***Warning! This book review contains spoilers for this book and the previous book in the series, so continue reading at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned***
To see my review of book #1 – House of Earth and Blood – Click HERE
To see my Fancast/Dreamcast of the series – Click HERE
Total Star Rating: 4.75 Stars
His smile broadened as he walked out. ‘I never would have met Bryce. And every horror, every nightmare … all of it had been worth it for her.’“
– Sarah J. Maas, “House of Sky and Breath”
What It’s About:
The official synopsis:
Bryce Quinlan and Hunt Athalar are trying to get back to normal―they may have saved Crescent City, but with so much upheaval in their lives lately, they mostly want a chance to relax. Slow down. Figure out what the future holds.
The Asteri have kept their word so far, leaving Bryce and Hunt alone. But with the rebels chipping away at the Asteri’s power, the threat the rulers pose is growing. As Bryce, Hunt, and their friends get pulled into the rebels’ plans, the choice becomes clear: stay silent while others are oppressed, or fight for what’s right. And they’ve never been very good at staying silent.
In this sexy, action-packed sequel to the #1 bestseller House of Earth and Blood, Sarah J. Maas weaves a captivating story of a world about to explode―and the people who will do anything to save it.
Okay, so it’s only been about a month and I think I NOW can say I’ve gathered my thoughts on this book that has actually stolen my breath away! This was easily one of my most anticipated book releases of 2022 since its been two years since we’ve ventured with these characters and experienced all that happens in House of Earth and Blood.
It’s quite the sequel to say the least! Old characters get new depths added to them, there’s a plethora of new characters who add so much to the story, there’s tons and tons of twists and turns, the plot somehow gets deeper and deeper, and lets just say that ending will freakin’ BLOW YOUR MIND like it did more me at 2 in the morning!
In this book, the story starts up again a few months after the catastrophic events where the glass gates are opened with portals to Hel and the demons are let loose in the city and countless people are injured or killed. Bryce and Hunt are just trying to ignore the thinly veiled threat of the overruling Asteri and their watchful eyes, and are just trying to live their normal lives and continue to be together under more mundane and normal circumstances. Things aren’t that easy, as they learn about rebel movements in place and secret weapons being found that could turn the tides of this possible war on the horizon (lets be real, we know it’s happening, has it never actually happened in a fantasy book you’ve read?)
This is also quite a substantial book and is easily one of her thickest titles to date, but it doesn’t feel that way as you read it; she has this way of connecting you to all her characters in such a way that you could literally read them talking over sports while drinking in a bar and you won’t get bored.
Speaking of the characters, that is such a major highlight of this book! Characters you met in the original book are back and have so much added onto them as the story develops that they still feel so fresh and real, even though you may not like as many of them as you get to know them! I don’t remember the last time I was so jealous of a character being surrounded by so many amazing male characters, but here Bryce is with company like Hunt, Ruhn, Ithan, Tharion, Flynn, Declan, and even a new character who is a lot more than meets the eye!
Thats the other thing about the new characters: there’s a lot of them, and ALL of them serve a huge purpose to the story and the many twists and reveals that come your way! I love the cast so much, and no surprise, SJM has truly created a wonderful array of them for us to enjoy.
One thing I can definitely critique is that we were promised a lot more spice in this book….first of all, I wasn’t a fan of the idea of Hunt and Bryce keeping things slow and trying things out on a platonic level–a horrible decision, really–and I thought we were promised like 500% more sex in this book! Well technically there’s more sex in this book than the previous one, but the amount we were promised sounds like there was supposed to be even more than what we got in A Court of Silver Flames…I’m not saying we don’t get any, we do and it’s great and it makes me happy when they go at it, but I was hoping for more in this regard.
And of course that ending……..oh my goodness, I can’t say any more because I risk spoiling it, but just holy shit that has to be the best way to end this book or any of her books! I need another SJM new release NOW!
I say anyone who sticks with the series all ADORE this book, it’s so much better in every way, I wish I could sound like I wasn’t just gushing about this book, but when my only critique was that there wasn’t enough spice in it, it’s hard not to! This book was phenomenal!!
Males will always try to control the females who scare them. Marriage and breeding are their go-to methods.”
– Sarah J. Maas, “House of Sky and Breath”
What I Liked:
THAT ENDING! I think I speak for the whole dang fandom when I say that the way this book ended was probably the most epic, most exciting, most mindfuckable of an ending that she could’ve come up with! I know It’s said a lot as we all finish books, but holy shitballs do I need the next book NOW!!!
Things Get Spicier! Bryce and Hunt finally get their heads out of their own butts and into each others genitals! Yes, I went there…….but so did they *wink*wink*
The Twists! Sarah J. Maas continues to surprise us readers to no end as more and more gets revealed! Danika and her extra-curricular activities that Bryce had no idea about, new characters who thicken the plot, Family tree’s revealed, The Underking, the Asteri, and even Hel itself and the Demon Princes have information all exposed about them that really raise the stakes! Plus, ALL the new characters have so much to add to the story in different ways, like there wasn’t one random addition, and they all had more going on beneath the surface to make this book even more addictive…
The Multiple Romances! In Book 1, the romance was definitely all about Hunt and Bryce, and while it still shines a light on their relationship plenty, there were some other relationships also formed! Some were more alliances, but for some male characters, there’s definitely some sparks (or flames) flying!
Buddy Reading It With My #Bookstagram Friends! I joined Bookstagram back in October, and I’ve made some truly wonderful friends while being active on there! We finally did our first successful buddy read together with this book, and it was so much fun to come up with theories and guess who was behind the many mysteries that raised questions, and of course, gush about the sex scenes! Brit, Kay, Laura, and Emily – Nothing But Love for my Wolfpack ❤
What I Didn’t Like:
Where’s The Smut?…So yeah there are sex scenes that finally happen in this book, but weren’t we promised like 500% more sex in this book? Umm, I think the decimal should’ve been moved over a few spots…I mean, there was so much sex in A Court of Silver Flames that some got cut out! What we got between Hunt and Bryce (and even Ruhn a few times) was hot and spicy like how I like my food, but with the promise of more, I felt like the quantity didn’t meet expectations.
