High Voltage (Fever Series #10)

High Voltage (Fever Series #10)

by Karen Marie Moning

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Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Immortal Faerie and ancient feuds, secrets and sacrifices—a thrilling new chapter in the bestselling Fever series begins, featuring Dani, Ryodan, and other beloved characters, as they battle to save Dublin from the rising of a terrifying evil determined to enslave the human race.
 
There is no action without consequence.
 
Dani O’Malley was nine years old when the delusional, sadistic Rowena transformed her into a ruthless killer. Years later, Dani is tough and hardened, yet achingly vulnerable and fiercely compassionate, living alone by her own exacting code. Despite the scars on her body, and driven by deeper ones carved into her soul, no one is more committed to protecting Dublin. By day she ensures the safety of those she rescues, by night she hunts evil, dispensing justice swiftly and without mercy, determined to give to those she cares for the peace she has never known.  
 
There is no power without price.
 
When the Faerie Queen used the dangerously powerful Song of Making to heal the world from the damage done by the Hoar Frost King, catastrophic magic seeped deep into the earth, giving rise to horrifying, unforeseen consequences—and now deadly enemies plot in the darkness, preparing to enslave the human race and unleash an ancient reign of Hell on Earth.
 
There is no future without sacrifice.
 
With the lethal, immortal Ryodan at her side, armed with the epic Sword of Light, Dani once again battles to save the world, but her past comes back to haunt her with a vengeance, demanding an unspeakable price for the power she needs to save the human race. And no one—not even Ryodan, who would move the very stars for her—can save her this time.

Praise for High Voltage

“A romance wrapped up in a thrilling sci-fi novel—what more could you want?”PopSugar

“If you’ve never read a Karen Marie Moning book before, you’re missing out. Her heroines alone are worth the read. . . . Despite being set in a dystopian world filled with magic and fae, the obstacles that these characters go through are very much humanlike. . . . Cannot wait to see where [she] takes this series next.”—Under the Covers 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399593680
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/24/2018
Series: Fever Series , #10
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 32,743
Product dimensions: 4.15(w) x 6.86(h) x 1.02(d)

About the Author

Karen Marie Moning is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fever series, featuring MacKayla Lane, and the award-winning Highlander series. She has a bachelor’s degree in society and law from Purdue University.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

The pupil in denial; I can’t take my eyes off of you

“I smell bones!” Shazam exploded, whiskers bristling with excitement. “Bones everywhere. Thousands and thousands of them! You take me to all the best places, Yi-­yi!” He slanted me an adoring look before launching himself at the earth and digging, sending tufts of grass and dirt flying.

“Stop digging,” I exclaimed. “You can’t eat those bones.”

“Can, too. Watch,” came the muffled voice.

“No, I mean, you’re not allowed to eat them,” I clarified.

He ignored me. Dirt continued to fly, mounding rapidly behind him.

“Shazam, I mean it. You promised to obey my rules. My expects,” I reminded, using his often-­stilted manner of speaking, “bars on your cage.”

Head buried in the dirt, he said in a muffled voice, “That was then. This is now. Then, I didn’t have a home.”

“Shazam,” I said in the warning tone I knew he hated. But heeded.

Pudgy body wedged halfway into his hole, my Hel-­Cat stiffened and inched out—­exceedingly slowly and begrudgingly—­and glared at me. Dirt dusted his broad nose, his silver whiskers, and clung to his long, silver-­smoke ruff. He sneezed violently, licked his nose then scrubbed it with a furious paw. “But they’re bones, tiny red. They’re already dead. I’m not killing them. You said I couldn’t kill anything. You didn’t say I couldn’t eat things that were dead.” His eyes narrowed to violet slits. “You boffle­scate your expects. You bofflescate my head. Who even does that?”

Bofflescate wasn’t a word I knew—­he had many of those—­but I intuited the meaning. “These bones are different. They matter to humans. We bury them in certain places for a reason.”

He spoke slowly and carefully, as if addressing a complete idiot. “Me, too. So they’re easy to find when I’m hungry.”

I shook my head, a smile tugging at my lips. “No. These are the bones of people we care about.” I gestured at the dark silhouettes of gravestones that stretched for acres around us. “We don’t eat them, we bury them so—­”

“But nobody’s doing things with them and they’re rotting!” he wailed. Slumping on his haunches, he splayed his front paws around his pudgy white belly. “You give bones. I find bones. Same thing. One good reason why I can’t eat them,” he demanded.

