Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Review: ICED by Karen Marie Moning

iced cover

It's the Ryodan Show! Welcome to the Ryodan Show, where the world revolves around Ryodan, the most interesting man in the world. Ryodan knows mostly everything, but there's one thing he doesn't know: who, how, what, and why is freezing Unseelie in his club. For some reason he thinks Dani Mega O'Malley, a fourteen-year-old who fancies herself a superhero[ine], will be able to help him figure it out.

I was kind of excited about Iced, the first novel in a new series that takes place in the same world as the Fever series, Karen Marie Moning's ├╝ber-successful PNR novels about a post-Apocalyptic world in Dublin. I loved the Fever series, which concluded last year. Dani, supposedly the main character in Iced and a supporting player in the Fever books, wasn't the most interesting person, but I wasn't opposed to her getting her own book.

Guys, I had so many problems with this novel. Whereas the Fever series felt like it knew exactly where it was going, and I could relate to the characters, Iced seemed like Moning was making it up as she went along. And I could not connect to Dani at all. Let's break it down a little, shall we?

  • Dani--First and foremost, Iced does not feel like Dani's story. I'm honestly not sure whose story it is (Moning switches points of view a lot), but even though Dani gets most of the page time, I never got the sense I was reading her story. Secondly, she was completely unbelievable as a character. I was annoyed by Mac sometimes, but I was able to buy into her emotions and predicament. With Dani, I was just annoyed. She was way too OTT, from her crappy childhood to her reactions to EVERYTHING, to the fact that she didn't act like a believable fourteen-year-old. I can see where Moning was trying to make her *seem* like a teenager, but it didn't work for me. And speaking of age, this may be a stupid question, but why is Dani fourteen? Normally I don't care about characters' ages, but Moning makes a point of mentioning Dani's age (or lack thereof) every ten pages, and it doesn't contribute to the story at all. In fact, it works against the believability of the story pretty severely. 
  • Chapter titles--All of the chapter titles are song lyrics. Now, quoting song lyrics in novels is generally a bad idea (they never mean the same thing to you as they do to other people, trust me on this), but using them as chapter titles wouldn't bother me if it wasn't symptomatic of the central problems with Iced. None of these characters are musicians. OR EVEN LISTEN TO MUSIC. There's no music in this book, which is set in an alternate world *in Dublin* anyway, so why are the chapters referencing contemporary and classic American rock? Makes absolutely zero sense.
  • Ryodan and Christian--Ryodan was an okay character in the Fever series. I didn't give two shits about any of the Keltars, but that's probably because I didn't read that series by Moning set in Scotland, whatever it was. ANYway. My point here is this: Ryodan in Iced is boring. The way he ended every question with a period drove me bonkers. And the way he kept petting Dani was P R E T T Y creepy, almost as creepy as Christian stalking her. Especially considering she's four freaking teen. 
  • Story and pacing--You know how I'm always harping on when the pirates go back to the island in Pirates of the Caribbean? Now imagine the entire movie where they just keep going back to the island. Iced is kind of like that; except instead of an island, Dani keeps going back to Chester's. It's like this: Chester's, plot; leave Chester's so we can get adventures and pointless backstory; go back to Chester's so we can get back to the plot. FOR THE LOVE GOD, this book could have been wrapped up in 250 pages if Dani'd just stayed in Chester's!

Basically I really did not get Iced. At all. It just seems like a really weird, meandery book where the author didn't fully think everything through and then the editor didn't ask the right questions. But obviously that's just my personal opinion. And on the plus side I don't have to buy any more books in this series, yay!


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