Dani Mega O'Malley: Superstar



Giddy with anticipation for the release of Karen Marie Moning's Iced, a lot of the Wenches have been thinking about Dani "Mega" O'Malley, the young sidhe-seer we first met in Bloodfever, who is poised to step out of the shadows behind Mac and Rowena and take center stage. Though Moning has recently said the three books she is writing for Dani will continue the story we've been following in the Fever books, the POV will shift to reveal the next chapters through Dani's eyes.

With our heads firmly buried in Shadowfever in a frenzied effort to finish our rereads before the new release, we Wenches have been wondering what's in store for Dani. But no one has wanted to stop reading long enough to write a proper tribute to our young heroine as she prepares to take the leap to leading lady. Though we all think she's pretty awesome and deserves a big ticker-tape parade to show our support.

So a sneaky Wench tried the stealth approach and asked us for just a few words about Dani, only if we had any strong opinions about her (as if we did not!), hoping we wouldn't notice the interruption. And it worked! We just can't resist sharing our opinions about the characters we spend so much time with! Read on to find out what we all had to say.




Zee is a very fast reader! She was long done with her pre-release reread and had many thoughts to share:

A lot can be said about Dani. Some found her teen exuberance a little over the top and annoying, some thought she was an interesting addition to the Fever world, but I'm pretty sure everyone wondered what she was contributing to the story.

Poor Dani, whatever else, my sympathies have always been with her. I completely understood Mac's feelings toward her, her protectiveness, her need to take care of her. Dani is young, too young, and has seen and been through too much. And yet retains her innocence.

Yes, she has killed, and seen her share of all the ugly in the world that no child should witness, but she still feels a child's wonder and amazement at the new, beautiful things in life. Those few things left in her fucked-up little world that are still beautiful. Unlike Mac, she never had a chance at a normal life; her mother was killed early on, and she was thrust into Rowena's care (and we know how nurturing that bitch was). She has powers no other sidhe-seers have, and it isn't surprising those have made her a little cocky.

But underneath all the false bravado and teen angst is a vulnerable child. Someone who has never been given the space and time to BE a child, to do innocent things, to just BE! My heart has always broken for her; she never got to have slumber parties with her girlfriends, flirt with boys her age, dress up and go to the mall, or just sit around in her own room and dance around to the latest pop tunes. If that isn't sad, I don't know what is.

One of the things I love about Mac is the fact that she never loses her "pink" in this dark world. Dani shows some of the same attributes; despite never really having been PINK, she still has her colors, she still wants to be pretty like every other regular girl, and she still wants Mac to like her, to think she's cool. And I can't help but like her. So it's no wonder I am more than ready to read about her journey. How she will cope with all the darkness in her world. How she will deal now that she thinks Mac doesn't love her anymore.

The groundwork for Dani's very own story is solid, the final twist in her Fever story was shocking, and I have to wonder how she will live with that guilt. I know KMM will do an amazing job. I want to see Dani heal, and grow, and learn. Will she be a match for Ryodan? Will she tame the new Christian? Will she settle for a lesser mortal (although I don't see that happening!)?

All I know is, I will definitely be in for every single step of her journey! And hoping she finds some rainbows in her dark, rainy little world.


Other Wenches needed more enticement to interrupt their reading for some Dani-love, so the sneaky Wench asked three tiny, barely noticeable questions about their thoughts on Dani and what might be in store for her in the Iced trilogy.

Q: Dani is an important character in the Fever series. What are your impressions of her?

KATHI: I think Dani is looking for a family, and has been ever since she was orphaned at an early age. She tries to find a family in Rowena's group of sidhe-seers, but Rowena isn't much of a nurturing Mother figure. No one in the group seems to fill a sisterly role for her, either. Everyone is older and busy with their assignments.  When Dani is with Mac, we see glimpses through her façade of cocky bravado that she is lonely and adrift. She seems starved for approval (I doubt she gets many kind words from Rowena) and attention. She has this awesome superspeed, enthusiasm, and boundless energy that need to be mentored and channeled properly. She has been forced to grow up without a proper childhood, and thrust into gruesome and morally challenging situations without much guidance, at the same time her body and mind are undergoing life-altering hormonal changes. So I think she is in desperate need of a teacher, friend, and confidante, who has weathered similar challenges and can answer her questions, share her secrets, and give her advice. She wants this kind of relationship with Mac, but she realizes that Regina has used her to do something that Mac might not be able to forgive. Despite all this, Dani knows she is an invaluable soldier in the war at hand, and she will not sit on the sidelines. Guidance or not, she is determined to participate. She knows has the potential to be Epic Dani, and that is what she wants to be. Her heart might be breaking over the loss of her friendship with Mac, but she is tough and will soldier on through the pain. Whether she can be very effective when parts of her are so broken remains to be seen. To be her best, she will need to heal.

