Friday, October 31, 2014

Book Bingo / Audio / Halloween: Iced

Iced by Karen Marie Moning is the first book in the Dani O'Malley Trilogy, a spin-off of the Fever series. I haven't read any of the other books in the series, so my review only refers to this one book. Dani "Mega" O'Malley is a fourteen-year-old girl who can move in fast mode and kill dangerous Unseelie creatures with her sword of light. The setting is Dublin, Ireland AWC (After the Wall Crash between Faery and the human world). Dani finds herself constantly in motion trying to kill Unseelie, protect her fellow humans and keep them informed on the dangers around them, and avoid the ever-growing number of adults monitoring her and trying to set ground rules for her to follow. Needless to say, it's quite a trick, and things get even more complicated when an unknown creature comes out of nowhere and starts covering parts of Dublin in ice that explodes rather than thawing.

(picture taken from Goodreads)

First Impression: I haven't read any other books by this author, but I picked this up at a sale a while back, and it's just been sitting on my shelf. The first couple of chapters are really confusing because this book begins a spin-off of another series. I can't decide how I feel about Dani. On one hand, I think her motivations are good, and she has a lot of handy capabilities. On the other hand, she's a bit annoying and selfish, and her abilities are dwarfed by a couple of guys not very far into the book, which makes them less amazing in comparison. I question Moning's decision to make Dani fourteen-years-old--or to have a fourteen-year-old main character in an adult book. I know this was a character from the main series, but sixteen- or seventeen-years-old might have been more appropriate. Maybe her intention was to make Dani more hormonal and reckless? Ryodan is something of a mystery. Is he a vampire? Elf? Goblin? Who knows? And what are his intentions and motivations? Christian seems like an obvious romantic interest: good guy trapped in a bad situation, not much older than Dani...but I have to admit, I like Dancer best so far if she's going to pick a guy.

Conclusion: It's really hard to review this book, because my opinions are so split about different characters and events. I mostly like the world Moning has created--Dublin AWC. It seems somewhat believable, what with Unseelie flooding the human world with lots of other creatures and the Seelie staying away most of the time. You have a lot of people staying at home while others flock to clubs or religious organizations to find comfort and warmth. There are some characters that I love, like Dancer and even Christian to some extent. Then there are characters like Ryodan. I think he's supposed to be attractive in a powerful and controlling way, but I kept seeing a flashing EXIT sign out of the corner of my eye when he'd show up. Get away from the abusive, somewhat psychotic killer! The ending is believable and probably perfect for the story, but the last chapter kind of tainted my view of the book by its boring and unnecessary existence. Also, what's with all the sex? Moning constantly has her characters talking about sex, and it has almost nothing to do with the storyline! I've ever seen something so prevalent that was so unnecessary to a story in my life! Oh well. I'll probably read the next one so I know what happens...or possibly go back and read the main series where Mac is the main character, because Dani is pretty annoying.

Audio: Natalie Ross has a good voice for Dani, although it's pretty obvious that she's older than the character. She does well at changing her voice for different female characters as well. Sometimes her voice for Kat was so low-key it almost put me to sleep--that's my only complaint. Phil Gigante did a pretty amazing job changing his voice for each male character--I would have never guessed that it was the same person speaking for all of the guys! Great performance all around.

Recommendation: If you like modern stories of the fae in an urban setting, this is probably a good story for you. Or if you like books where the main character is a self-centered teenager with superpowers. Not why I read it, but you never know. There is a lot of talk about sex (without actual explicit scenes) and a fair amount of cursing, so don't read it if that bothers you.

Iced is my Fantasy choice for the 2014 Book Bingo Challenge. Since it's kind of a dark fantasy, I thought it appropriate to review for my Halloween celebration. Wish I could have done more celebrating with you guys, though! Next year I'll go all out and have blog parties and giveaways and stuff! It will be fun!

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