Monday, January 17, 2011

Musings From Three Moning Maniacs


This review is written by 3 passionate reviewers who ‘caught the fever'
 and have no compulsion to search for Tylenol. Please join TRR reviewers, Belinda, Michelle R and Rho, as they share their thoughts on the second to the last book in Karen Marie Moning's Fever Series.




Michelle:

Ok girlies, we have to start by rating DREAMFEVER. Given the number of times I've read it and the fact that I think at this point the whole book is highlighted, I'm going with FIVE STARS.

Rho:

5 stars for me too. I loved this entire series! Every book has gotten better for me than the last.

Me:

Without having to even think, hands down the book's a VERY strong five stars. If I could, I'd give it more because it completely blew me away. I'm totally with you, Rho, on each book getting better and better. Just when I think the series has reached perfection, the author releases a new book filled with such amazing twists, turns and my personal favorite, sexual tension that it leaves me speechless. That's what DREAMFEVER did for me. Left me speechless, especially that cliffhanger!!

Rho:

Who's your favorite character thus far and why?

Let me go first. That's a hard one for me to answer. I love Mac. I love what she's done, how far she's come, and the fact that she's not realized fully who she is. But I think I have to go with Jericho Barrons being my favorite character. He's got questionable ethics, but I think once you've earned his loyalty, there's not much he wouldn't do for you. Who knows what he truly is, but he's sexy, smart, fiercely protective, and he loves Mac. Yeah, I said it. He does. I don't care who doesn't believe it, even if that's him. He. Loves. Her. And that's that! LOL

Me:

*sigh* My favorite character is definitely Barrons. There's something about that man that just calls to me, and I know he warns us against it and told us he's not that man but I just KNOW he's not as cold and cynical as he presents himself. There's something more to him, something softer, and I'm with you, Rho, that he loves Mac. That's been one of my favorite parts of this whole Fever experience -- watching him and Mac interact with one another. The tension, the "I'm keeping you at arm's length, Ms. Lane" but in the next moment "I'll do anything for you, Mac." For me, he has the ultimate bad boy mentality and as much as you want to hate him for some of the things he does, when he sets his sight on you, you can't help but be putty in his hands. For goodness sake, how can you not love a man who'll paint your nails??

Michelle R:

Most definitely Mac. I can personally relate to the bubble-life she led up until this point and the feeling of losing your equilibrium when that bubble pops. KMM wrote that disorientation and recovery well. Isn't it just amazing how much she has grown and changed physically, mentally and spiritually in such a short amount of time? It's only been months since she arrived in Dublin and look at her now. Not that I think she is through by any means. I expect the cliffhanger from DREAMFEVER is going to shake her world some more. But let's face it; anyone who can survive meeting the Unseelie princes as she did and come out stronger is going to be epic.

Rho:

I agree with you for the reasons stated above, but I gotta love my Barrons...well, most of the time!

Me:

If it wasn't for the fact that Jericho makes me purr and calls to that wild part of me, Michelle, I think Mac would have been my favorite character as well. I really identified with the depth of grief she experienced over the death of Alina and some of the insights she shares throughout the series I've completely loved. She's a fighter, one that regardless of what Hell throws at her doesn't curl up and die in a corner. You have to appreciate and respect that kind of character and strength.

Michelle:

*giggles and rolls her eyes* You two and your alpha men.

Me:

*sighs* What's not to love about them? *swoons into her chair with a goofy grin* If there's one thing you can say about Barrons, he definitely has being an Alpha male down to a science. In fact, *grabs a dictionary and starts flipping pages* yep, just what I thought... *shows page to Rho and Michelle* There he is under Alpha. *kisses the page before putting it away* So where were we?

Okay, I've got a question. What was your favorite scene in DREAMFEVER?

For me, there were a few but the one that sticks out is where Barrons and V'lane turn up the pressure and try to force Mac to choose between them at the abbey. There was so much going on in the scene, so much tension -- between Mac and Barrons (I died when V'lane turned up and interrupted them. What were they about to say to each other? Because the moment was definitely softening…) and between V'lane and Barrons (did anyone else laugh at Barrons' comments over the way V'lane was dressed? "Maybe you thought if you were more like me, she'd f**k you, too" LOL Classic Barrons.)

Michelle R:

That was certainly a highlight. Ok, let me think… It has to be when Barrons and Mac are dancing nekkid while he was "healing" her. It was such great fun to see Barrons cut loose and the two of them connect and have a great time together. I don't think Barrons has had much joy in his life. Not all-out, giddy joy. And I think he got a taste of that while Mac was out of her mind.

Rho:

My favorite was definitely when he was healing her with his umm...very delectable...skill set. Anyway, he says to her "Say My Name". OMG, I just wanted to melt in a puddle right there! *swoons* How can you NOT love that man!

Michelle:

Seriously, girls, in the last book I was pretty peeved at Jericho Z. Barrons, but in this one he was kind of getting on my good side. OK, I might have a small crush on the man. The problem is every time he gets tender and sweet, I come across another reason to doubt him. What do you think?

Rho:

Barrons is the guy that I love to hate! I think he cares for Mac more than he is comfortable with so he makes himself a butthead to keep himself from getting too close. But I have certainly become more fond of him as the series has progressed. I can't wait until we finally find out who or what he really is. We are going to find out, aren't we?

Michelle:

Oh, girl, we better! Not telling would be literary terrorism. *heading to Moning's website to confirm the author's promise of an answer to this all important question*

Rho:

You better believe it!

Me:

So while we're on the subject of Barrons, I have to say it's killing me that I still have no clue what he is. Can you believe it? We just finished the fourth book and the suspense is killing me. All I know is the "man" is extremely powerful, just about everything and one is scared of him and he gets my blood pumping with that sexy arrogance of his. But that's it? What do you girls think he is? For a while, I thought the Unseelie King or maybe even his son but that doesn't feel right. I thought with all the "wolfish" comments that he was a werewolf or some kind of shifter, but hmmm I don't know. He could possibly be Cruce because he has those cuffs and can navigate the mirrors or he may be the leader of a secret royal guard. *laughs* Yesterday I was positive he was one of the 13 evil Dark Druids from the Highlander series until I realized he wasn't a spirit. It's driving me crazy not knowing!!

Michelle:

Just one of the great mysteries KMM left for the final installment. *counts the days on her fingers*

Rho:

What do you think the best thing about this series is? For me, it's the whole world that KMM has built. From the transition of Mac's character to all secrets and lore uncovered with each page I turn. It's just fantastic for me from beginning to end!

Michelle R:

A few things come to mind. First off, the development of Mac as a whole. I can also say I thought KMM"s secret world building within Dublin rivaled my love of Harry Potter's world inside London. But in the end, my favorite thing about the series was how she kept the mysteries so intriguing. The way she foreshadowed and dropped clues showed she really worked through the entire series before ever typing that first sentence. It's been like reading a Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christy novel in the way I wanted to slap my head and say, "How did I miss that?"

Rho:

Don't you love how KMM feeds you these juicy little tidbits that make things go a certain direction and then she trips you up again at the next turn? I love the way the author's mind works, but for the life of me, I can't figure out how this last book is going to go down. I think that's how it appeals to me, it makes me want to think, discuss, and then read all over again!

Me:

I'm with you both on this one. I loved the incredible way KMM built her world and the attention to detail she gave it. I loved that almost instantly the story stopped being just words on a page and I could "see" everything in my mind. Each book is written in a way that I'm able to become part of the story and the emotions that I find in the characters make the books an unforgettable experience. And those tidbits?? They drove me nuts but was what made the series perfect. Here I am ready to go into SHADOWFEVER with a LONG list of questions because I have no idea where the story's going to twist next. Nothing is what it seems, I don't know who exactly to trust and every theory I "try" to make gets blown out of the water. LOL For goodness' sakes, I'm in deep lust for Barrons and I still have no idea who he is… He could be the ultimate evil for all I know and in any other series not knowing a character by book 5 would be a turn off. But the author has me 100% hooked and begging…pleading for more. You have to admit KMM is a genius!!