I debated trying to explain human burial rituals to him, but many of our traditions defied his comprehension. A bone was a bone was a bone. Convincing him that graveyard bones carried an emotional and spiritual attachment to humans, unlike the cow or pig bones I sometimes brought him, could take all night, and leave him just as bewildered as he’d begun. And me exhausted.

I gave him the only answer that worked at a time like this. The answer I’d hated as a kid. “Because I said so.”

He rose to his full height, arched his back and hissed at me, baring sharp fangs and a long black-­tipped tongue.

I returned his snarl. With Shazam, I didn’t dare yield or say “just one bone, just this time” because in his mind if a rule could be violated once, it was no longer a rule and never would be again. Unless, of course, it worked in his favor.

His eyes turned flinty.

Mine cooled to emerald ice.

He cut me a look of scathing rebuke.

I switched tactics and flayed him with an expression of reproach and disappointment.

His violet eyes widened as if I’d struck him. He shuddered dramatically, toppled over, collapsed on his back, and began to weep with great, hiccupping sobs, clutching his paws to his eyes.

I sighed. This was my best friend—­the last remaining Hel-­Cat in existence. Powerful, often brilliant beyond comprehension, most of the time he was a wildly emotional hot mess. I adored him. Sometimes, when he flashed like wildfire between feral and neurotic, feeling every facet of his life so intensely, I saw myself as a kid—­too much to handle.

I’d been kept in a cage for most of my childhood.

I didn’t own a cage and never would.

I moved across the damp grass, sank down beside the sobbing, shaggy-­pelted chimera with traits of an Iberian lynx and the supple lazy posture of a koala bear, and tugged the fifty-­pound beast toward me. The moment I touched him, he howled bloody murder and began to growl, then made himself stiff, unwieldy, and mysteriously heavier. With all four legs sticking straight up in the air, sharp black claws extended, spine rigid, hoisting a hostile hyena onto my lap might have been easier.

He stopped growling long enough to snap, “Don’t touch me. Find your own dimension. You’re cramping my space.” Then he collapsed across my legs and his head lolled back. “Comb my neck, it’s tangled again,” he wailed.

I bit my lip to keep from laughing; Shazam got his feelings hurt easily in this state. Using my nails, I groomed the thick pelt of his chin, his shaggy neck, and around behind his ears until I heard a deep, contented rumble in his chest.

We sprawled in the grass in the graveyard behind Arlington Abbey, beneath a cobalt sky glittering with rose-­gold stars and a full amber moon, enjoying the moment. It was the middle of March but fat-­blossomed velvety poppies bobbed in nearby urns, and exotic, trellised roses adorned graves, scenting the night air with indefinable Fae fragrances. A night symphony of crickets and frogs filled the air.

Dublin’s climate had been uncharacteristically mild since the queen of the Fae used the Song of Making to heal our world last November. We’d had no winter; a long, fertile spring had morphed seamlessly into an extraordinary summer, splashed with brilliant Fae colors and new species of plants.

There’d been little peace in my life. I tended to find myself embroiled in one melodrama after the next but, aside from a broken heart that wasn’t healing on the timetable I would have preferred, life was good. I had Shazam, I had friends, I would heal and there was endless potential for new adventures once I did.

Eventually the Hel-­Cat squinted a lavender eye open and peered up at me. I caught my breath. There was nothing feral or neurotic in his gaze now, only an ancient wisdom wed to remote, timeless-­as-­the-­stars patience. I’d learned to listen carefully when he looked at me like this.

“Remains of the one who danced you into love are in the ground, Yi-­yi. That’s why you don’t want me to eat the bones. Do what you came for. I will hunt only the tasty night moths.” Smirking, he added, “And I will kill as you do—­with love.” He surged from my lap in a suspiciously graceful leap, given the heft of his body, and bounded into the darkness beyond the graves.

I rolled my eyes as he vanished. I’d been trained to kill at the age of nine. Before then I’d killed without training. Shortly after I rescued Shazam from Planet X, he asked how my killing was different from the killing I’d forbidden him to do, aside from me wasting food by not eating my prey. I told him that when I killed, it wasn’t with the hatred that once blazed in my heart, but with love for the world I was trying to protect. I did it only when necessary, as quickly and mercifully as possible. Killing with violence in your heart, or worse, a complete dearth of emotion, made you a killer, plain and simple. Killing because it had to be done, because there was no other way and it was the right thing to do, made you a necessary weapon.

Do what you came here for. I wasn’t sure what that was. Nothing of Dancer remained in this macabre memorial to the dead behind Arlington Abbey. I found that a terrible thought—­that his essence might be trapped in a box buried beneath the dirt. When I die, cremate me and cast me to the stars.

