It is a common occurrence in many books, films and television that the protagonist has a scrappy-sidekick. This sidekick of course is annoying but loveable and manages to bring out the best (and the worst) of our hero.Well what happens if that scrappy sidekick all of a sudden is thrust into the spotlight and becomes the main character?
Disaster. Riots in the street. Murders most foul. Book and film burning on mass…
Okay maybe that’s a bit of an over reaction. In truth it either works really well, (look at Cheers and Frasier) or it tends to become a franchise killer.
Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series is no where near the best series of books that I have ever read. The characters were a little shaky and annoying, the plot was a little thin and contrived but all that being said: I finished the series. I was invested enough in the story and interested enough in finding out what happened that I followed the it to the bitter end. Or what I thought was the end.
Iced is the first book in the Dani O’Malley Trilogy and the Sixth Book in the Fever Series. In this novel the previous narrator has been replaced by Dani, a fourteen year old girl with severe entitlement issues. The process of reading this book is like sitting down with a preteen and listening to them chatter at you for hours upon hours about how fantastic and amazing they are. For example our insufferable narrator refers to herself as “Mega” which of course is short for the Alpha and the Omega. Dani is immature, self-centered and by far the most FRUSTRATING character that I have ever come across. Reading this novel turned into wading through all of her useless meaningless chatter to find the actual story. If you can classify this novel as having a story.
The premise: humans and fey alike are being frozen. Dani must find out why, but before she actually does she needs to dance around the plot for a good 400+ pages. You may be wondering why I actually finished reading the novel. Well, every once in a while Moning throws snatches of chapters written from the perspective of other characters. I had enough interest in them to continue reading.
I haven’t decided whether I will continue on to read the next book. I have issues with how this book supports certain gender stereotypes and lack of female agency. During one scene Dani is captured by a male character and chained up in his basement. She is approached by another character (the book is vague if this scene is a hallucination from Dani’s feverish state or an actual encounter) who tells Dani that she has ruined her chance to have a man look after her.
The novel stresses that 14 year old Dani needs an adult male to look after her to ensure her survival while in the same breath describes how Dani is self-sufficent and needs no one. The story makes it clear that eventually Dani must wake up and smell the flowers and become the second banana to one of the creepy hot guys who want to possess her.
Moning seems to be obsessed with the “hot jerk” character archetype. The Fever World is full of them, and all of them seem to be gunning for our protagonist. This book has pedophilia written all over it.
To conclude, this book lacks the like-ability of the previous Fever novels and I would NOT RECOMMEND it. That being said, if you have read the previous Fever novels I expect that you have already read (or are planning to read) this novel already. If you haven’t read the Fever novels give them a look. The Fever world is an interesting place with a fascinatingly modern take on faerie mythology. If you want a good beach read I suggest you give the first five books in the series a read. But stop there.
Originally posted to Fiction Love in July 2012