Iced

Iced (Fever, #6) by Karen Marie Moning
Published by Dell on February 25th 2014
Genres: urban fantasy
Pages: 490
Goodreads

The year is 1 AWC—After the Wall Crash. The Fae are free and hunting us. It’s a war zone out there, and no two days are alike. I’m Dani O’Malley, the chaos-filled streets of Dublin are my home, and there’s no place I’d rather be.

Dani “Mega” O’Malley plays by her own set of rules—and in a world overrun by Dark Fae, her biggest rule is: Do what it takes to survive. Possessing rare talents and the all-powerful Sword of Light, Dani is more than equipped for the task. In fact, she’s one of the rare humans who can defend themselves against the Unseelie. But now, amid the pandemonium, her greatest gifts have turned into serious liabilities.

Dani’s ex–best friend, MacKayla Lane, wants her dead, the terrifying Unseelie princes have put a price on her head, and Inspector Jayne, the head of the police force, is after her sword and will stop at nothing to get it. What’s more, people are being mysteriously frozen to death all over the city, encased on the spot in sub-zero, icy tableaux.

When Dublin’s most seductive nightclub gets blanketed in hoarfrost, Dani finds herself at the mercy of Ryodan, the club’s ruthless, immortal owner. He needs her quick wit and exceptional skill to figure out what’s freezing Fae and humans dead in their tracks—and Ryodan will do anything to ensure her compliance.

Dodging bullets, fangs, and fists, Dani must strike treacherous bargains and make desperate alliances to save her beloved Dublin—before everything and everyone in it gets iced.

I have to say, I completely ate my words when I read Iced. I was SO nervous about reading it because I haven’t liked Dani up until this point and I knew the entire book was from her POV. Although the dudes and the fecks got reeeeaalll annoying, I was able to look past it.

I enjoyed the plot. It was interesting and kept me guessing the entire time. I was never sure how it was going to pan out, which was nice.

The characters gave me a bit of an issue, although not the same issues some people have. I know a LOT of people have an issue with the guys being inappropriate towards Dani, and maybe I’m sick and twisted, but I don’t see the problem (mostly) that everyone seemed to have. Yes, Dani is a 14 year old girl. Yes, Ryodan is, like, a million years old and Christian is in his 20s. But I think a lot of people missed some points here:

  1. Dani isn’t a typical 14 year old, she’s been through a lot of shit, so of course the guys are going to treat her like an adult.
  2. Christian is turning into a death-by-sex fae so of COURSE he’s going to have messed up thoughts. Although his character I liked the least in this, I still understood what was going on.
  3. NO ONE HAS SEX.

I liked Ryodan throughout this, but his character was a little hard to get a read on. Maybe it’s just me, but I felt like he was a lot…warmer? nicer?… in the other books. He’s a tough guy, I get that, but I didn’t think he was THAT big of a dick, and he was a pretty big one here. Some of it was necessary, like when Dani threatens his authority in his club, but some of it just felt out of character for him.

And I didn’t really like Jo before Iced anyway, but Jebus H. Christian, she’s an idiot. The man keeps you prisoner more or less to keep Dani in line, then starts sleeping with you, and you DON’T assume there’s a hidden agenda there?! I am sorry, but if she gets taken out by someone, I won’t be mad.

Oh, and I hope Dancer sticks around for a bit. I want to know more about him. He seems like a good match for Dani.

I’m curious to see where the series goes now, because I know KMM had some backlash over this book and the rest aren’t Dani-oriented.

 

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Shadowfever

Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning
Published by Dell on August 30th 2011
Genres: urban fantasy
Pages: 671
Goodreads

“Evil is a completely different creature, Mac. Evil is bad that believes it’s good.” — MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina, were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever. — Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister’s murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals who have lived concealed among us for thousands of years.

What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinsar Dubh -- a book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King, containing the power to create and destroy worlds.

In an epic battle between humans and Fae, the hunter becomes the hunted when the Sinsar Dubh turns on Mac and begins mowing a deadly path through those she loves.

Who can she turn to? Who can she trust? Who is the woman haunting her dreams? More important, who is Mac herself and what is the destiny she glimpses in the black and crimson designs of an ancient tarot card?

From the luxury of the Lord Master’s penthouse to the sordid depths of an Unseelie nightclub, from the erotic bed of her lover to the terrifying bed of the Unseelie King, Mac’s journey will force her to face the truth of her exile, and to make a choice that will either save the world . . . or destroy it.

