Pick of the Week…

Today is the day that Burned by Karen Marie Moning officially hits the shelves, and it was a big one. It was a one-sit read for me, and I am looking forward to the re-read. Basically, I can say it started my 2015 reading year off right.

burnedSynopsis…

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 gets 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.

When word originally came down that Burned was changing from being the second Dani O’Malley book to a multiple POV story heavily focused on MacKayla Lane, I was less than thrilled. I liked Dani, liked her take on things, and most of the time I forgot she was supposed to be only 14. I know some people had issues with her as the protagonist – the fecks and dudes, the age factor, for example – and those were addressed, and addressed well. I will start up a discussion thread later, if there is any interest, or you can drop a comment about it here after you finish. Happy reading!

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27 thoughts on “Pick of the Week…

  1. Rosa says:

    I hate hate Danys book, and I hate more the first responses of the autor about the comments of a ton of readers about the age of Dany and her male company, what a bunch of idiots, for me iced was a bad book whit a bad plot and worst it was boring.
    But KMM say that all the people who dislike the pedo vibe in that book are close mind and idiots , i think that someone has to tell her that she need to listen her readers, when I read about the change in the books it wasn’t a big surprise

    ( sorry for bad English )

    • kaleigha says:

      Hey Rosa…not really a good idea to call your readers out like that, but hopefully this book covers most of what bothered people. It could explain the much longer writing time if she had to go back to the drawing board and rethink the whole direction she was planning on taking.

  2. Charry says:

    I really liked what she did with Dani’s character. It was a smart way to address things. I was actually surprised. Based on the previous book I thought the relationships in the book were going to go one way (making sure I don’t add any spoilers) but now I see new completely different relationship pathways. Also I’m glad she changed the point of view, or the surprises wouldn’t have been surprises!

    • kaleigha says:

      Yes! That was what I thought. You couldn’t do the book from Dani’s POV and take it in that direction. I thought it worked really well that way.

  3. Monika says:

    Wow, just finished it. The first chapter really totally surprised me. I actually LOVED Iced, though at the same time I was disturbed by the pedo-vibe, because for me that’s one of the limits that should just never be crossed. I agree that she dealt quite well with that. Having said that, the ending of the book totally threw me, not really the revelation, but because I thought the book would go on and just sort of seemed to finish in the middle of the story. Also, not quite sure whether I like the new Dani, and we don’t learn anything about what happened to her during the time she was “missing”. How the age question was resolved wasn’t really a surprise, since I saw it coming after we learned about the properties of the Hall of All Days in Iced….
    I like the POV, too, and Mac’s new “superpower” and of course all the things she got to see because of it….

    • kaleigha says:

      SPOILER…SPOILER…SPOILER…YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

      Yep, I was a big Iced fan, too. I didn’t actually think about the Hall of All Days, I figured instead she would somehow get stuck in the White Mansion (although we aren’t sure she didn’t end up there at some point) trying to get the Crimson Hag back where she belonged. I hope at some point there will be a merging of new Dani and old Dani, with characteristics of both. I thought the new one was sort of a hoot, but I missed the old Dani, too. And the fact that she can tussle with both Ryodan and Barrons at the Abbey…at the same time…and hold her own was great. And Ryodan was humanized quite a bit, which was great.

      I think my favorite part was that there was a real shift from Mac being the hot leading lady and Dani the sidekick to Dani being the perfectly groomed, graceful one and Mac wondering what Dani would do in certain situations.

      • Charry says:

        More SPOILERS!!

        When I read iced I thought Dani would end up with Dancer because the other guys were so old, and I thought Ryodan would be with Jo and they would kinda be parental to Dani. This book turned all that upside down.
        I love the new Dani and her conflict with Ryodan.

  4. peeeeaches says:

    Ok so I have to things that are keeping me from snatching this book up. One I never read Iced, Dani was a nice character but I never related to her so I had no desire to read the book. would it be fine if you read this and not iced? My other issue is that again when Mac and Barron’s come up they have drama I really thought all that was resolved in the last book with them. I like them together I don’t want that to be ruined for me. What do you think, should I read it….or just keep the world where it is?

