Review: Burned by Karen Marie Moning

Posted 23 January, 2015 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | Review | 37 Comments

Review: Burned by Karen Marie MoningBurned by Karen Marie Moning
Series: Fever #7
Published by Random House Publishing Group on January 20, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 512

It’s easy to walk away from lies. Power is another thing.

MacKayla Lane would do anything to save the home she loves. A gifted sidhe-seer, she’s already fought and defeated the deadly Sinsar Dubh—an ancient book of terrible evil—yet its hold on her has never been stronger.

When the wall that protected humans from the seductive, insatiable Fae was destroyed on Halloween, long-imprisoned immortals ravaged the planet. Now Dublin is a war zone with factions battling for control. As the city heats up and the ice left by the Hoar Frost King melts, tempers flare, passions run red-hot, and dangerous lines get crossed.

Seelie and Unseelie vie for power against nine ancient immortals who have governed Dublin for millennia; a rival band of sidhe-seers invades the city, determined to claim it for their own; Mac’s former protégé and best friend, Dani “Mega” O’Malley, is now her fierce enemy; and even more urgent, Highland druid Christian MacKeltar has been captured by the Crimson Hag and is being driven deeper into Unseelie madness with each passing day. The only one Mac can depend on is the powerful, dangerous immortal Jericho Barrons, but even their fiery bond is tested by betrayal.

It’s a world where staying alive is a constant struggle, the line between good and evil is blurred, and every alliance comes at a price. In an epic battle against dark forces, Mac must decide who she can trust, and what her survival is ultimately worth.


(Warning: this post will be filled with spoilers and whining. Not that I didn’t highly enjoy the book but I just finished it and need to get some stuff off my chest. There. It’s said. Proceed knowing that I’m gonna talk about pretty much everything.)

First off, I was really hoping this would be more of a Dani-focused novel. A slightly older Dani but Dani nonetheless. Mac…she had her HEA. Sort of. Kind of hard to have a completely Happily Ever After with the Sinsar Dubh resting happily within her (well, more like restlessly, endlessly battling Mac for control over her mind, body and soul). Still, more of a Dani-focused story, like Iced.

But it wasn’t. It was a mostly-Mac story with too many other POVs thrown in at random moments (Kat, the Unseelie King, Jada, Lor and a sprinkling of Dani). And a rather sad-sack Mac at that (rhyme time!). She’s unable to fight or she’ll black out and awaken surrounded by blood and bodies; she hasn’t yet been able to forgive Dani for killing her sister; and she’s having flashbacks about the first time she met Barrons and he had wild monkey sex with her (then buried that memory from her, the bastard). She’s a mess.

After a particularly challenging meet-up with Dani — one where she practically kills the girl because the Book takes over her actions for a moment — she chases Dani into the Hall of All Days, and Dani disappears.

We’ve waited for this book for so long and, while I blazed through it (I would have read it in one night, if I could have stayed up but teaching high school students all day requires a solid 7-8 hours of sleep. I can’t function on less, even with a steady stream of Dr. Pepper running through my veins.), there were many parts that seemed thrown into the story, much like me attempting to fix a meal when I really should have gone to the grocery store (Seriously. My dinner tonight was some anchovy-stuffed olives, tater tots and a taco. Yummers.). It’s almost as if this series has lost direction…or that it doesn’t know in which direction to go next. Do we focus more on Dani or stick with Mac and her drama? Do we add in more about the Nine or focus on those gorgeous Keltar Highlanders or does Barrons lead the way? Now that the Fae are here to stay but the Song is missing, how do we knit the world back together in logical pieces? And what about Christian? Yeah, he’s getting his guts ripped out again and again by the Crimson Hag but then he’s rescued and what–is he a Keltar or is he an Unseelie Prince or is he both — and is he absolutely insane? And then what about his obsession with Dani? How’s that going to go over, once he’s rescued and fixed up? It’s a conundrum.

And Dani. Darling, annoying, full-of-pep, 14-year-old Dani disappeared into the Silvers only to reappear as Jada, a stone-cold, sociopathic killer without an ounce of feeling or remorse. Jada is out to balance a ledger she keeps in her precise brain, starting with taking over the Abby and the sidhe-seers, working her way through the Nine, and ending with Mac. I severely dislike Jada. I want Dani back. Jada and this fractured personality thing seems like a cop-out, an easy way to make Dani older without any fuss (I mean, she disappears into those mirrors and then just reappears in Dublin five years older and completely changed. I want to know what happened to her. WHAT HAPPENED?!?) and therefore acceptable for Ryodan to hook up with (this doesn’t happen, just so you know. Which is good, because I haven’t made my peace with this Jada chick yet. I might never.). And I miss Dancer, Dani’s smart and adorable human friend. He makes a brief appearance but is gone after that, and Jada doesn’t even acknowledge that she knows him. Humph.

Looking back at my rather ranty review, it seems like I should have absolutely hated this book but, really, I didn’t. I love Moning’s writing, the way she plays with words and gets deep into the psyche of her characters (even if I don’t like that psyche at the time). We got to know more about the Nine, those intriguing, massive alpha males who make my libido sit up and beg. We got to get some one-on-one smexytimes with Lor (dear, sweet Jesus. That man is sex on a stick.). He provided some much-needed levity in this story (and the only smexytimes we got the entire damn book! Besides Barrons getting it on with a still-rather-innocent Mac within her first 24 hours in Dublin the wiping her memory, Lor was the only one getting some!).

