Book Review – Feversong by Karen Marie Moning

Book Review – Feversong by Karen Marie Moning
Book Review – Feversong by Karen Marie MoningFeversong by Karen Marie Moning
Series: Fever #9
Published by Delacorte Press
Publication date: January 17, 2017
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
560 pages
Format: eBook
Source: Borrowed
As Mac, Barrons, Ryodan, and Jada struggle to restore control, enemies become allies, right and wrong cease to exist, and the lines between life and death, lust and love, disappear completely. #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning returns with the epic conclusion to her pulse-pounding Fever series, where a world thrown into chaos grows more treacherous at every turn.

Black holes loom menacingly over Dublin, threatening to destroy the Earth. Yet the greatest danger is the one MacKayla Lane has unleashed from within: the Sinsar Dubh—a sentient book of unthinkable evil—has possessed her body and will stop at nothing in its insatiable quest for power.

The fate of Man and Fae rests on destroying the book and recovering the long-lost Song of Making, the sole magic that can repair the fragile fabric of the Earth. But to achieve these aims, sidhe-seers, the Nine, Seelie, and Unseelie must form unlikely alliances and make heart-wrenching choices. For Barrons and Jada, this means finding the Seelie Queen who alone can wield the mysterious song, negotiating with a lethal Unseelie prince hell-bent on ruling the Fae courts, and figuring out how to destroy the Sinsar Dubh while keeping Mac alive.

This time, there’s no gain without sacrifice, no pursuit without risk, no victory without irrevocable loss. In the battle for Mac’s soul, every decision exacts a tremendous price.

Story Locale: Dublin, Ireland.

Series Overview: An urban fantasy series starring MacKayla Lane, a strong, rebellious young woman who belongs to an ancient caste of sidh-seers, possessing the rare ability to remain unaffected by dangerous fae charms, and the sexy, powerful immortal Jericho Barrons who fights by her side to protect Dublin from deadly factions battling to seize control.

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* This review contains spoilers. This is your one warning. 

After I read the last page of this novel, I had a lot of thoughts and feelings. Some good and some bad, which I will explain in this review. In short, FEVERSONG was not the epic series ender that it could—and honestly, should—have been, but there were a few moments that I really enjoyed.

The Good. I’m not always the most patient reader, in that I sometimes dread the wait before getting to a novel’s sweet spot—that amazing moment when you’re all in as a reader. Sometimes, it can take quite awhile. This book captured my attention and kept it from the beginning. It was gloriously fast-paced and had a few moments between Mac and Barrons that were reminiscent of the “old Mac and Barrons” from the first five books. There were also some really great and meaningful moments between Dani and Ryodan—whose relationship I love. I really liked getting more backstory with Dani that provided further explanation for her duplicitous personality.

The Bad. I’m judging this book completely on the fact that Feversong was the promised ending of the Fever series. As a series ender, I expected for plot points that were opened up in previous novels—namely ones from the last four novels—to be mostly tied up by the end. But there were so many plot threads that were left loose, unanswered, and some even completely ignored. In all honesty, this series felt unfinished, which is horribly disappointing.

What’s going on with Daegus? One of the HUGE twists that was teased in the promotion of Burned was the whole “And then there were Ten.” It was obviously a great teaser to entice people to read the book but also a huge game changer for the Nine, whose own rules forbade them from making others like them. Daegus was barely mentioned in Feversong, other than to say that the Nine were dealing with him. I was really expecting Moning to hone in on his story and give us some closure because 1.) it had been nearly two whole books since we’d heard a peep from him and 2.) since the Highlanders were a huge part of Burned. But aside from a few passing remarks, Daegus and any explanations as to what was going on with him were largely missing.

The Pop Culture references came out of left field and felt out of place. I don’t remember seeing this many pop culture references in previous series books. I remember seeing song names and name brand clothing mentioned in Darkfever in reference to Mac’s bubblegum personality. But in Feversong, the Harry Potter references and Game of Thrones nods were excessive. That’s not to say that I don’t mind pop culture references in novels but they simply don’t fit naturally here, especially considering when these books started more than ten years ago Game of Thrones wasn’t the household name that it is now. More importantly, however, I don’t remember MacKayla Lane busting out Harry Potter or Game of Thrones trivia in previous novels.