Still, I pushed to my feet, skirted a bank of low hedges and wide planters, and moved to stand at the foot of his grave.

Time slid away; it was four months ago and I was kissing Dancer’s cold lips and closing the lid of his casket.

God, I missed him.

We’d played with the innocence and impunity of kids who believed themselves immortal (at least I had), conquering video games, watching movies, dreaming together about what our futures might hold, gorging on ice cream and candy and sodas, racing out into the night in search of adventure.

I smiled faintly. We’d found plenty. We’d plunged into life with similar enthusiasm and devil-­may-­care bravado. Caring, thoughtful, and brilliant, he’d been one of only two people I’ve ever met that I thought was as smart, possibly smarter, than me.

We’d grown up, become lovers.

Dancer Elias Garrick, never the sidekick, always the hero.

I shoved my hands into my pockets and stared down. I’m not a woman who often looks back. I measure actions by results, and peering into the past rarely yields any. Reflecting on something that hurts you only prolongs your pain, and when death is involved, the pain is often compounded by a relentless sense of guilt that attacks the moment you start to heal, as if duration of grief somehow proves the depth of your love for the person you lost.

If that were true, I’d have to grieve Dancer forever.

Born with a flawed heart, he’d lived fearlessly. The unfairly penalized muscle in his chest had given out on him before he’d turned eighteen, while I was sleeping next to him in bed. I’d woken after a night of lovemaking to find him forever gone.

I’d melted down. It got ugly. My friends got me through it.

Guilt had definitely led me here, but not spawned by lack of grief. A sheer abundance of it made me do something stupid last night.

I tried to erase my pain in another man’s bed. It had seemed like a good idea at the time.

It hadn’t worked. The first man I’d had sex with taught me how beautiful it was.

The second man had shown me how ugly it could be.

“I miss you,” I whispered to his grave, and waited.

Shortly after he died, he spoke to me twice. I’d felt his presence, as if he was standing right there behind me, sunshine on my shoulders, reaching through the slipstream to comfort and counsel me.

A few weeks ago, however, I’d become aware that intangible warmth was gone—­vanished while I slept—­and I knew in my gut he’d moved on. Somehow he’d managed to linger in the ether to make sure I was all right and when he was satisfied, he’d raced off for the next grand adventure.

As he should have.

As we all should when it’s our time.

That thought didn’t make me feel any better. Thoughts rarely do. The heart has its own mind, measures its own time, and if it consults with the brain, doesn’t always heed the advice. My brain was screaming—­stop hurting already. To a deaf audience.

I’d never fully grasped the meaning of the word “forever” before. I’d lost my mom long before she died. It wasn’t the same. I’d grieved her while she’d still been living.

But the idea that I would never see Dancer again was more than I could stand. All I had left of him were memories and we’d not had time to make nearly enough.

My gaze drifted to the headstone east of his marker. jo brennan. We’d laid another of my friends to rest beside him. I smiled faintly, remembering her breaking into my dungeon cell to save me. We hadn’t always gotten along but she’d been a genuine, good constant in my life and didn’t deserve to die the way she did.

alina mckenna lane. Mac’s sister was buried beside her. There’d been so much death in my life.

“All the more reason to live,” came the deep, exotically accented growl from behind me. I could hear traces of many languages in it, a consensus of none.

I bristled. Not many people can sneak up on me without my preternatural senses kicking into high alert. Ryodan defies the odds in countless, irritating ways. “Stay out of my head.”

“I wasn’t in it. Didn’t need to be. When humans stand at graves, they brood.” He was beside me then, in that sudden, silent, eerie way of his.

Humans, he’d said. Whatever Ryodan was, he wasn’t one of those and he’d stopped making any effort to conceal it from me. Whether urbane, sophisticated man or black-­skinned, fanged beast, he was all the supers I was, plus an awe-­inspiring, aggravating assortment of others. When I was young, I’d felt like Sarah from the movie Labyrinth, dashing around Dublin having grand adventures. Ryodan was Jareth, my Goblin King. I’d defied him at every turn, defining myself in opposition to him. I’d studied him, incorporating his ideologies and tactics into my own. Silverside I’d functioned by the code: WWRD? I’d never tell him that.

I turned and scowled up at him. Beautiful, cool, aloof man. Two things always happen to me whenever he shows up. I get an instant jolt of happiness, as if every cell in my body wakes up and is glad to see him. It pisses me off because my brain rarely agrees. Ryodan and I are enthusiastic foes, wary friends. I tell him things I don’t tell anyone else, and that offends me, too.

