Review: Iced by Karen Marie Moning ★★★★★

Iced by Karen Marie Moning
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Fever #6 / Dani O'Malley #1
Publication Date: October 30, 2012
ISBN: 0385344406
Page Count: 352
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Copy: Own Purchase
Reviewed by: Janice
Synopsis: 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.

REVIEW

Gimme Fever! 

If you asked me three days ago if there was any way to top the greatness of Mac and Barrons, my response would have been a resounding HELL NO. Well, I am here to tell you, my friends, that KMM has done exactly that. She's pulled another rabbit out of her magic hat, as only she can. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that "Iced" may be the best Fever book yet.

Yes, you read that right. Believe me, I was stunned too. I mean, how can a Fever book without Mac and Barrons possibly compete with, well, Mac and Barrons? The answer is simple. It can't. Or so I thought until Dani, Ryodan and company proved me wrong.

Dani seriously rocks this book. Yes, she's only fourteen. No, that doesn't mean she behaves like an angst-ridden heroine from a YA novel. Far from it.
Everything about her is brilliant and intense. She's aware and invested in the world in ways most adults never get around to being...She does everything one hundred and ten percent, with all her heart.
Whereas Mac started out pretty and clueless, with no idea about the world she was stepping into when she went to Ireland, Dani is an old pro. Forced by circumstance to become independent and self-reliant at a young age, she knows exactly who she is and isn't afraid to be that person.
I lock eyes with my reflection and don't look away. The day you look away you start to lose yourself. I'm never going to lose myself. You are what you are. Deal with it or change.  
Is Dani perfect? No. Has she made mistakes, said or done things she regrets? Of course. But she doesn't waste time crying about it. There's work to be done, and as far as she's concerned, she's the only one who can do it. She is the Mega, after all. A self-proclaimed superhero who has done more to save and protect the city of Dublin than any of us realize. Because it's simply the right thing to do. Because sitting around doing nothing, wringing her hands and waiting for someone else to swoop in and save the day, just isn't her style.
"You're not responsible for the world because you're more capable."
" 'Course I am. That's what more capable folks do."
Dani is, in a word, amazing. She's strong, superfast, intelligent, and surprisingly insightful. Everything a superhero should be. But for all her greatness, she is still a child. It's easy to forget how young she really is until, out of nowhere, KMM forces you to remember. Those moments are jarring. Uncomfortable, even. Because suddenly, you realize just how violent and dangerous Dani's world is, and you think to yourself, "This is wrong. She's just a kid, she shouldn't be exposed to this." But that's Dani's reality. Being safe, living a normal life - those are foreign concepts for her. And you, as the reader, just have to accept it, because, as Dani would say, the Mega doesn't need or want your feckin' pity. This is her life. Deal with it.

And then there's Ryodan. Oh boy, Ryodan. At first, I couldn't help comparing him to Barrons, but it wasn't very long before I realized what a mistake that was. While the two men do share certain attitudes and personality traits, rest assured, they are very different beasts. This quote sums it up perfectly:
Barrons breaks heads. Ryodan turns them inside out. Barrons fucks you up. Ryodan makes you fuck yourself up. He pushes buttons and rearranges things according to his own private, coolly sociopathic plan.
Ryodan definitely has plans for Dani. He blackmails her into helping him figure out who or what is causing the deadly icings around Dublin, he bosses her around, and in general, can be a complete, controlling jerk. (Sound familiar? lol) And yet, I liked him. A lot.  He is, oddly enough, the perfect mentor for Dani. Everything she can do, he can do better. It drives Dani totally nuts, but as they interact over the course of the novel, a fragile trust begins to develop. They work well together, in more ways than one.

Ryodan isn't the only man in Dani's life. There's also the mysterious Dancer, a 17-year-old genius, and Christian McKeltar, Highlander-turned-Unseelie Prince.

I loved Dancer. Totally, completely, unequivocably. He's brilliant, he clearly cares a great deal about Dani, and he isn't the least bit intimidated by Ryodan or anyone else. Dani describes him as her safe zone. A brother, almost. I disagree, but she's not ready to see or acknowledge anything beyond that.  Not yet anyway.

As for Christian...*sigh*. I don't like what's happening to him, and I sincerely hope I'm wrong about the road I see him going down. IMO, he deserves better.

There's no romance in "Iced". There can't be, really, with Dani being so young. Don't be fooled, though. The possibilities are there, and even if Dani's blind to them, the men are not.
He sees her like I do: at seventeen, twenty, thirty. Superimposed over the fourteen-year-old, he sees the woman she'll become.
And he's staking his claim.
Over my. Dead. Fucking. Body.
Oh yeah, Dani's gonna have a very interesting love life someday ;)

Lest you think KMM has forgotten about the sidhe-seers, rest assured, she hasn't. That part of the story is taken care of through chapters told from Kat's POV. We also see a bit of Inspector Jayne, Jo, even the Gray Lady.

I could keep singing Iced's praises, but honestly, do you need me to? Wouldn't you rather find out for yourself? Just read the damn book! It's freakin' awesome! :)

5 Stars ★★★★★

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