Leave Out All The Rest

You guys, it's been an insane week. INSANE. There was the Feverborn book launch in New Orleans, which was amazing. Meeting more Wenches, always a treat. AND.. Meeting Karen Marie Moning. Which just about killed me. Some people just RADIATE awesomeness, and I swear.. basking in her presence was an honor. I talked about it a little here, in case you're interested. I did manage to NOT blurt out, awkwardly, how much I loved her and wanted to live in her brain. Barely. 

So you can imagine how my emotions were basically all over the place, and kinda overwhelmed by meeting one of my favorite authors, being able to talk to her, and to get a book signed by her. And then... I read Feverborn. Jesus. My poor emotions. They've been through a lot.

Click through!

Will reference events from Darkfever to Burned. There will be NO plot spoilers from FEVERBORN

PHEW! First of all. This.book.was.exhausting.

We were ALL on the edge of our seats by the last page of Burned. In case you want a recap, I reviewed it here. The story had just taken more than a few twists and turns, and we were sitting there wondering how on earth we were going to survive till the next one!

Feverborn picks up right where it left off, and we start with a new .. and ominous POV. GAH! Karen is so amazing. She has an entire universe in her brilliant mind and I just LOVE it when she slowly reveals new stuff that you just know is going to BLOW.YOUR.MIND later on in the story. I'll admit the new, and very cocky, POV made me a wee bit nervous, but really, if pretty much everything going on in this series doesn't make you a little nervous when it starts, what have you been reading?
"... every now and then one came along like him, like this city that defied all expectation, owned every action, flipped Fate the bird at each opportunity. One that didn't merely exist.

But lived. Fearless. No price too high for freedom. He understood that."
The Feververse, for me, is ALWAYS like coming home. Every new book, I am so happy to get my hands on these on release day, but a part of me is sad because we're one book closer to the end. Weird, I know. But it's how I feel. Maybe that's why Mac turning the corner to Barrons' Books & Baubles really struck a chord with me. I FELT that feeling with her. And we all love BB&B so.damn.much. Even the thought that it might not one day be lying there, nestled between the pages of these beloved books, aches. 

"The moment I turned the corner and saw the bookstore, towering, strong and timeless as the man, I nearly burst into tears. Happy to see it. Afraid one day I might turn the corner and not see it. Hating that I loved something so much because things you loved could be taken away."

Before I talk about the things happening in this, let me just say, I ALWAYS KNEW COCKROACHES WERE EVIL BEINGS! Did anyone jump a few times reading those chapters? I swear there were times I thought a stray hair was a roach and jumped two feet in the air. 

I have to say, Papa Roach is a very interesting antagonist, and his deliciously self serving motivation for striking up new alliances is definitely something I want to read more about. I especially want to see how far his alliance with Cruce is going to go. This should be very interesting. 

Readers who were wondering what was going on with Cruce in Burned will be happy to know that that part of the story definitely progresses, and it eventually makes it way front and center. I, for one, was seriously stressed out about where it's going. But that's just me. I like my Cruce exactly where he was. 
Keep your paper bags handy,
 just in case. 
Something I have been dying to have answered is WHY did Ryodan make a Tenth? And why Dageus? Ryo never does anything without some sort of agenda, and well, I'm thinking someone is going to have to beat it out of him soon! Because I am dying to know if it's what Barrons thinks it is! Or if Ryodan really is planning ahead. Dageus's story takes an interesting, and realistic, turn in Feverborn. And honestly, I can't wait to read more of where this is going. And how Ryodan's little experiment will go.

Mac, my wonderful Mac. I still love being in your head. Even if it's gotten seriously crowded in there. I have loved her from day one, page one. That girl who got up and left the safety of her beloved family and town to somehow find answers for her sister was someone I WANTED in my corner, someone who was so much more than met the eye. Someone with limitless potential. And I still love her. 

She was especially awesome in this, and I have to say, I love her aggressively taking charge of situations with Barrons, even if she is hopped up on unseelie at the time.
"Think you'll survive it?"

