Author: Karen Marie Moning

Short & Sweet – A Local Habitation, Feverborn, Wildest Dreams

March 10, 2017 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2017, Short & Sweet Reviews 9 Comments

Short & Sweet – A Local Habitation, Feverborn, Wildest DreamsA Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire
Series: October Daye #2
Published by DAW on March 2nd 2010
Pages: 390
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Fae
Format: eBook
Source: Library
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Also by this author: Indexing

three-half-stars

Now comes the second in the series-from a dynamic new fantasy talent!
Toby Daye-a half-human, half-fae changeling-has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the fae world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world had other ideas...

Now her liege, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills, has asked Toby to go to the Country of Tamed Lightening to make sure all is well with his niece,

Countess January O'Leary. It seems like a simple enough assignment-until Toby discovers that someone has begun murdering people close to January, and that if the killer isn't stopped, January may be the next victim.

“Jan built herself an ivory tower to keep the wolves out; she never dreamed they were already inside.”

Now that Toby Daye has her PI license back, things are looking up for her. After a girls night out that leads to Tybalt carrying her home (!!!), Toby wakes up to a request from Sylvester, the Duke of Shadowed Hills, that she can’t decline. Sylvester has been unable to reach his niece, the Countess January O’Leary, in the Country of Tamed Lightning. Several weeks have passed without word from her and he’s unable to personally check on her without inciting a political war, so he’s requesting that Toby go in his place. She arrives to find that no one has been able to call for help outside of Tamed Lightning, people have been dying, and the killer is still unknown even as more bodies pile up. Toby refuses to back down without figuring out what’s happening to January and her people.

While the storyline of A Local Habitation drug along at the pace of a snail, it’s the awesome characters that really make this series for me. I love Toby and I love Tybalt. Danny, the Bridge Troll taxi driver was, unfortunately, absent but we got to see her two hilarious cats briefly and the recent pet addition: Spike the rose goblin (who apparently looks like a cat made from a rosebush but I missed that in the original introduction so I just imagine it as this small, round rosebush that just bounces around.) The story itself reads like some campy horror film where individuals keep getting picked off, the others rush to see if they could catch the person, they never do, repeat ad nauseam. There are some pretty obvious clues that happen early on, Toby’s refusal to get out of danger was just stupid, and the mystery was drawn out for far too long. Regardless, the characters remain the big appeal to me and I’m still so glad I gave this series another shot.

Short & Sweet – A Local Habitation, Feverborn, Wildest DreamsFeverborn by Karen Marie Moning
Series: Fever #8
Published by Delacorte Press on January 19th 2016
Pages: 512
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Fae
Format: eBook
Source: Library
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Also by this author: Beyond the Highland Mist

three-half-stars

In Karen Marie Moning’s latest installment of the epic #1 New York Times bestselling Fever series, the stakes have never been higher and the chemistry has never been hotter. Hurtling us into a realm of labyrinthine intrigue and consummate seduction, FEVERBORN is a riveting tale of ancient evil, lust, betrayal, forgiveness and the redemptive power of love.

When the immortal race of the Fae destroyed the ancient wall dividing the worlds of Man and Faery, the very fabric of the universe was damaged and now Earth is vanishing bit by bit. Only the long-lost Song of Making—a haunting, dangerous melody that is the source of all life itself—can save the planet.

But those who seek the mythic Song—Mac, Barrons, Ryodan and Jada—must contend with old wounds and new enemies, passions that burn hot and hunger for vengeance that runs deep. The challenges are many: The Keltar at war with nine immortals who’ve secretly ruled Dublin for eons, Mac and Jada hunted by the masses, the Seelie queen nowhere to be found, and the most powerful Unseelie prince in all creation determined to rule both Fae and Man. Now the task of solving the ancient riddle of the Song of Making falls to a band of deadly warriors divided among—and within—themselves.

Once a normal city possessing a touch of ancient magic, Dublin is now a treacherously magical city with only a touch of normal. And in those war-torn streets, Mac will come face to face with her most savage enemy yet: herself.

“What we achieve at our best moment doesn’t say much about who we are. It all boils down to what we become at our worst moment.”

Feverborn is the penultimate installment of the Fever series, but then again Moning tried ending it once before and we see how well that stuck. Finding out that Feversong was the last of the series prompted a renewed interest in finding out how it’s all going to get resolved (except, there is a tenth installment listed on Goodreads but apparently it’s not actually happening. WE’LL SEE.) Iced was a complete disaster, Burned was mildly better, but Feverborn actually started feeling like the series I’d always loved again.