Michelle:

That's why they call us "Moning Maniacs".

Me:

Other than the torturous cliffhanger at the end and what Barrons is, what are some of the questions you'll be taking with you in SHADOWFEVER?

*whips out a list that could almost rival Santa's and watches it unfold, hit the ground, roll across the floor and out the door*

I think for me I'd love to know who Mac's father was because Barrons turned the tables on her by asking what she was in DREAMFEVER. She has these incredible powers, which she's repeatedly been told she hasn't begun to understand, and the Sinsar Dubh is tracking her. It may not be relevant, but what if it is? I want to know more about why there's so much animosity between V'lane and Barrons, and I want to know more about this prophecy of Mac and her influence on the world. And of course, because I'm the hopeless romantic -- will Mac and Barrons get together in the end? Will all that sexual tension come to fruition? *snorts* I just had the most bizarre image in my mind -- Barrons and Mac living happily ever after in suburban bliss with a white picket fence, 2.5 kids and golden retriever named Fido. Can you imagine Barrons driving his kids to soccer practice in a minivan and working a 9 to 5 desk job? *shakes head* That's an image I never want to see -- a domesticated Barrons *giggles*

Michelle R:

Easy. What is Barrons and why in the world is everyone afraid of him, even the shades? After that, I wish I knew what each of the key players want the darn book for! Good? Evil? Christmas shopping? Something to do on the beach when it warms up? Come on!

Rho:

"Who is Barrons" is definitely at the top of my list. No matter what, it won't make me love him any less *sigh* Also, who is the beast? And last but not least, who is MacKayla Lane REALLY?

Michelle:

For anyone who is new to the series, what piece of advice would you give them? I'd say that you *can* start with this book, but you'll regret it. Start with book one, and know that Karen Marie Moning loves to foreshadow.

Me:

*gasp* Oh I would definitely suggest reading from the beginning with DARKFEVER. Starting with DREAMFEVER would be like watching your favorite movie in the last few minutes. Like starting a delicious piece of decadent gourmet chocolate cake when there's only one bite left. Like starting a slow dance with the guy you're hot for when there's only a few bars left of the song!! Sure it may be thrilling but you miss out on the FULL experience -- the buildup. This is a series to savor and enjoy, you'd be doing yourself a major disservice if you cheated yourself.

Rho:

I would say use the glossary in the back of all the books. They hold a wealth of information. There are a lot of terms and objects introduced in the books and you get a lot more information from reading that. I would also advise that you do not start these if you have serious engagements coming up. Once you start, you are likely to be hooked, you'll want a clear schedule.

Michelle:

Oh girl. I totally agree. It was the only bad part about reading it on E-book. I wished I could easily flip to the glossary to remember what all we knew about someone or something and flip back.

Rho:

I know. I bookmarked it so I could easily go back in forth. I don't think all of my books had Tables of Contents. Also, if you listen to it on audio, that glossary is not there, I listened to them on this second go around and I noticed that.

Michelle:

I didn't even think to bookmark it! That is such a great idea.

Me:

Those glossaries are a godsend!! I have such a bad memory sometimes and nothing bugs me more when I forget something and have to stop and try to remember it. A quick look keeps me up to speed and it's back into the story I go. I just recently got a Kindle, so this read around, I got the books in ebook form and LOVED that I was able to highlight my favorite parts so easily. Now whenever I want to look over the different scenes, I don't have to flip through the book looking for them.

For those new to the series, I'd also say to just go and enjoy the story. Let yourself connect with the characters and savor each of the moments. Don't be surprised when you get caught up and lose track of time because believe me, it's going to happen. This is an incredible series, one that is highly addictive so don't feel bad when your house looks like a hurricane hit it and your family looks a little neglected. LOL


And there you have it, dear readers. Just days before SHADOWFEVER, the fifth and final book in the Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning, three simple girls and self confessed Moning Maniacs proclaim the undeniable bliss and totally torturous literary brilliance that is DREAMFEVER. If you haven't already, it's time. "Catch The Fever!"


Reviewed by Belinda, Michelle R and Rho for The Romance Reviews