Burn baby, burn!

Karen Marie Moning: Burned (Fever Series #7)

What is worse than the first fourteen pages of Burned? The remaining 429 pages.

I should have given up after those fourteen pages.
But I didn’t.


The first fourteen pages of this book ruined one of my favourite characters. The remaining couple of hundred pages mutilate Barrons’ corpse.

I think Moning has lost her interest in Mac and Barrons and chose to come back to them due to popular demand.  MacKayla Lane, her strongest and best character, is reduced to a commentator of things happening around her. Moning gives us excuses for this throughout the book, but it doesn’t make it any better, especially when she turns Mac into nothing more than a sex-obsessed voyeur.  Barrons is something of a comic relief, with only Mac reminding us of his former glory.

With severe dilution of characters, all the faults of the book shined ever so brightly. There’s actually no plot whatsoever. And excuses Moning uses for plot are so poorly executed you can mistake them for plot only if you’re looking for one. The pace is jumbled and you actually get to see when Moning decided that it was time for some character development. My ass. Also, seeing WTF in a book as a part of internal monologue (three times!!!) really pisses me off.

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While I was reading Burned I had my suspicions that Moning made her decisions while keeping in mind the public outcry following Iced and she decided to please the fans. Or try to. Having finished the book, I’m almost certain that most of her decisions were made in order to please the masses so that book sales would be massive.

Even if this is true (maybe more so?), Burned is still a bad book, and sadly I must say goodbye.


Fourteen Pages

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 pages to ruin one of my favourite characters.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 pages to make me question my opinions

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 pages to make me wish there was such a thing as an altar of Gods of Wasted Ink and Paper on which I could sacrifice them. And this is the worst. I don’t hate books. There are books I loathe, abhor and/or dislike. I don’t hate books. But the first fourteen pages of Karen Marie Moning’s Burned made me want to start a little fire with them. I cannot even explain how sad and disappointed I am, how wrong I was.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 little pages ruined the entire Fever Series.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 pages turned Jericho Barrons into an asshole. Into one of those male characters I detest.


New In – Unboxing

WARNING: Self-indulgent post ahead!

Shit. I haven’t been this excited about a book since 2010, when I got the news about the publication of CryoBurn. I’ve marked the 20th of January in my calendar to make sure I don’t forget to order Burned (Fever 7). I’ve reread Fever 1-5 recently, however Iced is a bit blurry so… what the hell, it’s only 5 pounds. I knew Real Books 2015 were going to cost me.

Thoughts on the  Fever Series can be seen here, here and here.

I’m currently reading The Earthsea Quartet and it’s going to take me a while before I get back to the Fever Series. But I cannot curb my enthusiasm so I’m gonna do what I’ve seen done on fashion, beauty and tech blogs.

I don’t think buying any thing can be as exciting as buying a new book. It doesn’t wear off. It’s not like a dress which becomes old after you’ve worn it a few times. It’s not a smartphone which is new and exciting for approximately three minutes. A book is the ultimate shopping thrill and, as such, deserves a New In/Unboxing post more than any other product.

I’m not unpacking a product here. I’m unpacking an entire world, a world of monsters and those who fight them. Hey, it’s Jericho Barrons I’m unpacking here! After four long years, Jericho is baaaack!!! How fucking awesome is that??? Yay!

The box itself was unimpressive and I must say that it’s general shabbiness was slightly alarming at first. It was, however, easy to open, which made the process a bit anticlimactic.

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Book extraction went smoothly, and as you can see below upon extraction I was assailed by the abundance of faceless male torsos with lame tattoos . While this is a problem with the paperback, it is less daunting with the hardcover.

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Hardcovers are difficult to carry around and are more pricey,  the before and after photos clearly show the benefits. The torso can be easily discarded, making the book appropriate for public reading.

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Please, let me park my own car in front of your pink house.

Erotic fiction or adult fiction or watchamacallit, should not necessarily put me through an entire page about a single kiss or twenty pages about one coitus. The anatomy of a kiss is not something I’m interested in. I’m aware that it includes lips, tongue and sometimes teeth. I would prefer if you didn’t get all naturalistic on my ass. Or on your characters’ asses.

What you show me is more important than what you write. I find it terribly obtrusive when you pause to write: She was sexually attracted to him because __________________. Or: He wanted to have sex with her because _______________.

A good book tells you there’s a pink house and lets you paint some of the finishing touches, maybe choose the roof style, park your own car out front. (KMM, DarkFever)

Keep one thing in mind: Context is King.

fanfiction vs porn

You should practice omissiontiming and dosage which are so sparse as of recently. The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning is the best example of how to do this (even though her Highlander Series is lacking in this respect).

