A while back, I had a conversation with Anna @ Herding Cats Burning Soup blog. It started out with a discussion about how many of our older reads were getting hazy in our minds and that we didn’t even have notes or reviews on them to help jog the memory. From that was born the idea of doing an occasional (and by that I mean quarterly at most) re-read to catch up with some of those oldies, but goodies. So watch for the occasional Oldies review at our respective blogs and feel free to join in.Iced by Karen Marie Moning
Okay, thought I had read and reviewed this one a while back, but…apparently not. Vaguely remember the story, but no notes to jog me so ‘we’ll just start this baby over’, I thought. I wanted to continue with the series so deciding on a re-read seemed like a must if I wanted to enjoy the newer books in the series. And it wasn’t long before I realized that re-reading was a great idea since, yeah, I didn’t remember much and it showed.
So much went down in Shadowfever that led into this one. It’s an exciting series and a harsh, but fantastic world that the author has created with her fae- Seelie and Unseelie along with the others. I was glad to get back into it while at the same time I was a wee bit nervous having a fourteen year old girl as the heroine of an adult series of books. Which is, actually, sort of the story, right? Dani was an amazing secondary character for much of the series, her secrets come out, and now she is getting her own story.
The book opens with Dani doing a rash thing that lands her on the radar of the enigmatic, powerful, and brutal Ryodan who is a successful operator of a club and other business in post- wall falling era Dublin. Ryodan already wants Dani to do a job for him, but now as a result of her own impulsiveness, she can’t say no.
The job ends up being the investigation of an odd phenomenon that is killing fae and human alike. Frozen, instantaneously. They must figure out who or what is doing it. As it strikes again and again.
At the same time, Dani keeps busy fearing and antagonizing Ryodan, protecting the humans, avoiding Mac and Barrons, meeting up with her friend, Dancer, getting her sword stolen, and being rescued by poor Christian MacKeltar who is turning into a dark Unseelie Prince as a result of Mac’s misguided attempt to save his life.
And speaking of Unseelie Princes, Cruces spends his imprisonment tormenting the Sidhe Seers at the abbey. Hoping to trick them into freeing him.
Alright, so this one was different if for no other reason than Dani, the heroine, is a true fourteen year old in many ways while in others, she is older than many of the adults around her. Her very fourteen-ness is what keeps this from becoming something creepy. The reader senses the interest of the three men in Dani’s life, but they don’t act on it and Dani herself only has brief moments of confusion over their actions.
But it is her young, impulsive nature that is the catalyst for things in the story. It’s hard to watch her screw up and the repercussions affect others and not just herself. But she learns from her mistakes even if she turns around and makes entire new ones. But to be fair to her, her mistakes are no more naive than most of the humans she encounters.
It was interesting the way Dani has no idea who and what Ryodan is though the reader does after having read the reveals in the earlier book about Barrons. So the reader, watches her engage him and the others and watches the way he is around Dani and it’s probably the most interesting part of the book.
And that leads to her interactions with the others. Dancer is an interesting character. He is human, but brilliant. He has secrets and I can’t wait to see more of him. Christian MacKeltar’s fate was breaking my heart. He is slowly turning into a monster and he sees Dani as his light. She is too young and not mature enough to really be that for him. This brave, honorable guy who hates what he is becoming really deserves a miracle. Dani’s thing with the seer group is amusing. She likes them and they are the closest thing she has to family, but she sees them as sheep.
There is a lot of potential in Dani as she figures things out and starts to come of age. I did get impatient with some of her antics, but also look forward to seeing her grow up and come into her own as an adult.
The intro to the two powerful Unseelie who are ravaging the city. And then the visit to the Unseelie King’s white castle reminded me of just how creative and impressive the author’s world building is for this series. I can’t wait for more to come.
The story felt like it was setting up a whole new story to me even as I recognized the characters and plots as ongoing. It was exciting, but yet the tension and suspense isn’t cranked as high as the last few books. There was some meandering though that didn’t last long. It’s rebuilding along a new path now it seems. That last set of final scenes were the most riveting for sure.
It was different only catching glimpses of Mac and Barrons, but it was also refreshing to see the spotlight turned to other players for a time. I do wonder what will happen when Mac and Barrons are back front and center and hope these others continue to get significant page time.
So, this was surprisingly better than I expected and I enjoyed where it went with Dani and the others. I can’t wait to pick up the next book. I heartily recommend the series to Urban Fantasy lovers who enjoy when the fae get to come out and play in an apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic style setting.
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