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ICED.. what can I say? I wasn't sure what to expect going into it because I knew the next three books were going to Dani's story. Mac would no longer be the protagonist. Barrons would no longer be a main or lead character. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who wasn't sure how this would take with readers. Dani was not a character that everyone liked, but then again, so was Mac I have heard.
I have never had a real problem with Dani, although during the Fever series she did grate on my nerves from time to time. Karen did say that she wouldn't be like that in her own story, because she had to find a way to stand out in the Fever books, so what we saw was only a small part of who she was and she made herself bigger and more vocal than she really was.
I found myself growing to like and respect her as I went through ICED. We slowly began to understand her, where she was coming from and how she got to be who the girl she is today. She certainly hadn't had the easiest childhood, and it hasn't gotten any better by any means. I do feel that she will become such a strong and independant woman. I look forward to reading the next two books as they come out, to see how she deals with things, her abilities, relationships and friendships. She sure has her work cut out for her.
We have a few male leads in this book. Ryodan, who is by far my favourite. Christian and Dancer. Each is different and some more messed up than others, but with each character they have their own fair share of secrets that, while some has come to light, some hasn't...
Dancer is full of mystery. I am not sure what is going on with him. He seems nice enough, a good friend to Dani, but I don't know.. he just seems a little too perfect and all knowing right now. I am sure that will change since this is Karen we are talking about and she does nothing easy. He is human, from what we can tell -- even that I am not sure is completely sure or not. Never trust anyone when it comes to this world, because nobody will be as you think.
Christian, poor guy. He has had a lot to deal with, and all traces of who he was in the previous books seem to have disappeared. He has been transforming into something he would never wish on anyone, including himself. An Unseelie Prince as it happens, and I am not sure where this is going, or what is going to happen to him next. But he seems to have formed some obsessive bond with Dani, that doesn't seem completely sane. I wish just for him to seek the happiness that he does deserve.
And last, but not least, we have the mysterious, enigmatic Chesters owner, Ryodan. He is someone who I have loved since Bloodfever, and so it was no surprise that he ended up my favourite male character in this book. We don't know anything really about him, or about his true motives and feelings right now, although I am sure that will change over the next two books in this series.
I know people could compare him to Barrons, but after reading this book it is more clear that they are nothing alike, but really are two different wild men.
There has been some discussion about Dani's current and future love life with these men in her life. Who will be her HEA? Some kind of love square seems to be forming, even if it's not clear right now. Personally... I am Team Ryodan. If you forget about her age... they have this chemistry that she has with nobody else. I can't take what he has with anyone else seriously, and really.. what's a few years when you have eternity? Some people can find it gross and creepy, but somehow, I don't. His relationship with her right now is something of a mentor, who is trying to help her be the woman he knows she can be. To help her through this world, to look out her for, without her slipping out of his life.
Because we don't have his POV, we don't exactly know what is going on in his brain, and what his intentions are, but I have no doubt we'll slowly see something changing as the stories progresses, and I look forward to reading through Dani's maturity as she gets older.
The plot, I loved. I felt it was quite interesting to have Dublin 'Iced' an Ryodan having to seek out Dani, who might be the only person who would be able to help in this situation. It was also a situation that pulled them together made them work together whether she liked it or not, and usually it was .. not.
The story itself, I felt was much stronger than in Darkfever, which seemed to be more about Mac and her discovering herself. But since Dani knows who she is, or thinks she does? There was room for more of a plot, and it was dark and gritty. It was awesome.
Dani's story wasn't the only one we got to see in this book. No, we also got Kat, who is trying to deal with her new job as mistress of the abbey, and her temptations she has now has to battle. There is the matter of the Iced prince down under the abbey, who will use any force necessary to get what he wants, manipulate anyone if it means getting released.
I admit, he had me fooled a few times. Kat needs to watch out before she loses everything that she cares about.
Before anyone asks, yes we do have appearances by Mac and Barrons. They are far and few, but there are a couple, but given the cliffhanger, I am sure we'll see more of them in book 2, at least Mac. It should be interesting to see how things progress regarding the thing between Dani and Mac, who really hasn't been in the same place since Mac discovered the truth about Dani, and what happened to her sister. A confrontation will soon have to happen. A talk needs to happen otherwise Dani will never know how Mac really feels, or whether they can move past this and move on.