    • Monika says:

      I think you absolutely have to read Iced before Burned, otherwise a lot of stuff won’t make sense. Also, Mac and Barrons have drama, actually the book begins with one big Mac/Barrons drama. They are still in love, but it’s not exactly happily ever after and it doesn’t get revolved by the end of Burned, either…

      • peeeeaches says:

        Darn it! This series of books always do that and it makes me crazy. Maybe I’ll just wait for the next one and read all 3 so I don’t have to be on a major character cliff hanger.

    • kaleigha says:

      Just throwing my bit in, but I can honestly say that Burned wouldn’t read as well without reading Iced first. You miss the whole Dani/Ryodan/Christian/Dancer dynamic, which isn’t huge here but it is for me one of the highlights of the book. Oh, and if you ever read Moning’s Highlander books, it sets up why Dageus (!), Drustan and Cian are involved – and if you didn’t read the Highlander books, you probably don’t care so ignore the last part of my rant.

      • peeeeaches says:

        I actually love the highlanders that’s how I got into PNR and UF. I’ll read that book just to hear more of their world! Thanks so much!

  5. JF says:

    I was surprised, but I actually really enjoyed Burned…I never was a fan of Mac and Barrons (and it drives me crazy that he still calls her “Ms. Lane”…um, after everything they’ve done, can’t they use first names?), but I really like Dani. I didn’t get a weird pedo vibe from the men in Iced, so that aspect didn’t bother me, but I was really hoping that Dani would be older in Burned, so she and Ryoden could start a romance. I figured that Dani would age in the Silvers and thought the Jada character was interesting- I thought it looked like bits of Dani were starting to peek through by the end of the book. Even though the Mac storyline dragged, I liked when she was invisible, so we could see what was going on with the other (more interesting) characters. I love Ryoden and Lor and can’t wait to see more of them in the next book.

    • kaleigha says:

      I agree completely. I didn’t mind the interest the men had in Dani in Iced, either. I know it bothered some, but it worked for me. Love Barrons, but Mac didn’t really register as a great character for me. I was really happy when Jada started to crack a bit and let some of Dani through. Mac was more of a plot device than a main character for me in Burned, and I thought that worked just fine. Bring on the next one!

    • alexandra says:

      I wasn’t terribly bothered by the ‘pedo-vibe’ in Iced. Did it make me uncomfortable at times? Well, yeah. What I find really interesting is that readers were so critical of the attention Dani gets from older men when there are a lot of not-so-politically correct things going on in the Fever world. Um…not to mention the loss of one third (or was it one half?) of the world population.

      What I disliked most wasn’t so much the behavior of Ryodan and especially Christian per se, but that yet again a young girl (even a fictional one) is sexually objectified for the sake of entertainment. I don’t think it really says anything about this series or KMM but our society as a whole. For this particular case, it IS a special case. For example, Dani has to deal with the fact that she killed Alina – no matter if she was coerced or controlled – the sister of Mac, who Dani herself thinks of and loves like a sister. She also has a colossal savior complex and was used and abused by people who were supposed to protect her. She’s enormously independent and while her psyche hasn’t fully developed into that of an adult I think the way her character is written and the age we see on the page give readers a somewhat misleading impression of what Dani can handle. I mean, she’s being hit on by a naked Christian and having her face shoved repeatedly against a wall by an enraged Ryodan and I could go on…yet throughout the story her primary focus is her sidhe-seer sisters, Dublin, Mac and other normal teenage concerns (like her virginity) which is surprising considering her, forgive me, fucked-up upbringing. And we do see her splintered into literally a whole different personality in Burned. And was it because of Ryodan and Christian and whoever else thought she’d be ‘one hell of a woman someday’?

      There is quite a lot of sexual violence toward women portrayed in this series (how many of your favorite books feature a female lead who is gang-raped?). I’m not going to lie to myself or others and don’t say that I don’t find Barrons a fascinating and, at times, sexy and irresistible character. But that doesn’t change the fact that his forcefulness, possessiveness, violence, ruthlessness is romanticized. And I’m not being censorious – I think part of the Fever series’ allure is the characters are not only complicated and well-drawn but unashamedly accepting of the darkest parts of themselves. I think a lot of readers, myself included, are starved for more of these character-types.

