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Posted November 19, 2012 by davincikittie in Top Reads
 
 

Review: Iced (Dani O’Malley #1) by Karen Marie Moning


TLDR Recap:

Dublin. One year after the walls between Faerie and Earth fell and a third of the planet’s human population was wiped out in a single night. Dani O’Malley is a sidhe-seer, an enhanced human who can move at super speed and who has suffered more than her share of tragedy and abuse in her very short life. Something is haunting Dublin, turning people to ice sculptures all over town, and every special skill and ability Dani has is about to be put to the test as she is forcibly recruited into mysterious bad boy Ryodan’s investigation. Caught between two unpredictable, sexy, and overbearing immortal men and a blossoming friendship with a genius human boy, Dani is about to embark on the most important and dangerous few months of her life. Can she manage all these unruly men and get to the heart of the mystery before the ice and cold consumes all of Dublin? Iced is a GraveTells Must-Read!

  • Title: Iced
  • Series: Dani O’Malley book #1, Fever series spin-off
  • Author: Karen Marie Moning
  • Prominent Characters: Dani, Ryodan, Christian, Dancer
  • Recommended Reader Age: 14+
  • Genre(s): young adult, urban fantasy
  • Sexual Content Level: light

*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***

Thoughts:

Dani O’Malley, how you slay me. Ill be straight up. I did not want to like this book. Dani drove me nuts in the Fever series and knowing I’d have to live in her head for the entire story had me dreading it enough to put it off for two weeks. She’s fourteen. I generally don’t read YA. On the other hand, I also didn’t like Mac much during the first few Fever series books and she turned out to be a hell of a heroine. Once I started reading Iced, I couldn’t put it down. I don’t even like post-apocalyptic stories! But even so, each chapter, even through Dani’s sometimes-endless ramblings and Dani-isms, sucked me in deeper until I couldn’t deny it anymore… this book kicked complete ass.

Anyone who has read Ms. Moning’s other works knows what compelling male characters she writes. They are strong, forthright, domineering, often supernaturally enhanced, complicated, and usually unpredictable…. but day-amn are they sexy! Hellloooo Ryodan! Holy smokes, Christian! And Dancer… who knew a plain old (albeit completely self-sufficient genius) human could be so appealing? *wipes away drool* Any guesses what deep dark secret he holds? And who do I want her to end up with? A) I feel dirty even contemplating that (she’s FOURTEEN and these big bad men are falling all over themselves to be around her!) and B) I have no idea!! Each of them has his pros and cons… and some of those cons are serious downsides.

On top of that, Dani is smart. Genius smart, and I’m not really even sure she realizes it. One of the things I really liked about this book is the intelligence of the solution. In order to solve this mystery, the characters needed to be more-than-average observant, and had to be able to problem-solve on a college level. Even so, the explanation made sense in layman terms and wasn’t so complicated that a normal reader couldn’t follow and understand the logic. Very well done.

It was also satisfying to get another glimpse into Ms. Moning’s creative abilities through some of Dani’s less conventional adventures. If you were worried that, being a young adult novel, Iced might back off on the various visceral details that were such a potent factor in the Fever series, fear not; this book has sex (albeit not explicit, and not involving Dani!) and violence (in gloriously graphic detail when needed), and time is not wasted on frivolous pursuits.

And oh yeah… holy fecking quotes, Batman!

Memorable Quotes

Welcome to Dublin, AWF

It’s a minefield outside that door. Walk lightly. Your parents’ rules don’t apply. Do be afraid of the dark. And if you’re thinking there might be a monster under your bed or in your closet, there probably is. Get up and check. Welcome to Planet Earth.

What makes a sidhe-seer stronger…

We used to think of ourselves in terms of us and them, humans and Fae, until we learned that the Unseelie King tampered with us way back, mixing his blood with the bloodlines of six ancient Irish houses. Some say we’re tainted, that we have the enemy within. I say anything that makes you stronger, duh, makes you stronger.

The unfortunate truth…

Rule #1 in the Universe: the crap always hits the fan. It’s the nature of crap. It’s a fan magnet.