There’s also the time that Mac got stuck as an invisible chick and wound up tailing Ryodan around his club. By far, the best choice she could have ever made (hell, if I was invisible, I’d do the same thing). She got to hear some very juicy secrets, plus she got to see that scorchingly hot dude naked, and she took that opportunity to fully check him out. I wanted to high five her. A lot.

Now, *supposedly* Feverborn, the eighth book in this series, is coming out in October but I’m not holding my breath, especially considering how many times Burned got pushed off. I’m also hoping that this series picks a solid direction and goes with it, though I wouldn’t be opposed to some spin-offs featuring those gorgeous alpha males that are sprinkled through this series like delicious bon-bons. No matter when it comes out, I’m addicted so I’ll grab it and devour it, all the while hoping for a stronger, more cohesive storyline. And more naked men and smexytimes. Because that’s always a good thing.

About Mary @ TheBookSwarm

37 Responses to “Review: Burned by Karen Marie Moning”

  1. Okay, I didn’t read your review because I have my copy of BURNED but haven’t read it yet. I”m encouraged by your rating, but a little concerned after reading your parenthetical warning. I just wanted her to go with her original plan of 3 books for Dani and 2 more for Mac, and I worry my extreme disappointment that we’re back with Mac already (and a number of other people as those who have read Burned told me) will color my perception of this book overall. *hesitates to pick it up*
    Jenny @ Supernatural Snark recently posted…The Big Love Letter Event 2015My Profile

  2. Happy Friday Mary! I didn’t read your review since I’m just now reading it with your warning, but I see you gave it a four star so that’s a move in the right direction. I was hoping for more focus on Dani, but from what I heard there’s more focus on lots of odds and ends in this one. Still have my fingers crossed, because I so love this series! Can’t wait to see your thoughts once I’m done though. 🙂
    Kim { Book Swoon } recently posted…Adult Book Review: Hunted by a Jaguar by Felicity HeatonMy Profile

  3. I am on the final third of the audio book and I am loving it, but then not. I don’t like all the view points and Mac is driving me crazy, I want more of Dani… sigh…. I just hope to god we don’t have to wait forever for the next. I can’t beleive you staye dup all night reading it and then went to work, that’s dedication.
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  4. I have decided this is the year I’m going to read this. My friend bought me a bunch of them in a bundle on kindle a few years ago ….least i think its this series. Any Mogsy just said that she read and super enjoyed it and she doesn’t read PNR either cause yeah I normally don’t read PNR…anways I’m rambling now.
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  5. I sort of skimmed over your review, as I still need to read Iced and Burned (I know I’m so behind), I adored the Fever series, so I’m hoping these two books will live up to my expectations. I’m glad that you were able to enjoy this book overall despite some issues Mary 🙂
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  6. I’ve had a few days to cool down after this one, but reading your review has revved me right back up again. ARGH! Your rating doesn’t really jive with your rant, but as a fellow Fever fan girl, I understand all too well how difficult it is to give KMM anything below 4 stars. I hope that the reason why the next installment is releasing so closely to this one is because pieces of the story she originally wrote will be in it. But, like you said, it might still get bumped.
    Carmel @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Early Review: Craved by an Alpha by Felicity HeatonMy Profile

  7. I’m quite sure I don’t won’t to do this to myself. I loved the original series, though not as much as most people, and I despised Iced, but not for the reasons you’d expect. It was the Jo thing that made me stop reading. So this sort of directionless read would probably just disappoint me further. I don’t want Mac’s sort of HEA ruined for me so I’ll just stop there.
    Maja (The Nocturnal Library) recently posted…Mini Review: Bound by FlamesMy Profile

  8. Okay, I meant to come back to this sooner, but work is seriously trying to kill me! I’m so dead tired, TGIF!! Your dinner cracked me up. Anyhow, I agree was kind of all over the place, but I was still riveted. I totally want Dani back. I’m thinking maybe we’ll get Jada and Dani mixed/melded, some sort of a Dani 2.0 in the future? That wouldn’t be too horrible, but if I had to choose I’d just want Dani, grown up. Just wondering what your thoughts are on why she couldn’t freeze frame at the beginning. Weird, right? The whole book thing in Mac is a pretty big problem, although it seems to be dormant for now…
    I wonder where the story with Kat is headed. Who is the the father? Do you think the Song of Making is permanently lost? Wasn’t it only the true Seelie Queen (not the concubine who thinks she’s the SQ) who knew it? I’m thinking the Song of Making is about the only thing that could repair all the black holes.
    Rachel recently posted…Cover Fever #14 Saving June & I Was HereMy Profile

    • Hope you had a good weekend!! I’d be okay with a Dani 2.0, a melding of Jada and young Dani but Jada herself needs to go. I’m really intrigued by her loss of powers and wonder if that has something to do with what Ryodan was talking about (why he’s so interested in her…and has been for a long while). And that book is a serious problem, especially now that Mac’s invisible (which would be cool for a while). And, yeah, who’s the father?!? I thought that it was only the true SQ who knew it…wonder how that’s going to get resolved because it seems like it’s the only thing that’s going to repair the world and prevent it (and others) from disappearing completely. EEP! So much to do! How many books are left? (She’s not going to string it out for five more books, is she?)
      Mary @ TheBookSwarm recently posted…Giveaway: Brandon Sanderson’s Firefight and SteelheartMy Profile