Fantasy, Paranormal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Total Star Rating: 4.25 Stars

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

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

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

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

***Spoiler Alert***

…goes Pri-ya!

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

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

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

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

What It’s About:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What I Liked:

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

What I Didn’t Like:

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

Conclusion:

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

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

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Fantasy, Paranormal

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

Publish Date: October 29th, 2012

Number of Pages: 512 Pages

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Total Star Rating: 2.5 Stars

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

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

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

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

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

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

What It’s About:

The Official Blurb:

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

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

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

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

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

What I Liked:

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

What I Didn’t Like:

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

Conclusion:

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

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

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

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.

~~~

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

~~~

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 Romance, Paranormal, Romance

My Review: Dreamfever (Fever #4): by Karen Marie Moning

Publish Date: October 26th, 2010 (First Published August 18th, 2009)
Number of Pages: 498 Pages
Publisher: Dell
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

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

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

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

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

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

Total Star Rating: 4 Stars

Well feck me…we got another gem of a book in Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series that has pretty much become the main highlight of my book-related 2020. It’s filled with nail-biting antics and plenty of unpredictable danger, and Karen really masterfully drags it all out to the point of insanity, but one thing is certain: she knows how to drag you in and pique your interest!

Cliffhangers are also the author’s big thing, so if that’s not your cup of tea, this may not be the series for you…because I have to say: the cliffhanger ending of this book, much like the apocalyptic ending of the previous book, they seriously mess with your head and heart. I love it but ugggghhh do I hate it too!

The plot somehow continues to thicken even further into the storyline; the world gets richer and darker, the characters continue to grow and develop, the relationships either become stronger or burn to the ground, more myth and lore is explored, and you continue to ask yourself: “What can happen next?” along with “How can things get any worse?”

What It’s About:

So it happened…based off the ending Faefever, the walls have come down, and the worlds between us humans and the powerful Fae have fallen down and there’s no longer a barrier of protection. It’s pretty much the apocalypse up in this bitch…and the number of casualties are rapidly rising on a global scale!

Mac (Mackayla Lane) has been taken by the Lord Master, Darroc, and has been turned Pri-ya by being raped by the four Unseelie Princes–what a freakin’ way to end the last book with that chilling cliffhanger…

For those that don’t remember, being Pri-ya is when a human is turned into a sex-crazed drug addict and slave to the Fae whom they’d done the bump’n’grind with.

Dreamfever continues immediately following these events, and it’s looking pretty hopeless, but Mac luckily gets rescued by Jericho Barrons, who is doing all he can to bring Mac back to normal, and I do mean everything…with being Pri-ya, she’s forgotten who she is, who everyone else is, and all that’s been happening. In her crazed Fae-sexed-brainwashed mind, the only way she responds to any sort of mental progress is sex…yep, I’m not making this up.

Usually in romance novels, the characters talk about screwing each other’s brains out, but this was the first time I’d ever read where someone is trying to screw someone’s brain back in…talk about a criss-cross! One good thing about it is you get to see a side of Jericho Barrons you’ve never seen before, and thinking Mac won’t remember any of it, even reveals some interesting little tidbits.

Slight spoiler alert but not really…Mac gets back to normal, and within five minutes is back out on the streets kicking ass, taking names, and trying to figure out more answers for herself, because like we’ve all gotten so frustrated with in these books: no one tells her shit!

There’s a few big mysteries that rise up from the night the walls came tumbling down: who was the mysterious fourth prince whom Mac didn’t actually get to see as they all raped her? Where was Jericho for the four days it took him to rescue her? Where was V’lane?? Mac called his name thanks to the spell he gave her, and he never showed! It also added to the question of WHAT is Jericho Barrons? He was able to catch Dani when she was speeding through the Abbey, and not even the Fae can do that!

Without going too into the details of this book, I can say we get to see a couple things happen: What happened to Fiona, Derek O’Bannion, Inspector Jayne, Rowena and the other Sidhe-Seers in the Abbey, Darroc shocks us with some plot-altering confessions and backstory with the history of the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, you meet Ryodan, you enter the “Hall of Days,” you learn who Mac’s mother was, where Christian ended up, and even what “IYD” on Mac’s phone means!

In fact, I’m going to give a warning right now and organize all that happens in this book and the questions/answers it raises for my own peace of mind, so I say SPOILERS AHEAD, read at your own risk:

