Saturday, April 19, 2014

Iced (Dani O'Malley, #1; Fever, #6)

Iced (Dani O'Malley, #1; Fever, #6)Iced by Karen Marie Moning

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So I wrote this review, and accidentally clicked out of the review box and deleted everything. I've been having a meltdown but I think I can now try to pick up the pieces.

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4 stars!

I've been tinkering around on GR for sometime now, written a few reviews and I've recently discovered something about myself. I think my rating system is largely based on the excitement and enthusiasm of which I read a book and mostly ignores the more systematic rating points such as plot development, writing skill, character growth, etc. I do key in on some of those points, but mostly when they support my already existing feelings and thoughts. In short, I do what I want.

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There is nothing extraordinary about Iced, as is true about most new novels that are laying down the foundations of a set of characters, it is mostly an irrelevant plot line tailor made to showcase these people we are supposed to fall in love with or grow to hate with a deep and powerful loathing. The tricky situation here is this is not a new novel, this is a continuation of a long standing, multi-layered, extremely loved universe that has been masterfully created by KMM and hence we find the crux. No one has read this book without reading the Fever series *if you are the .01% who picked up Iced without reading Fever, stop reading right now, slap yourself and go get those books*, and we all got a disjointed blubbering monologue that is Dani. In fact nearly everyone I've read or spoken with went into Iced with an active dislike of Dani "Mega" O'Malley but in true zombie fashion we followed the scent of blood, the mere mention of more Mac and Barrons and even the die hard "never gonna happen" fans decided to pick up Iced. Here you find myself and Cory who decided to enter into this journey hand in hand, what we are willing to do in the name of love, sigh.

There is a truly magnificent moment that only a few readers are blessed with, and most don't know it has happened until they near the end of a book and slow sickly anxiety creeps in, you know the experience is soon to be over. You may have to wait years for the next installment and meanwhile these characters who have transcended through words on a page to a voice that now stays with you forever, a face, a story, a life. You stumble through a book or a series, lulled by an author's magic weaving you in a precious little cocoon, a space where you truly shut off and allow it all to wash over you and take you with the tide. Where these characters are real, the emotions you experience while reading are tragically tangible, you are at the whim of the pages, you carry the weight of what you are reading. I believe this is what is commonly referred to as becoming a fangirl. It's a term used in jest most often but I believe it's a uniquely special journey where you lose bits of yourself and get to live another life. I am a KMM Fangirl.

I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised how comfortable I found Dani's inner voice to be and was practically rejoicing that it wasn't what we had experienced in the Fever books. When I said there is nothing extraordinary about Iced it's the truth, however there is one very large exception, one I never could have anticipated. As I stumbled my way through Iced, slowly at first and then with a the hunger of a dying man at a buffet I found myself floating along with all her emotions, her interactions, her rage, her self-perseverance, her self-denial, I was completely woven up all that is Dani. I finished this book the same day I started it, and immediately (as in went to my kindle screen and found the beginning) started to read it again. The second time around is when it all clicked, I felt as though I was reading a characterized version of my 14 year old self. You know those absurd cartoons where they take something identifying to you personally and blow it up to absurd proportions? Yeah... that. Single mother? Check. Fucked up childhood? Check. Incapable of even conceptualizing any kind of intimate relationship? Check. Completely and totally self reliant? Check. Older than my years but lack the emotional maturity to understand? Check. More observant than anyone I know? Check. Desperately searching for some sense of stability? Check. Using men around me to cultivate stability in any form? Check. Terrified of cages, proverbial or otherwise? Check. Deep seeded need to be the best because it's the only way you know how to be accepted is by setting yourself apart? Check. Hurt the ones closest to you for reasons you can't begin to understand? Check.

Fuuuuuck. You think you know yourself and them BAM!

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No wonder I like her, right? I'm vain as hell.
The flowers are odd, ignore those but this is what she looks like in my head.

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I'll just have to dig around in my brain another time and suss out what the hell all of this means, but right now what it means is I have a never ending soft spot for Dani and unwavering faith in KMM, I know she's building something fecking spectacular. I've read every thing she's written and loved every word of it, I trust her implicitly. On that note let's talk about this damn book.

aaaaaand that's about where I blank out. I can't talk about the things I don't like in this book because it's all murky and confusing. I can't talk about the things I do like for that very reason, but I guess I can mumble my way though this.

First of fucking all KMM better fix this shit with Christian. He is a MacKeltar and I am a huge fan of that entire series, he needs a happy ending like all the rest of them, find a woman, fall in love, do the bonding, find out she's a virgin, have lots of kids. Out all off the men circling Dani he is far and away the highest on the rapey scale, and not in an excusable way either just straight up thinking about raping her or in more friendly verbiage "take her". I don't care if he is turning into the 4th Unseelie Prince, I DON'T CARE Christian you need to fucking stop it.

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Dancer needs to own up to whatever skeletons he's got in his closet because it's chock full and pretending to be Mr. Normal is getting on my damn nerves. Ryodan is... well... frankly he's an asshole, but so are all of the 9 so that's not hard to accept. It's how he tries to cage her to keep her safe that enrages me, he tries to teach her lessons on how to treat him and how to act and it makes me sick. Dani made a reference in her head about not being a dog made to heal and just wish so much she would have fought harder against him. I felt a little like a ping pong ball through out this book being ricocheted back and forth between "this is creepy she's 14" and "ok ok, but it's more than that" and to be honest I think this entire book is mostly made up of grey area.

After my second reread I marinated on Ryodan's motives for awhile and came up with the conclusion that a being as old as he is, he's never seen anything like her but she might be the only thing that could ever give him the one thing he wants. In the mean time he is, in the only way he knows how trying to keep her safe and be there for her. In fact it's the exact same thing Barrons did with Mac, making her move in, training her, working with her, claiming ownership of her all in the name of "protecting his interests" which we all know is a pile of lies. He wanted her, she was skittish and needed to figure it out, so he waited while keeping her safe and sound. Same. Exact. Motives. I can't really articulate how I feel about Ryodan specifically other than I'm forcing myself to stay neutral, for now.

The innocence Dani shows every time she miscalculates the mens reaction to her makes me smile. It's the only bit of innocence she allows to show because she is simply unaware that she is wrong. It may be the only bit of her childhood that has remained in tact and I was happy to see KMM keep that thread throughout the entire book. Dani is so jaded and filled with teenage arrogance with some seriously deep trust issues I couldn't help but root for her. All I can say is I cannot wait to see who she becomes in the coming books, I too think she will be one hell of a woman.

As far as updated release date of July 2014, all I can say is it's traumatic.

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