Monday, January 18, 2016

’Twas the Day Before Feverborn


Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series is a huge favorite for most of the Wenches, and book 8, Feverborn, hits the bookstores T-O-M-O-R-R-O-W. (I’m hoping it automagically downloads to my e-reader at midnight!)

Fever has a horde of characters and a complex mythology, and most of us have been rereading all or some of the previous books recently, so that the details and storylines will be fresh in our minds. As Olga says:
“It’s crucial, where KMM is concerned, to reread right before the new release. When you think you’re so smart and have everything figured out and known by heart, she proves you wrong. And I love her for it.”
A whole slew of things happened in the last book, Burned, with a lot of cliff hanging, and life-and-limb dangling, and jaw dropping there near the end. We’re giddy with anticipation (which is a nice way of saying we’re about to lose our Fever-lovin’ minds) to find out what happens next.

So while we were tapping our toes with the infinite patience of the immortal Fae — or packing to attend the gala release party in New Orleans, where a few lucky Wenches are right this minute!! — we put together a list of stuff we’d like to find out in Feverborn. I hope you’ll join us after the jump...but be warned there will be plenty of spoilers for books 1–7!



As we collaborated during our rereads, these are some of the issues that puzzled us, frustrated us, or had us impatiently trying to peer into KMM’s crystal ball for a hint of where she’s taking her characters — and us, as we hang on to their coattails (wings, whatever) and ride along!

Source for Mathia Arkoniel art
Barrons, The Nine, and BB&B

We have so many unanswered questions about Barrons and The Nine. We’d love to know more about their backstories, the fascinating history they’ve experienced, and details about their personal lives. But since they’d have to kill us, along with our informants, we expect most of those details to be left to our imaginations.

That doesn’t stop us from pondering. Barb would love to know what Barrons does in the daytime when he’s not around. And why do eight of The Nine live together, while Barrons lives separately and runs a separate business? Is he just the loner he tells Mac he is? Does he not like to share his stuff? Is it because he must care for his son?


Anne wants to know what Barrons eats. She and Barb are convinced it’s human flesh, though maybe just hearts and organs. I don’t think Barrons’s beast is so picky about which pieces he eats. Our friend Debbie likes to think they eat only bad guys! I think I’m happy not knowing too many gory details about the dietary habits of The Nine, so if KMM chooses to share TMI, my strategy is to read that part of the book with my eyes closed.

I think we all loved Mac’s invisibility in Burned, because we got such juicy insight into other characters, especially The Nine. We even “met” a new member of The Nine. We wonder what his name is and what he’s like.


We’re all fascinated by Barrons Books and Baubles! It’s pretty much the Wench idea of heaven. Donna listed it as her favorite book character in our recent discussion (since she wasn’t allowed to choose Barrons or Mac). It does have a very distinctive personality with lots of quirks and eccentricities, like temporal distortions that cause the number and configuration of floors and rooms to change and rearrange themselves. I keep hoping that one of these days, Mac will finally get a ladder and climb up close enough to examine that mural above the entry. In my mind’s eye I see something similar to Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling, with the Creation of Adam at the center and Barrons in the role of God, hearkening back to his memorable lines in Shadowfever:
God said: Let there be light!
I said: Say please.

The Fae

We have a whole lot of questions about those Zombie Eating Wraiths (ZEWs) who shadow Mac. Like why did it take them a few months after the walls fell to show up? Olga’s theory is the ZEWs showed up about the time the Hoar Frost King was stealing sound frequencies, or maybe the time delay occurred because Mac wandered inside the Silvers for so long. Anne wonders whether the Unseelie King sent them, and if so, did he send them for Mac or the Sinsar Dubh? Ryodan tells Mac “you’ve become high priestess to the only caste of Unseelie that once attended the king in his private quarters.” Yet according to one of Jada’s sidhe-seers, the ZEWs aren’t Unseelie. So exactly what the feck are they and what are they doing???

