Mandi: Let me quickly recap. The first five Fever books are my everything. Iced was amazing. Burned – eh – I didn’t love it. It felt like a filler book. I was disappointed with Jada and Mac and Barrons drama. (Previous reviews)
Feverborn – more of the same disappointment. Where are we going in this story? What are we heading to? Did anything really happen in this book?? Sheena and I are going to break it down.
Please be aware there are SPOILERS below.
Mandi: Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t Mac and Barrons on bad terms at the end of Burned, because she found out about that night (back in book 1) where he had sex with her and took her memories? (Am I remembering this correctly?) In this book, it’s not even mentioned. Which – I guess is good because I don’t want conflict between Mac and Barrons – but it’s still odd that it became a thing in Burned, and totally ignored in Feverborn. I wish Mac and Barrons were in the background. Give the point of view to Jada so her story can move forward!!
Sheena: Yawn. I am so over Mac & Barrons I could cry. I loved them for 5 books. I reached optimal zen levels of peace with their hard won HEA. I appreciated the peripheral view of them in Iced and now it has just all become too much. Leave me with my memories of Mac and her ingenious pink MacHalo and my favorite ever: Black Mac. Her evolution does not have to stop but it needs a rest from being so focal. I grow weary folks. That does not mean there isn’t some good Mac stuff in Feverborn. There is, it is just absolutely belaboured. I found that Barrons was nearly a shadow of himself. Still fiercely protective and in love with Mac but he is definitely not as grisly as he was in earlier books. I’d call him sweet even- but he’d likely kick my ass. They really have a nice partnership at this stage. He gives her a lot of leeway, yet he is not shy about stepping in when he feels necessary. This is a dramatic improvement over the Barrons who would step in on his own whim, his own desires acting as his only barometer. Annnd yes, incase you were wondering, he still thinks Mac is a great lay and they are still as sexually charged as ever.
I don’t dare not fuck this man frequently…Sex with him is the closest thing to holy I’ve ever known. Barrons is my church. Every caress, each kiss, a hallelujah.
Burn me in Hell if you have a problem with that.
He’ll be there with me.
We won’t care.
Given how the book ends, I am concerned that too much time (again) will be devoted to Barrons trying to save Mac from herself (again). My solemn wish is that KMM stops putting Ryo and Dani on the shelf in favor of more Barrons/Mac/Sinsar Dubh drama. Their moment has passed and they are solid (Obviously! Right Mandi, their spat in Burned is totally forgiven and forgotten *smirk*). Please stop overworking Mac & Barrons, they are practically bucking at the seams from the forced efforts! If this is going to continue to be the Mac show, then be ballsy and just package it that way! Stop dangling a fraudulent “Dani” in my face and on the cover to assuage any guilt from knowing the Dani O’Malley series got the shaft. Which brings us to….
Mandi: Soooooo….what’s going on with these two. Will they ever take that step into romance? Let’s go already. I love Ryoden – his sarcasm, his bad-assness – I want him to be a star in this series, and not a supporting character.
Sheena: So much untapped potential with these two and it drives me batshit cray that KMM refuses to commit and go there in a substantial way. Forget baby steps, the tadpoles are still in the fallopian tubes when it comes to these two! I am beyond ready for Dani (Yea, no…I’m still not on board with “Jada”) and Ryo to really get things in motion. And I’m not talking (just) sex, I’m talking about their complex coupling. Ryo is there, I love his character- he saves her life in such dramatic fashion that it only endeared me to him more. Dani needs to show up (figuratively and literally)- and pronto. I do not like it when the hero is practically standing under a neon sign with lights flashing that he could be all in and the heroine is all indignant and nursing old suspicions and self-preservation tactics to her own detriment. I especially did not like the idea that said heroine is working an angle and is attempting to use the hero for her own means. Tattooing her with his tat was huge for Ryo, it meant so much more and went beyond the primary function of the tat (being able to locate her anywhere). The suggestion that Jada had unsavory motives when he was being so raw really pissed me off. It made things feel tainted between them and the sooner it is crystal clear that she is not plotting on Ryo, the better I’ll feel about their situation. In Feverborn, Ryo shows fissures of vulnerability and Jada is less psychopathic than she was in the previous novel. More human- less cyborg-bitch with red hair. Ultimately, It is disingenuous to even consider Ryo embarking on a HEA with a fractured Dani. And frankly, I don’t want to wait until the final book in the series- the last chapter and final scene where suddenly there is this great emo reveal and they realize they love one another. What kind of pay-off is that? KMM is so great at feely dialogue- I mean magnificently talented in world building and characterization. One of these days, I sincerely hope to witness Ryodan and Dani deal with their emotional and sensual tension head on.
Mandi: If we’ve gotten to the point in this series where a “Shazam” exists – please help me universe I don’t want to continue. Shazam most likely a stuffed animal that Jada thinks is real. I get it – the Silvers were tough. Dani was 14 when she entered. Hell, I’d grab onto a stuffed animal too! But – come on.