      I like reading book reviews almost as much as I like reading some books themselves and I think readers are much more critical of female characters. I see ‘too stupid too live’ thrown around a lot. The first time I read Darkfever I thought Mac was TSTL (she really was though). Didn’t stop me from loving her. KMM is one of the most kick-ass storytellers I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. I might not like everything part of her stories but I’m not the one writing the books and while I’m very invested in her stories, characters and world I’m still just along for the ride and trust that what she writes is the story that’s clawing its way out of her head to be told.

      So this rant went a little sideways and took a meander down tangent lane. My whole point, or just observation I guess, is that all the griping about the notorious Iced ‘pedo vibe’ has me examining why readers zero in on that facet of the story in particular when lots of pretty horrifying, sadistic things happen in the Fever series. Whew, I’m gonna need a nap now.

      • kaleigha says:

        Actually, I am one of those who is really critical of female characters, but I tend to let the males get away with anything. I noticed it a while back when I did some reviews, and it seemed like every book I was either saying that I liked the story in spite of the heroine, or I was shocked if I liked her. I am like that with Mac. I don’t hate her, or love her, but I read for “the boys” and, surprisingly, Dani. Dani never read as a kid to me, so I think that is why the male attention she got never made my squick factor kick in. Like you say, there was too much other crap going on for it to register for me.

  6. Lydia says:

    I liked both books very much but I could do with less Mac and Barrons in Burned, and more Dani and Ryodan. I dislike Jada, understand what she is but I want Dani back. Jada is too cold for my taste.

    • kaleigha says:

      I think I liked the original fever books in spite of Mac, since she was never a favorite, so less of her would’ve been better. I would’ve been interested to get a peek at what was going on inside Jada’s head – that might have been fun. Can’t wait to find out what she went through in the Silvers to make her turn, too.

  7. alexandra says:

    Finally checking in. Work’s been stressful, then I dragged by feet getting started reading Burned. Then I pretty much gobbled it up in one sitting, reread it, went back to reread parts of Dreamfever, Shadowfever and Iced. And also parts of Burned. Again. I also started the Highlander series because I feel like it could be useful going forward. And it was on the TBR anyway.

    I really enjoyed Burned and liked how KMM played with POV in the story. It did feel a bit incomplete in that, in typical Fever series fashion, it’s building toward something big(ger). I am glad the cliffhanger at the end wasn’t a huge cliffhanger. Do you think KMM will be so nice with the next one? Now I’m basically going through series withdrawal. This always happens to me after a big release (I’m looking at you, Psy-Changeling series). I really, really hope the next book is actually out this year. I won’t actually believe it, though, until I have it in front of me.

    • kaleigha says:

      Viper Game was my biggie for the month, but Burned ended up stealing the show for me. I liked the POV’s too – it had a bit of a Ward vibe in that regard, but not as hard to keep track of. Everything seemed to be moving in the same direction rather than 13 different storylines going on. I am not a huge cliff-hanger lover, either, so I too am hoping that the next one doesn’t go that route. It makes the wait for the next one horrible, even though you know everything will somehow work out in the end. Usually. Amazon has the next one up for preorder, and STILL I don’t believe it yet.

      • alexandra says:

        PREORDER? I didn’t know that *immediately preorders*. This is comforting. Now if Kresley Cole would just announce the next IAD book. She said on her Facebook page “next week” which I should know by now really means “in three weeks, give or take (but probably give)”. But still. I wasn’t even thinking about the next one but now I’m like, really? Ah well. I’m still in the nonbeliever camp with you. If I’m reading Feversong on 13th October I will recant my distrustful ways.

        • kaleigha says:

          I have checked a few times for the IAD info, and I think it is supposed to be revealed tomorrow. Sadly, I can’t seem to muster up my usual excitement for it, but I still hope that the next book will get me back into the IAD obsession. And, like you, if I have my hot little hands on the next Fever book in October, I will be starting a post saying “So, IT REALLY HAPPENED”.

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