Karen Marie Moning is more than an author, she’s a dealer. She has the merchandise, she is the only one who can supply you with it, and she knows just how much you need to keep you hooked, wanting more.  When Jericho and MacKayla hook up (physically) KMM made it work for another thousand pages or so.

Normally, once the protagonists get together, most contemporary fiction (YA, romance, erotic fiction and other assorted genres) lose some or all appeal. This is because your primary focus is on the (sexual) relationship, with blatant disregard of plot and character development, and your inability (or unwillingness) to omit, time and dose. And then you are forced to put your characters into ridiculous situations, create unnecessary conflict in a poor attempt to keep the interest of the reader.

Even after reading a whole big bunch of Gulity Pleasure/Cheap Thrill (GPCT) books, Jerricho Barrons remains my one and only GPCT bookcrush. He’s not there all the time. Sometimes he shows up once in a few hundred pages, but when Jericho shows up…Well, read between the lines.

Barrons has something the rest of us don’t have. I don’t know what it is, but I feel it all the time, especially when we’re standing close. Beneath the expensive clothes, unplaceable accent, and cultured veneer, there’s something that never crawled all the way out of the swamp. It didn’t want to. It likes it there. (KMM, BloodFever).

What are the right fuckin’ books, Will?

Whatever blows your hair back.

Whether it’s a YA or a James Joyce novel, if it blows your hair back – it’s the right fuckin’ book. The question remains: what kind of a ruffle does the book create?

  1. The ruffle which comes about every time you open said book.
  2. Ruffle which continues even after you’ve closed the book.
  3. Lifelong ruffle.

sparklyedward I love all ruffles, but my favourite is the number two ruffle. I love when a book overtakes my life, when it makes me smile just because I’m currently reading it. The anticipation of reading has an effect of sun on Edward Cullen’s skin.

It’s hard to explain this temporary symbiosis between life and book. It is even harder to explain why it happens with some books, which are “objectively” not good, and not with masterpieces. The ruffle has nothing to do with plot, and it has everything to do with gut.

It’s the gut feeling that makes you act a little crazy. There’s no viable reason behind that insane grin you sport every time you think of that book. If someone asks you what in particular makes that book consume you, you cannot answer. It’s everything. It’s the general feel of the book. It’s just right for you. It’s beyond reason, which makes it so much better.

I often tried to capture this feeling, and I failed almost as often. I think the only review in which I managed to explain what I truly feel about a book is my review of The Song of Achilles. But it wasn’t such a big problem to do that because the book is amazing in every aspect. It’s harder to explain the reasons behind mildly obsessive behaviour in connection to Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series and Sylvia Day’s Renegade Angels. Sure, Jericho Barrons is an awesome character and his limited presence in the books is perfectly distributed. Yeah, female characters like Vashti make for a good book. But still, those reasons cannot really explain that gut feeling, the je ne sais pas quality of a good book ruffle.

I started with Good Will Hunting, so it is only appopriate to end with it to illustrate the general state of my mind when I’m having a book ruffle.


Have you recently had a good book ruffle?

First Grave on the Right Review

This book was indirectly recommended to me by Karen Marie Moning and I thought to myself: Why not?


So here I am some 10 days and 250 pages later thinking it was not such a bad idea to heed Karen’s advice about checking it out. Mind you, First Grave on the Right is not Earth-shattering, perspective-shifting stuff. It’s a fun book with decent writing and a female lead who is not feeble and helpless. I think that all the sex-stuff was completely superfluous and we could have had a really decent book without it, however it’s not the basis of the story nor does it continuously plague every single page – it’s decent. That’s why my rating is 2,5/5 stars, because that’s what decency is.

My decent feelings about this decent book are somewhat made even more decent by the fact that Karen Marie Moning, author of the Fever Series which I adore, recommended it. It was hard not to notice the similarity between MacKayla Lane (Fever Series) and Charley Davidson (Grave Series). The lack of similarity between Jericho Barrons (Fever Series) and Reyes Farrow (Grave Series) didn’t really help. I know originality is to be celebrated, but come on – duplicating Barrons might be impossible but you should have tried Darynda. There in lies the catch. I think she did try, but failed to recreate the awesomeness that is Jericho Barrons.

I’d gotten lost in the comparisons. Time to reflect on the story – it’s shit really. The secret of Reyes is revealed to quickly (Jericho Barrons????), the background story wasn’t much of any interest. So you wonder, how the hell is this book decent? Well it’s just is. It’s your run-of-the-mill book which you may read and have fun with it, but not reading it will not make your life any emptier. I like Charley and I love the style in which the book is written because it perfectly reflects and augments Charley’s character. It’s just a fun book which did not try to kill me with its illiteracy and dodgy metaphors. So yeah, it’s decent and I’m off to read pt2.