For the seventh book in a series — 14th if you count the indirectly related stories in Monica Marie Moning’s other books — “Burned” does a spectacular job of upholding the thrill and enjoyment of its predecessors without getting stale. From the beginning, characters such as the dark and dangerously alluring Jericho Barrons have stressed the value of adaptability, particularly in post-apocalyptic Dublin. As the fabric of reality continues to unravel, that holds true now more than ever. And it makes predicting the outcome frustratingly impossible.
While the series has mostly been from the perspective of the girly Mackayla Lane or the spitfire Dani O’Malley, this installment offers chapters from several different points of view: Christian, Jada, the Unseelie King and Jericho. It can be tricky to remember everyone’s schemes and who’s on which side for the moment, but trying to figure out what they’re all after is half the fun. Watching them sacrifice bits of their soul to get what they want is the other part.
Anyone who thought Mac’s battle against the Unseelie King’s evil sentient book couldn’t be more wrong; it’s still there, begging her to give up the last bits of light in her heart. And just as when she was hunting down the physical tome, the copy whispering in her mind is more powerful than it led her to believe. Slaying evil and saving the world isn’t so easy when you start blacking out and killing innocents who stray too close. Mac’s in a familiarly unpleasant position, having to choose what she can live with and what she can’t live without.
It’s almost sad to see how the characters have changed, making us long for earlier books when Mac used childish expressions instead of swear words and Dani butchered the English language because she’s unstoppable and only 14. But lighter characters only exist when there’s a handful of dangers in the shadows and one major evil roaming the streets, causing chaos. In this time of small black holes devouring reality, new and more frightening Unseelie staking claims on our world, whispers of darkness in every ear and betrayals all around, our heroes and heroines have to adapt. Their paths get a little darker with each regrettably necessary step, and we can’t help but wonder if the world will ever be as light and wonderful as it is in Mac’s fading memory.
Moning has released the titles of the next two books in the series, “Feverborn” (expected publication October 2015) and “Feversong” (expected publication 2016).
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