I was so mixed about Shadowfever when I started reading it. I almost put the book down in the beginning because I was just SO fed up with Mac and her attitude. She went off the freaking deep end and it didn’t make sense to me. The context made sense, but it seemed very condensed, like what happened in the beginning of the book could have been an entire other book to show us the transition in how she was thinking, but it was crammed into a couple of pages instead so it didn’t feel real.

But after we got over that small hurdle, I really liked the plot. This was my favourite book in the series thus far. It was intriguing, I wanted to know what happened, there was sexual tension, there was regular tension, it was fantastic. I couldn’t put it down.

I’m a little sad that the series continues, because I think this would have been the perfect ending to it. It wouldn’t have been cleanly wrapped up, but it would have made sense within the tone of the series. I’m also kind of not looking forward to reading Iced because Dani is not even close to one of my favourite characters. I find the way she talks very annoying, although that might just be because I’m old and grouchy now.

Hopefully the series continues to get better now that I think I’ve found my stride. *fingers crossed*

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

April Wrap-Up

Oh lordy. I’m not even going to try and explain April to anyone. I feel like it was about two days long.

I didn’t end up putting any reviews out for April, although I did do some writing and announced my personal challenge to myself. Which I’ve stuck to so far (woot woot)!

April was mostly a month of self reflection, which is necessary. I might not have read a lot, but it was still a really good month.

How was your April?

That Place Within

It’s like this ocean that some people find themselves in. You aren’t entirely sure how you get there, but once you’re there, you are there. There’s no way out, no land off in the distance. All you can do is float. Lay back, look at the beautiful sky, and float. You know the ocean isn’t always going to be calm, so you float and you look at the beautiful sky and you wait.

At some point while you’re floating, the waves pick up a little bit. They might swell over your face every now and then, but you can still float. That small part of your brain that’s all about survival starts to panic a little, but you overpower it. You are okay, you can do this, the waves will calm. And they do.

For awhile.

At some point, very suddenly, the waves pick up. And just as suddenly you are wrenched beneath the surface, being held just below by some unseen force. You can see the beautiful sky but it’s clouded and murky now. The first time this happens, you panic. Sheer, utter panic. You struggled, you fought, but it exhausted you more. So you float.

And now you’ve done this before. Too many times to count. You know if you hold your breath long enough, whatever is holding you under will let you go. But you don’t know how long that’ll be, how long you’ll have to float just under that happy feeling, unable to reach it. Maybe this is the time your breath gives out first. Maybe this is the time you don’t finally float back to the surface.

But you do.

You always do.

Series Binge 2018

Yes yes. I am aware it’s the end of April at this point. But I organized my bookshelf on Sunday and had a super-stupendous idea.

The Challenge

For the remainder of 2018, I’m only going to focus on reading the series I have on my shelves already. By proxy, this means I’m only allowing myself to buy books that pertain to the CURRENT series’ I have.

Exception: my birthday. I get a pass for my birthday. Don’t argue with me. I’m literally making the rules.

The Reason

Apparently most of my reading interests fall in the land of series. But I have a habit of reading the first one, getting sidetracked by several other hundred books, forgetting what happened in the first book, and finding myself not as pulled to the series again. Even if I loved the first book.

I’m going to combat this by reading series’ in full. It started with my binge of the Fever series. I owned the first two, had only read the first, and watched as they sat on my shelf. I wanted to pick up the second one but I couldn’t remember what happened in the first. I’m not a huge fan of rereading, especially for every single series I own.

I have a handful of series that I want to read that I’ve just put off, but I’m changing that this year. No more shiny new books capturing my attention and distracting me. No more excuses for not remembering the first book. No more excuses period.

The Issue

I know that some of the series I’m really looking forward to aren’t finished yet. I don’t want to skip these, so I’m okay reading up to the currently published book. I’m hoping that if I read more than one book in the series (assuming there’s currently more than one) will help me with the forgetting issue.

The Caveat

I am aware series burnout is a thing. If this happens, which I hope it doesn’t, I am allowed to take a small break. I do have a couple of single books on my shelf that I can use to break up my binges.

The Outcome

I’m hoping this makes me feel 1) less guilty about buying new books if I’ve already read most of my current books, 2) helps clear my shelves off a bit, and 3) stops me from buying alllll the books in a series so they’ll match while only having read the first.

Alright, that’s the challenge. Join in if you want!

March 2018 Wrap-Up

March has been a slower month, reading wise. And also review wise. Netflix and writing both took over my life for March. Which I’m not exactly complaining about, it just means my priorities shifted a bit.

What I Watched This Month:

I started watching The 100 on Netflix again this month. I love the concept of the show, but I just can’t stand some of the characters (looking at you, Clarke). I promptly had to stop watching it, though, as I spoiled something for myself regarding my favourite character. So now I have to figure out something else to watch.

