Review: Iced by Karen Marie Moning (Dani O’Malley #1)
October 30 2013
Kick Ass Chick – Dani O’Malley
From Goodreads –
The year is 1 AWC—After the Wall Crash. The Fae are free and hunting us. It’s a war zone out there, and no two days are alike. I’m Dani O’Malley, the chaos-filled streets of Dublin are my home, and there’s no place I’d rather be.
Dani “Mega” O’Malley plays by her own set of rules—and in a world overrun by Dark Fae, her biggest rule is: Do what it takes to survive. Possessing rare talents and the all-powerful Sword of Light, Dani is more than equipped for the task. In fact, she’s one of the rare humans who can defend themselves against the Unseelie. But now, amid the pandemonium, her greatest gifts have turned into serious liabilities.
Dani’s ex–best friend, MacKayla Lane, wants her dead, the terrifying Unseelie princes have put a price on her head, and Inspector Jayne, the head of the police force, is after her sword and will stop at nothing to get it. What’s more, people are being mysteriously frozen to death all over the city, encased on the spot in sub-zero, icy tableaux.
When Dublin’s most seductive nightclub gets blanketed in hoarfrost, Dani finds herself at the mercy of Ryodan, the club’s ruthless, immortal owner. He needs her quick wit and exceptional skill to figure out what’s freezing Fae and humans dead in their tracks—and Ryodan will do anything to ensure her compliance.
Dodging bullets, fangs, and fists, Dani must strike treacherous bargains and make desperate alliances to save her beloved Dublin—before everything and everyone in it gets iced.
I almost feel like hiding while writing this review because I know I am in the minority and didn’t rate this book as high as most. I just want to say right off the bat that I didn’t hate this book – I actually really liked it. There were just a few things that were too difficult for me to get past – things I am going to sort of vent about in this review. I know I’m not one to vent in my reviews but for some reason, while writing this one, that is how it all spewed out of my brain.
And a warning, you think my reviews are always long? Well, this one is looooong!
Iced is the sixth book in Karen Marie Moning’s (KMM) Fever series but it’s the first in a new trilogy that fits within the Fever world. What that means is that you really should read the first five Fever books before reading this one as this is not a stand-alone. If you were to just jump into Iced, you would get an entertaining read but you really wouldn’t get as much out of it as if you’d read the first books. In fact, you would not get as worked up about it because you would have the same connection to the characters and you wouldn’t feel so drawn into the world. Besides, these Fever books are among my mostest favorite books ever so just because of that, you should read them 😉
I, as many well know, was concerned at first that this book was going to be told from Dani’s point of view. Dani is 14 years old and talks like a 14 year old. In the first Fever books, it was sort of cute to see her alongside Mac. She added some spunk and spark to the scenes she was in. But a whole book? I really didn’t know about that. I did think that at times Dani was a little high on herself and that did drive me a bit bonkers but overall she was a good lead. I understand that her attitude is a coping mechanism but still… I wanted to shake her a bit and tell her to please get over herself just a little bit sometimes. I think the main reason I felt that way was because the higher they feel, the harder they fall – especially in this series – and I’m concerned at how bad her fall will be. I do love how much Dani values life and how lucky she feels she is but, thanks to her ‘holier than thou’ attitude, you know she’ll get a wake-up call one day and it won’t be pretty. In fact I’m pretty sure it’s going to break my heart watching such a bright young soul who has endured so much, break.
Karen writes dark books set in a dark world. And this book is da-ark. No real rays of sunshine here folks. And if Iced was any indication this is going to be the darkest bunch of books yet. In fact, there was hardly any humor at all! In the first books, there were funny moments here and there to break up the bleak. Also, there was always an underlying feeling of hope. Hope that all things would work out eventually. Hope that not all is terrible and that not everyone is evil. But not this time. The book was genius mind you, but a tad too heavy most times.
Karen’s world continues to be one of the best worlds out there. It’s so rich and detailed, you feel as though you are there…and I think that didn’t help me with the whole ‘too dark’ thing. I can’t watch horror films because I get nightmares. My imagination is wild. For some reason, my imagination is selective while reading so the gore is okay, but not with this book. People, this book gave me nightmares. So you see: a truly visual and incredible world.
The pace of the book was good too, but really, what else did I expect from KMM. The main mystery in this book is really well done. Buildings, people…pretty much anything and everything with no rhyme or reason are getting iced. (Covered in ice that eventually explodes) Death is instant when this ice hits. But what is causing it? And why is it targeting where it’s targeting? Interesting and gripping, I enjoyed that part of the book. And the end, how it’s all dealt with, great scene!
Let’s talk characters of the male gender…because there’s always a ton to say about the men in a KMM Fever book. 😉 Christian. Well, the poor soul, he’s just going bat-shit crazy. We watch him as he’s turning into a Dark Fae Prince and boy, is he creepy at times! I actually loved watching the process and how he went from sort-of the Christian we knew from the first books to what he is becoming now. He’s a bit obsessed with Dani when he is his ‘fae self’. That part was a bit eeky but understandable because of what he is becoming. I enjoyed his change in this book. Well, enjoyed is probably not the right word seeing how it’s borderline gross and icky, but I believe you understand what I’m trying to say. I found his transformation to be very well written and I’m extra curious to see what happens to his character in the next books.
Dancer. OMG I love him! Yes, I am aware that not everyone, or anyone for that matter, in a KMM Fever book is as they seem, but I still love him. He’s good to Dani. Cares for her. Wants to help her…for real. (not like some others who are only just using her). He’s 17 and a science wiz and as I said, I loved him. I am sure that my love will be put to the test in future installments but for now, I love him.
Ryodan, as of this moment, can go rot somewhere. At first, I found him oddly appealing. I really liked how he was being written as the ‘Barrons’ of this trilogy. But where with Barrons, the question was always ‘what the hell is he?’, with Ryodan the question is ‘what does he really want with Dani?’ Why her? Why is he so possessive? Is it really to wait for her to grow up and have her as his mate or whatever it is they call the females in their lives? The question of it all remained for me an interesting twist in the book but Ryodan and his actions went from intriguing to just horrible. And here comes the rant…
There is one scene in particular that left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Dani goes to faery with Christian and, even though she’s only gone a few hours, she is actually gone from Earth over a month because time travels differently over where she was. When she returns, she finds out that Ryodan has been looking for her and is not impressed that she a) just vanished and didn’t bend to his every wish as he wants and b) went with Christian. How does he show his frustration? He shoves her into a wall and a concrete post, causing Dani to get a black eye and other injuries. Not once is he remorseful and not once does he think this isn’t an appropriate thing to do to A 14 YEAR OLD! Basically, he beats her into submission! She’s fourteen fecking years old! And Dani is like us and has no idea why he wants her to be his little slave! She was off with Christian trying to solve the mystery Ryodan ‘hired’ her to solve and he beats her!
I know it’s not the first time we see someone get beaten up for petty reasons in this series but there is a difference between a twenty-something year old getting smacked around and a fourteen year old! And, as my friend Jessica pointed out in her review, when Mac got bullied by Barrons, at least we knew he cared for her and he wanted what was best for her…ultimately. With Ryodan and Dani, I don’t get that feeling at all. As much as I love how the mystery of ‘why is Ryodan so hooked on Dani’ is written, I am not a fan of his treatment of her. She needs his help; she’s told no. She’s left for dead; he hears and sends someone to see if they can find her…laying on the ground dying! I mean…really?! I sort of like his surliness but I am NOT a fan of him as a whole. Maybe give her more than ‘obey me or die’ and she could actually live up to his expectations. He is being ridiculous and I am hoping to find out WHY in the next book or I think I may have trouble reading past that. For me, there is no redeeming quality to him.
Karen has sort of but not really hinted that Ryodan will be Dani’s HEA. Well, hinted as she would meaning she throws a bunch of questions out there making us think we know what she’s talking about but really we don’t…or do we? She is very good at that. I will have a big problem with that if that is ultimately her plan. You don’t beat a child. Ever. I don’t care how many times a man tries to redeem himself – that is not redeemable to me. Will it make an interesting read? For sure. Karen is a genius author after all. But will I feel wrong with that outcome? Yes.
And Jo?! What the hell is that all about? She’s his leverage to get Dani to cooperate. He threatens Dani with Jo’s life over and over…then ends up f*cking her! And that’s what it is. Bent over his desk from behind every day. I don’t see why that is even a part of the story! Is it because Dani is only 14 so she can’t have sex but there needs to be sex in this book because Fever books are sexy and spicy so Jo wins the sex card? It just all felt forced to me.
Kat’s POV…I found I didn’t care about it. 🙁 I’m sure it’s playing an important part that we just don’t quite see yet but as of now, I found it was more of a “her scenes are just getting in the way of the story I care about” feeling when I came across her scenes.
I am aware that this is the first book in this particular trilogy of this series so I will probably read the next book and eat my words. But at the end of this book, this is how I feel.
I think KMM is a genius. Her world is like no other and the fluidity of her writing…well it’s flawless. It brings out feelings in me that I don’t think other authors writing the same sort of thing would be able to drag out. She is truly talented. It’s just that there were issues for me in this book that I had trouble getting past. Though I am looking forward to reading the next book, Burned, which hopefully will release sometime in 2013, to see how KMM deals with everything that was thrown at us in Iced. Because I would not be surprised if, at the end of book two/seven, I feel as though I should hang a sign around my neck stating that “man, I was wrong wrong wrong…”