Burned - Karen Marie Moning

..the cover, which I find offensive (and I read romance with lots of foxy chests on the cover!! And generally like it!) and stupid - which has nothing to do with the book and depicts no particular character...

 

But, moving on to what's beyond the cover.

 

First off, the authors note in the beginning offers a guide in the back of people, places, and things. It’s a great, comprehensive guide. Moning mentions that it’s a great tool if you’re a longtime fan, or just starting the Fever series with Burned.

30% through the book I remembered her encouragement of people just starting the Fever series with Burned . And I laughed out loud.

Don’t do that. You have to read Fever from the beginning. Not only because it’s worth it, but because you will drive you bat-shit crazy trying to flip back and forth and sleuth everything out that is being said.

Seriously, I think Burned would be a train wreck if someone picked it up as a test drive to Fever.

It’s always easier to talk about the things that are problematic, and not so easy to put into words the things that you love. I did love this because it is Moning at her best - her unpredictable, emotional, well-drawn, mind blowing writing best.

Temptation isn’t a vice you triumph over once, completely, and then you’re free. Temptation slips into bed with you each night and helps you say prayers. It wakes you in the morning with a friendly cup of coffee, and knows just the way you take it, heavy on the sin.

Mac is evolving again, and while I could do with less of her rambling, I can’t fault it as she’s figuring herself out, flaws and all. Mac’s funny and irreverent and battles self-esteem issues. While I’d like to think that Mac is 100% kickass 100% of the time, Moning reminds us that she keeps it real – and self-doubt is real.
 


While I’ve seen some lament that certain devices used to tell the story are lame [namely, Mac’s invisibility], I thought for the most part they were brilliant! ALL the Nine insight was so much fun to read – and was it just me, or did suddenly that BBQ scene from Shadowfever that seemed way out of left field make complete sense[During the Ryo/Barrons convo about keeping woman in this millennia, they’re adapting? I feel like this can be interpreted as ‘learning to grill’ ;)? And now, I want to see HEA’s for Lor, Ryo & Kasteo – I feel like she’s thrown herself down the gauntlet with these little revelatory scenes with the Nine.

Self-pity is wasted emotion. It merely prolongs whatever trauma you suffered by keeping it alive in your head. Dude, you survived it. Move on.

Moreso than other Fever books, I felt like Moning was really speaking to the reader in this one – and perhaps excising some demons. Personally, this was one my favorite passages of Burned , because it validated MY feelings on Iced with regard to Dani:

I’d glow just from the expression on his face, like that time I killed the Unseelie Prince in Mac’s cell and he looked at me like he really saw who I was. Most folks don’t. They fence me in with teenage rules that don’t hold me for shit, seeing how I grew up. You can kill but don’t cuss. Break any rule necessary to save the world but don’t watch porn or even think about having sex. How do they come up with this stuff—hold parental powwows for brainstorming diametrically opposed ethics?

Feck.Yeah.

For all the problems that Moning creates for the story, she writes her way right out of it. Even things that seem insurmountable, i.e. Dani’s reckless age which boils down to inexperience.

Dani/Jada? I did NOT see that coming.

(show spoiler)



And, there were some tender moments in Burned which was missing in Iced in my opinion (Christian's ability to hang on in death, Barrons grieving his son and his choices).  Christian and Barrons really grounded all the sex and violence with some humanity. And how fecking ironic is that??

But really, the things I always want to say in a review space are my issues. Like therapy, I need someone to talk me through them and hope that by airing my dirty laundry, someone will fix me.

Daegus. I just. Really, this brought me down down down in the last part of the book – especially since I was friggin’ flying in the stratosphere of awesome. And like Daegus, I was speared, gutted and dropped ten thousand motherfudging feet. Did KMM intend this horrific parallel? My heartspace is hurt. Daegus had his torture and got his HEA - ripping that to shreds is like breaking a cardinal rule in my head. If it wasn’t for the fact that KMM has earned my trust, I’d be very angry that she went there. I don’t care what that last line was – we know it’s going to be an epically complicated grind to get that HEA back.

This gripe may seem contradictory to my 5 star rating, but it’s my naïve faith at this point reminding me that the rest of the book was spectacular and that it will be okay.

Someone tell me it will be okay.

(show spoiler)