not entirely out of the picture quite yet.

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And without further ado… here are the two fancastings I’m sure everyone has been waiting for…

Jericho Barrons and MacKayla Lane!

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Jericho Barrons: Marco Dapper, or Michele Morrone

Marco Dapper, image courtesy of the actor’s IMDB profile

He’s not a very well known actor, I can admit that. Not everyone has heard of him, but I’d discovered him many years ago because I’d casted him in another role from another book. Yeah…I’ve been fancasting for awhile! He may not have the shoulder length hair, but I do believe Marco could look the part of one of my preferred alphaholes. Here are some examples:

Exhibit A: He’s pretty much got that heated, smoldering gaze down pat that we all know Jericho is almost famous for. I can already see the mix of disapproval and barely contained lust like he was staring at Mac in their Bookstore now!

Exhibit B: He looks hella good with his shirt off…He’s even got that longer hair to resemble Barrons even further (for any doubters that may still be out there).

Michele Morrone, image courtesy of marieclaire.com

After watching the… interesting film 365 Days on Netflix, I discovered this beautiful 29 year old Italian man who starred in it, and the entire time I was thinking to myself how this man was giving off some HEAVY Jericho Barrons vibes… I definitely wouldn’t be disappointed with running into him at the bookstore!

MacKayla “Mac” Lane: Barbara Blank

Image courtesy of the actress’s Instagram profile

She’s a reality tv star/actress, but I know her more as a former WWE female wrestler who went under the stage name “Kelly Kelly.” She had a name so nice, they’d named her twice and she sometimes had the characterization as a sexy, playful, flirty, stereotypical blonde that seemed VERY similar to our star of the whole book series. If you have any other doubts, she’s even had a similar hair changing moment like Mac too:

She’s had a time when she’d gone brunette after being blonde her whole life, so I think that is what sold me to personally fancast her as MacKayla Lane. Plus, being a former WWE competitor, you know she’d be able to do the more physically demanding stunts involved like when she needs to kick some serious Unseelie ass!

Stay to the light, and Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell