Book Review and Conversation — Iced by Karen Marie Moning

Book Review and Conversation — Iced by Karen Marie Moning
Book Review and Conversation — Iced by Karen Marie MoningIced by Karen Marie Moning
Series: Fever #6
Published by Delacorte Press, Random House
Publication date: October 30, 2012
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
495 pages
Format: eBook
Source: Borrowed

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning comes the first book in her hotly anticipated new urban paranormal trilogy, set in the world of her blockbuster Fever series.

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.

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Hey everyone! I’d like you give a warm welcome to my good friend, Eliza. She is going to be joining me from time to time on Reading Books Like a Boss to give us her two cents on books. She and I recently buddy read Iced by Karen Marie Moning in preparation for the highly anticipated next instalment in the series, Burned (releasing on January 20th!).

If you haven’t read the first five books in the Fever series, you may not want to read our thoughts on Iced. There will be spoilers. Do yourself a favor and read the books and then come back here and check it out. Also, this really won’t be a fully comprehensive review of the book, but rather our jumbled thoughts on Iced. I hope you enjoy our conversation


Megan: If you didn’t know already, I’m not the biggest fan of Dani O’Malley. I wasn’t very fond of her from the moment we met her in Bloodfever. And admittedly, I wasn’t very excited to be in her head for nearly an entire book in Iced. I basically read Iced because Karen Marie Moning wrote it and I really want to read Burned.

Eliza: I felt the same. Every time it switched to Dani’s POV in Shadowfever I sighed. Her voice just grated on me, unfortunately. When I originally learned that Iced was going to be from Dani’s POV, I was wary, which probably accounts for why I waited this long to actually read it. After finishing, my opinion hasn’t changed much. I did soften towards her by the end but the bottom line is that Dani is annoying.

Megan: Haha me too! My opinion of Dani hasn’t really changed either. She was really annoying. And yes, she’s fourteen and immature, but my annoyance of her went beyond that. Her inner monologue was repetitive and irritating. And oh God, her constant hunger. Just freaking stop already!

Eliza: I never want to hear about another Snickers bar again. You need to eat. I get it. I got it the first thousand times it was said.

Megan: I didn’t like her ego. And I didn’t like that she constantly called herself Mega, and let me emphasize that it was constant. There were moments in the book where I started to dislike her less, but I haven’t arrived at the “I really like Dani” phase. I’m hoping that Moning will continue to grow and develop her character in future books.

Eliza: I didn’t like her at all at the beginning. The whole Mega thing was extremely off-putting. I understand that the massive ego was part of her overcompensating for her vulnerabilities as well as a product of the arrogance of youth which is understandable up to a point but it didn’t help endear me to her. I admit that I did start coming around a little by the end though.

We need to discuss Creepy Christian. I get that he’s turning Unseelie Prince so he’s not all there anymore but his inner monologues about Dani – which were simultaneously sappy and highly sexualized – made me cringe.

Megan: Yes! Both Creepy Christian and Randy Ryodan’s attraction to Dani was a little weird for me partly because of her age and partly because I JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT MAKES DANI SO…well…Mega. The age thing is one of the reasons why I was so apprehensive and hesitant to read Iced. Dani is fourteen. It’s weird to have a 22-year old death-by-sex Fae and an ancient dude pining for this child. Also, what in the sam hell do they see in her? The whole, “You’re going to make a magnificent woman someday” came out of left field for me. Really, Ryodan? Maybe Christian and Ryodan see her potential and what she will be. But why all the sexy talk and sexual innuendos? I hope that Dani ages in some way because I want the Ryodan thing to happen eventually. I liked Ryodan most of the time. The scene in the bar after he came back from his little trip to death was pretty terrible.

Eliza: Ryodan WAS awesome. Incredibly awesome. Phenomenally awesome. Funny and cool and badass. Until THAT moment. Not so awesome anymore. But we’ll get to that.

I don’t get the attraction either. I can see that maybe Ryodan is attracted to the promise of future Dani but I still find it weird and unnatural. Even if she suddenly turned eighteen, she’ll still be a child next to him.

Megan: And dude, Ryodan being all touchy feely with Jo when they were at the abbey just twisted the knife already embedded in my chest. Even though I felt weird about the Dani/Ryodan dynamic some part of me feel like they belong to each other…or will at some point. I don’t want Ryodan screwing anyone and I don’t want him rubbing any displays of affection in Dani’s face, which is exactly what I think he was doing.

Eliza: Yes! I feel like for someone as old as Ryodan is, he was acting very childish. I’d expect that behavior from Dani, not him. It’s as if he’s angry at himself for being attracted to her. He doesn’t want to be attracted to Dani – for whatever reason – and he can’t act on that attraction so he takes it out on her. It felt very petty and made no sense to me.

One of the most difficult and defining moments of the book, for me, was the scene at Chester’s when Dani comes back and learns that Ryodan is alive. The brutality of that encounter was chilling and completely uncalled for on Ryodan’s part.

So many aspects of this book ran very parallel to scenes and moments from the first five books and this was no exception. It felt like a rehash of the time when Mac disappeared for a month in Faery with V’lane. Imagine how both we – and Mac – would have reacted if Barrons had physically assaulted her the same way Ryodan did with Dani. It was vile.