What I Listened to This Month:

For some reason this month really got me into early 2000s hard rock. I don’t know if it’s because the weather has been warmer and it’s usually my go-to sunny driving music, or if it’s just because it makes me feel good and I’m out of the dumps now, but it’s been great. I refound my love for Jimmy Eat World.

What I Read This Month:

  1. [6 Mar] Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning ★★★½
  2. [20 Mar] Faefever by Karen Marie Moning ★★★★
  3. [27 Mar] Dreamfever (Fever, #4) by Karen Marie Moning ★★★★½

So that’s my March in a nutshell! How was your month?

Dreamfever

Dreamfever (Fever, #4) by Karen Marie Moning
Published by Dell on October 26th 2010
Genres: urban fantasy
Pages: 498
Goodreads

MacKayla Lane lies naked on the cold stone floor of a church, at the mercy of the Fae master she once swore to kill. Far from home, unable to control her sexual hungers, MacKayla is now fully under the Lord Master's spell.

He has stolen her past, but MacKayla will never allow her sister's murderer to take her future. Yet even the uniquely gifted sidhe-seer is no match for the Lord Master, who has unleashed an insatiable sexual craving that consumes Mac's every thought--and thrusts her into the seductive realm of two very dangerous men, both of whom she desires but dares not trust.

As the enigmatic Jericho Barrons and the sensual Fae prince V'lane vie for her body and soul, as cryptic entries from her sister's diary mysteriously appear and the power of the Dark Book weaves its annihilating path through the city, Mac's greatest enemy delivers a final challenge.

It's an invitation Mac cannot refuse, one that sends her racing home to Georgia, where an even darker threat awaits. With her parents missing and the lives of her loved ones under siege, Mac is about to come face-to-face with a soul-shattering truth--about herself and her sister, about Jericho Barrons . . . and about the world she thought she knew.

Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay. I think this might be my favourite so far in the Fever series.

Spoils. Spoils, spoils, spoils, spoils, spoils.

I know a lot of people have an issue with the beginning of Dreamfever. A lot? Some. Some people have an issue with it. I only read a couple of other reviews briefly. Most of the issue stems from the fact that Barrons essentially uses rape to “cure” Mac from being a pri-ya (human addicted to fae sex). Those that are upset argue that, given Moning is the author, she could have chosen anything to cure Mac, and this is the way she chose. But I think it was alright. It wasn’t just tossed into the story, it had a purpose for furthering the story.

Mostly it made Mac and Barrons deal with some feelings (or show some feelings) that they otherwise wouldn’t. Which was fun to watch up until Mac started denying the feelings and we went right back to pretending neither of them wanted to screw the other. Except when Barrons made smart-ass remarks to her about their time together. Which I feel was somewhat alright, but this actually upset me more than the rape itself. She had no control and yet he’s tossing it back in her face to embarrass her or get the upper hand. I’d have smacked the shit out of him.

Spoils over.

I did like how we got a lot more of the fae backstory in this one. I feel like we finally know, more or less, what is going on. Except with the book. But we’re starting to understand the history of why things are happening the way they are, which is great. Not a fan of Rowena and that whole ganging being a bigger part in this, but it is what it is.

I’m nervous to continue reading because I know some things that happen that I am not looking forward to. But we shall see.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Faefever

Faefever by Karen Marie Moning
Published by Dell on July 28th 2009
Genres: urban fantasy
Pages: 389
Goodreads

When MacKayla Lane receives a torn page from her dead sister’s journal, she is stunned by Alina’s desperate words. And now MacKayla knows that her sister’s killer is close. But evil is closer. And suddenly the sidhe-seer is on the hunt: For answers. For revenge. And for an ancient book of dark magic so evil, it corrupts anyone who touches it.

Mac’s quest for the Sinsar Dubh takes her into the mean, shape-shifting streets of Dublin, with a suspicious cop on her tail. Forced into a dangerous triangle of alliance with V’lane, an insatiable Fae prince of lethally erotic tastes, and Jericho Barrons, a man of primal desires and untold secrets, Mac is soon locked in a battle for her body, mind, and soul.

I feel like this book is the line between pink Barbie Mac and black leather Mac. It definitely started to get darker in tone with Faefever, which is not a bad thing. I was getting annoyed by naive, pretending-stuff-isn’t-happening or not-listening-to-Barrons-even-though-he-knows-shit Mac.

The tension in this book was palatable. I’m still enjoying the plot, the writing, and the setting. Love me some good Ireland.