I stabbed a finger in his chest and smiled up at him. "I think I'm going to own it, Jericho."

He growled low in his chest. "Bring it the fuck on, Mac."

I brought it.

I adore how they still have secrets from each other, and how Barrons respects her decisions and choices.. even when he CLEARLY is not a fan. Their relationship will always be one of the best things about the series. It's unconventional as hell, and I know some people can't handle that, but I adore it. It's intense, it's scary, it's overwhelming, but what other kind of relationship would anyone have with a Barrons? And why force arbitrary human rules on something that won't be defined
"I can't change. He won't. It is what it is."
I could go on, but I won't. I've already talked about Mac and Barrons dynamics making perfect sense to me. How they need to cool off during the day so they can set each other ablaze at night (or whenever they want). How there is so much more there than lust. There's understanding. There's commitment. There's forever. And it's something unique, wild, and beautiful. And I need more of it! 
I so totally think this would
make a great shirt! So I made this.
Barrons is still the best thing on earth for me. As I've mentioned countless times before. At this point all I can say is that will never change for me. To quote myself from here (because, seriously, there's only so many ways I can put it.) "He redefined the male "lead" for me. He did something next to impossible, and changed this female's views on "love" and "romance" and all those little things that we, as women, have been conditioned into believing since we were little girls. The fairy tale cliché. A prince will come, he will be charming, he will dance with you, whisper sweet nothings into your ear, and you will be swept off your feet into white fluffy clouds, a beautiful castle, odes to your perfection and glittery and pretty things to match. But then Barrons came along, and all that went right out the window. I was in love with a creature who could not be further from that cliché. A man came, he was as charismatic as the devil himself; he would test me, challenge me, dare me, scandalize me with his barely concealed lust — not whispered, but uttered through clenched teeth. I was swept off my feet by a tsunami of intense carnality, a passion so violent it could leave you bruised, a basement where there was "purity", and love so undiluted and pure that I envied Mac... a fictional character. Is it any wonder Barrons practically shoved everyone else off the top spot to reign instead?"

Feverborn, once again, had multiple points of view, and I know I've said I usually don't like stories told from multiple POVs but dammit! I don't think I can say that anymore, because I have LOVED Burned and Feverborn so much! And the multiple POVs are probably one of my favorite things about them! The story just progresses flawlessly from one point of view to the other, you'll be riveted from start to finish, and still hoping for a Barrons and/or Ryo POV someday! The Hunters are also much more a part of the story, and I kind of love them! They're like cats! Acting a certain way just to amuse themselves. I definitely want to read more about them.

I loved how we were inside Jada's head more, and how she is VERY much our Dani.  Just all grown up and capable. How she LIVED those years. The others were the ones who lost them. She earned her scars. She earned it all. The composure, the coolness, the levelheadedness. And I'll be damned if I'm going to take that away from her. But I also love how she's softening a bit... letting her heart show. She's still capable of love and joy and humor. Mac and her had moments that had me tearing up so bad. But even her interactions with Ryodan were different. Dani has become the amazing woman we all knew she would one day become, and I think it's time we all give her credit for surviving, instead of bitching about HOW she survived. Her interactions with Dancer and Lor saw Jada EXACTLY how she was and accepted her, no questions asked. The way they were with her warmed my heart. As did her interactions with someone new. Which I know everyone will love. 

I see you, Yi-yi.
Lor and Jo are still very much on, and for a smart girl, Jo was pretty stupid to think sex was all there was to Lor. And I am going to LOVE him proving there is so much more to him. I cannot fucking believe how invested I am in that pairing, but there's KMM for you. You can say never all you want, she'll just laugh and prove you wrong! Not to mention, Lor's clit research is probably one of the best things to ever happen, and made me love the giant viking more than ever. Gotta love a man that dedicated!

