Review: Iced by Karen Marie Moning

Filed in 2 1/2 Stars , Draconismoi , featured , Karen Moning , Review Posted on January 10, 2013 @ 8:00 am 25 comments

IcedFormat Read: Ebook.
Number of Pages: 495.
Release Date: October 30, 2012.
Genre: Urban Fantasy.
Series: Fever #6/Dani O’Malley #1.
Publisher: Delacorte.
Formats Available: Hardback, ebook, audiobook
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author, Book Depository, IndieBound.

Book 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.

My Thoughts: 

I have not read the Fever books. I’ve thought about it multiple times over the years, but the blurbs always left me feeling meh. Pretty basic premise. Orphan-discovers-magic-powers-and-fights-evil. Magical Ireland hidden in plain sight? Sounds like Harry Potter: the college years. More drunken hookups and fewer finals exams.

This post-apocalyptic spin-off, however, caught me hook, line, and sinker.

You can go to sleep in your own bed and wake up in a completely different reality. If you’re lucky, the climate won’t kill you instantly and the inhabitants won’t eat you. If you’re really really lucky, you’ll find your way home. Eventually. If you’re superlucky, time will pass at a normal rate while you’re gone. Nobody’s that lucky. Folks vanish all the time. They just disappear and are never seen again.

Well, well, well. Color me intrigued. I am a sucker for catastrophic world-building, and this sounds awesome! Like Kate Daniels with the Fae. It helps that I spent all weekend burning through Lost Girl on Netflix. I am ready for some weird Fae shit!

“Welcome to Dublin, AWC—After the Wall Crash—where we’re all fighting for possession of what’s left of the planet.

The Fae have no king, no queen, no one in charge. Two psychotic, immortal Unseelie princes battle for dominion over both races. Humans have no government. Even if we did, I doubt we’d listen to them. It’s complete chaos.

I’m Dani “Mega” O’Malley.

I’m fourteen.”

And here’s where the book goes from frakking awesome, to complete and utter train-wreck.

Dani, the main character, is fourteen. She has an extremely immature understanding of the world, reacts childishly to matters she admits she doesn’t understand (e.g. adult character’s sex lives), and carelessly puts herself (and others) in dangerous situations due to her lack of foresight.

In short? She is a child. A child growing up alone in a deadly world, but a child nonetheless.

The problem? The menfolk.

Ryodan and Christian. They are clearly set up as two prongs of a love triangle for young Dani. Two immortal adult males, with insane levels of power and extreme control issues, spend the entire book sexualizing a GODDAMN CHILD.

Over the course of the book, Dani is magically roofied, forced to strip in public, seduced, forbidden from interacting with other men, forced to dress in fetish wear, almost raped, and wakes up naked in a man’s bed. With the cooling corpse of his previous fuck-buddy on the floor.

She’s also the butt of god knows how many perverted innuendos that (thankfully) fly right over her head.

“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 and never think it again,” Ryodan says.

“Just saying, boss,” Lor says. “You can’t tell me you didn’t think it, too.”

Now you’d like to think that Ryo-boy is pissed off that one of his employees is perving out over a CHILD.  But oh-no, he’s just upset that another man is checking out the merchandise he’s already claimed. Hence the aforementioned scene in which she is forced to change out of (age and lifestyle appropriate) pajamas into fetish-wear. Because the pjs smelled like another man. Nevermind that Dani was left for dead in an alley and needed something warm/clean to wear. All that matters is that his property reeks of some other Y chromosome. Better that she borrow some kink from the indentured waitresses at his club (and subsequently traipse around town like an anime-fetishists wet dream), than wear anything provided by Christian.

Just in case the sexual obsession over a little girl isn’t creepy enough for you, both “love” interests smack her around on more then one occasion. Because if there is one thing you can do to express love to an abused, abandoned child you’d like to fuck, it’s beat the everloving shit out of  her.

They also lock her up, stalk her, and threaten to kill her and everyone she care about. For good measure.

Karen Marie Moning has done a wee bit of fan interaction to defend Dani’s age and the sexually charged nature of her story. Blah blah, I don’t write YA, blah blah.

