REVIEW by Jena: Iced (Dani O’Malley #1) by Karen Marie Moning (@KarenMMoning)

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.

Ok, I just finished Iced.  Like 2 minutes ago.  And I am STILL trying to wrap my head around something I just heard in the last minute of the audiobook……………

Let me start from the beginning. 

I am a Fever junkie.  I may have mentioned that once or twice in the last year.  Maybe……..

When I read the Fever series, I was one of the few people I know that really loved Shadowfever but even I had to agree that the book sort of felt like Karen Marie Moning had just run out of steam with the story.  Although I enjoyed it, it had its moments where it sort of felt like she wasn’t sure where she was going. 

Then came Fever Moon, which I thought was excellent, and then the news of the Dani O’Malley books.  Iced would be the first to launch and my initial reaction was….really?

Dani was always one of my least favorite characters in the Fever series.  She’s incredibly young for such an adult book and at times I felt like she was…I don’t know….in the way?  I was really afraid of a series being spearheaded by the likes of her.

As the Iced release date neared, I started getting a little apprehensive about reading it.  I loved the Fever series so much that I was nervous that Karen Marie Moning would disappoint me.  I was afraid that the Dani books were going to be an attempt to somehow keep the Fever series alive without beating the Mac/Barrons story line to death. 

A couple of weeks went by and as I was deciding what to spend my next Audible credits on, I got a recommendation to check out Iced.  So I said screw it.  I liked Fever Moon.  Maybe I will like this too…..


I was skeptical going in and even said 2 hours into the audiobook “I don’t know.  It seems alright.  I’m kind of diggin’ it.” 

Then the story line took off like a rocket!

All the energy and flow is there.  The same attention and care that went into creating the Fever series is there.  Not to mention the list of characters that we already know – Dani, Dancer, Christian, Jo, Kat and my two favorites Lor and Ryodan.  Oh, Ryodan….  One of my absolute favorite characters from the Fever series.  He’s cold.  He’s calculating.  He’s totally unfeeling.  And I love every minute of it.  The things that come out of his mouth are hilarious on a sick, twisted and sadistic level. 

And Dani.  As I said, I had trouble with the first two hours of this book.  I went into it knowing that I really didn’t like Dani as a character.  By the end of the book, I was totally won over.  She really is a great character.  There’s a lot of emphasis in this book on the fact that she is only 14 and I think that was there as a foreshadowing.  Regardless of her age, Dani has done more and seen more and dealt with more than most people in the Feververse.  She’s had to grow up in a way that you start to appreciate the childish side of her.  You find yourself wishing to see her hang on to that side of her.  Unfortunately, one has to grow up sometime and even in the span of this one book, I felt like I saw Dani grow up a LOT.  The fun thing about watching Dani go through it is the internal dialog she has.  She’s at a stage in her life that is HILARIOUS when you’re hearing her interpretation of it. 

Christian was downright painful to watch in this book.  Sadface.  If what happened to him in the end of the Fever series wasn’t bad enough, it gets worse.  Ooooooooh, it gets so much worse….

The storyline in this book is all original.  I picks up right where Shadowfever left off with a whole new mystery that is directly tied to the overall story arc.  I was worried when I went into Iced that we were going to see a lot of rehashing of the same ‘ol same ‘ol but that wasn’t the case at all.

Now, there’s been a lot of chatter on the internet about this book, and quite honestly this particular bit of chatter is part of the reason I decided to read the book.  I needed to know if Karen Marie Moning would really do this.  Some people are theorizing that there was a seriously inappropriate relationship going on between Ryodan and Dani in Iced.  When I first heard this, I was completely disgusted by it.  She’s 14 years old.  And he is WHO KNOWS how old.  I couldn’t believe that KMM would actually write something like that into the Fever storyline.  I am happy to report that I did not get that impression AT ALL.  If anything, I got a mentor/mentee relationship.  Of course, it’s mentor/mentee as much as Ryodan could ever be anyone’s mentor.  He’s still Ryodan so his lessons are hard learned and come across as cruel but the lesson is there nonetheless. 

I don’t want to tell too much and give the story away but let me leave you with this…

YOU ARE GOING TO SHIT FRISBIES WHEN YOU REACH THE END OF THIS BOOK.  Statement of fact, people.  Pay attention to the details in this book because in the very last minute of the audiobook – literally, the very last minute – one of those details is mentioned again and it’s new meaning is EARTH SHAKING.  I sat here for a good half hour just DUMBFOUNDED by what I had just heard.  And it wouldn’t be a KMM book without a cliffhanger from hell…

I was very happy to have read this book.  There was only one slow spot in the initial 2 hours of the audiobook but once I got past that, it was smooth sailing.  The audiobook version is read by Natalie Ross and Phil Gigante (same as the Fever series) and both are as talented as ever.  The book is not told solely from Dani’s point of view and at one point, this caused a slight issue.  But the issue was just a minor blip.  The story switches from Dani talking with Ryodan to Christian’s POV.  Only there’s nothing to tell you that it’s Christian talking at first so you think you’re listening to Ryodan and it is DISTURBING because of what he’s talking about.  However, he then mentions being a highlander, being a walking lie detector and turning Unseelie Prince.  Once he gets to that part of his little diatribe, it cleared up the confusion pretty quick.  From that point on, I quickly learned the difference between Phil Gigante’s voices for Christian, Ryodan and Lor.  After I had those down, I didn’t hit any more spots that made me flash the “Whaaaaaaa????” face again. 

The point of views that we hear in this book are Dani, Christian and Kat.  We might hear something from Ryodan and Lor’s POV’s too but thinking back, I not totally positive on that. 

I am about to say something I never thought I would be saying at the end of this review.  I had myself so geared and prepared up to be thoroughly disappointed with Iced and that just is not the case. 

I am going to give Iced 5 stars! 

If you loved the Fever series, you will love this spinoff series.  I, for one, and DYING to get my hands on the next book.  Here’s hoping it’s not too long before it comes out…. 



Dani O’Malley #1

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Fever Series Book #1

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Fever Series Book #2

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Fever Series Book #3

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Fever Series Book #4

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Fever Series Book #5

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The Fear Dorcha
Fever Series Graphic Novel

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  1. I agree with all you have said!

    Dani was not one of my favourite Fever characters so I was really surprised, but very pleased, to find that I LOVED ICED!

    I also listened to the audiobook and am so pleased that Natalie toned down Dani’s “voice” for Iced. In the Fever Series she tended to grate on my nerves but Natalie and of course Phil have done a wonderful job again giving voices to these wonderful characters!

    KMM is the Queen of cliffies, as we know very well by now, but I was still surprised by the ending of Iced.

    Like you I am very much looking forward to the next of Dani’s adventures!

  2. GD I want to read that book.

  3. Karen Correll says:

    Great Review!! Thank You..

  4. Agreed! I figured KMM would give us a great story and I wasn’t wrong. Thanks for the review–I really enjoyed it!

  5. boomergrl49 says:

    Wonderful review, although I’m still a bit concerned about shitting frisbies 🙂 This book is on my list! Great review Jena!

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