BOOK REVIEW: 'Iced': Dani O'Malley Stars in First Entry in Karen Moning's New Urban Fantasy Series

Reviewed by David M. Kinchen
BOOK REVIEW: 'Iced': Dani O'Malley Stars in First Entry in Karen Moning's New Urban Fantasy Series
Beware of best friends forever: Mackayla 'Mac' Lane and Dani O'Malley were BFF in post-apocalyptic Dublin, Ireland -- until they weren't -- in the first entry in a new series by Karen Marie Moning "Iced" (Delacorte Press hardcover, 512 pages. $27.00).

We last saw Mac Lane in the wonderful graphic novel "Fever Moon" (Del Rey, like Delacorte an imprint of Random House). Link to my review: When you read that review you'll quickly discover that I liked it very much. I've come to believe that the graphic novel is the ideal way to deliver tales of post-apocalyptic urban fantasy.

Mac and Dani are both humans but with superhuman powers and weapon -- a spear with Mac and a sword with Dani. In "Iced," Dani reminisces about her former friend:

“I say we take Mac’s suggestion and pump the room full of concrete,” Val says.

I wince. Just hearing her name makes my stomach hurt. Me and Mac used to be two peas in the Mega pod, close as sisters. She’d kill me in a heartbeat now.

Well, she’d try.

I’m faster.

Karen Marie Moning
Karen Marie Moning

“Exactly how do you expect us to get concrete trucks down into the catacombs beneath the abbey?” Kat demands. “To say nothing of how much it would take to seal that chamber. It’s three times the size of Inspector Jayne’s training green, with a ceiling as high as any cathedral!”

I shift position, tucking my knees up, careful to be real quiet. My legs are cramped from sitting with them crossed beneath me. I’m in the cafeteria at the abbey, high up on a beam in the ceiling rafters where nobody can see me, munching a Snickers bar and eavesdropping. It’s one of my favorite perches for scoping out the details. I’m a good climber, fast and agile. Since I’m still just a kid in most people’s opinions, folks rarely let me in on the scoop. No worries there. I became a pro at letting myself in years ago."

* * *

Right from the start, I'm going to say that I liked "Fever Moon" better. The "fever" world of Moning, with "Unseelies, "Faes" and other creatures, all seeking to kill the 14-year-old streetwise beyond her years Dani, is best portrayed with pictures -- and the artwork of "Fever Moon" was beyond outstanding. I'm thinking that "Iced" will appeal to the more literary minded group of Moning's readers, while the graphic novel will appeal to a wider segment of fans. Urban fantasy fans want pictures -- the more the better -- just the way Dani likes her Snickers.

"Iced" has some of the same characters as "Fever Moon," including Mac's dangerously attractive friend Jeremy Barrons and Inspector Jayne, the top cop of Dublin, who wants her "sword of light."

"Fever Moon" adds another potential destroyer of Dani, Ryodan, owner of the city's hottest nightclubs, Chester's. (No, Lindsay Lohan, you're not welcome there after your latest arrest at Avenue, a club on 10th Avenue in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood. It wasn't "Slaughter on 10th Avenue" but there was an altercation between Lohan and a woman from Miami Beach and shoving and fisticuffs were involved. Maybe Lindsay, 26, ought to consider a career in ice hockey).

Ryodan wants to hire Dani to find out who's freezing Fae and humans dead in his club. Dani, the girl about town who even publishes her own newspaper, "The Dani Daily", knows everybody and Ryodan wants to tap into her skills. Lately Dani has become supremely angry (seriously pissed off) when the format of her newspaper has been stolen by a group calling itself weCare and publishing a rip-off called "The Dublin Daily."

Here's a little background, quoted from my "Fever Moon" review: "Dublin -- and I don't mean Dublin, Texas, home of the original Dr Pepper, or Dublin, Ohio, home of the Memorial golf championship -- is a war zone. The walls between humans and Fae in the Irish capital are down. A third of the world’s population is dead and chaos reigns. Imprisoned over half a million years ago, the Unseelie are free and each one Mac meets is worse than the last. Human weapons don’t stand a chance against them."

Welcome to Dublin! We hope you can get out alive. There are no guarantees.

About the Author

Karen Marie Moning (pronounced "Mawning") is the New York Times bestselling author of the Fever series, featuring MacKayla Lane, and the award-winning Highlander series. She has a bachelor’s degree in society and law from Purdue University. "Iced" is the first entry in a series set in the Fever world. Her

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