DONNA: Dani has been the outsider, the misfit, ever since her mother died when she was a very young girl. The idea that she is not completely human, given her superspeed and strength, is an intriguing one. We know nothing about her father, and next to nothing about her mother. I hope this is addressed in the Iced trilogy. She has been under appreciated and ridiculed by the other sidhe-seers for years, hiding behind a false bravado. Mac became her big sister, someone she could look up to. Unfortunately, Dani knew her terrible secret would destroy her relationship with Mac, and must have dreaded knowing the truth would eventually come out. Her guilt over her part in Alina's death will have a deep and long-lasting impact on her.

AMANDA: Dani is a headstrong young girl who thinks she knows more than she does, as is the way of teenagers. Her skills are above and beyond normal humans. Matter of act, I don't think she is 100% human. She's like Dash from The Incredibles, and she can fight Unseelie with great skills. In the Fever series, the responsibility that comes with her skills had to be balanced with her teenage curiosity and enthusiasm. Being forced to grow up so soon had to be hard, and it was refreshing to see that it didn't steal the light in her heart.

OLGA: I love Dani. She's funny and tough. She's also hormonal. But who wasn't at her age? I recall I was even worse. One of my favorite Dani quotes is "Since leaving the abbey, I'm Persona Non Grovel, and groveling's the only way you get anything from Ro and her herd." She stands her ground and doesn't take anyone's shit. What's not to love?

ANNE: My initial impression of Dani was one of irritation. Man alive, can that girl be annoying. But, as I read more of her, my impression of her changed from an irritating, street-tough kid to a little girl who is all alone and pretending not to care. She claims to be so tough and strong and confident. But, I think, inside she's just as insecure and vulnerable as anyone else. As much as she likes to pretend she's not a fourteen-year-old girl, she very much is. She's a little boy crazy, though she would never, ever admit to it. She is fast and she is strong. And although she has done more growing up at a faster rate than most kids her age, she still has some more to do. She has got some life experiences to get through first to shed some of her remaining naïveté.

ANGELA: What Amanda said. I suspect that Dani isn't entirely human as well. There is something otherworldly about her, especially with her abilities, and it feels to me like we haven't seen everything she can do yet. I love her the most in the series because she is feisty, tough, and resilient. That is not to say she isn't insecure, and she tends to think with her heart and not her head. Moning has written a teenager very well, with all her anguish, hormones, and invincibility.

VERONICA: I like Dani a lot. (I did NOT enjoy the Dani Daily flyers that she posted around Dublin in Shadowfever. I appreciated that she was trying to write in a voice that grabbed people's attention, but I was just annoyed.) Other than that, I like her energy and her attitude. She is just thirteen/fourteen, has lost both her parents, and is left to fend for herself in a crazy world. I think she is a great contrast to Mac, and we have to keep in mind that Mac has had a few years to mature. Dani is probably someone I would have been friends with at her age. She's outgoing, fun, has a tough-girl exterior but has earned it, and it will be pretty obvious when you've earned her trust.



How do you think Dani will change over the course of the trilogy?

KATHI: In a nutshell, she will grow up, get stomped on/beaten up/slammed against the wall/heartbroken a few thousand times, and eventually temper some of her enthusiastic bravado with patience and strategy. And with any luck she will develop more compassion (or lose the fear to express it) and some close relationships. I would really love to see Mac forgive Dani and be a sister to her. I thought Mac had forgiven her by the end of Shadowfever, though Dani didn't know it yet. Then I read the jacket description for Iced, which says "Dani’s ex-best friend, MacKayla Lane, wants her dead," and I'm not sure what to think. I hope Dani just thinks Mac wants her dead, but if Mac truly does then I expect that Mac will eventually come to terms with Dani's involvement in Alina's murder and begin to repair her relationship with Dani. They need each other.