Mac continues to be unsure of herself in regards to the Sinsar-Dubh, not able to tell whether or not she’s living a complete illusion created by the evil book. The entire city is at risk from Black Holes that consume anything and everything which the Hoar Frost King left behind from the absence of his power. And underneath the Abbey, Cruce is slowly trying to figure out a way to escape his prison and rule all Fae. In the opening pages, Mac is still invisible and I did an eye roll and reconsidered my decision to pick this up. If you remember, she was invisible the majority of Burned which got real fucking old, real fast. But craziness ensues and she finds herself fully visible once again for unknown reasons and while I would normally question the whys and such, I was just so damn pleased she was visible again so she could hopefully get back to business. And that she did.

The points of view alternated between Mac, Ryodan, Jada, Cruce, and Lor, which the latter felt completely out of place and unnecessary but I admit he did add some mild (yet highly sexualized) sense of humor to this dark tale. And of course Mac and Barrons continue to be mad for each other.

Every cell in my body comes to hard, frantic, sexual life when he’s near.’

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There were a few serious issues plot-wise that really detracted from the more positive aspects of this installment. First, the scenes from the past between the Unseelie King and Seelie Queen that were supposed to hint at what’s been happening all along but just confused things even more. Second, which is a major spoiler View Spoiler » And lastly, that ending was just weird and random. View Spoiler » And of course, another cliffhanger! BECAUSE WHY NOT. I can’t say I’m excited for the final installment, but I’m definitely curious to see how this unintentional extension of this series ends up playing out.

Short & Sweet – A Local Habitation, Feverborn, Wildest DreamsWildest Dreams by Kristen Ashley
Series: Fantasyland #1
Published by Self-Published on August 15th 2011
Pages: 563
Genres: Fantasy Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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four-stars

Seoafin "Finnie" Wilde was taught by her parents that life was meant to be lived, every breath was a treasure and to seek every adventure she could find. And she learns this lesson the hard way when they perish in a plane crash when she's fifteen. But she never forgets and when she discovers there is a parallel universe where every person has a twin, she finds a witch who can send her there so she can see her parents again and have the adventure of a lifetime.

But nearly upon arrival in the Winter Wonderland of Lunwyn, she realizes she's been played by her twin of the alternate universe and shortly finds herself walking down the aisle to be wed to The Drakkar.

Instantly thrown into inauspicious circumstances, with years of practice (she did, of course, survive that elephant stampede, if she could do that, she can do anything), Finnie bests the challenges and digs into her adventure. But as Frey Drakkar discovers the woman who is his new wife is not Princess Sjofn, a woman he dislikes (intensely) but instead, his Finnie, a free-spirit with a thirst for venture just like him (not to mention she is his destiny), without her knowledge he orders his new bride bound to his frozen world, everlasting.


I expected Wildest Dreams to remain on my TBR for a very long time, even after it was recommended to fans of A Court of Mist and Fury. It was $0.99 so I snagged it. I have a hard time saying no to most $0.99 books, even though I’m terrible about getting to the actual reading them part. It was hook, line, and sinker when I found out what this story (and series) was about — there is a parallel universe to our world where your twin resides. Finnie, wanting to find adventure, pays a witch to switch her with her twin so she could reside in this fantasy realm for at least a short time. Imagine her great surprise when she finds herself in this new world, minutes from marriage to an angry, brooding man that she’s never laid eyes on before.

First off, these books are long. But fun. And allllll kinds of romance-y. Finnie had some pretty cheesy dialogue that took me a while to get used to (she says cool and freaking entirely way too much) and there’s some serious alpha-male-ness going on, but when it all comes down to it the world-building was actually pretty awesome and the romance was all sorts of cute.

“You are, my wee Finnie, beyond my wildest dreams.”

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Book Review – Burned (Fever #7) by Karen Marie Moning

October 16, 2015 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2015 0 Comments

Book Review – Burned (Fever #7) by Karen Marie MoningBurned by Karen Marie Moning
Series: Fever #7
Published by Delacorte Press on January 20th 2015
Pages: 512
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
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Goodreads

Also by this author: Beyond the Highland Mist

three-stars

MacKayla Lane and Jericho Barrons return in the blockbuster Fever series from Karen Marie Moning.
 
