Saturday, July 2, 2016

Burned by Karen Marie Moning - Book Review

Burned by Karen Marie Moning
Publication date: January 20, 2015
                                                     My rating: 3.5 stars 

Burned is book 7 is the Fever series.
Now, before I go into half professional, half fangirl mode, I'll only say this: don't keep reading past the *full review (with spoilers)* sign if you haven't read the fever series, or you'll be spoilered for practically everything
I want you to read the series and get the full, mind-blowing experience of it.
Because boy, is it mind blowing.
Don't be fooled by my 3.5 stars rating. It's true that this book was, in some aspects, a let down. But I'm a loyal fan of Karen Marie Moning books. Always will be.

My only warning for young readers is that this book\series contains a few explicit sexual scenes. It's not in a level of erotica (I don't read erotica books), but there are some explicit descriptions. If you're uncomfortable with this, I suggest you don't read the series or, if you want to read it (and you should, just saying), simply skip those scenes (there aren't many).
The book is categorized as adult but Mac (our kickass, sarcastic and awesome MC is a new adult). 

So what can you expect from this series? A LOT. Everything.
You can check out my posts books I want to re-readbooks I need to read but for some reason are still gathering dust on my shelfthe outlander tagthe snack food book tagtop 10 kickass female protagonists and top 10 kickass male protagonists for some more of my information ravings about how AMAZING this series is. 

You should also check it out on goodreads here for some more information. 

Well then. 

*Full review (with spoilers)*

I noticed something was amiss from the start.
The moment I saw burned had no prologue.
Those funny, sarcastic, gripping prologues were something I was used to - eagerly anticipating - in the Fever books.
When I saw it wasn't there in Burned, I thought: "Oh no, something is wrong." 

And something was wrong. 
I was glad to have Mac back - I LOVE Mac. Even though her story came to a rather completion at the end of book 5, It's Mac - I would welcome her back with open arms any time. 
I'm not one of those readers who think someone's story should have ended, or that the author should stop writing in the same world.
I never understood why, if you loved the series, would you rather it ended than continued for more books.
I hate goodbyes. I never want to say goodbye to the characters I love.
It's true that if I felt like the series simply dragged on and on without any passion to it, I would think it should stop. But not as long as I still want more.

Back to the book:
The Mac I met in Burned was not the Mac I remembered. During the books, Mac had always evolved, changed and came back stronger and tougher than before. But she never lost herself, her essence, what makes her her.
Instead of the kickass, fantastic, not taking no for an answer, brave Mac... I was met with a bitter, passive, thinking and pondering non-stop Mac. 

Luckily, it was at its worst in the beginning of the story, and only started to get better as I kept going.
Still, something wasn't right. It wasn't 100% the Mac I know and admire. She was different on a fundamental level somehow.
I tried to chalk it up to the crazy book in her head but I'm not so sure that was quite it.
Even Barrons felt different.  

What happened?
I want Mac back! 

I'm very split about this book. I'm just going to throw at you the good and the bad in no particular order.
3.5 stars is me being not exactly able to bring myself to rate it 3 stars but also knowing it's not a 4 stars book either. 

Even with the addictiveness of the book (and boy, was it addictive), it was hard for me to get into Burned at times.
It wasn't exactly the fast paced, engaging way of the first five books (+Iced) in the series.
It got to the point when I found myself puzzled, not understanding a sentence or something Mac said or thought. *Not understanding* - how weird is that? 

And it's all due to one thing: too many description. Practically every chapter started with a few pages of memories, mindless talking or descriptions of places and situations. I found myself dozing off a few times in those moments. 

But then there were the more action-packed-sassy-fast-paced moments when we were back to that feeling of adrenaline I always get from these books; heart pounding, mind spiraling, jumping up and down on the couch (oh, wait, is that just me?). 

As with the last book, I found myself skipping Kat's chapters. Sorry, kat, but I found her chapters boring and not really helpful to the story. Again, Kat, sorry, nothing personal. 

There were just too many description. I even started skipping Christian's chapters (and I love Christian!) and some of Mac's descriptions... Okay, maybe a lot of them. 
There is something about Marie's books that's addictive on a whole new level.
Seriously, I put the book aside to do something on my laptop or just take a break, and I find my eyes constantly twitching towards my kindle. And the kindle just sits there, urging me to open it and keep reading... as if the book is calling for me.
I just know I won't get any peace of mind if I don't keep reading, and so that's what I do. I keep reading, every now and then taking a break during which all I can think about is the book and what's happening in it, and go right back to reading. 

Like I said, addictive. 
The Fever series should come with a warning: Beware, reader, this series is extremly addictive. Proceed on your own risk. 

Burned keeps you constantly on edge. You laugh out loud every few minutes and you're throughly invested in the characters and the story. 
But let's face it, it's not exactly the writing style and characters whom I fell in love with in those first 6 books. And that's exactly the problem. If I read this book without reading the first 6 in the series, I would have loved it completely. But I have read the first 6 books in the series - and absolutely love them. Which is why this change... this difference... doesn't bode well with me. 

Something switched in Karen Marie Moning characters and writing style. I don't know what, but I feel it in Burned. It's still sarcastic, full of action, still a beautiful story and an addictive one, but... something is different.
Taking into account the 3 years gap between Iced and Burned... something happened. 

Mac was... dare I say it? Dull. I said it *horrified*. Every now and then she flared back to life and was the Mac I remembered, but most of the times she was passive and basically didn't do anything. 

I don't take light on her situation - she's struggling with a great many things and I feel her pain, but... Mac I know won't let it crush her. She would stand up stronger than before, confident in herself. This new version of Mac... Mac 7.0, not so much. 

