Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Review: ICED by Karen Marie Moning

ICED (Fever #6 / Dani O'Malley #1)
Karen Marie Moning
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication date: October 30th, 2012
Number of pages: 495
Format: Hardcover
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository
Add to 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.
Whether you have heard of this book, this series or these characters or not. I'm speaking the truth when I say, there aint anything else like it out there in the adult / Urban Fantasy world.
There can't be anyone who doesn't recognize the Fever series at some point, whether its from Goodreads, through other people or have seen the books around. Have you read them? Great. Have you not? Well, there is one thing I can say to you about that --- Go out and get them. If you like Urban Fantasy, or even romance, with a bit of dark, with characters to die and swoon over. This would be definitely for you.

I have been a major, obsessive fan of this series for many years now, and no matter how much I re-read the series again and again, that clear fact does not change. This is the sort of story that will forever be stuck with you. It's life changing that will make you look differently about the world, and it will ruin any other author for you.

Let's get to the actual book, shall we?  First off , I'll mention I had first read this when I got it at the ICED book signing in New Orleans on October 29th. Before it actually came out. My main reason for flying to the US was for this particular book event. Remember how I mentioned how obsessive I am for this series? Yes, money was no cause. I was going one way or another. And it was the best time I had in the longest I can remember.

ICED.. what can I say? I wasn't sure what to expect going into it because I knew the next three books were going to Dani's story. Mac would no longer be the protagonist. Barrons would no longer be a main or lead character. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who wasn't sure how this would take with readers. Dani was not a character that everyone liked, but then again, so was Mac I have heard.
I have never had a real problem with Dani, although during the Fever series she did grate on my nerves from time to time. Karen did say that she wouldn't be like that in her own story, because she had to find a way to stand out in the Fever books, so what we saw was only a small part of who she was and she made herself bigger and more vocal than she really was.
I found myself growing to like and respect her as I went through ICED. We slowly began to understand her, where she was coming from and how she got to be who the girl she is today. She certainly hadn't had the easiest childhood, and it hasn't gotten any better by any means. I do feel that she will become such a strong and independant woman. I look forward to reading the next two books as they come out, to see how she deals with things, her abilities, relationships and friendships. She sure has her work cut out for her.

We have a few male leads in this book. Ryodan, who is by far my favourite. Christian and Dancer. Each is different and some more messed up than others, but with each character they have their own fair share of secrets that, while some has come to light, some hasn't...
Dancer is full of mystery. I am not sure what is going on with him. He seems nice enough, a good friend to Dani, but I don't know.. he just seems a little too perfect and all knowing right now. I am sure that will change since this is Karen we are talking about and she does nothing easy. He is human, from what we can tell -- even that I am not sure is completely sure or not. Never trust anyone when it comes to this world, because nobody will be as you think.
Christian, poor guy. He has had a lot to deal with, and all traces of who he was in the previous books seem to have disappeared. He has been transforming into something he would never wish on anyone, including himself. An Unseelie Prince as it happens, and I am not sure where this is going, or what is going to happen to him next. But he seems to have formed some obsessive bond with Dani, that doesn't seem completely sane. I wish just for him to seek the happiness that he does deserve.
And last, but not least, we have the mysterious, enigmatic Chesters owner, Ryodan.  He is someone who I have loved since Bloodfever, and so it was no surprise that he ended up my favourite male character in this book. We don't know anything really about him, or about his true motives and feelings right now, although I am sure that will change over the next two books in this series.
I know people could compare him to Barrons, but after reading this book it is more clear that they are nothing alike, but really are two different wild men.

There has been some discussion  about Dani's current and future love life with these men in her life. Who will be her HEA? Some kind of love square seems to be forming, even if it's not clear right now. Personally... I am Team Ryodan. If you forget about her age... they have this chemistry that she has with nobody else. I can't take what he has with anyone else seriously, and really.. what's a few years when you have eternity? Some people can find it gross and creepy, but somehow, I don't. His relationship with her right now is something of a mentor, who is trying to help her be the woman he knows she can be. To help her through this world, to look out her for, without her slipping out of his life.
Because we don't have his POV, we don't exactly know what is going on in his brain, and what his intentions are, but I have no doubt we'll slowly see something changing as the stories progresses, and I look forward to reading through Dani's maturity as she gets older.

The plot, I loved.  I felt it was quite interesting to have Dublin 'Iced' an Ryodan having to seek out Dani, who might be the only person who would be able to help in this situation. It was also a situation that pulled them together made them work together whether she liked it or not, and usually it was .. not.
The story itself, I felt was much stronger than in Darkfever, which seemed to be more about Mac and her discovering herself. But since Dani knows who she is, or thinks she does? There was room for more of a plot, and it was dark and gritty. It was awesome. 

