Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Review: Burned

Burned by Karen Marie Moning

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m still not sure if I liked this book, loved it, or if it really bothers me. I guess I should’ve expected that KMM would push the boundaries of the series once I heard we’d be going back inside Mac’s head.

This book hops POVs probably more than any of the other books. We get Barrons, Dani, Mac, Kat, Lor, a mystery player, Christian, and the UK. I think I got them all, but you get the idea. Don’t get too excited about the Barrons POV, though, because if you’ve read the alpha alternative, you already know what the first few pages of the book look like. That “incident” plays a big role in all the Barrons/Mac drama of this book. Sadly, Mac reverts back a little bit to the girly girl about her relationship with Barrons and we have to watch her tailspin. I guess the story really has to be split up by character, because there’s a lot going on at once here.

For Barrons, the story is… well… OK, maybe I should start with someone that emotes. I guess his story is about Mac. For Dani, her story begins where we left off in the last one: with Mac. They haven’t really interacted since their horrible split, once Dani confirmed that she killed Mac’s sister. For Mac, her story is about getting rid of the book. She’s struggling to control the book in her mind and has also attracted some strange new friends. Oh, and she’s still being a girly girl about her alpha “boyfriend.” Sadly there is not much sizzle in her story. For Kat, her story is still centered on the abbey and her struggle to resist Cruce’s temptations. In an act of desperation, she reaches out to Ryodan to help her protect he girls. Lor’s story introduces us to a new species. His story is wonderfully filled with exactly what I’d expect from Lor: lots of sex. We also got to see a gentler side of the warrior. Christian is still be torn apart by the Crimson Hag, so he’s really the center of the “big bad” side of the book. He’s trying to maintain his sanity (or whatever sanity he had before the Crimson Hag got him). The UK’s story picks up where we left him wayyyyyy back in the original Fever series. He’s got his love back, but she doesn’t remember him. In an attempt to win her over, he agrees to help save the world. It was nice to see him on the streets again, but I feel like nothing actually came of it. So, now that I’ve covered the oodles of stories going on in this book, I should acknowledge skipping the “mystery player.” I don’t want to get too spoilery, but this one really surprised me. It takes a bit to catch me by surprise, and this reveal did it.

My overall feelings on this book were (as I said) very conflicted. It felt a lot like KMM used this book to rewrite some things from the first few books of the series. Because I love them so very much, it felt like a sort of betrayal to throw things into the history that I’ve become so familiar with. Making the “alpha alternative” an actual thing and not just a hypothetical situation?? That felt a little sneaky. The big reveal of this book also hit me like a slap. What do you mean we are stuck like this? I knew we would have to address things, but this seemed like cheating. Even with all these issues, I still devoured this book in a day or two. I couldn’t put the darn thing down no matter how much I was bothered by it. This book almost started to set up the series as a formulaic paranormal romance. We meet a lot of the nine and they start to pair up (perhaps to be followed up in future installments?). There was also a lot of time spent “spying” on the nine, which gave us less mysteries and more… feelings? From the nine? I don’t really understand what KMM is doing to these guys.

This review kind of rambled, but overall it was still an enjoyable read. Obviously I’m hooked and will read until it implodes (probably even after that). One point I’d make is that the highlanders are prominently featured in this book, so you should probably think about reading that series to compliment this one if you haven’t already. Other than that, expect the unexpected. KMM sure keeps me guessing.

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