Now let's talk about the big Jada twist, shall we?
It wasn't really a twist for me because I was spoiled for it (*sigh*), but I was still in shock to see how much Dani - sorry, Jada - has changes. Beyond conperhension.
If I didn't know Jada was Dani before going into Burned, I would never have guessed. And I would have been freaking out completely right now. 

Some of this Jada\Dani situation has to do with the split personality we saw a glimpse of in Iced, but most of that has to do with what Dani\Jada went through in the silvers.
All I could think about every time we saw her was: "Oh, dani... what on earth was done to you?" Something horrific, something horrible. I can't even fathom what she went through. My heart clenches for her. 

I love Jada. Do I miss Dani? Yes. But I'm ready to accept Jada - Dani 2.0. She's a strong, confident, smart, fantastic, kickass and a magnificent young woman.
Aside from her emotionless state, she was everything I excpected Mac to be in this book.

It makes me sad to think Mac and Dani haven't reconciled before Dani went through the hall of all days and came back as Jada. 

"Mac, stop thinking please!" I wanted to shout at her at one point.
I love it when the characters actually use logic and thinking before acting but this is TOO MUCH. And I'm not sure I would even call it logic. Blubbering, mindless thinking\talking, paranoia, over analyzing... those are better words. 

I love Mac. I always will. This girl is hilarious and fantastic.
I just want to point out that she's... ah... extremly different in this book.

Mac's private soap opera scenes were hilarious! I LOL(ed) so hard. She was a spy, an earsdropper, a fangirl and a shipper all at once.
It was so funny how she was rooting for Ryodan and Jada like us, the readers.

What in the world was that all about when they first met Jada\Dani?
I understand the tense confusion of the situation but why, for goodness sake, did Mac found out *just then* about the night with her and Barrons at the inn? And why did it suddenly become the only thing that mattered as they were about to get captured and killed in enemy territory?
This is not the Mac I know - the one who storms in, fights to the death and puts a higher prioroty on life or death matters rather than on a stolen memory. 

My god, I hate how all those guys shoot those remarks about how dim and stupid and worthless and weak Mac is. 
Like when Dancer said: "I thought you said she's smart."
Or when one of the Kelters said: "Why did you bring her again?"

Or when Ryodan repeatedly talks her down.
SERIOUSLY? Are we even thinking of the same Mac?
That girl is stronger than any of you! She's been through hell so many times and only came back stronger than before.

Their attidude towards her is not only making no sense at all but also annoys the hell out of me.
Mac may not be a genuis but who needs a genuis? She's tough, she's a survivor, she's strong willed and brave.
Not to mention, she can null fey, sense dark objects, she basically has a copy of the Sishar Dubh inside her head (which makes her not only a ticking time bomb but one of the most powerful people in the worlds), she can use voice (and a powerful one) and she has the spear that can kill any immortal (with the exception of Barrons and a few more).
How can you call her weak or dim is beyond me. 

The arguments: I usually like the arguments in this series - they are fun and funny, but there were too many of them and they were way too long. "Come on, guys! You're in the middle of a battle right now! You're about to go on a rescue mission and you think it's a great time to argue? Seriously? Even you, Jada? And you're supposed to be all high and mighty." 

How can Dageus be alive? What happened to the Sishar Dubh? (its silence freaks me out). Will Mac turn visible again? Will she learn to control\cope with the psychotic book inside her? Will we ever see Dani in Jada again? What happened to Dani after she got lost in the silvers?
*So many questions*
Luckily, the next book is already out.
Not so luckily, after reading the next book I have to wait year for the next one.

Either way, I'll be jumping into Feverborn.
Not right now (I need a little break to collect myself), but very soon... you can count on that.
And there is probably going to be another of my gushing reviews - so prepare yourselves and bear with me (: 

I'll finish up this longer than expected review with my favorite qoutes from the book: 

"Ward that. Spell that. How did you navigate life before you met me?"
Oh, Barrons!

That's another of my recuring nightmares. Cruce gets out, somehow turns me pri-ya again, and I run off with him to another world where we get down to populating it with little book-babies. Seriously. Books with feet and arms that cry all the time and want some kind of milk I don't have. My dreams have been beyond wraped lately.  
No kidding. I burst out laughing. 

That's the way it goes when the world falls apart. You never appreciate what you've got till it's gone. 

One thing I do know is things can always get worse, most often at the precise moment you've decided they can't.  

Am I really going to stand here and let them imprison me? Become the disney heroine that can't save herself? 
Hell no. You're Mackayla Lane, you're a survivor.  

I like Jada. She's strong. Smart. Lethal. 
I like her too. 

"When life pushes me I push harder. What doesn't kill me makes me stronger." 
The definition of Mackayla Lane. 

Overall, I enjoyed Burned.
It may not seem like it from my review. I did have a lot of problems with this book, but I can still say I enjoyed it. Very much.
Sometimes, the problem with excpecting too much from a book, can couse a let down. Not always - many times books do meet your outrageous expectations. There are only those few times when they don't. 

This world, those characters... Just like Karen Marie Moning is not finished with them yet, so am I. 

It's our actions that define us. What we choose. What we resist. What we're willing to die for.  
-- Fever, Karen Marie Moning. 


  1. I couldn't read the entire review because SPOILERS, but I totally understand rating something low but still enjoying it. Especially since it's part of a series you love.

    1. Exactly. It's very confusing but it is what it is (:

  2. I have yet to read Burned but I've read all of the others and I think they are extraordinary.

    1. They Sure are!
      The Fever series is one of my all time favorite... always (:
      I hope you'll enjoy the rest of the series, too.
      Thank you for commenting ^^