At one point, the Dreamy Eyed Guy told Mac to beware the Sweeper and its minions. “Don’t talk... It’s not about eating the candy. It’s about giving away words.” I’m still not sure what the Sweeper is, but that whole concept of giving away words is intriguing.

I’m a bit concerned about who’s going to replace all those recently deceased Unseelie Princes. In fact, there are vacancies in both courts. I’m not going to say anything else about this, because it ties my stomach up in knots to think about it too much.

Is the Unseelie King doomed to wander alone throughout myriad eternities, or can he win back the love of his concubine? Can they become the new King and Queen, heal the rifts, rebuild the walls, and rule over united Fae courts Happily Ever After? Merit wonders whether they will find the Song of Making.

Mac

For many of us, Mac is one of our very favorite literary heroines! We’ve cheered every phase of her evolution from clueless Pink Mac to lethal Black Mac. And we know the past doesn’t matter as much as the future, and what matters is how she goes on, but we still can’t help wondering about Mac’s roots.

As Barb reminded us, when former Seelie Prince Adam Black met Mac in Shadowfever, he said she was Fae-touched. Royalty. Not his house. So what does this mean? Seelie Princess? Or the Sinsar Dubh?

Merit thinks Mac has been too passive lately, in her efforts to keep the Book from gaining control, and wants to see kick-ass Mac come back again. Merit says she has a feeling Mac will have a challenging battle with the Book, which means a severe battle with herself, and she hopes it allows the awesome Mac and Barrons team to get past their issues and back together.



I think we all agree that Mac is a frustratingly unreliable narrator at times. It’s hard to know what we “know” and what we think we know because Mac told us. But that allows us to be surprised all along, which is a good thing.

The biggest questions we have concerning Mac are about her birth family and her in-utero escape from the abbey. There are so many gaps that we’d loved to see filled.

Barb speaks for many of us when she notes that we don’t know what happened to Mac’s mother Isla after she left the abbey or who Mac’s dad is. She has lots of questions: When was Mac born and how was she kept a secret from so many? How was she smuggled out of Ireland? Where are the rest of the O’Connors, the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins?

Source: Linkin Park Facebook community
At the end of Shadowfever, Tellie is on her way to tell Mac all about Isla, then we never get to read about that discussion. That’s a scene we’d particularly like to read on page. We heard Rowena’s and the Book’s twisted versions, but never the real version.

I’m also wondering why the Sinsar Dubh has been so quiet during the latter chapters of Burned. What’s going on? The UK told Mac that he couldn’t remove it from her any more than he could from himself (“can’t eviscerate essential self”). Mac can’t spend the rest of her life afraid to use the spear, unable to justify keeping it if she can’t use it, relying on others to kill for her. How will she ever learn to coexist with that Book?

Christian

Oh, how our hearts bleed for this cheeky, well hung Scotsman. Ryodan was not pleased to hear Jada call Christian her hero at the end of Burned, but he certainly has protected her with everything he’s got, no matter the pain. We all want to know if there’s any way he can escape the impending nightmare that Fate has in store for him. Are the strength of his ancient family and the light within his heart strong enough that he can retain at least part of himself, or will he be completely consumed by darkness?

Merit wonders whether Christian will have an important battle against Cruce.

One question several of us have is why, in Shadowfever, Mac thinks that only Cruce had wings, but in Iced all the Unseelie Princes have wings. Is that an inconsistency, an unreliable source of information in the book, or Mac’s unreliable narration? Or do the Princes continue to evolve? This seems likely to me. Something to look for during the next reread...

Dancer

Dancer is a HUGE question mark!! I think our consensus is that he’s not human, but what is he? Anne says she doesn’t believe the backstory he gave Dani, and I don’t think she’s alone. Debbie noticed that the ZEWs not only steer clear of The Nine, but they also avoid Dancer. There are many clues he’s not a normal human. Barb considers him a wild card, especially the way he’s so dismissive of Ryodan and talks back to him. He has always been there for Dani. Is he yet another self-appointed guardian who recognizes her potential and wants to keep her safe so that she can fully mature, like Ryodan? If so, why and what’s in it for him?

