This is a book review for the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning, available here:
This book series has been recommended to me several times but, for various reasons, it’s taken me until now to get to it. If I’d known they were this good, I wouldn’t have waited! I was going to review the books one by one as I went along, but I couldn’t stop myself ploughing through them for long enough to pause and type lol. Five big fat stars for this series. Seriously…I can’t even.
I’ve got an epic book hangover. It’s the kind of book hangover that makes you want to get a lobotomy just so you can forget the books and read them all over again for the first time.
So…where to begin? Probably the first thing to praise is the world building. The series is set in Dublin in Ireland, but it’s a Dublin with magical undertones. The Fae and all the other monsters that go bump in the night are real. Nothing is two dimensional in this series, from the characters to the plot to the surroundings. They all leap off the page, fully formed and ready to drag you in, kicking and screaming. Nothing is perfect. It’s a dark and gritty world. The characters are secretive and prickly. No-one knows anything about anyone, including the reader, and it’s a testament to the quality of the writing that you don’t care that you don’t know anything. You’re too intrigued by everything that’s unfolding in front of you. Right up until the end you have no idea who is on which side, who can be trusted, who anyone is and what their motivations are. It’s absorbing and, as you read, it’s hard not to think of yourself as being in the story.
Perhaps I should have started with the quality of the writing. It’s good. Better than good. It’s the kind of writing that makes me want to give up writing for fear of never matching up lol. It’s so dark and twistier than the three time twistiest champion at the world twisty championships. There are moments that feel like they’ve physically punched you in the stomach. I cried. More than once. I burst out laughing. Several times. I got hot under the collar from the smoking smutty sections more times than I’d care to admit. I learned new words, opened up new mindscapes…Moning has an incredible way with words and I love that she gives precisely zero fucks about the sensitivity of her readers. You keep thinking “No, she wouldn’t have done that” but she does and the emotional impact of that is startling. In a world conditioned to expect a happy ever after, this is refreshing and shocking and I love it. Moning is fearless, attacking taboos and shocks with bold fervour. Hats off to her for it.
The characters are brilliant. I didn’t really know what to make of Mac at first. She’s an interesting character, prickly, defensive, but somehow sweet. There were times she irritated the hell out of me and times that she won my heart. It was great to watch her grow and change from book to book, becoming the person you know she can be while still having all the flaws that make her human. I loved Dani, the sweet and sassy neverchild, whose bold as brass attitude seems like a cover for the hurt beneath. V’Lane is one of the more fascinating characters. One of the things that Moning does so well is writing characters that don’t think, act or look like humans. It’s a difficult thing to do, but she manages it consistently and in a way that’s quite creepy at times. The cast of characters is huge, but they’re all managed in a way that you never lose track of anyone or forget them.
But there’s one character that dominates this book and that’s Jericho Barrons. I can’t even type, think or say his name without feeling a shiver down my spine like someone just licked my neck. He’s an alpha like no alpha you’ve ever seen before. You can throw away your puny Doms, your Christian Grays and Gabriel Hallows of this world. Barrons would eat them for breakfast twenty times over and still have room for a snack. He’s dark, moody, crude, dominant, and frightening, but you do occasionally see tiny flashes of vulnerability and sweetness here and there, enough to keep you wanting him. It’s something that’s so hard to get right. I’ve complained about it before – all these so-called alphas abusing women and dressing it up as something else. Not Barrons. He is unapologetically dark and inhuman. There are no excuses, no explanations, no playing to the lowest common denominator. He’s up front about it too. You know exactly what you’re getting into if you want to take a tumble with him and he’ll give as good as he gets. You bow to his will, he’ll give you the world. You get in his way and you won’t even see your death coming. He is PERFECT. If I had liked nothing else about this series, I’d give KMM 5* for him alone.
As I type this I’m about three quarters of the way through Iced. I’ll finish it tonight and probably get through Burned tomorrow. Iced is different in that it’s told from Dani’s point of view and as much as I adore her, I’m not feeling the chemistry with her that I did with Mac, but that could just be because I’ve spent a whole week immersed in Mac’s life. The quality of writing is just as good. It’s just a different voice.
So yes…I would definitely recommend this series to all and sundry. Read it. Read it all. You can thank me later.