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.

I spent a long, long time deciding whether I wanted to read this and continue to tarnish the memory of the original Fever series. I read Iced last year and was so completely horrified at what this series had become that the thought of any future books had me going:

But, clearly I caved. I completed my second re-read of the original five and loved them even more than I thought possible. And I toyed with the idea that because Burned goes back to Mac’s point of view that it wouldn’t be that bad… right? Well, it wasn’t nearly as horrible as Iced but it still had its own set of issues. But backing up a bit regarding the switch-up from Iced being the first of the Dani O’Malley trilogy to simply Fever #6… seriously, what happened there? The summary literally says “…the first book in her hotly anticipated new urban paranormal trilogy.” You know, instead of “the hotly anticipated new installment in the bestselling Fever series!” A huge part of why I wasn’t a fan of Iced (aside from the pedos of course) was I have never actually liked Dani’s unique use of the English language. There were moments where I thought I was going to lose it if I read feck one more fucking time.

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So, the switch up back to Mac was a bit of welcome news for me, unfortunately it felt like Burned was the bandaid book to all things readers found wrong with Iced because there was honestly very little plot progression. Just a whole lot of expounding on things that were already touched on but were now being explained in even more detail in order to “justify” things.

It was great seeing Mac and Barrons back together again but there’s something definitely missing from the whole thing, or mostly it just didn’t feel like anything fresh but simply re-used material that fans have already pored over in the previous installments. There wasn’t any development in their relationship minus some ridiculous soap opera drama that came completely out of nowhere and was utterly unnecessary. I was at first intrigued by the twist in what we all thought we knew about Mac and Barrons first introduction, but my excitement was short lived to say the least.

And then there’s Mac specifically. Mac has gone through some serious character development since her introduction in Darkfever but it really felt like we did a bit of backtracking in Burned. In KMM’s blog post she says, “I follow my muse and my muse put Mac where she is at this time for reasons. I understand that those reasons are not apparent to others because only I know where the story is going.” First off, KMM, a prolific and accomplished writer, should not still feel the need to justify her stories in such detail to her readers. I may have had issue with where she took Mac in the story, sure, and I may not be able to foresee the outcome she has planned for her, but that’s cool. We’ve all followed fictional characters down mysterious paths and you either are or aren’t along for the ride. So I’m going to reserve complete judgment on Mac’s reversal back to being a meek individual that hides in the shadows View Spoiler ». I still have hope that KMM will turn it around, even if I’m leery about the path she’s chosen to take. So, fingers crossed.

WAVYLINE

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Burned satisfies the ‘Over 400 Pages’ bingo square!

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Book Review – Iced (Fever #6) by Karen Marie Moning

April 24, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2014 2 Comments

Book Review – Iced (Fever #6) by Karen Marie MoningIced by Karen Marie Moning
Series: Fever #6
Published by Delacorte Press on October 30, 2012
Pages: 512
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
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Also by this author: Beyond the Highland Mist

two-stars

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning comes the first book in her hotly anticipated new urban paranormal trilogy, set in the world of her blockbuster Fever series.

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

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

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

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

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

Being a huge fan of the Fever series it took me a surprising amount of time to finally get around to reading this. Why, you ask? Well, because I had been warned about the creepy pedophiles. Ryodan? Christian?

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Shame on both of you, you sick perverts. Iced possess the same ramped up sexual energy that we’ve all come to expect from the Fever series but there is that huge issue of Dani being FOURTEEN YEARS OLD. The things that came out of these guys mouths (and all the perverted thoughts too) that were directed towards her was DISGUSTING and she was so completely oblivious to it, you know, because she’s A CHILD. But it’s Karen Marie Moning so I had to read it. Plus, I’ve heard that the next book in the trilogy, Burned, is jumping ahead a few years so Dani will be 19, thank goodness.

Minus the creepy pedo business, there’s the whole ‘Dani is beyond fucking annoying’ factor. But somehow I still managed to like her for the most part. I just would have liked her a hell of a lot more if she didn’t say feck so much. Or dude. Or maybe if she eased up on the exclamation points. Or maybe if she didn’t say shit like this:

‘It’s the freakiest thing I’ve ever felt. Like it’s a sponge and I’m a sponge and for a second there all our sponge parts are one and I don’t just have square pants, everything about me is squarish because I’m part of a wall, then I’m me again and the wall kind of squirts me out on the other side in a completely white room.’

