So. There's no secret for anyone here that I'm obsessed with Karen Marie Moning's writing. OBSESSED. No one else can make my head spin in so many directions and make me go crazy with so many ideas and possibilities and feel so connected with their characters. So, I finally read Iced last week and I've been completely lost in the Fever world ever since. Iced was my most anticipated book of the past two years and it exceeded all my expectations! (which were already pretty high, since I didn't think you could go wrong with a Karen Marie Moning book). A lot of things happened in this one and the ending was killer, so I spent the last few days re-reading it, trying to process it all and discussing with friends and other fans of the series, trying to make some sense of all the clues and plot lines and mysteries Ms. Moning threw at us. Such a crazy, mindfecking wild ride! How do you even write a review for a book like this? How do you make it justice? *sigh* KMM's books are just too complex and multi-layered to do that. Everything she does and says can have a million different meanings. There are plots and subplots, variables, nuances, many possible directions and outcomes... It's just fecking amazing! I can sit here and read this book for a a month and still discover something new every single time. This is what I call an all around GOOD book!
And now that I got the fangirly, gushing part off my chest...
And now that I got the fangirly, gushing part off my chest...
Iced (Fever #6)
by Karen Marie Moning
Released: October 30th 2012
by Delacorte Press
Format: Hardcover, 495 pages
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.
Some thoughts: (might contain mild spoilers for the previous Fever books):
The world in Iced has a post-apocalyptic, dystopian feeling to it - it's scary, dark and gritty, but it's very original and fascinating at the same time. When the Wall between the human world and the Fae crashed down, a lot of people died and everything changed. Now there's no money, no Internet, no telephones, no market, no organized systems. And there are no rules: the Shades and the Fae (Seelie and Unseelie) move freely among the humans, breaking havoc, killing and destroying everything in their path. People have to fight for survival constantly and there's no place safe anymore. And Dani "Mega" O'Malley is in the center of it all, trying to make the streets of Dublin a safer place.
We met Dani in the Fever series, but she's not just the outspoken sidekick with so much energy that keeping up with her drove you crazy anymore. Ok, yes, she's still fiery and full of energy, but she's running the show this time around. And she's awesome! Fun, smart, spunky, a kickass superhero! She runs the streets of the city at super-speed, fighting bad guys, helping people, cleaning up and doing her best to survive in this dark world. She's just 14, but she' strong, brave, has awesome superpowers and she owns one of the only two weapons that can kill the Fae. And she uses it as much as she can.
But when some nasty Big Bad starts turning parts of the city into ice, including a part of Ryodan's club, things get a little more interesting and complicated. Ryodan will have no one messing with his business and his city, so he, um, 'recruits' Dani to work for him at solving the mystery and finding out who and why is behind all that. He's a total badass, an alpha male who doesn't play nice (that's putting it mildly), so Dani is forced to work for him. They fight, they banter, they get under each other's skin. Ryodan is constantly shadowing her, getting into her personal space or trying to order her around. And no one controls the 'Mega', so, of course, sparks begin to fly. But they do work perfectly well together, trying to get to the bottom of the whole iced problem. They're both incredibly smart, creative and detail oriented, so they make a great team together.
Starting to work for Ryodan is only the beginning though. Dani gets caught in a whirlwind of action, mystery, danger, twists and adventures that barely give her time to catch her breath and she has to dodge death more than once. Being a superhero at 14 is not easy at all!
And as much as I loved Dani and Ryodan and their interactions, they are not the only important characters in Iced. Actually, there's a really varied cast: lots of intriguing and very well developed characters who make things more fun and interesting. It's really hard not get into details here, but let's say that no one is what they seem. We get a few glimpses from other characters' POV as well, which gives us a little insight into their heads and their stories. And, of course, it makes for all sorts of theories and ideas about who they could be and what their contribution to the whole story might be.
Dancer, Dani's only friend closer to her age, is a great addition to the story. He's super cute, super smart and proves to be a great support in dire situations and a reliable friend in this world where 'old dudes' complicate everything. And then there's Christian: he's a hot, intriguing Scotsman who seems to have some interest in Dani as well, but he's becoming something... not quite human, so being around him is always tricky.
And like saving the world and all that wasn't bad enough, Dani has to deal with complicated emotions, fears, hormones and mood swings like any other 14 year old as well.
Speaking of which, I know there are people worried about this book being YA or creepy. Trust me, it isn't. Yes, Dani is 14, but she's very mature for her age. Even so, there's no need to worry about her having sex or being looked at in some perverted way by all the hot alpha males in the book. There might be some interest and potential here and there, but nothing icky or inappropriate (we all know how hot, passionate and sex obsessed these alpha males can be, right? Well, it's all as tame as it can be here, given the circumstances. LOL). And even when there are sexual jokes and innuendos thrown around her, they are mild and go right by her head anyway. :)) Of course, like I said, there are other POVs in the book too and their situations are not always YA friendly. ;)
"Stop. Vibrating." Ryodan plucks a paper out of the air and slaps it back down on his desk.
"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 f*** up and never think it again," Ryodan says.
"Just saying, boss," Lor says. "You can't tell me you didn't think it, too."
I never understand half of what these dudes are talking about and don't care.
I love Dani, she's a such a kickass character! She's strong, independent, full of passion, funny and a true survivor. She stands on her own and doesn't back down in front of all the testosterone around her or when people keep trying to push her around. It's also very easy to connect with her, to feel all the confusion, anger, disappointment, sadness, betrayal, jealousy (HA!) or joy she feels. She has a very powerful, unique and fresh voice: she brings energy and life to the story and everywhere around her, despite the dark setting and dangerous situations. But overall, her story is not as intense and emotional as Mac's was (not yet, anyway) and being inside her head is really entertaining. There are lots of hilarious scenes and lines in the book - then again, KMM's one-liners are always the best!:D
In Dani's words: Ryodan is like the ocean. He is what he is. And he’s not about to change. There’s no point in fighting the tide. It ebbs. It flows. You ride it. He’s got me by the short hairs and he’s not about to let go.
In Christian's words (and there might or might not be some rivalry between them): They don’t call him the master of manipulation for nothing. Barrons breaks heads. Ryodan turns them inside out. Barrons f**** you up. Ryodan makes you f*** yourself up. He pushes buttons and rearranges things according to his own private, coolly sociopathic plan.
Even so, I LOVED Ryodan! He's definitely something else. *fans self* He's not so... always there, in your face, taking all the space on the page and all the air in the room with his presence, like Barrons used to do, which is why his presence is even more... Hmmm... I don't know how to name it. All-consuming? Earth-shattering? Mind-blowing? Heart-stopping? Unbelievable? Breath-taking? Incredibly swoon-worthy? Mouth-watering? All of the above - and then some?:D
“Ah, Dani, if only you took instruction in all things so well.”
“You’d be bored.”
“So would you.”
“I like sex for breakfast, kid. I eat early and often.”
By the way, I could quote the entire book here, it's just so full of awesome!
"Dude, the bush is ready. Why you still beating around it?"
“I’ve lived a long time, kid, and I’ve never heard anyone mutilate the English language quite like you.”
This one kind of sums up Dani's character:
"Kid, you just never give up."
"I'm like, alive. How could I?"
And lastly, one of my favorites:
“ (...) Besides, I’m just human, too.”
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.”
“You’re going to be one hell of a woman one day, Dani.”
So, yeah. Like I said: obsessed.:)) And it's a different kind of obsession than the one I had with the Mac and Barrons books.:)) By the end, everything in Iced is just a giant question mark and the wait for the next book is going to be TORTURE! (How did you people survive the wait between the Fever books?! Thankfully, they were already all out when I read them - and wow, what an experience!)
Bottom line, Iced was an amazing surprise; a very well written, clever, fun, imaginative and captivating book and a perfect addition to the Fever series. I can't wait to read more of Dani's adventures! (oh, and if you haven't read the Fever series yet, DO IT ASAP. It's brilliant!)
Sometimes it was hard to keep up with Dani's thoughts and chatter
and I wasn't happy with some of the situations or with some of the characters' actions
(*cough* Ryodan *cough*),
but this book seems so far off from the books I usually give 4.5 and 5 stars,
that I can't not give it a special rating!:)