The second thing baffles me. I often feel like crying. I’ve wept on his flawless, crisp shirts more times than I care to remember.

“Because I understand,” he murmured, staring down at me with those glittering silver eyes. “And I can take it. I wasn’t sure about the happiness, though. Nice of you to clear that up.”

“What part of ‘stay out of my head’ didn’t you understand?”

“Your face, Dani. Everything you feel is on it. I rarely need to delve deeper.”

He’d glimpsed such raw emotion in me recently that I’d been avoiding him. As Jada, I was respected, feared. As Dani, I sometimes felt like I vied with Shazam for Hot Mess Poster Child of the Month.

I could only hope what happened last night was nowhere to be seen on my face. I’d never before experienced what an average woman with average strength contended with on a daily basis: physical vulnerability to the opposite sex. It had been humbling and horrifying and awakened a fierce compassion in me, making me even more protective of my city, especially women and children.

In bed with a stranger, my heart felt like it was going to explode. I’d tried to leave the man and that empty thing I was doing but the intensity of my emotions shorted out my sidhe-­seer strength, leaving me a frighteningly normal five-­foot-­ten woman who weighed in at 142, in a locked room with a six-­foot-­four, 240-­pound man.

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High Voltage 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 86 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I’ve been a huge fan of this series from the beginning. Karen Marie Moning is hands-down one of my favorite authors. High Voltage was such a fun read, it broke my heart at times, made me laugh out loud at others, and actually fist pump the air with happiness more than a few times. After waiting along with Ryoden, through all the previous stories, him and Dani at last get the love story deserved of these great characters. A love story unlike any other I’ve read before, with complicated twists and emotions, that just makes me want more. This incredible world KM Moning has created is so magical and scary, but there’s always light and joy. Her writing just grabs you and makes you feel as if this world is real, until you have to close the book for the night, or simply because there’s no more to read, and then try and find the patience of an immortal to wait for the next chapter or book in the series. I will try my best, but since I’m not immortal, by patience will most definitely be tried until I get to open the next book and return to this fantastic world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing! I was set to be disappointed and give up on the series all together. However, this book showed me why I feel in love with Karen Marie Moning' s books many years ago. This book has a beginning, middle, and end. A start and a finish point, no cliffhanger ending. This book kept me on the edge of my seat and provided the temporary escape that I needed. As a romantic at heart this book spoke to me on many volumes. A must read for those who love romance, enduring love, and strong heroins.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just like all her other books, I couldn't put it down. I love that I can never guess what's going to happen. The characters are so well developed that reading a new book is like getting to catch up with old friends. I've been reading these books as they've come out for years and still haven't learned how to not devour the entire thing as soon as I get it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely can not say enough how much I love this series! Each time a new book is released I start at the beginning of the series. Fell in love with Jericho Barrons from day one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's really hard to say what I loved about this book without giving away anything. Suffice to say, if you're a long time KMM fan, and loved Dani before, you'll love her move after reading this one. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Finished over 2 nights.........want so much more, but loooooved!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't know how Ms Moning keeps all the details of this series so organized, but she weaves the most complex stories. I always have to reread the previous book whenever a new book comes out. I wish someone would make a television series about her series. This is another exceptional book. I enjoyed the new twists in the series, and I can't wait for the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just when i think you can't top mac and barrons...there's dani and ryodan....and thanks for making me cry again with the dancer note!! Loved loved this book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely loved it!!! Big and epic as Danny has been from the start.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am so glad to have a book that has an actual ending of sorts from Karen Marie Moning. To be honest I have been kinda pissed at her for the last couple years. She has always been one of my favorite authors but I felt like she had left us hanging one too many times with this series. Way too much time between books and some didn’t move the story far enough long. It has been an frustrating However I really loved this book. We have watched Dani grow and mature. Her story really was epic and unexpected. I am looking forward to reading more stories about this world
