Friday, November 2, 2012

Review: "Iced" by Karen Moning

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.

     "Iced," originally said to be a spin-off of The Fever Series, is actually book 6 in the series.  It takes place right before the ending of Shadow Fever, book 5 in the series.  While the original 5 books were from Mac's point of view, this one is from Dani O'Malley's.  We also get a few small parts from Christian and Kat's point of view as well.  

     There has been some controversy about so much sexual tension and potential love interests fawning over Dani, since she is only 14 at this point, from people that feel that this is a Young Adult book due to her age.  Those of us that have read the first 5 books know that this is definitely an adult series and I believe most of us have no problem with this falling into the same class.  Yes, it would be nice if  Dani could have grown up a little before this book, but nothing happens with her that is inappropriate.  We also have to remember that she's not your typical 14 year old.  She's been basically living on her own for a long time now and has lived through so many life changing experiences that she feels much older than that... even her dialect has changed in this book.  She's definitely growing up.  Karen Moning said that by the end of Dani's storyline she will be 17 so that should open her, hopefully, for a love interest by then.  In the meantime, she's got 3 very protective men looking out for her.  Not a bad thing to have when the world is falling down around you and seems to get worse by the day.

     I was very anxious to see where things were headed with Christian.  When we left off last he had some big changes happening to him and I'm so glad we got lots more of him in this book.  He was an interesting side character in the Fever Series and it's great that he's a main character in this one.  Aside from Dani and him, we also have Dancer and Ryodan playing the other main roles.  Ryodan, one of Barron's nine mysterious men, is just as badass as he was.  The only differences are summed up with these quotes:

“Barrons breaks heads. Ryodan turns them inside out. Barrons f*cks you up. Ryodan makes you f*ck yourself up. He pushes buttons to his own private, coolly sociopathic plan.”

"I know your taste now, kid. I know your scent like I know my own. You will never pass me again without me knowing it's you."

“I’m stronger than you, faster than you, and lack the human emotions that drive you. That makes me your worst nightmare.”

     Dani feels safe and protected despite how utterly scary Ryodan can be.  She knows that he's one of the few people that could actually harm her but knows he never would.  Then there's Dancer, her 17 year old lifetime friend and confidant.  They always have each others back and he's the only one that she feels truly comfortable with.  It's completely platonic for her but I get the feeling Dancer may see things a little differently.   One of the big questions is why Dani seems to be drawing all these men to her.  Is it just her uniqueness or did the Grey Woman give her a little something extra?  

     As much as I love my Mac and Barrons, it was nice to get inside the heads of some of the side characters.  It added a lot more depth, if that's possible, to the series.  I'm really intrigued with Dancer, since there definitely seems like there's more than meets the eye with him.  Of course Ryodan is the Barrons of this book so I can't help but love him as well.  He's like Barrons in so many ways but a little less animal than him.   One of the other nine, Lor, adds a little relief throughout the story.  He definitely does not take life as seriously as Barrons and Ryodan do.  He's able to crack a few jokes, stir up a little trouble just for the heck of it and was just lighter overall.  I suspect that we'll see Dani end up with Dancer when all is said and done due to the close bond they share.  In the meantime, I think we'll probably get the Mac-V'lane-Barrons triangle bumped up a notch.  Dani has 3 guys interested in her and I think she has feelings for all 3 in one way or another.  It should be interesting.

I was worried that I wouldn't like this book nearly as much as the others because I was never a fan of Dani and of course it's not about Barrons.  I had faith in Karen Moning that she wouldn't disappoint and she certainly did not.  This lived up to all the other books in the series, which is a huge statement.  If you haven't read The Fever Series, I highly recommend you do.  This is by far my favorite urban fantasy series out there.  The only way to describe this series, is Epic!  Karen Moning has created such an amazing world full of well developed characters and I can't wait for the next in the series.  She plans to do books 6-8 from Dani's point of view and then go back to Mac and Barrons for books 9 and 10.  The only thing I was hoping to get out of this book that I didn't was more Mac and Barrons.  I thought maybe we would get a little about what is currently going on with them.  Hopefully we will in the next book.

     I know a book was amazing when it ruins me for all other books.  You can't come off of a book like this and not be disappointed by the next read.  Very rarely do I take time off from reading but I may need a day or two to cleanse my pallet after this one.  Karen Moning proves time and time again that she is, without a doubt, the Queen of Urban Fantasy!

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