Barrons is still a conundrum for me. I STILL can’t picture him in my head, even after looking up character art. I don’t know what it is. Maybe that’s how he’s supposed to be. He has grown on me a bunch, though, and I do like him now. I wish he wasn’t such a stick-up-the-butt type of dude, but I know there’s reasons for that. Mostly because I accidentally spoiled it for myself. I’m only half mad about that.

Add to my annoyance list Dani. I don’t know why, but she isn’t doing it for me as a character. Which is not great since I spoiled myself and know she’s a bigger part in this series.

Also, I don’t know if I’ve just started to tune it out or I’ve gotten used to it, but the repetitiveness that I mentioned in my Bloodfever review is getting much better.

So better overall, mostly.

And hoh-boy, that ending. Immediately picked up Dreamfever.

 

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Why I Haven’t Been Reading (1)

I haven’t done one of these in forever! It feels like a good way to break up the Fever series reviews that are going to be coming up since I’ve been binging it for the past month now. Which I am not apologizing for, it’s been fun.

Any who, during the week I have a limited amount of time to do things after work. Over the past little bit, I’ve been trying to prioritize what I want to do with that time so I can accomplish the things that I actually want to. I was spending an obscene amount of time on good ol’ YouTube, which was accomplishing exactly 0% of my goals. Although my makeup game is strong now.

When it came down to my top two favourite things to do, reading and writing, I realized that writing was more important to me. Yes, I LOVE reading other people’s worlds and characters. But one day I want someone to say that they love my world and characters. And the only way for this to happen is for me to prioritize writing over everything else. Except sleep, sleep is always my first priority.

What this means is that during the week, I’ve been setting aside most of my nights for working on my novel. I’ve loved this routine, as it seems to have kicked my creativity into gear. I’m still on YouTube a bit, but that’s mostly for watching different authors talking about their writing style. It also means that reading has taken a bit of a back seat, which is okay for now. It hasn’t completely fallen off, which is good!

It’s been an interesting shift in priority, but I’m excited to see what becomes of it.

What have you been doing instead of reading?

Bloodfever

Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning
Published by Dell on August 26th 2008
Genres: urban fantasy
Pages: 368
Goodreads

MacKayla Lane's ordinary life underwent a complete makeover when she landed on Ireland's shores and was plunged into a world of deadly sorcery and ancient secrets.

In her fight to stay alive, Mac must find the Sinsar Dubh- a million-year-old book of the blackest magic imaginable, which holds the key to power over both the worlds of the Fae and of Man. Pursued by Fae assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she cannot trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and irresistible men: V'lane, the insatiable Fae who can turn sensual arousal into an obsession for any woman, and the ever-inscrutable Jericho Barrons, a man as alluring as he is mysterious.

For centuries the shadowy realm of the Fae has coexisted with that of humans. Now the walls between the two are coming down, and Mac is the only thing that stands between them....

I’m on a Fever series binge right now. I read this one right after Darkfever. And I’ve already bought the third and the fourth, although I’m not in love with the series. I’m still not sure on the characters, but I kind of love the plot and writing. So maybe it’ll be worth it for me to continue reading?

A bit spoilery ahead.

My biggest issue remains to be Mac. She’s just so dense. And I don’t know if it’s because she’s supposed to be this small town, naive girl, but it’s starting to get on my nerves. Like, you just find out that ALLLL these Fae exist, but when you see what you think is the Grim Reaper, you ASSUME you’ve gone bonkers and it’s not real. WHY??? I get that it needs to happen in order for the plot to make sense, but I feel like this is not a realistic reaction to seeing the GR. If I found out vampires existed and saw a troll, I’d for sure be talking to someone about it (especially if you know someone that can also see things) just to make sure. This was the single most irritating part of the book. And since it was happened throughout the book, I wasn’t exactly a happy camper.

Okay, I think you’re good for spoilers.

Jericho has gotten a bit better for me, although I still can’t really picture him in my head. His attitude is somewhat annoying, but I think that’s the point of him. And when he starts to show his feelings, man I melt. I’m super curious to find out more about him.

I’m also super excited to learn more about some characters that were introduced that I think will play a bigger part going forward.

And, as I said, I’m still loving the plot. Even if there isn’t much going on, it’s still moving ahead, which is nice.

Oh, the other thing I had an issue with was repetitiveness. Reading these back to back, there’s a lot of info that is repeated book to book. Saying that, if I was reading the series normally, I think it would be super helpful. Especially when Mac encounters characters for the first time in that book, but not the first time in the series, and she gives you a little recap of who they are and how they play into the story. But for me, it’s like having to watch a “last time on the show” recap while binging a show on Netflix.

Have you read the Fever series? What’d you think?

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star