If you have never been emotionally invested in a book, series or characters you should probably avoid this post. Or, if you are someone who proclaims that your favorite author can do no wrong and cannot be questioned – please move along. This is going to be a long-winded rant. You’ve been warned.
The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning is something special. Darkfever (#1) is fun and introduced us to some great characters. By the time we reached Shadowfever (#5), we knew that there was nothing in urban fantasy like Mac, Barrons and this story. KMM had built a world that was terrifying, passionate and funny with heart pounding action. Over five books, we rooted for Mac to get her happy ending and for Barrons to admit what he felt. They fought tooth and nail to beat the Sinsar Dubh and become the most fiery of couples. It was spectacular.
Moning said that she had more story to tell and that ICED would be published as a continuation of this world but with Dani O’Malley as the MC (Dani O’Malley #1 was the series coding.) The cover showed Dani surrounded by the iced city of Dublin. It immediately went onto my “to read” list but I didn’t prioritize it. Why? Because Dani was a 14-year-old, feck swearing, candy bar eating bundle of energy that could be annoying. Even after I started reading some worrisome reviews from people I trust, I still planned to read it eventually. (Worrisome meaning that grown men were making it clear that they were sexually attracted to a 14-year-old girl. That’s called pedophilia my friends and you can spin it any way you want but it’s wrong.) Yet, still I was going to read it. Because I wanted to have faith in KMM.
The paperback version of Iced came out and what appeared before my eyes? A bare-chested man a la cheesy romance novels. A story led by a 14-year-old girl has a half-naked man on the cover? After the uproar over the pedos in Iced, KMM started backtracking. And, then telling people that they weren’t pedos but they read it wrong. Ummm, no.
Then the cover of Burned was released. Basically an orange version of the blue bare chested man from Iced. It was coded as “Fever #7 / Dani O’Malley #2” and in some cases just “Fever #7”. Iced was re-coded as “Fever #6 / DOM #1”. KMM says Mac and Barrons are back in a big way for Burned. Warning Bells going off everywhere.
Still, I was going to read both Iced and Burned. I was even looking forward to it because I love Mac and Barrons together.
But then the reviews. I specifically went looking for spoilers because I just didn’t want to be disappointed. I was hoping that someone would motivate me to read these and fall back in love with Moning’s world. It didn’t happen that way. What I found from others – disappointment, disbelief and in some cases, anger.
This morning I created a new virtual bookshelf titled “I GIVE UP”. It was specifically created for these two books (although I’m sadly sure I’ll add more along the way).
Why am I giving up? Because reading Iced and / or Burned will ruin the Fever series for me. At this point there is no question about it. KMM spent 5 books building this world and allowing us to fall in love with these characters. People are invested in Mac as a person and Barrons as a, well, SOB that you can’t help but love. Now, as an author, you choose to reuse story lines that were solidly told and finished by the end of Shadowfever. And, you basically ruin Mac, the chemistry between these two and all that you worked for. You cheat Dani out of years of her own story and give Mac the lead in what should be Dani’s book.
As a reader and a fan, I 100% agree that an author can and should write the story that they want. But, as a reader and a fan, I have the 100% right to disagree with that direction by choosing not to read it. For the rest of my life I want to be able to read the Fever series and enjoy it. To do that I’ve decided that it ends with Shadowfever and any others are those that cannot be named.