Tharion Was Pretty Shady…I love mermaids, and especially hot mermen, but Tharion was making some questionable decisions in this book, and exhibited some less than stellar behavior, like I was finding myself not happy with him and some of the things he did. Just shady behavior…..
All The Tightening Balls…Laura in my Bookstagram Wolfpack pointed this out so then I couldn’t not notice this, but when SJM was writing about a male getting turned on, several times there was a mention of his balls tightening in arousal….LET ME tell you all who read this that this does not happen, if anything we get a hard-on, but our balls don’t tighten except for if we’re freakin’ freezing and the temperature is dangerously low…so not hot, no pun intended. Women authors who say this in romance/erotica need to cease and desist!
The Book Got Spoiled Before It’s Release Date…Now this doesn’t affect my overall rating of how much I enjoyed this book, but all I can say is there’s a special place in Hel for those who leaked the book and gave major spoilers before the book even released is unforgivable! Some A-holes even tried to sell books from BAM (Books A Million) a week early for well over $100 dollars…I hate people sometimes.
Overall, House of Sky and Breath exceeded expectations of how this story continues, there’s hardly a bad thing I can say about it. The world-building continues, there’s no info dumping like in book #1, the romance was much more present and was with more characters besides just Hunt and Bryce: Ruhn even has a little somethingsomething happening on his end too!
The ending of this book is quite literally mind-blowing, and like I said before, I am in desperate need of a new SJM book like NOW, I hope we don’t have to wait years for any answers to what I saw as the final scene in this wonderful book.
It’s by far the best book of 2022 for me so far, I’m so looking forward to how this story keeps developing! its ahhhh-mazing
To see my Fancast/Dreamcast of the series – Click HERE
Total Star Rating:4 Stars
‘Sometimes,’ he murmurs, ‘things need first to be ruined in order to then be remade.’“
– Raven Kennedy, “Glint”
What It’s About:
The official synopsis:
For ten years, I’ve lived in a gilded cage inside King Midas’s golden castle. But one night changed everything.
Now I’m here, a prisoner of Fourth Kingdom’s army, and I’m not sure if I’m going to make it out of this in one piece. They’re marching to battle, and I’m the bargaining chip that will either douse the fire or spark a war.
At the heart of my fear, my worry, there’s him—Commander Rip.
Known for his brutality on the battlefield, his viciousness is unsurpassed. But I know the truth about what he is.
The betrayers. The murderers. The ones who nearly destroyed Orea, wiping out Seventh Kingdom in the process. Rip has power sizzling beneath this skin and glinting spikes down his spine. But his eyes—his eyes are the most compelling of all.
When he turns those black eyes on me, I feel captive for an entirely different reason.
I may be out of my cage, but I’m not free, not even close. In the game of kings and armies, I’m the gilded pawn. The question is, can I out maneuver them?
This is the captivating second book of The Plated Prisoner series. It’s an adult epic fantasy story blending romance, intrigue, and beautiful imagery. Return to the seductive story of magic inspired by the myth of King Midas, and get caught up in the world of Orea.
Please note: There is explicit language and romance in this book, not suitable for those under the age of 18.
Well folks, I can definitely say that Glint is a definite improvement from its predecessor for multiple reasons: the momentum of the story has really picked up from where you were last left off with the ending of book #1, the character development with Auren is finally happening, and there’s finally some hints to some actual romance and not some powdered over Stockholm syndrome-esque love that the character Auren believes is true…it’s something that is actually real—thank god…
The story picks up almost immediately with how Gild ended: Auren, along with the small chunk of Midas’s soldiers and the saddles, have been taken in by Commander Rip, general to King Ravinger’s army. They’re traveling across the land back to where Midas is also traveling to in order to make a trade or make some sort of deal while political intrigue is well under way outside of what you glimpse in the actual story.
Auren faces multiple journeys, one of course being physical with the army traveling across the frozen tundra of the land, the journey of gaining her sense of confidence and freedom, her slowly developing feelings for Commander Rip as he shows her respect and allows her to grow at her own pace and slowly reveals to her the manipulation that Midas had infected her mind with over the last decade she’s been the golden kings beloved.
While the stakes have been risen and more and more happens in terms of the conflict ascending, the pace of the story continues its rather slow pace which can make it a harder book to stay focused on! You just want more to happen, you want more answers, and for the love of god, you just want Auren and Commander Rip to tear each other to threads and bang each other’s brains out while they’re in the same tent together! The anticipation is truly what keeps you going.
Much like the last book, the last bit of Glint is where all the tension reaches its boiling point and the excitement finally makes its appearance! The final scene is that special moment where you could be like “Holy shit…..now this story is getting good!” The reveal was something I truly didn’t see coming, so the fact that the author continues to throw twists into her story that truly surprise me is also a nice treat to make me see why so many of my bookish friends keep recommending these books to me…
He shakes his head. ‘No, Auren. You’re the one that needs to burn. You need to spark to life and fight. Stop letting him dull you, stop letting the whole fucking world trample you,’ he shouts, making me flinch from the vehement demand. ‘If you tried, you could shine brighter than the fucking sun. Instead, you’ve chosen to sit back and wither.’“
– Raven Kennedy, “Glint”
What I Liked:
Auren Finally Sees The Truth! As Auren and the saddles are taken by Commander Rip and his army, she slowly starts to see how bad her situation with Midas truly was…like seriously, it’s like she’s woken up from a trance and finally see what a douche-canoe the king with the golden touch really is! That’s the other thing too: it’s not actually him with the power, and Auren realizes how much he needs her so much more than vice versa.
Queen Malina Strikes Back! While Midas is away and the saddles are commandeered, Queen Malina is taking some action of her own! Obviously she despises her husband, King Midas, and hates what he’s done to her kingdom during his reign. She wants to take it back over while their land is vulnerable, and while she’s a detestable character, I could get behind her not just laying around and isn’t afraid to be the change.
