Series: THE DANI O'MALLEY TRILOGY
Plot: Urban Fantasy (UF)
Ratings: Violence—4; Sensuality—3-4; Humor—3
Publisher and Titles: Delacorte Press
Iced (11/2012)(FEVER SERIES, Bk. 6)
Burned (1/2015)(FEVER SERIES, Bk. 7)
The novel begins with a scene that took place all the way back in book one of the FEVER series: a sexually charged meeting between Mac and Jericho Barrens that he forced her to forget. Events in this book cause her to remember it, and that memory causes some friction in their relationship (to put it mildly). Following that scene is a Prologue that tells the sad story of the Unseelie King and his soul mate, who have just been reunited after a centuries-long separation caused by the evil Prince Cruce.
> Jericho Barrens is trying to pull together a group of leaders from opposing factions—Seelie, Unseelie, human, and the Nine—to prevent outright war among the groups and to keep Dublin under control. That group includes two of the Unseelie princes who gang-raped Mac in an earlier FEVER novel, so you can imagine how tense those meetings are.
> The Unseelie King—the one who forced the Sinsar Dubh on Mac—has found his long-lost Queen, but is shocked when she doesn't remember him. In exchange for a kiss, the Queen forces the King to strike a bargain that will have ramifications for Dublin's human world.
> Several new characters are introduced—including some new sidhe-seers—but I don't want to give any spoilers by telling you much about them. Suffice it to say that they change the course of the action by their mere presence
This is another fast-paced, action-filled novel filled with well-developed characters, creative story turns, and a surprising ending that sets the stage for the next novel. We learn a great deal about Dani's background and her early relationship with Ryodan. In particular, we get an explanation for the way Ryodan treated Dani back in the earlier novels. He had his reasons for doing what he did, and we finally find out what those reasons were. Many reviewers, myself included, criticized Iced because of the way Dani's character was sexualized—after all, she is only 14 years old. In Burned, Moning "matures" Dani in a very unexpected manner. Although I had a little trouble accepting how Moning handled this, I soon found myself so engrossed in the story telling that it all began to seem possible—even probable. Plus, the series story arc couldn't have continued with Dani as an adolescent all alone on the wild and violent magical streets of Dublin.
Several of the characters, including Mac and Christian, have crises of faith in this novel, and each is forced to accept the tragedies and pain of the past and the present and make a conscious decision to survive and move on, no matter how uncertain the future may be.
Towards the end of the book, Mac muses, "I'm no longer certain what worries me more: the danger beneath Chester's, the one beneath the abbey, or the one inside me." She's talking about the black holes (one is beneath Chester's), the dark effect that Cruse's imprisonment beneath the abbey is having on its inhabitants, and the sly and dangerous Sinsar Dubh, which constantly taunts Mac and tries to goad her into using its dark magic. These three elements will no doubt be dealt with in the next book.
If you haven't read the earlier books in the FEVER series, you won't understand half of what's going on in Burned. If you're a regular series reader, you'll want to read this one because it moves the story line along some all-new pathways. FYI: This book has many graphic sex scenes; everybody seems to be doing it and having a great time. I'd rate it a 4 in sensuality.
Let's hope that the gap between Burned and Played is much shorter than the one between Iced and Burned. Whenever the next book arrives, I'm looking forward to the resolution of some old story lines and the development of new ones. As Ryodan says to Mac, "Welcome to war games…where the terrain never stops changing and he who adapts fastest wins." Click HERE to read or listen to an excerpt from Burned on the book's Amazon.com page. Just click on the artwork or the "Listen" icon.