Book Review: Feverborn by Karen Marie Moning

Posted May 26, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Feverborn by Karen Marie Moning

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Feverborn by Karen Marie Moning
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Delacorte Press on January 19, 2016
Pages: 512
Format: eBook
Source: the library

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Eighth in the Fever urban fantasy series set in a Dublin under siege and revolving around Mac, Barrons, and Jada. It’s been thirteen months since Mac first arrived in Dublin and eight days since Burned.

In 2016, Feverborn was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Fantasy.

My Take

It’s primarily first-person protagonist point-of-view from Mac’s perspective with a dash of third-person (using I) from Christian’s and Dani/Jada’s perspective, AND we do learn of things that Mac shouldn’t be able to see or be told about, including thoughts from the imprisoned Seelie queen, which definitely places this in a combination POV. A bit of a POV mess, really, but it’s easy enough to follow. Well, except when you haven’t read the series in awhile AND one has, ahem, skipped Burned. Oops. I’m sure regretting that move, as I feel adrift and confused.

Dani comes across as the cold and icy Jada who is constantly re-affirming who she is, how grown up she is, how much she’s changed from the younger Dani. And she does (as does Dancer) make an excellent point about changing when one is gone for over five years. Unfortunately, she comes across as an insecure kid who wants to be the Ice Queen. Then the truth about Shazam comes out…geez…you can’t help but want to cry.

As for Mac, she is so busy re-telling the past, going on about her sister’s death, explaining her relationship with Barrons, and whining, er, babbling on about the tricks the Sinsar Dubh strews in her path. And whining (that hated trope) about how scary it is to look at the Sinsar Dubh inside her. Please, like she really has a choice. Instead, she runs on with that trope of avoidance. Hmm, actually I do that same trope with computer problems…guess I better stop whining too.

Feverborn strikes me as a bridge, introducing us to the new Dani and Mac catching us up on what’s been happening.

The Story

Earth is in danger from the blackholes, and the Nine believe that only Mac can save us by accessing the dread Sinsar Dubh and finding the long-lost Song of Making — a haunting, dangerous melody that is the source of life itself.

But their enemies are many with passions that burn hot and hunger for vengeance that runs deep.

The challenges, too, are many: the Keltar at war with nine immortals who’ve secretly ruled Dublin for eons, Mac and Jada hunted by the masses, the Seelie queen nowhere to be found, and the most powerful Unseelie prince in all creation determined to rule both Fae and Man.

Now the task of solving the ancient riddle of the Song of Making falls to a band of deadly warriors divided among — and within — themselves.

The Characters

MacKayla “Mac” O’Connor Lane is a sidhe-seer and null with a copy of the dread Sinsar Dubh imprinted within her. I get the impression it’s 50,000 years of the Unseelie king’s memories. Alina was Mac’s biological sister, murdered in Darkfever, 1. Their biological mother was Isla O’Connor; her adoptive parents are the loving Jack and Rainey Lane who live in Ashford, Georgia, in America.

Jericho Barrons is one of the Nine — there are Ten now — who gave his bookstore, Barron’s Books & Baubles, to Mac. These “men” are lethal and immortal and can turn into fearsome beasts. Ryodan is Jericho’s brother and owns Chester’s, a nightclub. Others of the Nine include Kasteo “Kas”, X, Fade, Daku, and caveman-ish Lor who works for Ryodan at Chester’s. He’s having sex with Jo Brennan who works as a waitress in the kiddie subclub in Chester’s; she’s descended from one of the six Irish bloodlines who can see the Fae. The tribunal serves as the Nine’s court of law.

Jada, a.k.a., Danielle “The Mega” O’Malley, a.k.a., Dani, is an extremely gifted and genetically mutated sidhe-seer who escaped Silverside and returned to Dublin a couple weeks ago. After being lost for five-and-a-half years. Shazam is the cranky, depressed feline-bear friend she came across on the planet Olean when she was in Silverside. Shazam calls Dani Yi-yi.

Dancer is fully human, brilliant, and in love with Dani, accepting everything about her (Shadowfever). His friends at Trinity College include Caoimhe “Keeva” Gallagher working on a doctorate in music theory; Duncan; and, Squig and Doolin who are brilliant at maths.

Arlington Abbey is…
…the headquarters for the sidhe-seers. Now Dani/Jada is doing what Rowena (the former Grand Mistress until Shadowfever, 5) should have been doing. Brigitte is one of the sidhe-seers.

The Keltar are…
…a Highland clan of Druids who fight for the common good. Daegus MacKeltar, the Highlander, is/was a Druid and their leader; he should be dead after events in Burned. Chloe Zanders was his wife (The Dark Highlander, Highlander 5). Christian MacKeltar had been human and was saved from death through Daegus’ sacrifice; now he’s a winged Unseelie Fae, a walking lie detector. Colleen, Christian’s sister, is the only one of his family who will look at him. Drustan is Daegus’ twin brother and is married to Gwen Cassidy (The Kiss of the Highlander, Highlander 4).

Sean O’Bannion is nephew to the dead mobster, Rocky O’Bannion. He’s also Katarina’s lover. Katarina “Kat” McLaughlin is part of a notorious crime family too with a gift of extreme empathy, so she was sent to the Abbey.

The Guardians are…
…the only effective police force left in Dublin and led by Inspector Jayne. Mickey is a murdered Guardian. Brody O’Roark led the invasion.

The Unseelie are…
…the Dark fae. There are four Unseelie princes: War, Pestilence, Famine, and Death. Christian is now Death. Cruce, a.k.a., the Seelie Prince, V’lane, is an Unseelie prince imprisoned beneath the Abbey by the Unseelie king. Toc. Darroc was Alina’s lover, a Fae stripped of his immortality by Queen Aoibheal, who had been the Unseelie king’s concubine.

K’Vruck is an ancient icy black Royal Hunter who allows Mac and Barrons to ride him. The Sweeper is the being he works for, a moving collection of trash. The Crimson Hag is an early Unseelie king creation, as is the Hoar Frost King who opened “blackholes” all over the world that will swallow the world. Rhino-boys are lower-caste Unseelie thugs who look like rhinoceroses with bumpy, protruding foreheads, barrel-like bodies, and stumpy arms and legs. They’re used as bully boys, watchdogs, or security for high-ranking Fae.

Papa Roach is the king cockroach composed of a bunch of cockroaches gathering to form one body, a former god, spying for Cruce and Ryodan.

Adam Black, a Fae gone mad who became human (The Immortal Highlander, Highlander 6). The Sinsar Dubh is an ancient book of black magic. Mallucé is a superhumanly strong vampire who had beaten Mac to the edge of death (Darkfever and Bloodfever, 2). The Draghar had been the living consciousness of thirteen ancient sorcerers. Priya is a Fae trick induced to create a mindless insatiable need for sex. Silver is the alternate plane entered by going through a mirror, where one becomes completely lost, struggling to survive.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a range of reds with Mac in a floor-length, sexy red dress, its skirts and Mac’s long hair billowing in the wind, as she holds her wrist in one hand against a night backdrop of bare trees in the mist, a bright light behind her. The author’s name is at the top in red while the title is below Mac’s waist in a gradation of white to red. Below that is the series information in white, bracketed by white fleur-de-lis.

I’m thinking the title is a reference to how Mac became what she is now, a Feverborn exhaustion from the time she was Priya.

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