Merit wants to know if Dancer is one of The Nine. There is a new-to-us member of The Nine we haven’t fully met yet, but I assumed from Dancer’s conversations with The Nine that they didn’t know each other. Is he a secret part of the Unseelie King? He is something special, we all agree, and we can’t wait to find out what!

Dani and Jada

Wow, we’re expecting a lot from this storyline, and waiting anxiously to see whether these characters will work together or fight til the death, so to speak.

One lingering unresolved plot point is why Dani keeps losing her superpowers. What’s up with that? Barb wants to know whether Jada solved that problem for Dani, and if so, how?

I think most of us are hoping to see Dani back again. We miss her. There are things we like about Jada, but Dani’s passion and enthusiasm and heart are too central to the Fever series to die. I’m betting she’ll be back, one way or another, and a spectacular heroine who has totally been worth the wait, as Ryodan so ardently believes. After all, Pink Mac fully integrated Black Mac (with the help of a padlocked box) to become Awesome Mac, and we’re hopeful that Dani can heal all her wounds to become the best possible combination of both her selves.


And speaking of Dani, and Jada, and Ryodan, and Christian, and Dancer...who will end up with whom? So many fierce and loyal protectors have been patiently waiting on Dani to grow up. Now what will happen?
Will Snickers and Dani get their HEA?

You’re welcome
Dageus

Again, we have so many questions about how these immortals do what they do, but we respect their secrets.

There seems to be a growing number of people learning about all these characters who can’t die, characters who’ve managed to keep their secret for millennia until now. I suppose it was inevitable if they were going to work together to save the world. We hope they don't all kill each other. :-)

Other storylines

Merit wants to know more about Kat and Kasteo, and I heartily second that! Also, I bet Kat has some beautiful biceps when she next visits the abbey.

Barb wants to know who the feck is WeCARE? Who would want people to stay hidden? (We do know that Mac’s mother is involved, but its purpose remains unclear.) Why would they tear down Dani’s fliers rather than working with her?

Anne wants to know whether the Cauldron of Forgetting will come into play again, in some way other than bored Fae using it to conveniently forget everything relevant.

20-20 hindsight and looking ahead

As Anne points out, we should have known that V’lane was Unseelie because he turned everything cold. Seelie make their environment warm and Unseelie make it cold. Were we all so glamored we didn’t see it?

Anne ponders what the Dreamy Eyed Guy meant all those times he told Mac not to talk to various things. In Chester’s, the first time she notices that his reflection in the mirror is different than what she sees before her, she thinks he means the Gray Woman. But, what if he didn’t. Barb says that she’s pretty sure he meant the Sinsar Dubh every time. There was one time I thought he meant the Fear Dorcha, and another when he said not to give words away to the Sweeper, though sometimes the lines between some of the more memorable Unseelie creations and the Sinsar Dubh and the UK grow murky...

Maybe it’s time to wrap this up before we twist our brains into knots. But there’s only ONE MORE DAY to go before at least a few of our fears will be laid to rest and questions answered! And no matter what, we know Feverborn is going to be an amazing read!! In fact, my only consolation in missing the big release party in New Orleans is that I’m going to be able to start reading before they’re done partying. Cheers!

What are you doing while you wait for Feverborn, Saucy Readers? And what are you hoping will happen for Mac, Barrons, Dani, Ryodan, Christian, Kat, Jo, Dancer, Lor, Jada, and all the rest?

* Graphic novel art from Fever Moon. Click unsourced graphics to view source.

2 comments:

  1. So many questions. Can't wait to start my reading. Loved your post.This shows how much we don't know yet. Happy reading to you all.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Merit! There sure is a lot we don't know! And I don't know how it'll all fit into one book! I fully expect to be completely surprised and completely happy with whatever KMM gives us, because she just keeps getting better and better!

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