Since when did Barrons start to say really dumb things? Barrons has always called V’Lane Mac’s little fairy boyfriend just to ruffles his feathers. But he calls him Tink in this novel. Really? Barrons is using Tinkerbell nicknames now? Okay. But perhaps the most WTF thing he said in this book is the phrase, “Sun, moon, and stars” when talking about his feelings towards Mac. The badass Jericho Barrons of the first five Fever series novels would never have said some cheesy lines he uttered in Feversong. Sure, a character can evolve and it’s possible for a character who is an unapologetic asshole such as Barrons to soften, but it is not in Barrons’s capability to spout off a cheesy one-liner like that. And surely not the two times he says it. The magic of Mac and Barrons’s relationship, even where Moning left it at the end of Shadowfever, is that Mac and Barrons don’t need to lay their feelings out on the line for one another so directly. They know exactly where they stand with one another.

Are we in a young adult novel with teams? We need to talk about Dani, Dancer and Ryodan. This whole love triangle that Moning whipped up out of nowhere in Feversong was bizarre and out of place. Moning has been building a foundation for Ryodan and Dani since Iced (when the possibility of a romantic relationship was hella creepy and just plain wrong. But she went there). Where Dani is now in Feversong, Moning decides that she needs some drama so she makes Dani fall in love with Dancer, with little to no relationship development. Now, I understand the whole argument made in the novel with how Dani needs to have normal adult relationship, void of shapeshifting monsters and complications—Dancer was that for her. But, their relationship felt forced and, towards the end, emotionally manipulative.

Kat and Sean O’Bannion. Like Daegus, Kat’s whereabouts were kept shrouded in mystery and not discussed. Where is her baby? Did she have the baby? Whose baby is it? What’s going on with Kasteo? So she’s back with Sean? What’s going on with Sean?

The f*cking mural on the ceiling. I CAN’T EVEN! Like seriously, what in the hell? With the exception of Iced, Moning has added something in each of the books after Shadowfever that ruined the magic and essence of the original series. In Burned, it was the reveal that the Alpha Alternative happened, which thereby ruined Mac and Barrons’s sexual build-up retroactively. In Feverborn, Moning decided to bring Alina back from the dead for funsies only to say “just kidding” Feversong. In Feversong, we learn that there was a mural on the ceiling of Barrons’s bookstore with him and Mac on it. It had been there long before he bought the bookstore and he’d known about it, which means he knew who Mac was when she waltzed into his bookstore in Darkfever. I don’t have time to unpack just how much this mural screws everything up. But I’ll just say that it doesn’t make any sense, especially with the fact that in Darkfever Barrons was actively trying to convince Mac to go back to Georgia repeatedly. Why would he do that if he knew that she would be important to him?

You might say, “But Megan, she’s going to write a spin-off so she had to leave some things open.” Yes, Moning has announced that there will be more books coming set in the Fever world. High Voltage is set to come out sometime in 2018 and will be a Dani-centric novel that supposedly won’t pick up directly after Feversong ends.

I reached the end of this novel having so many questions, not necessarily about the last chapter, about all the loose threads. I would prefer that the major plot points that are opened in a series as long as this one be tied up in this series (i.e. Kat & Cruce’s baby, Kat and Sean, Kat and Kasteo, Daegus, Christian and Enyo). Then if an author intends to write a spin-off, leave a plot point at the very end wide open for exploration. Feversong felt like a prequel to what’s to come rather than a series ender.

For me, the true Fever series ended in Shadowfever. That book felt like a series ender. She tied up all the vital plot threads that she had woven throughout each of the five books and left our beloved characters in a good place. As readers, we had room to daydream about what paths their lives took after Moning closed the door on Barrons, Books, and Baubles. Sure, I enjoyed Burned because of its non-stop action and Iced because of Dani and Ryodan’s backstory. But these last four books didn’t hold a candle to the literary magic created in Darkfever, Bloodfever, Faefever, Dreamfever, and Shadowfever.

Despite feeling annoyed at being manipulated to continue, I will probably read the next book because there are unresolved plot points. I hope Moning’s next adventure in the Fever world is short and that she moves on to build new and exciting world with new characters. It’s clear that for Moning Jericho Barrons was one of those rare characters whose essence served as a muse for a whole series. I’d love to see Moning find another character—male or female—to inspire her all over again.

* I borrowed this book from my local library.

Review - Feversong by Karen Marie Moning

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