Or this:

‘I choke on the last marshmallow I’m trying to swallow whole. I kick up into fast-mo and try to fast-cough it out but it doesn’t work. Belatedly it occurs to me fast-mo might not have been brightest move. Friction and mucus expand the confection like a waterlogged tampon. It swells in my throat and shuts down my airway.’

I mean SERIOUSLY? But regardless, Dani still managed to be a spunky character that you couldn’t help but like (except for that time when she mentioned having Nicki Minaj on her ipod. Dani. Tsk.) I’m expecting some maturity to go along with the jump in 5 years so I’m really quite excited for Burned.

The most enjoyable aspect of the story was the mystery behind the eerie locations being covered in ice that are taking the lives of humans and fae alike. It’s engaging and thrilling. Plus, there are a few moments of sheer horror. Here’s just a glimpse:

‘With insectlike appendages, she’s knitting their guts into the hem of her dress. As her bony legs click and clack together, the guts sway over the edge, shortening, inch by inch, smearing blood up the brick.’

Knitting guts, yes, you read that right.

Iced didn’t live up to the Fever series at all, but it’s still required reading for any Fever fans anyways. My low rating still comes with a recommendation because Burned is bound to be infinitely better just as long as the pedos don’t make an appearance again.

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Ahh. Problem solved.

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Book Review – Beyond the Highland Mist (Highlander #1) by Karen Marie Moning

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Beyond the Highland Mist (Highlander #1) by Karen Marie MoningBeyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning
Series: Highlander #1
Published by Dell on November 4, 2009
Pages: 388
Genres: Historical Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Iced

three-stars

He would sell his warrior soul to possess her. . . .

An alluring laird...

He was known throughout the kingdom as Hawk, legendary predator of the battlefield and the boudoir. No woman could refuse his touch, but no woman ever stirred his heart—until a vengeful fairy tumbled Adrienne de Simone out of modern-day Seattle and into medieval Scotland. Captive in a century not her own, entirely too bold, too outspoken, she was an irresistible challenge to the sixteenth-century rogue. Coerced into a marriage with Hawk, Adrienne vowed to keep him at arm's length—but his sweet seduction played havoc with her resolve.

A prisoner in time...

She had a perfect "no" on her perfect lips for the notorious laird, but Hawk swore she would whisper his name with desire, begging for the passion he longed to ignite within her. Not even the barriers of time and space would keep him from winning her love. Despite her uncertainty about following the promptings of her own passionate heart, Adrienne's reservations were no match for Hawk's determination to keep her by his side. . . .

I started reading this novel after finishing KMM’s ‘Fever’ Series because I wanted to read more of her books so I figured I’d go ahead and start with the first one.

I’m not sure if I was in the ‘romance’ mood but it took me forever to get through this book, and not because it was boring but… It seemed like the longest damn book ever. Stuff kept happening but I kept thinking… was that really necessary? I think 50-100 pages could have easily been cut out. Plus, I kinda wanted to rip Adrienne’s head off. lol She’s thrown back in time from the 20th century and is soon married off to ‘the Hawk’. I was a little leery of the possible cheesiness involved with a man named ‘the Hawk’ but I let it slide. But this man turns out to be so wonderful! He’s good to her, cares for her, gives her everything she wants, loves her, etc. I’ll stop. Yet? She’s got man issues and refuses to love ‘beautiful men’ because she had a bad experience and can’t seem to get past it. I can understand having a situation impact you that harshly, but she took it to the point of ridiculous. They’d be spending some quality time together and she’s enjoying herself but then all of a sudden! Wait! NO! I hate beautiful men get away from me! It was just silly and irritating. I think if I read ‘I hate beautiful men’ one more time the book was going to be thrown out the window. Hypothetically speaking of course since that would have involved my kindle. 🙂

And Olivia… why didn’t someone just throw her off a cliff already? She should’ve been thrown out the front door the moment she set foot in that house. Apparently the ‘beautiful man’ is an idiot and didn’t see that problem coming from a mile away. There were some parts that were really funny though. One of my favorites was when the Hawk and Grimm were leaving and he crossed paths with Adam:

“And Grimm, you might tell her for me that I have coffee from the Rom for her.”
“You will not tell her that!” Hawk snapped. Her extreme love for coffee was already understood by her new husband. I imagine that’s exactly how I’d be if I traveled back in time to the 15th century without a Starbucks in sight.

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