Megan: I completely agree. If Barrons had beat Mac like that I would have lost respect for him. Barrons was very calculating and thoughtful with his actions. Even when he was being harsh with Mac, he had a reason for doing so. I didn’t feel like Ryodan was as methodical and self-contained as Barrons.

Eliza: Further, Ryodan is supposed to be so ancient and smart and manipulative. I find it out of character that he would not realize the obvious fact that to control Dani – if that’s what he wants to do – all he needs to do is show her some decency. She’s starving for love. She latched onto Mac for that very reason. He could have her under his thumb very easily by simply treating her with the kindness that she’s never had. Everything he does to force her is completely counterintuitive.

And, going back to that point, because it can’t be said enough, I just can’t find any excuse for his treatment of her. It was abusive. Plain and simple. A power play by a stronger person just to assert that she is powerless against him.

Megan: And he basically admitted that he watched her since she was little. He should know her very well and how she is.

Eliza: Exactly. He knows her vulnerabilities. He has all the knowledge and information he needs to exploit her weakness yet he resorts to physical abuse? He could easily manipulate her in other ways.

Megan: I agree with you on that point too.

Eliza: He didn’t come across as someone controlled. He came across as a bully. The only reasoning I can come up with is that he’s so enamored with Dani that she causes him to lose all semblance of control, but I have a hard time buying that he would be so easily thrown. It’s a shame, because up until this point I was really enjoying him as a character.

Megan: I did like the scene after he beat her and he asked her how it felt when she thought he died.She let that beating go really quickly. Too quickly. That was brutal and I feel like she should have been more upset at him. I do think the luxurious meal he had prepared for her was his way of apologizing for being a complete and utter dick.

I did really like Ryodan for most of the book though. I laughed out loud at a couple of scenes. When he said something to someone about how this person was distressing Dani and only he was allowed to do that, I laughed. The scene with Velvet, the Fae, so badass.

I really liked Kat. She had such a gentle spirit about her. And I felt so much for her and Sean in the small slivers we got of their story. I felt more emotionally involved with her story than I was with Dani, the protagonist. When Ryodan takes Sean as payment for moving the IFP, my heart was broken. And the “relationship test” that Kat and Sean had to endure was painful to read about. Sean ends up in Chester’s face-to-face with temptation and corruption, while Kat is battling her own torture at the abbey! And I really liked Kat’s voice in those chapters. The writing in those chapters was so beautiful.

Eliza: I liked Kat too. I felt for her and the weight of the responsibility that she was facing and how it affected her. There was a quiet grace to Kat that was the antithesis of Dani so it was a welcome reprieve to get her POV in those chapters. We didn’t get to see much of her with Sean in this book but I felt like he was the one constant comfort in her life and my heart broke a little when he ended up at Chester’s. We didn’t get any closure there either. Ryodan tells us that he was free to leave but that’s the last we hear of Sean so I’m hoping we get more on that in the next book.

Megan: I hope we get more of them too! Surely this isn’t the end of their story. You know who else I really liked? Dancer! It’s not often that you see a smart, nerdy, sweet guy portrayed in books (my favorite). His personality was a strong contrast to the Ryodan and Christian. I really liked him.

Eliza: DANCER! I love Dancer. He’s the only one out of the three of them whose attraction to Dani seems natural and understandable. I love that he’s protective and stands up to Ryodan without being a caveman-like ass. I definitely think there’s more to him than we’ve been told so I’m not ready to take him at face-value just yet. I’m looking forward to learning more about him.

Megan; I love that you used the word caveman. That’s how I describe most alpha males as caveman alphas. We are, like, sooooo similar.

Oh!!! And I was parched for Barrons and Mac. Every little glimpse we saw of them was so wonderful. I felt like Moning was dangling a piece of chocolate in front of my face but never letting me eat it. Holy crap, you know those vulture-like creatures on the roof of the bookstore? I totally think Barrons has them under his control and uses them to protect Mac. How sweet is that? I WANT BURNED!

Eliza: I want more Mac/Barrons too. I wasn’t expecting much of them here so I wasn’t too let down but I miss them. I’m ready to have them back and to get the story moving along. Often, this book seemed to be trying to recreate the Barrons/Mac dynamic but it fell flat in that respect. There were so many scenes and moments that read like the same situations we had already seen in the previous books but it felt like a lesser version.

Bottom line, Iced, as a whole, came across more like a standalone than a true part of the series. It added very little to the overall mythology of the series which was disappointing to me.

Megan: We went through all of that and didn’t mention the Hoar Frost King. I thought the explanation given for why the monsters chose certain locations to be anticlimactic. Between him and the Crimson Hag, I liked her best. She was truly terrifying and the way Moning described her was gruesome. I loved how Barrons and his merry men were totally scared of her.

Eliza: I agree. The Hoar Frost King held very little interest for me, even though it was the central plot element of the book. I found the Crimson Hag more compelling. She managed to be simultaneously terrifying and funny.

Megan: The ending. I didn’t love the ending. There was no resolution for Dani and Ryodan’s relationship/friendship/partnership/business agreement. I assume that it will be addressed in Burned or something.

Eliza: In spite of all the problems I had, I did enjoy a lot of aspects too. and I will say that with as much as I was anti-Dani in the beginning of the book, I did come around by the end. All in all, I was disappointed but I have faith in Moning. so I’m still really looking forward to Burned.

3 stars

Amazon: USUKCAN | iBooks | GR

Iced by Karen Marie Moning

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