Lady? Screw you. None of your fans are upset that you aren’t doing a YA spin-off, they are upset that you’ve penned the paranormal Lolita and are expecting us to find it romantic and enticing. Vladimir Nabokov didn’t whine about the backlash, neither should you.

I give Iced 2.5 Stars. This could have been a 3.5 (or even 4) star book if any of the menfolk populating the Fever-verse noticed that Dani was a kid, and treated her as such. There is plenty of time for young Dani to get her sexcipades on. When she is old enough to be an active, willing, and engaged participant. No need to rush to the gate.


You should only read Iced if you are deeply invested in the on-going saga of characters in the Fever-verse. Otherwise it is not worth the creepy.

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Draconismoi

Draconismoi is a Legal Aid Attorney out on the frozen tundra. After two weeks of -30F, she started telling people she moved to Alaska because she loves the indoors. Right now you'll find her curled up under all the blankets she owns, surrounded by a pile of books. Every so often she emerges from her cave (when there is food) and wonders how she'll justify prolonging this behavior once the temperature rises and the sun returns.

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Join the Discussion
  • Lily B January 10, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    I did really enjoy the first book of the fever series, thought I have to say I am not very attached to the female lead a little too girly and colorful for me but I enjoyed the world and have book two waiting. Great review on this one, I think a lot of people have an issue that a book like that is written with a 14 year old. I think it’s a bit awkward and pervy

    • Draconismoi January 10, 2013 at 12:26 pm

      YES! Some people *cough Caro cough* disagree with my interpretation on this Lolita spin-off.

      It really is disappointing that Moning took the express train to perv-town, because there was so much awesome world-building and fun character interaction that this COULD HAVE BEEN such an awesome book.

      • Caro The HEA Lover January 11, 2013 at 8:06 am

        LMAO I heard someone coughing my name! I really didn’t have a prob with this (like I told you) because Dani isn’t even thinking about sex. She doesn’t understand sexual attraction and has NO idea when something she says has another meaning.
        And well only 1 guy is having pervy thoughts and he’s CRAZY so…
        No I really really loved it.

        • Draconismoi January 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm

          Are you SURE he wasn’t having dirty thoughts? We didn’t get a chapter from his perspective like we did with the totally crazy guy.

          • Lily B January 11, 2013 at 12:45 pm

            Isn’t it still awkward to read a book like that even if only one guy is fantasizing about this child? XD

  • aurian January 10, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I’ve read a review similar to yours Draconismoi. What I also can’t get my head around, that there are so many readers who “love” Ryodan even more than Barrons (Whom I also can’t like or swoon over). If he shows that kind of behaviour, something is really wrong with him. I do want to read the book someday, but I will wait for the next ones to be out as well.

    • draconismoi January 10, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      I know! At one point in the book, Dani literally dying in front of him, and he starts reminiscing about how he’s been seriously considering killing her only friend. Because her friend is a boy. And teenage boys are some kind of threat to him.

      Bear in mind that this conversation is taking place while said boy is saving Dani’s life.

      • Caro The HEA Lover January 11, 2013 at 8:12 am

        I feel like I should intervene. Aurian…i am one of those people who love Ryodan more than Barrons. I am addicted to Ryodan. You should bear in mind that he’s NOT human.
        He’s…’old’ lol…and remember that at some points in history girls were married at 12. He even mentions in the book that she’s too young.
        I didn’t find it pervy because he’s not interested in the girl but in the woman she’ll become. It’s strange but not disgusting. LOL

        • Draconismoi January 11, 2013 at 12:07 pm

          If it makes you feel better, I preferred Ryodan to Barrons in this book.

          Barrons was clearly a sociopath, blaming dani for the whole thing with the Hag just because she happened to be there, supporting his (wife? Lover?) on her obsessive quest to murder a child for something that pretty much everyone agrees was done under magical coercion by an already dead person. And he apparently abandoned an ally to die a horrible death in previous books. What an ass!

          Sure, Ryodan is sexually fixated on a little girl, but he didn’t act on it. Or let his pervert underlings act on it. And when the city was under attack by giant ice monster of death, he acted. Instead of pissing off to get laid in the nice part of town.

  • Readsalot81 January 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    This book I DNF’d so I applaud you for finishing. I just couldn’t do it. Dani’s voice irritated me to high heaven.. and the grown men circling Dani like a dog with a juicy bone made me want to heave the book across the room. I didn’t find *anything* redeeming in the book.. and I read and liked the Fever series just fine. She just comes across as way too immature and I don’t have any incentive to pick up the upcoming books to see if anything changes in the future.

    • draconismoi January 10, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      I didn’t mind her immaturity. Granted I do read a lot of YA and MG books. I found her voice and reaction to situations irritating as all shit – but also very appropriate to her age and character.

      I greatly loved all those moments where her adult brain would kick in for a few moments, just the say real teenagers display flashes of adult intellect.

      But yeah. The only person in that book who should have even contemplated romantic interactions with Dani was Dancer. And he was smart enough to understand she was TOO YOUNG TO RESPOND IN KIND. How often do you see a 17 year old boy not thinking with his dick?

  • Jess1 January 10, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    I really commend you on stating the facts about this book, and stating it so well. Others can ignore it or make excuses about it. Creepy is right.

    • draconismoi January 10, 2013 at 3:19 pm

      I was expecting people to be throwing virtual fruit at me for maligning a much beloved series. This support is unexpected.

      • Caro The HEA Lover January 11, 2013 at 8:17 am

        *throws a tomato* *runs and hides*

        • Draconismoi January 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm

          THAT’S what I was expecting.

  • blodeuedd January 10, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    When I heard that she was 14 I was all what? No thanks

    • draconismoi January 10, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      Do you not read it at all because she was 14? Or because after reading the previous books in the series you knew the author was taking a 14 year old to a not good place?

    • Caro The HEA Lover January 11, 2013 at 8:14 am

      She’s 14 but there’s no romance/sex involving her. She’s too young. She doesn’t even think about sex as something other than gross.

  • Susan January 10, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Wow. I’m torn between wanting to laugh or taking a bath.

    I had been thinking about downloading this book when it came out, but decided to wait because of the price. Looks like you saved me a little money and a lot of aggro.

    • Caro The HEA Lover January 11, 2013 at 8:16 am

      I Will answer every comment in this post it seems lol. You’re all making me feel very lonely, in that i LOVED this book. Am I the only one? lol

      Caro the Ryodan Lover

      • Draconismoi January 11, 2013 at 12:19 pm

        Nah, there have to be more people who loved it, or else the sales wouldn’t have been so good. And when I trolled the reviews on goodreads and such it was about an even split on the I LOVE RYO MORE THAN B/OMFG PERVERTS.

        There are no ambivalent people about this book. Which I guess, as an author, is a good thing?

      • Susan January 11, 2013 at 7:39 pm

        OK, Caro, I read all your comments and now I’m torn/curious. Maybe when the ebook price drops from the ridiculous $14 level I’ll check it out and make up my own mind. At least I’ll wade in forewarned with Draconismoi review ringing in ears.

        I will also admit here that there are plenty of problematic books/characters that I like, even while intellectually knowing there’s no reason I should like them. (Heck, that’s probably true about some real people in my life, too!) There’s sometimes no accounting for what strikes a chord with me as a reader.

        • draconismoi January 11, 2013 at 9:36 pm

          Look, Caro! You got one!

          And Susan, are you implying that my arguments are lacking? Unacceptable! My next review will be so amazing you will be too afraid to even consider not agreeing with me!

          Well, maybe not my next review. But definitely at least one review at some point in the future.

        • Caro The HEA Lover January 12, 2013 at 10:47 am

          YAY someone who will still consider reading it! YAY and yes now you will go ahead and read it knowing exactly what to expect.

          I’ve read a few ‘hate’ reviews for this book and I don’t want to make generalization but I just find it a bit hypocritical when I see comments like ‘oh no, men lusting over underage teen, I can’t accept that so I hate this book’. I mean I do not condone this (at all) either but that’s real life for you. Life isn’t perfect so I don’t expect my books to be any different.

          • Draconismoi January 12, 2013 at 1:09 pm

            Caro makes a good point about the reality of perverts in the world who lust after little girls. I know I am extremely intolerant of unavenged DVSA in my fiction due to my work.

            I want my fiction filled with catharsis and VENGENCE for these crimes. Makes me feel better about life.

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