Cue evil, evil laughter. The book gods have for some reason seen fit to ship Karen Marie Moning‘s Burned a whole week early. Behold the beauty that arrived in my mail this morning…
So, originally Burned was supposed to be the second book of the Dani O’Malley trilogy, but somewhere along the way (and through several long pushbacks), Burned became a multi-POV book focusing mostly on MacKayla Lane. I was skeptical, and more than a little bummed, since a) I don’t like change, and b) I actually liked Dani. Oh, and c) Roydan. Anyways, I wasn’t thrilled with Dani (and Ryodan) getting pushed into the background again. But that isn’t quite what happened.
It isn’t really Mac’s story this time around. It is a bit tricky to describe, but Mac is less…active?… and more the vessel through which we learn the rest of the story. Not sure that even makes sense, but while Mac does have a lot of page time, it isn’t actually her story being told. If anything, she is in a bit of a holding pattern while the world moves on around her. Ryodan, Lor, Kat, Jo, Christian, the Highlanders all have their turn in the spotlight, and the story flows along quite well with the multiple POV’s. But Mac is just sort of…there.
I really liked the direction Lor’s story went, and Kat’s, too. Neither had a huge role, but I liked where they were going. Ditto for Jo. Never thought I would say that since I loathed Jo from the start, but she grew on me here. The Highlanders are more than capable of holding their own against Barrons and the boys, and there are a few developments on that front that I didn’t see coming. At all.
And then there is Dani. Wow. I think we all know by this point that she was to be aged to late teens in Burned, and aged she is. There really isn’t anything I can say about it without spoilers galore, but it worked out way, way better than I had hoped. Ryodan is one of the main ones impacted, and he steals every scene he is in. There was a lot more going on behind the scenes for him with Dani than we ever knew, and in Burned he not only shows some emotion, but becomes almost noble. Still a badass, but with his own code of honor.
I did find that things dragged a bit during some of the Mac sections, or rather the sections that focused on Mac rather than the sections where Mac is narrating what is going on with others. Those were great, and very informative. All in all, I can honestly say that Burned was worth the very long wait. I wanted a Dani/Ryodan book, but what we got was so much more. Less Mac would’ve been better, but it was a small price to pay for the rest.
Now, I will lose what is left of my mind if the next book, Feverborn, does not come out on its scheduled October 20th release date. I mean it. Rage will follow.