Ryodan... Ryodan just about broke my heart in this. In the best possible way. I cannot believe how far KMM has taken my love for Ryodan in just two books. It's a fucking miracle! But here I am. Someone who cried because of Ryodan related stuff two books in a row. In Feverborn, Ryodan had some moments with Jada that were reminiscent of THE moments between Mac and Barrons in the first few books, but with completely different dynamics. And it was riveting. 

It's tough to review this book without going into details, just trust me when I say you'll love it. There are new characters, good and bad. There are new entities. Things are being set up for something big, you can feel it in the air. Tragic figures from Mac's past, her mind may or may not be fucking with her, Jada coming to terms with being back in Dublin, Dancer still isn't what he seems, but I want him so badly to be who he says. Just so Dani doesn't have her heart broken by someone she trusts. Christian dealing with his transformation, and his new affinity with death is just captivating, and I want to read so much more of it! Sean looking for Kat, who is still locked up somewhere with Kasteo! Agh! There is just so much juicy stuff going on!
"Staying in close quarters with one of the Nine, alone for a long period of time, was pretty much the worst thing a woman in a monogamous relationship could do."

Feverborn really made me realize just how much is going on in Karen's mind. To write such a vast universe, that spans millennia. Wow. KMM is kind of like the unseelie king, and her characters are all the "skins" she's broken into to communicate with her readers.They are most definitely parts of her, it's something that really hit me after meeting her and hearing her talk about them. She walks among us as these characters, this is how she knows us, and we know her. It's what makes her characters so real, and what gets us so invested.

In a lot of ways, I see fantasy series as a chess board, it may take a few moves to get the pawns in place, and it might be quiet for a while, but the tension is thrumming underneath the surface, and you just KNOW the big move is coming. That's how I feel about Feverborn, the Feververse is like this elaborate game of chess. It's KMM's beautiful canvas, that she's been painstakingly working on for years, building up the layers, placing the pieces where they need to be, all of which will end in a gorgeous masterpiece that readers will enjoy long after we're all gone. I cannot complain about that. I can't complain about the amount of work that must go into this brilliant world. I could feel the gears turning, things locking into place, soldiers at the battle fronts, ready for battle, new players getting involved, things are going to get insane, and as a reader, I can feel it.

I'm sorry I've rambled on in this review, but you'll have to forgive me. I'm still not down from my KMM high, or from this overwhelming, emotional, amazing read. You guys.. this book. I consistently wept during the last few chapters. Moning milks those emotions out of me like NO ONE does. And I love her for it. By the end, I was barely able to function. I just sat there wondering how the hell I was supposed to handle that cliffhanger, and wondering how on earth I cried so much in just a few chapters. I just kept thinking, "just great, I am now useless for all other books for at least a few weeks." 

It was an emotional battlefield.

Some books do that to you, they leave you ripped open, bare, vulnerable. Emotions bleeding out of you that you didn't even think you'd be feeling. One second you're wondering where all the suspense is leading, and the next, you're smiling and crying because something beautiful happened between two characters you love. And the very next, you're gasping out loud at an absolutely cruel cliffhanger! Moning as a writer does that for you every.damn.time. You will weep for the private battles some of us fight inside our heads, and the methods we use to cope and to survive. You'll hope for things that seem too good to be true, that you thought the world had brutally taken away from you. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll rage, you'll worry, you'll shout at the pages, and when all of it's over, you'll sit there marveling at the sheer brilliance of the woman who evoked all of those emotions with the power of her words. And then, just because she's not done yet, you'll cry a little more.

This Wench Rates it :

PS- Barb and I will be having a down and dirty, spoilery discussion about Feverborn soon! Watch this space! In case you want to catch up with our in depth discussion about Burned, here's the link.

PPS- read that glossary. There are a lot of very interesting tidbits of information in it. 


You Might Want to Read...

A Tribute to The Fiery Cross

When The Music's Over

Dani Mega O'Malley: Superstar

Black Dagger Brotherhood: Scenes That Left us Begging for More

So Many Questions: The Fever Edition