The Shocking Ending! Let’s just say when you meet King Ravinger finally face-to-face, you’re going to be shown something you definitely did not see coming, honestly the moment was when I whispered “holy shit” out loud to myself and seriously get excited about where these books were going!
There’s More Romance! The sexual tension between Rip and Auren is so spectacularly done, it’s such a big improvement to finally see some actual romantic promise in this series because there was absolutely NOTHING romantic about King Midas and his relationship with Auren…Rip is ready for something to happen, but it’s still clear that Auren has a ways to go in terms of growth before anything happens there, but let’s definitely agree when I say that some seeds are planted!
I’m Not Sure Who’s Really An Ally! The story by this point really branches off and becomes it’s own thing from the original tale of Midas and his power, and with that comes a more interesting and unpredictable story to keep you guessing as to what could possibly happen next! Like “Game of Thrones” more people in positions of power rise up and become major players on the chess board, more characters become involved and of course, more and more tension rises to make everything eventually come to even bigger blows when the big confrontation and battle inevitably takes place!
What I Didn’t Like:
The Pacing Is Still Very Slow…While there are some major high points in the story that really add some excitement and unpredictability in the story, it takes you a bit longer than you’d maybe like to admit….almost like a journey across a harsh and cold tundra in itself. Sorry if that seems mean, but with how character driven this story is, the pacing is definitely on the longer and slower and more methodical side.
King Midas Is Still A Threat…King Midas in this story is actually worse than Tamlin in A Court of Thorns and Roses series, like seriously, this dude doesn’t even try to hide how awful he is at this point…I thought the story was going to go a different direction and that Midas was going to be stopped by now, but he’s still very much at large and also very much trying to take over all the kingdoms. Part of me wishes he had some redeeming qualities in order to give him more depth as a villain, but so far I haven’t seen it.
Overall, Glint by Raven Kennedy was a major step up from the previous book in ThePlatedPrisoner series! It was a little more of the same we saw in the first book, but enhanced and improved upon everything like the danger, the romance, and the surprises that the author comes up with to throw you off your tracks! Maybe some of you readers may catch them better than I did, but I was personally surprised at how the author snuck those past me…
The next book in this series is Gleam, and all my bookish friends who’ve read these books all say this one is the best; its like The Court of Mist and Fury of the popular series by Sarah J. Maas. I’m definitely going to read on with these books, because even though the pacing of this story is much slower than I’d like, I’m going to say it’s more on the slow but methodical path, because that final scene in the book really had me going “Oh shit….this is about to get good!”
***Warning! This review contains spoilers from this book and previous books in the series, so continue reading at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned!***
To see my review of book #1 – Zodiac Academy: The Awakening – Click HERE
To see my review of book #2 – Zodiac Academy: Ruthless Fae – Click HERE
To see my Fancast/Dreamcast for the series so far – Click HERE
Total Star Rating: 4.25 Stars
She wasn’t just a girl though. Not to me. She was the one girl I shouldn’t want, the one I couldn’t have, the one I didn’t need. And yet I did. And everything in my life could be damaged so badly by that need that I#d fought it tooth and claw up until this point.“
– Caroline Peckham & Susanne Valenti, “Zodiac Academy: The Reckoning”
What It’s About:
The official blurb:
The answer to your question will be revealed on the Lunar Eclipse.But when finding the truth, don’t let the shadows take you.
The week of The Reckoning has begun. And senior students have been tasked with making the freshmen’s lives pure hell as they prepare to take their fateful assessment.
With the Lunar Eclipse on the horizon, Tory and Darcy have more to worry about than just passing their exams. A dark plot is unfolding and the shadows are drawing closer…
Okay, by this point when I was reading these books, my entire life outside of work and sleeping and bathing revolved around having my eyes glued to the screen of my kindle reading these books. The romance is really starting to heat up and there’s more danger and excitement and I was just so completely sucked in….
Once again I will say it’s not the heaviest material or really even the greatest written story, although I feel like now that I’m more familiar with all the characters it does feel like the writing has gotten better, but what really keeps me going are all the characters and their relationships amongst each other and the absolutely delicious way the co-authors have weaved them all together: the twins, the heirs, the twins with the heirs, Tory and Darius, Tory and Caleb, Darius and Xavier, Darius and Xavier, Seth and Darcy, Darcy and Orion, Darius and Orion. I’m telling you, the characters and these intertwining relationships are what will absorb all your attention and make you obsessed. At least that’s how it’s been for me!
You start this book immediately after the crazy events of how book #2 ended with that battle in the Pitball stadium with the Nymph’s. Tragedy and violence strikes, but everyone is expected to just quickly move past it and all the trauma associated because they are Fae and they can’t show weakness. It’s easier for some rather than others, but everyone also gets caught up in the major event called The Reckoning. It’s like a big exam/competition to weed out students who aren’t strong enough to stay at Zodiac Academy, and there’s a dangerous task for each element that the students must pass at depending what they are (of course, that means the twins have to do four tasks since they have all four elemental abilities). AND they have to deal with the horrendous week leading up these tasks from the upperclassmen bullying all the freshmen (it’s literally called “Hell Week”).
Like I said, the relationships are really the big highlight of these books for me by this point, and of course I go into more detail further down in my review!
What I Liked:
The Sexual Tension Between Darius and Tory! Thesetwo have got to have the slowest burn of a romance that I’ve ever freakin’ read because were three books in and these two haven’t even had a first kiss yet, but oh man, has it gotten scorching between these two! There’s still plenty of banter—both playful and sexy—but there are softer moments between these two that truly prove that they are endgame in this series. Their feelings are so mixed and complex with their obvious mutual attraction but sprinkled with hatred because they’re enemies, and of course the web gets even more intricate with how Caleb and Tory are still FWB’s on the side too…which I’m starting to get over. I like Caleb a lot, but he’s just a big hill to climb over at this point, and I need more romance with Darius and Tory. I loved the race scene, the scene where Tory goes back with Darius to see Xavier, and them on the beach before everything goes to hell!
You Find Out The Twins’ Orders! Obviously I won’t spoil it, but it’s nice to have at least one mystery solved with all the questions that raised about the past and everything surrounding the twins.