Sheena: “Who the hell was Shazam?” My sentiments exactly. If this wasn’t the most awkward, haphazard “character introduction” I don’t know what is. Its weird. And silly. And that says a lot given the fantasy world building that this book encompasses. Jada morphs from an unfeeling, single- minded focused bitch on wheels to suddenly having a psychotic break over a stuffed animal who embodies her imaginary friend? I swear I could hear the collective “what???” when Shazam hit the scene in concert with the dead fish Jada “fed” him. Shazam single-handedly made Jada the most unreliable point of view. Is Shazam real, is he not real? Who knows. A better question is who cares? And better yet…what???
Mandi: If this book was a pure Ryoden/Jada book, then I would say – please, please, please let the next book/series be about Christian. He is so interesting! I love his transformation into this Unseelie Prince. How he is learning to hold back his fury and think things through. Not sure that I love Chloe in mourning – can we move that along? But I like this storyline…want more of it! (plus what is this tribunal??)
Sheena: By far and uncontested, Christian is the most intriguing character in Feverborn. I thoroughly enjoyed every one of his scenes. I like his reasoning and inner dialogues. Dageus- poor dude has a tough road ahead of him. He did not get near as much page time as he should have given how Burned ended on the back of his transformation. I think it was a miss to have his storyline hang in the balance. I echo you Mandi. Once (read: if we ever) get a Dani/Ryo HEA, Christian soooo needs his own book/series, something! There is something amazingly special about Christian.
Mandi: Alina better be dead. That’s all I’m saying. Kind of over this.
Sheena: Some character deaths should be encased in impenetrable stone. When they come back it throws everything off kilter and makes any personal character gains seem all for nothing- marginalized and fraudulent. The spiral that Alina’s death sent Mac on, how it drove her and shaped her decisions should not be messed around with. Not cool. I did think it fitting that she chose Dani over Alina in the grand scheme of things.
Mandi: So there might be black holes coming to swallow the entire Earth. This is – a big deal. Cruce is setting up ice fire to break out of his prison. Big deal. Is this where this entire series arc is going? If so, okay but I wish there was more focus on it. Instead – they stood around and talked about it. I liked the fact that Mac, Barrons, Ryoden, Jada and Christian were going to attempt to work together to solve this – but as with everything else in the book, no progress is made.
Sheena: Black holes provided the vehicle Ryo needed to set things in motion regarding his decision to turn Dageus. Big plot development, but not nearly as captivating as the Hoar frost king or Crimson Hag. Both threats were dynamic and took on a life of their own. Cruce….meh, another one of the bloated storylines that lead nowhere. Besides, I miss V’lane. Not unlike Dani, I too am bummed he never got a shot at my virginity. *sigh*
The end/The book
Mandi: The book has a hold of Mac. I love when KMM writes about Mac diving into her lake – the way she sets up the book inside of Mac is fascinating to me. Now that the book has her in its grip – is this going to be major?? Or is Mac going to escape within the first few pages of the next book? I don’t know – I’m not sure which scenario I prefer.
Feverborn had a lot of potential – but it was unfocused. We get the start of about twenty different things, that all could have been awesome, but we end up with nothing. KMM writes the best characters – her voice is amazing, which is why I get so upset when I don’t like one of her books. I’m so invested in this world – I care about this world – but I was a little bored by Feverborn. It needed direction and a purpose. This is two books in a row that for me, were average. Iced was amazing – and now I feel like the story is going nowhere.
Sheena: Feverborn was a melting pot of too many ideas and the result is a mushy stew where nothing is really clear besides the general flavor, which is really unfocused and hard to identify. Some seriously interesting things are going down and the disparate gang of characters have to find ways to move beyond their mistrust and work together. Even with their tenuous truces, there was no real forward progression. Besides that fact that the Nine have some sort of tribunal that they are beholden to, Feverborn is not a book where revelations are abound and storylines are resolved. Scenes bleed into one another when they are not abruptly cut off and abandoned for chapters on end. It is frenetic in a bad way. What is to become of It/Alina? Dani? Degeus? I get it, cliffhangers are KMM’s medium, but if I must hang, I’d rather have one specific cliff to dangle from. Leaving so much stagnant and unresolved makes Feverborn feel lost and unfinished. Its as if the author hasn’t made up her mind what will happen either so she is throwing everything she’s got at the wall and seeing what sticks. A lot of it was oddly boring. The great dialogue and compelling scenes were too far and few in between. I started, skimmed, abandoned, and then set in and finally read Feverborn in it’s entirety. Precarious at best. Which totally bums me out because I root for this series as it is one of my most favorite worlds. I’m sad that I am not anxious to see what happens next. I used to be so anxious for these books. These days I am definitely more pensive with a more apprehensive outlook. Feverborn was a miss for me, I hope Feversong is a more focused effort.