Okay, I finally went through and gathered my thoughts, from when I first read it, and from discussing it throughout the past year+ with friends.
I've put off writing this review, or even rating this book, since I first read it in 2012. You have to understand where I'm coming from, the Fever series was something I spent FIVE long years reading, rereading, speculating, discussing, and waiting for the completion. And it was beautiful, perfect...EPIC. I loved it. Even now that it's finished it remains at the top of my favorites list. The scope and ability that KMM showed in that novel blew my mind.
I had reservations about Dani. I couldn't stand her voice in Dreamfever and Shadowfever. Feck and Dude was every other word, it felt like, and I wasn't looking forward to reading a whole book of it.
Then I opened Iced and was surprised as hell to find out that I didn't hate Dani. I began to get to know her, to understand her, and her voice was so much different than what I'd previously read that I settled in hoping that my fears were mislaid.
Surprisingly, to me, I actually liked Dani. I don't love her yet, but I could see that happening. There are things she did that irritated the hell out of me, but she's an incredible character - tough and bitten, naive and innocent - rolled into one, believably.
Unfortunately, because there's been no change in age or growth from when we knew her in the Fever series I can't help but feel like KMM changed her to suit her purposes. There's no reason that her voice would change this much considering Iced picks up before Shadowfever even ends. So, while I was relieved and happy that I liked Dani, I was also skeptical about the authorial intent...and worried about what other characters would change to suit their new purpose (with good reason it turns out).
The "mystery" (these are supposed to be episodic books, with a "monster of the week" type of storyline) in this book was weak. Honestly pretty boring and I didn't give a crap about it for most of the story. Up until the last 20%, when it had me riveted, and the climax fight scene was fantastic.
And now we're going to come to my main problem. The sexualization of a FOURTEEN year old girl by TWO GROWN ASS MEN. I can't really get into it without spoilers, and the rest of my complaints involve spoilers as well, so read on at your own risk.
I did enjoy some smaller aspects of it. There's some food shortage issues that I'm interested in seeing more about. The world itself is interesting as hell, still. But I'm afraid to see the characters I know and love destroyed, turned into lesser versions of themselves. I'm going to read the next one, and hope and pray that KMM gets back on track...but I'll probably wait until Jenny's read it and given me a run-down (that she promised :P)
Here's a Q&A with KMM after Iced was released. I'm going to highlight the parts the infuriate me the most. But be warned again. Spoilers ahead.
*And then there's this where KMM says Ryodan will "eclipse Barrons".
One last note about Ryodan: He will eclipse Barrons. Blot him right out of your soul’s sky.
Why's he gotta be more than Barrons? Why can't he just be different? Why do I get the feeling this means that there's a Dani/Ryodan HEA in the works?
I do have some theories/speculations that I could go on about where things would turn and make me happy again, satisfied. But I don't know if I can bear to hope for them to happen. I don't foresee any scenario in which I'm happy with Ryodan and Dani ending up together.
Here are a couple of fantastic reviews that I agree with 100%:bean and Cory and Jenny
1.5 Stars. I'll be (incredibly) generous and round up.
Edit: I changed my mind. This doesn't deserve 2 stars.