Darcy and Orion’s Romance! While Darius and Tory are edging each other on, Orion and Darcy’s romance is in full swing and I love it. I really am a sucker for the assholes who secretly get soft for the one they have feelings for, and I get that in Orion, because he is still such an asshole in public, but flips it off when it’s just him and Darcy. And that smut that I’ve been told I need to wait for?…Let’s just say things are finally getting pretty spicy!
The Bromance Between Darius and Orion! Another interesting relationship that really has nothing to do with Romance, but more platonic male friendship! You honestly don’t see it a whole lot in books nowadays, at least with what I’ve read, and I like their bond a lot. It’s a strange guardian bond that Darius’s father cursed them with, but I love how they make the best of it and even tease each other about when the bond has them embrace or spoon in bed together….yes, these are two straight fae men, one vampire and another dragon-shifter, but they at least can make the best of a bad situation!
‘Hungover, Miss Vega?’ he growled and she sighed, realising her mistake.
‘Yes, sir. If you fancy sending any of your healing magic this way, that would be swell.‘
Orion gave her one of his darkest smiles that said he definitely wasn’t her friend right then. ‘Oh I won’t be doing that. If you turn up to my class hungover you can deal with the consequences.’ He shot to her side at a fierce speed and bellowed, ‘CAN’T YOU?!’ in her ear. It even made me flinch, but Tory winced with pure pain.“
– Caroline Peckham & Susanne Valenti, “Zodiac Academy: The Reckoning”
What I Didn’t Like:
Orion’s Jealous Moment…While I do love their romance and what they’ve gone through, there’s the one scene with Orion at the circus that really had me shaking my head like “WTF?!” I can’t explain it for spoilers really, but it seemed really over dramatic and maybe a little manipulative, but then again, it is the fae with these books, and it does match some of the extremities that these characters face at this magical school, much like how the teachers and faculty turn the other way with all the bullying and power-play constantly occurring.
Still Not A Fan of Seth…By now, some people like him, but I still am not a fan of how back and forth he is. With his pack and the other heirs, he’s the sweetest and kindest of them all and just wants everyone to be friends and get along. He’s like a literal human golden retriever, which of course makes sense considering he’s a werewolf. But it just completely flips whenever he’s involved with the twins and suddenly he’s so cruel and calculating and just mean, and this constant 180 with him really rubs me the wrong way…
Overall, book #3 has to be my favorite by this point with how the relationships have developed by this point in and how the romance has really kicked it up a notch by this point. Both twins have their forbidden romances developing at different speeds, and I’m loving both of them for different reasons, but both make this series so intoxicating and binge-worthy. I know I probably said that in the previous review, but it’s seriously so true!
I’m starting to notice how the co-authors really love to have these books end on really juicy cliffhangers, which I both love and hate at the same time, but either way that means you know I immediately go into the next book after I finished this, with hardly even a bathroom break in between.
To see my review of book #8 – Feverborn – Click HERE
To see my review of book #9 – Feversong – Click HERE
To see my review of book #10 – High Voltage – Click HERE
To see my Fancast/Dreamcast for the whole series – Click HERE
Total Star Rating: 3.5 Stars
It’s always such a bittersweet moment when you get to the end of a book series that means a whole lot to you and one that you’ve been a big fan of ever since you started it. I haven’t been a fan of the Fever series for as long as some members of the fandom, but I can say that I know that pain that it’s all over; that feeling off being lost and like there’s no longer a presence in your life that you’ve grown used to. What do you do next? What do you read next? Is it better to reread the whole series again or to just begin a new one? This is what some may call a book hangover, and they’re just about as bad as an alcohol-infused one too.
A Kingdom of Shadow and Light was one of my most anticipated books of 2021 (the only others belong to Jennifer L. Armentrout and Sarah J. Maas), and I couldn’t wait to see how Karen Marie Moning was going to end her amazing series! As I kept with the books until the very end, all that’s happened in the story has come back into my mind of when I started book #1, Darkfever: Mac moving to Dublin, meeting Barrons, Darroc, The O’Bannion brothers, Fiona, The Shades, Dreamy Eyed Guy, The Gray Man and Woman, Rowena, the Sinsar-Dubh, the walls coming down, Mallucé, Dancer, the Nine, to Alina coming back to life, to Mac being possessed by the Sinsar-Dubh and eating Jo, and meeting the endgame characters like Dani, Christian, V’lane/Cruce, Ryodan, The Unseelie King, and of course Jericho Barrons. SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED. And now we’re here, it’s the final book….ugh, so many feels!
Upon reading it, either my excitement was getting the best of me or maybe it just wasn’t up to my expectations, but I found myself kind of bored with this book. All the chapters were delving into the minds of whoever’s chapter it was, but by the time I’d reached past page 100, and it felt like hardly anything actually happened… like their chapters were only their inner thoughts filled with recaps and all the questions they had of what was going on, or about sex. They all think about sex a lot, but I’m not really complaining about that since that’s kind of been the tone of the series for quite some time.
Honestly, there’s not a whole lot of things that happened within this book that I was looking forward to, but I go more into all that later on in my review, so I won’t bore you into reading it all twice. What I will show you is my final thoughts on some of the major characters throughout the whole series below:
What a character… I find it so funny when people gave up on the series too early because they read the first few chapters and decide they can’t stand her and don’t wish to keep reading on. I mean, how do you explain that the Mac at the very beginning and all that she goes through, how much she changes and how much she grows? You can’t, that person just really needs to keep reading and see all that happens for yourself. I see it though, Mackayla Lane wasn’t a great character in the beginning: imagine that stereotypical blonde, bubbly, Elle Woods-esque party girl and that’s all who she was. She’d never really faced any hardships and everything was mindless and easy for her, then the news of her sister’s death rocks her and her family’s whole world apart, but the thing that immediately makes her interesting is the dark vengeance she seeks while her parents stay broken and deep in grief. She’s been through the wringer, I loved how outspoken and strong she became when she (and us readers) got frustrated with V’Lane and Barrons both tugging her along and not sharing any information with her, her relationship with Dani, to her becoming the new Seelie Queen…She’s definitely up there with a lot of the great female heroines of these kinds of stories!
Karen Moning’s post on the “Moning’s Maniac’s” Facebook page really goes in depth with him as a character, probably more so than anyone else would possibly be able to, but it definitely sheds a whole lot of light of who he is as a character and where he comes from in his personality and overall demeanor when you first meet him. Like Mac, he felt like an incredibly cliché character: the tall, dark, handsome, and brooding masculine figure who’s a potential love interest for the main protagonist. He’s cynical and moody, a textbook example of an Alphahole, and others would say he was even somewhat abusive towards Mac with the mind games he played and the jealousy he showed with Mac and the potential with V’Lane, and he’s most likely someone who has a tragic backstory that left him believing he was too dark to ever find love again…While after reading this series and knowing that it’s kind of true, that doesn’t mean there’s not more to him. As you slowly learn more about him and his past, he becomes so much more fleshed out and three-dimensional. One good thing about him is that he never lost his edge, even as his relationship with Mac changes over the course of the story. He never becomes the dotting, weeping, soft and confessing his love kind of guy to Mac—not that there’s anything wrong with those guys—that’s not who Barrons is. He shows his true feelings through actions and gestures and letting Mac go off and make her own choices while still protecting her when absolutely necessary. He allows her to become a better version of herself, and (eventually) doesn’t alter situations to his liking. They aren’t the perfect couple, but they bring out the best in each other, they know how they both operate, and while it’s not the most romantic love story out in the world, there’s no denying that they’re kind of perfect for each other. I suspected he was the Unseelie King so many times throughout this series too, KMM does totally play with the idea several times, but part of me was still a little put down about the eventual reveal of what kind of creature he is exactly… I was just hoping for something more? Love the character Barrons: he’s a much more complex character than some give him credit for!
I liked the mystery around Ryodan as we first met him in these books. He was one of the numbers Mac was to call if she was ever alone and in extreme danger, and just like Barrons, he was a total Alphahole. It’s weird, but I hate those kinds of characters and kind of love them at the same time? It’s complicated… but part of me really liked how much of an asshole this guy was at the beginning. I think it’s the antihero character trope that I like surrounding his arc, but he’s incredibly far from our typical Superman-like heroes. Despite their animosity towards each other for most of the books if not all, I really enjoyed the banter between him and Mac. Of course, she gets another alpha male who keeps her out of the loop, reminds her of the danger she’s in, while he’s secretly wondering what Barrons sees in her—c’mon, you know it’s true, especially when they first meet!) His relationship with Dani over the course of the series is… interesting to say the least. It’s certainly not the most orthodox love story in the world of literature, and it was funny/strange/curious to see how torn the fandom was about it ever since the potential for them to end up together started in book #6, Iced. Some would call it disturbing because an ancient being is lusting after and grooming a 14-year-old girl, but their story goes through so many twists and turns that you eventually get used to it? There’s a lot of factors that come into play with it, but what I can say is that once they ended up together I exhaled a deep sigh of relief and uttered “Finally…” I will say, it felt like he was a much different character in book #10, High Voltage, and it wasn’t necessarily a good thing. He felt so much more angsty and pining and moody than he usually is, and even listens to “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus with Dani in the car…there’s more than just that, but it just didn’t feel like a believable shift for him as a character, but that book is so random in general. No worries though, still like him as a character, and his conclusion in this final book is incredibly fitting ac
I did not really care for her for a good chunk of the series, specifically the first few books. A lot of other fans seemed to be so “TeamDani” or “TeamMega” and I was just not seeing it. To me she was just a bratty teenager who was the Robin to Mac’s Batman, but I will say when we make the startling discovery of her involvement of the murder of Mac’s sister in Shadowfever, I’ll admit that was when my interest began to pique. I was still not sold on her in Iced—the first book that focuses on her as the main protagonist—but she was still continuing to grow on me, but I began to like her once the whole storyline with her and her Jada alter ego came into play. I liked her a whole lot more towards the end of the Fever series, but based on my observation of her two books being my least favorite, I can also say that in my opinion, Dani was not meant to lead these books, that’s Mac. I say it would’ve been better off possibly to make a whole new series revolving around her, but the books work as a unit either way! I can say I didn’t see how Dani’s arc was going to end, I think the whole thing with the hunters is so random, but I like that she eventually ended up with Ryodan, even if the whole journey there was all over the place…
I knew there was something off about V’Lane from the very beginning… I didn’t know what exactly it was, but I knew his loyalty and what side he was on was definitely called into question ever since we met him in the very beginning. He was definitely a more well developed villain than most in a fantasy series, and KMM managed to add some real depth to him as the books still were being published by making him a character with deep daddy issues with the Unseelie King, yet ultimately turning him into a mirror copy of him too. The road to vengeance usually never ends well for the one to travel down its dark path, but Cruce kind of lost himself along the way and became the very thing he hates most in his existence, and that of course is his father. I’ll admit it was the most fun with him when he was still under the disguise of V’lane and there was some mind games/potential love interest with Mac in the first five books with Barrons as his competition. He was fun even past that phase of the whole series, and his mind games became even more sinister and insidious as he visited his enemies/victims in their dreams and delighted in their torment. Overall, he was a fun villain for the series, and it was great to see how he outsmarted Mac and the others over the course of the eleven books!
I felt so bad for Christian throughout the whole series, he always seemed to get the short end of the stick with a lot of situations… not having a chance with Mac, getting sucked into another dimension, getting turned into an Unseelie Prince by Mac (on accident), plus probably more but those were the big ones. I understood his anger towards Mac and Barrons and his need to exact his form of justice, but I’m also relieved he didn’t go fully dark on us too and remained a good guy despite being turned into a bad guy’s body…I’m not sure if that makes sense, but I’m rolling with it! I liked him a lot, and I’m glad he gets his own HEA moment in this final book, LORD knows he deserves it!
Once he became a more prominent character in book #7, Burned, I quickly grew to like him! Sure, he was a total manwhore, but at least he was upfront about it. Him and Jo had a rather nice dynamic when they were hooking up and I thought they’d make it until the very end, but then Mac freakin’ ate her! I hate when that happens… I wish Lor stayed more prominent in the series, but once his relationship with Jo met a brutal end, he kind of went back into the background, which is disappointing. I really hope KMM considers making a spinoff series with the Nine and he’s right at the forefront where he belongs!
He’s a really conflicting character because I really do like him, but if I can be an asshole for a second, this boy was kind of plot convenience for Dani and her eventual storyline with Ryodan. He was the younger love interest for Dani when she was 14 and Ryodan was wayyyyyyyyyyyy too old for her, and we met him in book #6, Iced, when Dani has distanced herself from Mac but still hunts unseelie fae to protect Dublin. He was adorable and kind of dorky, but him and Dani had a really cute dynamic. Part of me felt bad for him because lets be honest, Dani and Ryodan were obvious endgame since the idea was introduced to us, but so then the question was raised about what would happen to Dancer? Truth hit hard, because once his heart condition was revealed later, I knew he was a goner. I didn’t know when exactly, but no writer reveals a character has a serious medical condition like that and NOT kill them off at some point, but of course it’s after him and Dani make love for the first time…heartbreaking, absolutely heartbreaking. I liked him as a character, but I can’t ignore how his death was a catalyst to help push Dani and Ryodan to be together.
I hate to say it, but I just don’t really have an opinion on her. She’s tough, she’s brave, but so are so many other characters… I just didn’t really see much from her that really set her apart other than how she was a great choice to become the new leader of the Sidhe-Seers once Rowena was gone. I found myself really bored with her chapters…
That bitch can choke.
What It’s About:
The official blurb:
MacKayla Lane faces the ultimate threat when war breaks out between the kingdoms of shadow and light, as the #1 New York Times bestselling Fever series races to an explosive revelation.
From the moment MacKayla Lane arrived in Dublin to hunt her sister’s murderer, she’s had to fight one dangerous battle after the next: to survive, to secure power, to keep her city safe, to protect the people she loves.
The matter of who’s good and who’s evil can be decided by the answer to a single question: Whose side are you on?
Now, as High Queen of the Fae, Mac faces her greatest challenge yet: ruling the very race she was born to hunt and kill – a race that wants her dead yesterday, so they can put a pure-blooded Fae queen on the throne.
But challenges with her subjects are the least of her concerns when an ancient, deadly foe resurfaces, changing not only the rules of the game but the very game itself, initiating a catastrophic sequence of events that have devastating consequences and leave Mac questioning everything she’s ever learned and everyone she’s ever loved. Now begins an epic battle between Mortal and Fae, Seelie and Unseelie, would-be kings and would-be queens, with possession of the Unseelie King’s virtually unlimited power and the fate of humanity at stake.
From the exquisite, deadly gardens of the High Queen’s court, to long-forgotten truths found in the Sacred Grove of Creation, from the erotic bed of her enigmatic, powerful lover to the darkest, seductive reaches of the Unseelie kingdom, Mac’s final journey takes her places no human has been before, and only one human could possibly survive…One who’s willing to sacrifice everything.
What I Liked:
Christian Gets A Love Interest! First thing I can say about this is FINALLY! After getting the short end of the stick for basically the entire series, KMM finally threw him a freakin’ bone and allowed him a little bit of happiness to put an end to his whole overall story arc.
Someone Becomes The New Unseelie King! Yes, the floating Shades-like power of the Unseelie King finally makes a decision on who is the best choice to take over, and when you find out it’s such a Duh! moment, like once it happens it’s like such an obvious choice; how did I never even think of that?! As long as you’ve known them in the series, they showed they are more than up to the task!
More Mac & Barrons Romance! So RyodanxDani fans will be disappointed, but once again MacxBarrons are put in the center of this book’s plot even though KMM said their storyline is basically done—yeah, and this series was supposed to end on two separate occasions too—but honestly I’m not complaining because I really enjoy them and their dynamic. It’s changed dramatically since the earliest books and now Barrons even sits back and allows Mac to make her own major decisions and offers his reassurance whenever she needs it, plus reminds her that no matter what choices she makes, he’ll be by her side no matter what. It’s weird because I don’t think he actually ever says the words “I love you” out loud and in that order, but his own words and actions prove it and makes their relationship more deep and meaningful than most of the other relationships I’ve ever read!
What I Didn’t Like:
The Attention on the Seelie Ice Princess… At this point in the series with it being book #11 and the final final book, why would there be so much emphasis on a character like this? I wasn’t sold on it unless KMM plans to maybe have it be a potential new spinoff series she’d work on in the future. She wasn’t a bad character by any means, but why should I care about her and the other Seelie Court royalty and not address other things that have been around in the books for much longer?
Lacking Action… The first chunk of this book was boring. Just being blunt, but too much of it was just all about the introspective mindsets of most of the main characters, and by page 100 I’m like: “…Nothing has actually happened. All they’re doing is recapping everything that’s happened already…” I don’t like it when authors excessively do this… some people like in case it’s been awhile since they’ve read the books, but I know that most readers also usually do rereads before the new book releases, so a little recap is fine, but trust your readers have a better memory than what you’re giving them credit for.
Where were the Old Earth Gods?… Literally nonexistent in this book…So what was the point of bringing them into the series in the previous book? Sure, the big baddie Balor was defeated and killed by Dani, but what about AOZ or the others? They were technically still alive to my knowledge, but just never showed up again? Really disappointed they didn’t make an appearance and have a badass battle amongst the Fae, who are their sworn enemies.
Dani Captured… to add further disappointment to those who are really big fans of this relationship, Dani is captured and is basically separated from the whole group for the whole book! It becomes more significant when you realize why later on in the book, but this also made it so KMM didn’t give us some much needed interactions between her and Lor, her and Ryodan and Shazam, or even her and Kat, and I just find it disappointing we didn’t get these interactions in the book at all.
