Burned is book seven in the Fever series, an overall excellent urban fantasy series. I think every Smexy girl reads it, although May, Sheena and Mandi slammed through it on day one and are here to share our thoughts. I think we all loved Iced, the previous book in this series (I did a top ten reasons to read post). We were all unsure of how we would like 14 year old Dani as our narrator, and she surprised the hell out of us in a good way. So then we waited for Burned and her story to continue. And we waited a long time to find out, most of Burned’s narration would be from Mac. And there was a collective groan. Not that we don’t love Mac, but we thought this was Dani and Ryodan’s trilogy. Then we read the blurb and there is a hint that there would be conflict between Mac and Barrons. And we groaned louder. I asked May and Sheena to share their thoughts along with myself – and here are our initial reactions.
Please note there are SPOILERS below!!
Mandi: There some things I really liked about Burned. There are some things I really did not like about Burned.
Karen Marie Moning knows how to write an alpha male. She wrote the hell out of The Nine – Ryodan, Lor, Kasteo, Fade. I love them. They are fierce, they made me laugh, their brotherhood is intense. They are SO sexy. If they each had a book, I’d die of happiness. I’m a proud “Level Four Ho”
I liked Jo and Kat. Kat’s story is barely scratched but she has a lot of growth happening right now with Kasteo. I think she will play a big part in the next book. Jo – you go girl. Dumping Ryodan and jumping into Lor’s arms. I was so happy to see they are still getting it on even after she learns he isn’t Pri-ya (And Lor as Pri-ya was PRICELESS)
Jada/Dani. Ummmmm what? Dani is no longer Dani? Maybe it’s because it’s such a 180, but I’m not a fan of Jada. Nope. I’d rather her still be 14 with a future HEA with Ryodan, than this. I did like how Ryodan has watched over her and that moment she laughed, after life threw her so much horrible stuff – he decided she was worth living. That touched me. But this Jada girl??? No thanks. (maybe she’ll grow on me in the next book). I feel a little cheated. Maybe if we had a glimpse of the FIVE years Jada/Dani spent in the silvers, I’d like her more? I don’t know.
Mac/Barrons – *BANGS HEAD FOREVER* – Remember when we all learned that Burned was going to be mostly Mac’s POV, and the blurb hinted at drama between Mac and Barrons and we were all worried?? Yeah – for good reason!! Why do we need this forced conflict between Mac and Barrons?? Why? There is plenty of conflict with Mac and her book baby inside of her and everything else that is happening. We were TORTURED for book after book as Mac and Barrons fight and finally get together – now to be bickering, again??? No hot sex??? Come on. Let us feel the sexual tension and angst with Ryodan or Lor – let Mac and Barrons be HAPPY.
Daegues – I almost had a heart attack when KMM broke every HEA rule there is and Daegues died. But not shocked he is now alive and Ryo and Barrons have something to do with it. Not sure it’s that shocking…kind of a predictable end?
Speaking of the end – this book didn’t really have a focus. The whole point was to kill the Hag? I’m glad Christian isn’t being tortured anymore (and the hag scene was great to read – she does so well describing and setting up a scene). But this book felt like a bridge/filler to the next book – where I assume we will get into Mac actually trying to remove her book baby? Will she have to birth the book baby out of her vag like Melisandre on Game of Thrones with her black smoke baby???? While I liked Mac invisible living out her own soap opera/reality show, did we really need all of that? We get to know Ryodan a lot better which I liked. But now paired with Jada – I don’t know. I feel let down.
I know it sounds like I’m complaining a lot – well – okay, I AM complaining a lot. I did like this book – I devoured it in one day. I LOVE this world and KMM’s characters. Love. Can’t get enough. She is an amazing writer. I’m just frustrated with the Mac and Barrons stuff and Dani. Maybe I need to give Dani a little more time. Maybe in the next book things will come together. But let’s hope Mac is visible and can actually show some affection to Barrons. No more of this wishy-washy Mac. I need her back to being bad ass!
May: Iced was a fantastic book, that opened up so many questions and such a great story plot about what happens AFTER the big bad is defeated. Answer? Sometimes there’s a lot more gritty hard work, new evils to face, and a whole fresh set of problems. Dani was a wonderful narrator – I loved every minute in her wild teenage shoes. Due to her circumstances and past, she’s nowhere near normal teenager she’s mature way beyond her years. Ah, but so many questions raised and so many things to ponder. What big adventure would Burned take us on?