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am blown away. I didn't think you could surpass the epic of epic love stories that was Mac and Barron's, no other has come close until NOW. Ryodan and Dani's story blew me away. Because of the depth you bring us to as the reader we actually FEEL it ALL ! we become part of the story. Thank you from the ? of my heart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And this is why I LOVE all things Karen Marie Moning! Just finished "High Voltage", and once again she brought it. Happy tears, sad tears, but it happens when you're so emotionally attached to characters. Thank you, Karen, for once again doing what you do so well! If you haven't read her books, you seriously don't know what you're missing...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After the first book in the Fever series I knew. I knew when new books from KMM came out I needed all day to read, devour them. When she told us she was going to write more for Dani I was psyched. Thrilled out of my mind. There was so much more to her journey and I needed to be there because, like so many of us, I am in the mega pod. Reflecting on it now, this one really feels like, even though you absolutely need the past books to fully understand and feel this one, that it exists on its own. She made me laugh, she made me cry (almost immediately and more than once, but only in beautiful, cathartic ways I promise), she made my heart hurt there was so much emotion, she wrote a love story, with a bit of action, a bit of mystery, but a love story first and foremost, which gives this one a different feel to every other book in the Fever world. For me, I didn’t miss the action because this story needed to be told. Its been simmering on the back burner for so long and the time—FINALLY—was right. She has said that where Mac needed to learn strength, Dani needed to learn love—both how to love and how to accept love. In that regard, KMM couldn’t have done any better. Without giving anything away…Ryodan…oh Ryodan. KMM said once that for all those who loved Barrons? Ryodan was going to eclipse him. As a full on Ryodan fan all the way, any day, this was not going to be a problem for me. But for those of you Barrons lovers out there? Watch out. This is an epic love story, years and years in the making and that man…no spoilers. But dayum. And it is Dani, grown up, really seeing herself for the first time, understanding her actions and re-evaluating her past choices. It is the perfect bookend to Iced. They feel like yin and yang, scorching summer heat to cool inky night. It was everything I could have wanted and more. If you are die hard into Fever and were not a big fan of Iced, well, this is a Dani story all the way. We’re going through this big thing that we’ve all seen coming but she is just now opening her eyes to and feeling and allowing herself to feel. Lots of emotion flying around. But it also answers some questions for other characters that we have been dying for (and leaves more doors open in true KMM fashion, amiright?). Sitting here, writing this review after just finishing the book, I feel peaceful about it all. I feel completely relaxed and happy to know how it all goes (even if I could have used a bit more time with the ending. Meaning, I just wanted more. More time to bask and soak it up, and feel it). While there is still room to explore, places to go, baddies to encounter, fun to be had, there is seriously some long awaited and achingly sweet resolution that so many of us have craved.
JSpoone More than 1 year ago
A love story 3000 years in the making! KMM knocked it out of the park with this wrap up to Dani's story. It's fast paced and exciting just like the Mega! A MUST read for any Fever series fans!!
Anonymous 3 months ago
Wow????
Anonymous 5 months ago
If+I+say+anything%2C++I%27ll+say+too+much+%26+give+something+away.+So+I%27ll+keep+it+simple...it+was+Epic%2C+to+use+Dani%27s+word.+I+cannot+wait+to+see+what+happens+next%21+So+much+to+still+learn+about+so+many+characters.+Keep+reaching+for+the+stars+%26+shining+your+light+%26+I+promise+to+join+in+the+adventures+you+share.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved+this+book%21%21%21++Has+to+be+one+of+my+favorite+series+ever%21%21
Boundlessbookreviews More than 1 year ago
I have no idea how I missed the release of this book and am now finding it months and months later — heavy sigh.  Regardless the problem has now me resolved High Voltage has been devoured and I loved it.   The book focuses on Dani post-Jada, and she is back to her bubbly Megga self that I fell in love with at the beginning of the series.  However, this did cause some issues for me when it came to her relationship with Ryoden.  She is older now between 20-23 she doesn’t even know, but still has a manic effervescence for all things much as she did as a teen and it didn’t feel like she grew up.  So her having adult feelings and eventually adult relations was like thinking of my little sisters having adult relations.  Gah gag. I usually like sexy times in a story.  This one I could have done without.   Moning gave Dani such an interesting story arc, one that I didn’t see coming at all.  It was incredible and such a fascinating mystery and so totally Dani to embrace the adventure.  BTW I love Shazam.   I love where the story is going, and I can’t wait for more.  There isn’t any Mac in this story for all of you Mac fan’s out there, but that’s ok the book didn’t need it because Dani can hold a book on her own.  I just had trouble not picturing her as a teen instead of a woman.   I listened to the audiobook, and it was narrated in my favorite format as a duet, and I loved it.  The narrators are brilliant and did an exceptional job.  I can’t wait to see what is next in the Fever series, and there is so much more to know.  Mac and Dani aren’t done.  I love this world, and it continues to be one of my favorites.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good curve
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Perfect mixture of sci-fi, romance, mystery, and drama. High Voltage is one of my favorites. Anxiously awaiting Ms. Moning's next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it I hope she's continues this series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hopefully the heat will get turned up between Ryordan and Dani