Overall, It was a nice way to wrap up the whole dang series, but I feel like the author didn’t put attention in some the right storylines in order to make this book “great” instead of just “good.” I enjoyed the book, especially towards the end, but there was quite a few things left out that I can’t help but be disappointed that it didn’t happen. I kind of want to compare this book to Holly Black’s The Queen of Nothing from her The Folk of the Air trilogy because it has some similar issues: the romance between the two main characters is great and goes incredibly far, the heroine’s relationship with the villain is addressed and shows complexity from it’s timeline through the whole series, but a lot of the interesting side storylines just get pushed to the background or ignored entirely. Not enough factors made it into the final draft in order to make this book as satisfying as we wanted it to be.
I’m someone who only just recently got into this series, at least I got into it a lot later back in December 2019 when this series has been around since, like, 2006? I hope the readers that have been with these books since the very beginning fully enjoyed this final installment.
I can still say this is has been one of my favorite book series in recent memory; the first five books were the major highlight for me for their twisted ways of revealing backstory and lore, and how they’re more cohesive and jump off each other as a stronger unit than the books afterwards. They were more tightly packed and exciting, where the later books up until book #9, Feversong, felt like the author played around with her worldbuilding but couldn’t gain as good of a footing with the plot/major conflict of them as a whole. They’re still worth checking out, but I can’t deny it that there was something magical about the first five books.
Yet another series draws to a close, I’m a mix of emotions as these books have been a large part of my thoughts and interest ever since I started them. They’re for sure going to be taking up room on my personal shelf for quite some time, and I plan to do a huge reread sometime in the future, and I hope you readers have enjoyed the journey along with me and got plenty of entertainment with reading along with me & reading my emotionally driven reviews of each book along the way too.
To see my Fancast/Dreamcast of the series – Click HERE
Total Star Rating: 4.25Stars
With the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning getting up there in the number of books it holds, it still manages to completely thrill, completely keep me guessing what will happen next, completely OBSESS over the couples developing and the romance in general, and continue to introduce intriguing characters to keep the story feeling fresh!
I liked but didn’t love the previous book, Iced, but that’s just because I wasn’t completely sold of having the story shift over to the 14-year-old Dani O’Malley, who for awhile was Mac’s partner in crime and best friend until their falling out when it turned out Dani had a hand in the murder of Mac’s sister. That truly made Dani a much more interesting character for me, but I still wasn’t completely behind having her become the main protagonist. I liked her a little more after reading Iced, but I still think she has a ways to go before I’m 100% behind her. With all this in mind, I was happy to see Mac return to the spotlight in this book.
Now, while I loved Burned, I do need to give somewhat of a warning that it doesn’t have all that much of an actual plot, it’s more about developing a lot of the characters. By plot, I mean it just lacks a more direct focus like the previous books did. One of the main points of the story is defeating the Crimson Hag and rescuing Christian Mackeltar from her clutches, but there’s so much else that’s going on it’s actually kind of crazy, but I go more into that in the next section. What I can say is this book may feel like a bunch of filler/set up for what’s to happen later, but that’s not exactly anything too new when it comes to this series… This book is just more substantial in size when compared to the earlier books before Shadowfever, and while it may be a lot of filler material, that in no way means this book is weaker in comparison to the rest of the story so far! The character development is absolutely top notch, and there’s so much depth added to those that you honestly didn’t think it’d happen for! Ryodan, Dani, Kat, Jo, and even Lor get some major limelight cast upon them and you read more into them and the relationships they’re forming amongst the growing cast.
I was especially surprised at how much more I liked Lor after reading this book, but it just further proves at how KMM really knows how to write alpha-holes. She may even be better at it than Sarah J. Maas, but I’m still up in the air about that comparison as both do such an amazing job! Lor was actually a really fun character to get inside the head of! He turned out to be a hidden treasure. I mean, he’s a total beef-head himbo who only cares about tits and ass and long, blonde hair, but he still has his moments; he especially shines when he gets with a certain character, and shows his protective side with Dani. He totally gives me Chris Hemsworth as Marvel’s Thor vibes, or his character in the Ghostbusters female led reboot, and I loved every second of it, especially when he…
This was definitely the funniest book by far with the rest of the series so far too! Lor got involved with some of it which is also partly why I love him now, but KMM allowed for a lot more humor to show up with one particular character gets themselves into a little conundrum, but takes advantage of it all the same! I go more into it down below!
Ryodan also really surprised me in this book too! Multiple things get revealed about him, but one thing in particular I need to address is when he’s talking and admits a bit of his history with Dani and how he’s been watching over her over the years as like a guardian-angel sort of figure, not that she was aware of it. It’s not as creepy as it sounds, but what he says was actually really touching and made me absolutely, 100% behind him as a character and now an excellent candidate to add to my ever-growing list of book boyfriends (click to see my list so far, part 2 is coming soon!)
One thing I’m confused about is the idea of the trilogy that was supposed to focus on Dani and Ryodan that started with Iced… is that still a thing, or was that plan crossed out? Will other books go back to them, or it’s just done and forgotten about? If anyone wants to get back to me on that, it’d be greatly appreciated! I didn’t find anything myself after a google search, but I might have skipped over it without even knowing it. I admit though, the idea of this side trilogy may be put on hold/cancelled after what happens in this book too, but who knows honestly…
Overall, Burned is yet another great addition to what has to be my top pick for favorite book/series of 2020 so far: the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning! While it lacks a main focus/conflict, its main focus was the character development, and boy was there an amazing amount of it! So much is explored and hinted at for more to come, and even though Cruce is defeated… for now… there’s still plenty of danger to go around and plenty of drama to keep the series thriving and our minds racing!
What It’s About:
Burned continues immediately after how Iced ended: Mac and Dani finally have their much anticipated face-off. We learned back in Shadowfever that it was actually Dani who lead Mac’s sister, Alina, to her death by an Unseelie monster which lead Mac to coming over to Dublin in the first place. However, we also learned that Dani’s former leader, Rowena, actually used her Sidhe-Seer abilities of coercion to make Dani perform the terrible act, which Dani doesn’t know that Mac knows about that. It’s all a very twisty circumstance, but both sides desperately just need to hash it out already in order to make amends and get on the same page again, so long as they can actually face not only the other person, but themselves…
The Unseelie Princes have teamed up, and are gaining Pri-ya followers, a new Seelie ruler, plus a new group of Sidhe-Seers, led by the mysterious and lethal Jada, who’ve set their sights on Dublin, so there’s an epic turf war waiting to happen on who will gain control of the city, and ultimately planet Earth…
Mac also discovers a shocking secret about Barrons that will put a real test to their relationship! While dealing with that scandal, she’s also on the hunt for the Unseelie King to hopefully make another appearance and help her with the SinsarDubh, or to get rid of it from her mind entirely, but of course, he’s nowhere to be found after being reunited with his Concubine…
Ryodan continues to have his little minions everywhere to be able to whisper into his ear all the happenings of what’s all going down so he can make sure he’s able to stay three steps ahead of everyone…
There’s the hope of a search and rescue mission for Christian Mackeltar, who was snatched up by the Crimson Hag in the climax of Iced…
… And on top of all that, the Hoar Frost King, the villian we met in Iced, has left aftershocks of where he’s literally iced folks all over, and they’re turning into blackholes that threaten to continue to tear apart our world until it is no more…
Yeah, we thought it all ended with Cruce and his plot to take the SinsarDubh for himself, but it turns out he was only the beginning! There’s something brewing, and the world KMM has created in these books is far from over!
What I Liked:
Mac is Back! Our familiar protagonist and main character, Mackayla Lane, returns in this book and immediately brings the series back to it’s well deserved glory! It was a huge relief because of how meh I found Iced to be with having Dani as the main character. We’re also given back our lusty tall, dark, and handsome Barrons too for anyone possibly worried about that as well. It was just good to see the story once again come back and focus around them as the core central characters.
A Secret of Barrons Get’s Exposed! It’s actually revealed in the prologue of the book and brings up an important scene from the very first book that will surely make you not able to look at Barrons the same way ever again. Even better is that he explains his actions within the book as well too, so it’s definitely a not-miss moment you need to read it to believe it. I for one think it adds so much depth to his character, because everything he does thats questionable to readers, one thing we can all agree on is that his actions are all about his need to protect Mac, even if it’s from herself. How can you not love a guy who’d go to the ends of the earth for the one they love?
New Character: Jada! There’s a new badass Sidhe-Seer babe in town who’s shrouded like a certain group of shadow-groupies with mystery and grandeur, and her name is Jada. As soon as she makes her first appearance in the book, major change within the realm of the Fever series is abundant, but that’s not all; there’s a big reveal with her you won’t see coming.
Major Character Development for Ryodan! Ryodan continues to develop so much, even more than in the previous book, Iced. You learn even more about his background and his character overall has unexplored depths that are no longer hidden; he’s quickly becoming a huge favorite character of mine because of all this. His development with Dani really takes on a heart-wrenching development, and his admission about her was actually so touching! I actually—legitimately—had tears in my eyes when he talks about Dani and his history with her; it was the moment that Ryodan became a favorite character of mine!
The Humor! Burned was definitely the funniest novel of the series, and all because ***SPOILER ALERT***—a character goes invisible and doesn’t know how to change back! I will at least leave their name out of it, but what I can say is it gives them—and you, the reader—a backstage pass to get away with some hijinks, also Lor gets involved in probably the best way possible, and you see and learn things that you’d never have believed if the character wasn’t secretly there to witness it all firsthand.
New Monsters! The Unseelie have some more faces to reveal themselves, and while I won’t give too much away, the female monsters are the MVP’s of the bad guys in this novel, and there’s even one more type of monster to debut… all I can say is, watch what you say around cockroaches!
Character Development: Lor! You get inside the head of another member of the pack of 9, and this time it’s the big, blond, caveman-viking-like Lor. You met him in Shadowfever, you got to know him a little better in Iced, but in Burned you even get inside his head a little bit, and wouldn’t you know it, you fall for him too just like Ryodan and Barrons. Absolutely loved him in this book, and may or may not even be a part of another ship for you to stan in this series!
What I Didn’t Like:
The Return of the Highlanders…Once again, the Highlanders of KMM’s other hit series make an appearance, and I only say I don’t like this just because I haven’t read them, nor do I really plan on reading them either, so their appearance is very meh for me, just like it was in Shadowfever. I know they hold a special place in the hearts of a lot of other KMM fans, so feel free to take this criticism with a grain of salt.
Jada’s Big Reveal…So I mentioned this big reveal earlier, and while it’s big and makes you stop and make sure you read it right, I still can’t help but feel so conflicted about it… The main reasoning behind this is because it almost ruins another character entirely… It’s a confusing plot twist, and I feel like maybe this book explains it enough and I still don’t entirely follow it. Maybe there’ll be more justification in the next book, but I’m not entirely sold on it, especially if it means we’re possibly saying goodbye to another beloved character for good.
The Drama That Goes with Barrons’s Secret Revealed…While I appreciate the author going back to maybe add some justification to a scene that many people have criticized in the past and that is a huge reason some readers don’t like Barrons, what I wasn’t a fan of was the drama it caused to happen between him and Mac. I said this before, but it’s kind of getting annoying at how these two end up going in circles right back to where they started in terms of arguing with each other… can we please move on from it already? Let’s put some angst into other’s relationships, but can Mac and Barrons just move on already?? It’s showing a lack of development with her two main characters that started this whole dang series!
Another scorching addition to the Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning; this series still somehow continues to impress me and throw me through a loop every time I open whatever the next book is, and it’s actually so unpredictable. I swear, every time I think I have it all figured out, KMM manages to throw in something that blows away the path I think the story is traveling down, and I absolutely love it!
It’s the only Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance books/series I’ve really read, but part of me worries if it’s considered one of the best ones, what other ones would I be able to enjoy at this point? I mean, I’m going to compare any other books/series to it after this, so who has any recommendations? I’m all ears, be sure to leave me a message somewhere to let me know (scroll up to the CONTACT INFO tab on the main menu), or we can just gush about this series and others we’ve read too, I will never say no to a convo about books!