I enjoyed Burned tremendously as a complete addict fangirl who swore she would NOT read this book (then caved last minute and HAD to read it immediately!) due to all the delays, pushing back of publication, and general lack of trust in this author’s vision for the continuation of the series. What I enjoyed was the walk down memory lane. Seeing these characters (and so much nekkkid 9 action! Heyyyy Lor!) and getting to spend the day with them as they continue to try and battle out of seemingly impossible odds was lovely. That said, it was an incredibly weak book and my fears that perhaps this author doesn’t have as firm of a grasp on this world (or where her story is heading) seem to be confirmed. Burned is a rambling tale with many narrators, mostly told by Mac. I never hated Mac or found her annoying, now I really do. KMM managed to take one of my favorite characters and make her so useless, whining, and utterly annoying that I just wanted the book to end. Aside from this, the book doesn’t have a strong plot and the “oh no she didn’t!” moments what few we find are so heavy handed and obviously going to happen that I was not once surprised. In fact every time I muttered a prediction, sure enough it came true. More than once in reading this book I wondered if the reviews and evaluations of Iced came in and the author decided to address all our reader concerns and interests in this book to sweep them out of the way. For me, it read more like that had been done rather than a firm hand was guiding us through this part of the epic story.
By the time 2020 rolls around and the next book releases, will I cave and get it, hoping to recapture some of that Fever magic? Well yes, most likely. But at this point it will be more because I’m morbidly curious if this trainwreck can be salvaged, if this was meant as a dreaded “bridge” book, or if we’ll just get more of the same random hodge podge of scenes and characters smashed together into a book.
Sheena: Lor. Lor saved Burned from being in complete shambles. Where do I begin? The plot holes, the manufactured drama between Mac and Barrons? Seriously, Mac is hung up on some old douche bag shit that Barron’s did after knowing her less than 24 hours? GTF over it Rainbow Girl, Black Mac, Mac 2.0 -whoever you are these days. I knew I was in trouble 1/2 way through, when I realized how damn bored I was and wondering for the upteenth time, where the hell is Dani? Then when we finally get Dani she is…Jada. Are.You.Kidding.Me. I get it. Dani had to age. I figured it would be in faery, via the silvers. What I did not expect is this fragmented personality business. No no no no no no no no. Just NO! I do not like Jada at all. Why absolutely ruin Dani as a character!!!!???? She could have come back just as kick ass- but still as HERSELF. Ugh.-
(Pardon me, damn near broke my ankle in another one of those pesky plot holes that plagued Burned. I’d do a better job of avoiding the gaps in shit-that-makes-no sense, if it were not for the tears of abstract boredom blurring my vision).
Kat, meh, I was disinterested for the most part, though I like her situation with Kasteo. He is one of the nine who I feel so sorry for. Talk about falling in love in the wrong century. He must want to kill Barrons and Ryodan daily. Need more of him.
Jo. Look who cares, really? I’m just glad she is not climbing the stairs for Ryodan any longer.
Lor is the man of the hour. KMM gets nothing but kudos from me when it comes to this male, he steals every scene. I completely agree, Moning is near unmatched when it comes to her alpha males.
Invisi-Mac was also a highlight. The best thing she ever did was watch Ryodan unguarded. For sure.
I haven’t read Moning’s Highlander series so I am far less OMG about Daegues being alive. I suppose that’s great *shrug.*
Overall, it was very meh and a miss for me. I absolutely loved the Fever series, I have read them ALL several times over. The world building and writing was so damn amazing. Iced was fantastic. It felt trans-formative and fresh and I was super excited for Burned-the second Dani O’Malley book…and then I got this Burned which did an about face from Iced and freeze framed sprinted in the opposite direction. Burned just feels like something that was forced so badly it is puckering at the seams.
I hope Feverborn does not suffer the same pitfalls as Burned. I already know I can’t take a full book of Jada and more faux Mac/Barrons strife. I also know that whether it be this fall or 5 years from now, I will be waiting like a freak at midnight for Feverborn to hit my e-reader on release day. Gads!! I know right. But hey, fangirls unite…right!!!!????!!
(mandi will once again set her alarm for 4am. I can’t help myself!)