  1. Who was the fourth Unseelie Prince, and why couldn’t we see him?
  2. Eight Men break into the Abbey with Jericho and help break Mac out. Whatever they are, they are the same creature as Jericho (whatever that may be)
  3. We meet the 5 Highlanders from the authors other series: Drustan, Dageus, Christian, Cian and Christopher (a crossover!)
  4. Mac sneaks into Jericho’s mind and see more from his past: he’d slept with and killed a Seelie Princess (which has never been done before, and thus maybe explaining the tension between him and V’lane), and a dying child in his arms in the desert–who is it?
  5. Who’s the “Icy Blonde” in the restricted section of the Abbey library and why has Mac seen her in her dreams since her childhood? Also, why did V’lane hiss and disappear so quickly when Mac summoned him down there and disappeared for the rest of the book?
  6. Inspector Jayne and other officers have formed a rebel group of remaining humans with weapons and are trying to fight back against the Fae–especifically the Devilish Hunters who fly over Dublin.
  7. We learn Mac’s real mom’s name was Isla and that she was one of the best Sidhe-Seers and was a part of a secret coven within the massive group of women.
  8. The Old woman who called Mac “Alina”…simple mistake, or does this mean something else down the line?
  9. Mac and Jericho once again try to corner the Sinsar-Dubh, but it goes terribly wrong…also we learn Derek O’Bannion is the latest victim to be possessed by it, and the book has changed his body into some sort of chainsaw-like monster, and it’s actually pretty creepy!
  10. Fiona shows up and learns that Jericho still hasn’t told Mac something…”She still doesn’t know. Oh, Jericho! You never change, do you? You must be so afraid—-” and he throws a knife into her heart to shut her up…OF COURSE. But what were they talking about? What chance did Jericho have with Mac?
  11. Darroc kidnaps Mac’s parents from back home
  12. Mac ends up in the Hall of Days (Think Palace of Versailles with thousands of mirrors everywhere), and finds Christian, who’d been missing since the walls came down, stuck in another world that’s a desert. She discovers if she takes out the three stones in her pouch that they’ll be transported to other worlds, and feeds him Unseelie flesh when he’s dying, but he reacts strangely: his skin turns black with markings and his eyes turn amber…what is happening to him? Does it have to do with whatever spell had gone wrong on Halloween?
  13. Mac and Christian get separated during a jump, and he’s most likely not dead.
  14. Mac finally dials IYD on her phone when she’s alone, and a terribly dark beast shows up shortly afterwards, brutally killing any living thing that gets too close to her.
  15. Ryodan shows up and tells her Darroc had marked her like Jericho did, and tries to rescue her from the monster, but gets badly injured before the monster has him fall off a cliff right after Ryodan and Mac team up to kill it.
  16. Mac stands over the beast’s mutilated corpse and watches it transform into someone–or something–and the book ends with her screaming in agony…omigod, who/what was it???

What I Liked:

  1. Mac’s Character Development (Again)! I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s really apparent in this book how much Mac has changed since she’d first arrived in Dublin Ireland: she’s practically an entirely different person now!
  2. More Fae Backstory Revealed! Both V’lane and Darroc supply you with more Fae history with the Seelie Queen and the Unseelie King, and it adds so much more to the story on a mythological level. It raises the questions of how does it pertain to what’s happening now? Are the King and Queen big players who we haven’t met yet? Will they make an appearance at some point and if so, when?
  3. Dani O’Malley & Mac Lane Teaming Up! To our relief, one person Mac can for sure rely on is the young Sidhe-Seer Dani. Their bond continues to grow into a newfound sisterhood, and you can tell both of them desperately needed it. Mac literally went insane with how she can’t trust anyone, and it’s been hinted how Dani hasn’t a good upbringing at all, so I’m happy they both get this small victory to make the treacherous journey that much easier.
  4. Jericho’s Intensity! He continues to get so jealous over Mac and V’lane–which is hilarious–but you also get a surprisingly tender moment with the heartbreaking line: “You’re leaving me, Rainbow Girl.” He dances around completely naked to the “I Get Knocked Down” song, but then stays the infuriating ass that he is: he gives this gem of a quote: “We fucked, Ms. Lane. Even cockroaches fuck. They eat each other too.” We see so much more depth from him in this book as a character, and I’m glad we get more moments between him and Mac…I wouldn’t really call him a romantic guy, far from it, but I like how his enemies-to-lovers subplot has been handled, and the fact that it’s not a guaranteed happily-ever-after just adds to the anticipation.

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. Back to the Same Old Argument…Jericho rescues Mac at the very beginning and brings her back to reality, and I feel for her that she’d been through a lot and it’s all been weighing down on her: her sister’s murder, meeting her sister’s murderer, discovering the whole world of the Fae and how she’s a Sidhe-Seer, meeting Jericho Barrons and everyone else, no one telling her anything, finding out she was adopted…and I’m probably forgetting plenty of other things too, but to top it all off gets gang-bang raped by the four Unseelie Fae Princes…girl has a right to be pissed off…BUT her and Jericho just go back to the same old relationship they’d had ever since they’d met: mutual distrust with scorching sexual tension, often at odds and itching for a fight or fuck. I don’t know, I was hoping for a new-found respect or understanding between them. He continues to keep her in the dark on so many things, and she could be a little more grateful that he literally saved her life…I’m just frustrated and expected some more development in that aspect.
  2. Still Not Enough Answers…Okay Karen…girl, we need to talk…We are now four books in and we still don’t get almost any of the answers to the many questions we’ve got since the beginning.
  3. Dani O’Malley’s Perspective…We get a glimpse into the mind of Dani, which makes sense since I know later on in the series focus more on her and will have her narrate like Mac has been doing. That’s cool and all, but in all honesty I’m not too fond of Dani as a character yet and think she still needs some more development or maturity before she becomes so central. I’m sure she’s going to change much like Mac does and I’ll love her to death when that happens, but I’m defs not there yet.

Conclusion:

Overall, I loved the book despite how we yet again get the same results of only getting some answers but have added plenty more questions to everything that’s happening, and it being the fourth effing book in. I’m so torn by how well Karen slowly drags it all out in a way thats frustrating but still satisfying enough to keep you reading and find out what all the answers are.

Shadowfever is the next installment for this addicting Urban Fantasy series, and I’m told it’s going to supply a lot of answers and tie up a lot of the the many subplots, so think of it as being the finale of what is going to be “Phase 1”–like the MCU–of the series, and I am SO INCREDIBLY EXCITED AND CURIOUS TO SEE HOW IT ALL PLAYS OUT!

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell