Fantasy, New Adult Romance, Paranormal, Romance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Total Star Rating: 3.5 Stars

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

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

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

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

Mackayla Lane:

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

Jericho Barrons:

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

Ryodan:

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

Dani O’Malley:

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

V’Lane/Cruce:

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

Christian Mackeltar:

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

Lor:

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

Dancer:

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

Kat McLaughlin:

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

Rowena:

That bitch can choke.

What It’s About:

The official blurb:

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

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

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

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

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

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

What I Liked:

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

What I Didn’t Like:

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

Conclusion:

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

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

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

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

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Fantasy, Paranormal

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

Publish Date: October 29th, 2012

Number of Pages: 512 Pages

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Total Star Rating: 2.5 Stars

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

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

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

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

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

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

What It’s About:

The Official Blurb:

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

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

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

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

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

What I Liked:

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

What I Didn’t Like:

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

Conclusion:

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

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

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

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

~~~

Here is my official Fancast/Dreamcast:

~~~

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.

~~~

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.

~~~

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

Jericho Barrons and MacKayla Lane!

~~~

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

Fantasy, New Adult Romance, Paranormal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Total Star Rating: 4.5 Stars

Finally…

At long last…

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

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

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

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

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

What It’s About:

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

…major spoiler ahead…

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

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

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

What I Liked:

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

What I Didn’t Like:

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

Conclusion:

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

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

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Fantasy, New Adult, New Adult Romance, Paranormal

My Review: Bloodfever (Fever series #2): by Karen Marie Moning

Publish Date: August 26th, 2008
Number of Pages: 349 Pages
Publisher: Gollancz
Genre(s): Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, New Adult

***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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. The Worldbuilding 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:

  1. 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…

Conclusion:

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.

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell