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Gwen’s review of Iced (Dani O’Malley, Book 1) by Karen Marie Moning
Urban Fantasy published by Delacorte Press 30 Oct 12

Yes. It’s me. I have returned to review this book for Sybil and the other ducks at TGTBTU. Let me open this review by telling you that I’m a huge KMM fan. She’s an all-around nice person (she helped me with some details about Lyme Disease for an afflicted relative) and one of the better writers out there.

Plus, I think I’ve read everything she’s published – some of it more than once and that’s not something I normally do. KMM’s characters are always so fully developed that I feel like I know the people by the time I’m finished with her books. The Fever series and this related book are no exception – thorough, in-depth character development and really, really good writing.

For those of you not familiar with KMM’s Fever series, know first that it’s an urban fantasy. There are romantic elements, but it’s mostly about the world, the situations the characters find themselves in, and how they get out of them, with a little seasoning of romance, but that isn’t the goal.

There’s a larger story arc in the Mac Lane books – she’s trying to find the person who killed her sister – and that arc is missing from this Dani O’Malley book. To be honest, if you asked me today, I’d have to tell you that I don’t know what the broad story arc is for the Dani books – not yet, at least. I imagine that we’ll just have to trust the author to take us along with her to tell us why she’s telling us about Dani and her incredibly complicated world.

I suppose that is one of the things I give KMM that I don’t give to just any author – my trust she will eventually tell me everything I want to know. That kind of trust is rare for me. An author has to be consistently good and consistently good at tying off all the loose ends by the end of a series before I’ll bother to invest the time and energy in their books, let alone their series. And on this note, KMM delivers.

This book starts what looks like will be a sub-series in the Fever world. One that is based on one of the more colorful characters in this world – Dani O’Malley, the Mega. Dani is an adolescent with “superpowers” (her word) and a gigantic heart. She also has a huge chip on her shoulder about some things and that chip causes her to get herself into some predicaments that are by turns hilarious and then terrifying. My daughter is about Dani’s age and I wonder if she would be as brave and vulnerable as Dani. I hope she’d be as capable.

This takes me to the next point I want to make – this is not a YA novel. It probably could be with a few modifications (some cussing and a few graphic sexual references), but it’s not something I’d want my daughter to read and that bums me out. I like Dani so much – like her drive, her optimism, her general outlook on life being this HUGE adventure and isn’t she lucky she’s in it – that I want my daughter to be able to read about it and learn. Here’s Dani in a dystopian world, battling forces she can’t possibly defeat, going hungry more times than not, abandoned by her family, killing bad guys before she’s out of middle school, and she’s jazzed by life. I love that.

Several of the characters make references in the book about what a woman Dani will be when she grows up. I hope… no… I KNOW and trust that KMM will show us the person Dani will become. And dang if it won’t be a FUN ride.

Gwens IconGrade: A


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.

Read an excerpt.

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