Dani's story wasn't the only one we got to see in this book. No, we also got  Kat, who is trying to deal with her new job as mistress of the abbey, and her temptations she has now has to battle. There is the matter of the Iced prince down under the abbey, who will use any force necessary to get what he wants, manipulate anyone if it means getting released.
I admit, he had me fooled a few times. Kat needs to watch out before she loses everything that she cares about.

Before anyone asks, yes we do have appearances by Mac and Barrons. They are far and few, but there are a couple, but given the cliffhanger, I am sure we'll see more of them in book 2, at least Mac. It should be interesting to see how things progress regarding the thing between Dani and Mac, who really hasn't been in the same place since Mac discovered the truth about Dani, and what happened to her sister. A confrontation will soon have to happen. A talk needs to happen otherwise Dani will never know how Mac really feels, or whether they can move past this and move on.

It seems I have rambled enough, but I shall leave you with some of my favourite quotes.

“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.” 
 “What does somebody like you want? More power? More toys? More sex?"
"All of the above. All the time."
"Greedy bugger."
"Kid, let me tell you something. Most people spend their short time in this world less than half alive. They wander through their days in a haze of responsibility and resentment. Something happens to them not long after they're born. They get conflicted about what they want and start worshipping the wrong gods. Should. Mercy. Equality. Altruism. There's nothing you should do. Do what you want. Mercy isn't Nature's way. She's an equal opportunity killer. We aren't born the same. Some are stronger, smarter, faster. Never apologize for it. Altruism is an impossible concept. There's no action you can make that doesn't spring from how you want to feel about yourself. Not greedy, Dani. Alive. And happy about it every single fucking day.”


“All the sudden Ryodan’s standing one inch away from me, hand under my chin, holding my face up to his. “You’ll never be just anything. A tsunami can never be ‘just’ a wave.”
“Get off my chin.”
“I like that about you. Waves are banal. Tsunamis reshape the Earth. Under the right circumstances, even entire civilizations.”
I blink.
“You’re going to be one hell of a woman one day, Dani.”  

“She thinks he's not an animal like Barrons. That he's more civilized. She right, he is more polished. But it only makes him more dangerous. With Barrons you expect to get fucked up royally. With Ryodan you don't see it coming.” 


“One day, kid, you'll be willing to mortgage your fucking soul for somebody.



“What does somebody like you want? More power? More toys? More sex?"
"All of the above. All the time."
"Greedy bugger."
"Kid, let me tell you something. Most people spend their short time in this world less than half alive. They wander through their days in a haze of responsibility and resentment. Something happens to them not long after they're born. They get conflicted about what they want and start worshipping the wrong gods. Should. Mercy. Equality. Altruism. There's nothing you should do. Do what you want. Mercy isn't Nature's way. She's an equal opportunity killer. We aren't born the same. Some are stronger, smarter, faster. Never apologize for it. Altruism is an impossible concept. There's no action you can make that doesn't spring from how you want to feel about yourself. Not greedy, Dani. Alive. And happy about it every single fucking day.”  


“Stop. Vibrating." Ryodan plucks a paper out of the air and slaps it back down on his desk.
I wonder if he cleans it. How many tushes have been on that thing? I'm never touching it again. "Can't help it," I say around a mouthful of candy bar. I know what I look like: a smudge of black leather and hair. "It happens when I get really excited. The more excited I get, the more I vibrate."
"Now there's a thought," Lor says.
"If you mean what I think you mean, you want to shut the fuck up ad never think it again," Ryodan says.
"Just saying, boss," Lor says. "You can't tell me you didn't think it, too.” 


“When I thought I'd killed him, I felt more alone than I've felt in a long time. Like I couldn't stand walking through this city knowing he wasn't in it. Like somehow, as long as he was out there somewhere, if I was ever really in trouble, I knew where I could go and while maybe he wouldn't do exactly what I wanted him to do, he'd keep me alive. He'd get me through whatever it was to live another day.”  



Verdict

 

2 comments:

  1. Yay for Team Ryodan! I loved this book, and Dani is my favorite character. I felt too bad for Christian, it's like he's losing his humanity or something, and I can't wait to find more about Dancer. I wonder if he will be the one. I'm rooting for Ryodan anyhow. Great review =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I felt bad for Christian too.. I hope he gets better, as he was being a tad insane toward the end.

      I'm curious about Dancer, I do believe there is more to him than we know.

      Delete