Wish I could exist on protein bars and Snickers and stay that thin!

You know those movies where folks wear rounds of ammo on their body? I wear protein bars and Snickers.

Ohhhh myyyy! *snicker*

I just published my first book, Dani Does Dublin: the ABCs of the AWC.

Ryodan: scary yet strangely sexy…

“I’m stronger than you, faster than you, and lack the human emotion that drives you. That makes me your worst nightmare. Sit. Or I’ll make you sit.”

Surprisingly mature words of wisdom…

Sometimes you don’t think. You just do. Some moments are too golden to pass up. You play— you pay. I’ve always been okay with that.

Amen to that!

Procrastinating is number three on my Stupid List. You still end up exactly where you didn’t want to be, doing exactly what you didn’t want to do, with the only difference being that you lost all that time in between, during which you could have been doing something fun. Even worse, you probably stayed in a stressed-out, crappy mood the whole time you were avoiding it. If you know something is inevitable, do it and get it over with. Move on. Life is short.

Ryodan as a teacher… *shudder*

“You could ask me to teach you.”
“Huh?” This night is getting weird in a hurry. “Teach me like you’re teaching a class or something? What are you going to call it: ‘You Too Can Be a Sociopath 101’?”
“It would be more like a graduate-level class.”

Welcome to being an adult. It is teh suck.

If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to squeeze in five whole hours of sleep before I have to go back to “work.” I’m aghast at the horrificness of it all. Clock hands are ticking away my life at someone else’s direction. It’s so wrong.

Sad but true…

I know a thing about resentment: it is a poison you drink yourself, expecting others to die.

Yeah, you tell her, Dancer!

“Ability to defend oneself has absolutely no bearing on or relevance to deportment or emotional comportment of others.”
“Huh?”
“Don’t tell me what I can and can’t feel. If I feel like worrying about you, I buggering well will.”

If you liked…

If you haven’t read the Fever series (starting with Darkfever) by Karen Marie Moning, stay away from Iced until you have read the entire 5-book series! Not only would you spoil one of the most original and exciting plot arcs in urban fantasy, you’ll miss out on a lot of details that make Iced readable, and will end up swimming in a sea of confusion about terms, people, and history.

If you liked Iced and the Fever series and are looking for something to fill the OMG-must-keep-reading impulse, the Black Dagger Brotherhood should be on your list.  Starting with Dark Lover, J.R. Ward weaves a tale of vampire conflict and heartbreak so epic, it will leave you enthralled and begging for more.

The Cassie Palmer series by Karen Chance (starting with Touch the Dark), is another great (and addicting) urban fantasy series with a quirky, gutsy heroine, loads of sexy, capable, overbearing men, and a story arc that will keep you riveted and guessing.

Final Thoughts:

Iced waltzed in and pulverized all of my neat little preconceptions in the first chapter, and didn’t let up its relentless pace of mystery, adventure, and edgy attraction for a second. Did Dani annoy me at times? Yeah, but only very occasionally, and there were far more scenes where she really impressed and won me over. Were the men a little creepy with their unnatural interest in a fourteen year old girl? Yep, a little bit (aside from their incredibly addicting animalistic sex appeal), but I also came to see in her what they saw and I agree that she is going to be an incredibly strong heroine for this trilogy. What’s next for Dani O’Malley? I can’t wait to find out! Iced is a GraveTells “must read”!

Read along and discuss ICED with us on GoodReads!

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Rating: Iced

Recommended


davincikittie

 
Sue "DaVinciKittie" Brown-Moore is a veteran romance blogger and reviewer and the primary voice for GraveTells.com. Sue and GraveTells have won several blogging awards, and GraveTells recently celebrated its five-year anniversary! Sue is also a freelance Developmental Editor passionate about helping authors bring out the best in their stories. She loves reading romance, fantasy, and sci-fi and edits any genre she reads for pleasure. You can follow Sue's editing blog, with tips and tricks for authors, at DaVinciKittie.com.