Author: Karen Marie Moning
Publication Date: 10/30/2012
Publisher: Delacorte Press
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Blurb: 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.
What is the quickest way to make your intended sexy book absolutely, irrevocably, totally unsexy? Karen Marie Moning has the answer for you - just have your "heroes" act like abusive pedophiles, who love perving all over a scrawny, barely 14-year old girl, have them tell dick jokes around her, crawl into her bed when she is unconscious, lick her and wax poetically about her panties, sexualize this underage girl in every which way, and voila! - your book becomes revolting instead of tantalizing.
Now, I am not going to pretend that I didn't know Moning wasn't exactly a PC writer when it comes to treatment of women - Mac had her share of atrocious, abusive things done to her by a slew of men, including her life mate, in the Fever books, but at least she was a grown-up and could fight back physically, sexually and emotionally. Dani is a child! I seriously question Moning's judgment here. She is definitely no Nabokov to take on a subject so controversial and make something good out of it. She should have stuck to what she knows best and let us, her fans, enjoy a book that is entertaining and fun rather than the one that unnecessarily and thoughtlessly pushes boundaries and makes us gag in the meantime.
What makes me the most annoyed is that with the way Iced is plotted, there isn't actually a reason for Dani to be so young and for the story not to take place 5 or even 10 years in future. As the novel opens, post-wall-crash Dublin is in an even more dire situation than at the end of Shadowfever. Not only is our world infested by fae, but something weird is freezing and icing the whole areas of Dublin and beyond. It seems, Ryodan learns first about the ice problem and then decides to recruit Dani to help him investigate it, and does so by quite literally torturing and blackmailing her. (Don't ask me why a millenia-old man with a gang of friends, equally old, smart and experienced in many things fae and human, even needs a help from a teenager. I still don't get it.) So, having no choice, Dani starts investigating, with assistance from her friend Dancer, a 17-year old science geek and the only non-creepy male in the whole story. Lurking about is pedo fairy Christian, who suddenly and unexpectedly acquires a very unhealthy sexual obsession with Dani.
I personally wasn't that impressed with the first half of Iced. First, there is too much recapping of the Fever story and mythology and second, naturally, there is too much uncomfortable sexualization of Dani, done mostly by the mega-creep Christian. As far as the mystery of Iced goes, I'd say it's of an average quality for urban fantasy. The new bits of mythology are interesting but the plot is not as elaborate and twisty as that in the Fever series.
However, the second part is a tad livelier and less offensive (or maybe I just got used to the grossness of it all by then?). That's where the investigation really gets going, we learn more about Dani's past, we see how Cruce is plotting his escape and how Christian's transformation into an Unseelie Prince is progressing, and, most importantly, Christian's sick POV is scaled back. In this second part he is presented in a sort of humorous way, because once we no longer have to be in his head filled with thoughts of sex and odes to his hard member so much, from Dani's POV he is just a pathetic and often laughable psycho.
With that said, I honestly don't know if I can actively recommend Iced. While reading it, I spent too much time trying to imagine Dani was older, so that I didn't have to feel so revolted all the time. But then, judging by the multitude of 5-star reviews of this book, there is a HUGE portion of women who have absolutely no problem with the blatant pedophilia in this book. It's astonishing, really, just how many don't really think anything of it at all, "as long as Dani doesn't actually have sex with anyone." Oh well...
I will probably read the sequel.