Karen Marie Moning
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Brilliance Audio
Release Date
January 2015
Book 7 of Fever
Action/Adventure Romance, Fantasy Romance, Paranormal with Romantic Elements, Urban Fantasy

It's easy to walk away from lies. Power is another thing.

MacKayla Lane would do anything to save the home she loves. A gifted sidhe-seer, she's already fought and defeated the deadly Sinsar Dubh—an ancient book of terrible evil—yet its hold on her has never been stronger.

When the wall that protected humans from the seductive, insatiable Fae was destroyed on Halloween, long-imprisoned immortals ravaged the planet. Now Dublin is a war zone with factions battling for control. As the city heats up and the ice left by the Hoar Frost King melts, tempers flare, passions run red-hot, and dangerous lines get crossed.

Seelie and Unseelie vie for power against nine ancient immortals who have governed Dublin for millennia; a rival band of sidhe-seers invades the city, determined to claim it for their own; Mac's former protégé and best friend, Dani "Mega" O'Malley, is now her fierce enemy; and even more urgent, Highland druid Christian MacKeltar has been captured by the Crimson Hag and is being driven deeper into Unseelie madness with each passing day. The only one Mac can depend on is the powerful, dangerous immortal Jericho Barrons, but even their fiery bond is tested by betrayal.

It's a world where staying alive is a constant struggle, the line between good and evil gets blurred, and every alliance comes at a price. In an epic battle against dark forces, Mac must decide who she can trust, and what her survival is ultimately worth.

Book Review by BJ (reviewer)
Mar 16, 2015   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
130 people found the following review helpful
Narration by Phil Gigante and Natalie Ross

4 "Everything Changes" Stars for the story and 5+ "My All-Time Favorite Narration Style" Stars for the narration!

Well, BURNED definitely was a shocker, I really had such a different vision for where this story was going. From the very beginning, the opening scene rendered me speechless. It had me wondering if I was about to encounter a Dallas style dream scene (those of you that are old enough to remember the 80s TV Show, Dallas, will know what I mean--for those of you who are not, that's where an entire season of a very popular, long-running TV show was written off as a dream). While that's not really where KMM takes BURNED, it does ultimately have a vastly different feel from Iced.

In that regard, whereas Iced primarily focused on Dani, Ryodan and a number of potential other love interests for the 14 year-old Dani, who inevitably is bound to grow up over the course of the Fever Series, including Christian and Dancer, BURNED takes a step back and once again centers around Mac and Barrons, of course, assisted by a whole host of other characters. Although not what I had anticipated, KMM nonetheless, being the incredibly creative and talented writer that she is, did keep me constantly engaged with the fast-paced action and guessing with the fantastic suspense. Additionally, with Mac and Barrons at the helm, BURNED had the added advantage of amping up the steam level to be more commensurate with KMM's signature burning hot sex scenes from Books 1-5 of the Fever Series.

The struggle between good and evil, Seelie and Unseelie, sidhe-seers, Faes and other immortals continues in BURNED. Although the icy touches left behind by the Hoar Frost King are starting to defrost, Dublin, and in fact the world, remains at war as a whole host of non-humans continue to battle for control and new threats begin to emerge.

Notwithstanding that not that much time has passed, Dani is finally older. The way KMM incorporates this into the plot is quite interesting and unexpected. The older Dani is different though, in more ways than her age. Which calls for yet another one of KMM's famously, creative plot-twists which raises its own host of wrinkles.

Although there are a number of action sequences and immediate threats to resolve, the one central one that seems to drive most of BURNED is the saving of Christian MacKeltar from the Crimson Hag. For their own individual reasons, a number of characters, including Mac, Barrons, Ryodan, the Highland druids, and even some new characters, come together in an effort to accomplish this goal.

Though Mac has previously defeated the evil book called the Sinsar Dubh, it still continues to thrust its own unique blend of influence on her and even provides her with an arguably helpful super power. Barrons and Mac's relationship is as hot as ever, but when one of their past encounters that had previously been unknown to Mac is revealed, it challenges their fragile trusted alliance to a whole new level.

It is no secret that I have long been a fan of the power narration duo of Phil Gigante and Natalie Ross. Having fallen in love with their prior narrations of the Fever Series (books 4-6, as the first 3 books have a different narrator), I knew I had to listen to, rather than read BURNED. KMM's books are great all on their own, but when you factor in the narration by this duo, it really elevates the suspense, intensity and provocative nature of these books.

For those of you who have not had the pleasure to experience any of their narrations yet, let me start by saying that their performances in the Fever Series are really more akin to audio theater, than your standard romance or UF/PNR audiobook narration. In that respect, Mr. Gigante performs all of the male dialogues and Ms. Ross the female ones (rather than the more standard division of audiobook narration where the narrators alternate chapters based on the sex of the character's POV). This approach, especially when you factor in the special sound effects (like an echo effect that allows you to easily distinguish when the characters are speaking telepathically rather than out loud), provides an even more impressive experience than reading alone, reminding me of what listening to a summer action-packed blockbuster movie feels like.

Phil Gigante's sexy baritone is dreamy and commanding. I really don't think any other narrator could pay the ultra alpha heroes of Barrons and Ryodan justice. His voice just drips raw power and sex appeal. Perfectly done, especially when you consider that Mr. Gigante is even able to impart each of these similarly styled heroes with his own nuanced intonations, so that they can be easily distinguished from one another. Mr. Gigante also does a fantastic job of voicing the evil Sinsar Dubh and other evil characters. Their menacing tone alone is enough to provoke fear. Then there are the multiple levels of accents, Scottish, Irish, etc. and even the younger sounding Dancer are performed to exactly match their personalities as written by KMM.

Natalie Ross is also amazing! From Mac's sexy, commanding southern American accented voice to Dani's super-fast Irish clipped quick speech, Ms. Ross cleverly performs KMM's creative female cast. Even new characters are imparted with just the right amount of differentiation, but yet true to character specific traits, such that there is no need to rely on dialogue tags. For example, the older Dani sounds quite different from the younger one and yet also maintains a sufficient sense of familiarity so that you could genuinely believe that it is the same, more aged character.

All in all, BURNED follows the theme of the prior Fever books, where the fight for power and survival is ever present, allegiances are fragile, passions run hot and mysteries abound. Moreover, the one-of-a-kind narration team of Phil Gigante and Natalie Ross, plus the special effects, make this a must listen!
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