DONNA: Well, she IS 14 when the Iced books begin. Naturally, teenage girls change a lot at that age. Physically, she'll be filling out, which will bring extra attention from the males. Emotionally, she'll be dealing with the repercussions of losing her best friend (Mac). The new dangers she faces will bring new maturity and confidence. Because she will no longer be under Rowena's thumb, she will become more assertive and more of a leader.

AMANDA: I'm sure we'll see Dani mature a lot over the course of the trilogy. In the Fever series, she was caught between two worlds. On one hand, she was a skilled fighter, who could meet any challenge with fortitude. On the other hand, she was still mentally a child, in the way that teenagers are still children. I hope to see a young woman who loses the childish mask that she falls back on, while not losing any of the exuberance that made me love her. I knew that she would become something great, and I look forward to seeing it unfold.

ANNE: I can only hope that Dani gains a little maturity and loses the teenage cocky confidence that we all know well. I also hope she realizes that it's okay to not act so tough and unreachable all the time. It's okay to "let people in" to see your emotions from time to time. It doesn't have to be everyone, but your at least friends, the people you are close to. I also want Dani to learn that Mac forgives her. She needs an older sister figure in her life.

OLGA: The events in her life have already changed her. In Fever, she's not your typical thirteen-year-old girl. She kills, she bleeds, she fights tooth and nail, because this is what needs to be done and her only escape. Escape from grieving for her mother, from thinking about yesterday. In Shadowfever, she keeps repeating, "I don’t wanna die today. Tomorrow’s gonna be my day. And I just know it's gonna be a good one, too!" This is exactly what I want to see in her books. That tomorrow. She deserves one so much!

ANGELA: Dani still has a lot of growing up to do. She is still a teenager, with all the hormones that entails. One of the biggest lessons I think she is going to learn is that she is not invincible, and that it is okay to show that you can't be "Mega" all the time.

VERONICA: I'm most excited to see how Dani will change and mature over the series. I don't know how much maturing will happen right away and how much will happen gradually throughout the series. Dani has had to grow up really fast and she *thinks* she is mature, but she has a lot to learn, and I am going to take a perverse thrill in going through that learning experience with her. I'm also very curious to see how her coming to terms with her role in Alina's death is going to affect her. I don't know if Dani's need to appear tough is going to allow her to seek forgiveness within herself and from Mac, or if she is going to be stubborn and get in her own way.

In the Fever series, Dani's virginity was mentioned several times. She is 14 at the start of Iced. What are your hopes/concerns for her in relation to this? Are you shipping her with anyone yet?

KATHI: I can't lie, the fact that Dani is 14 makes me shy away from HEA thoughts. She's way too young. And really she has too many life-or-death situations to deal with to be distracted by all the games that the suitors in the Fever world seem to be playing. But Moning has acknowledged the age concerns raised by her fans and put my fears to rest. I trust her completely to tell this story in a way I will love. That said, I find Ryodan intriguing, but entirely too old at this point in Dani's life. Maybe she'll grow up *that* much over the course of the series, but I am inclined to pair Ryodan with someone else. I do want him to fall in love, because I want to throw his disgust for Mac and Barrons' pairing right back in his face. For Dani, however, I'm inclined to root for Christian MacKeltar. He might not be one of the Nine, but he is one of the five larger-than-life Keltar men, endowed with special knowledge and powers by the Fae and entrusted with performing the rituals that keep the walls up. The Keltar men are pretty darn epic themselves, and who knows what powers Christian has gained during his Fever travails. Christian could be a mentor to Dani, his strengths could work well with hers on and off the battlefields, and I think they'd make a great team. (Sorry, Anne and Olga!) Then again, we do not yet know who "Dancer" is. So I'm keeping Dani's romantic options open for now.

DONNA:  KMM has had to put out a few fires on this topic already. We are not expecting Dani to lose her virginity until at least the second book. Loving the slow burn of the Fever series like I did (I REALLY did!), I wouldn't be surprised if she didn't have sex until the third book. I trust KMM's plan for her, and wouldn't presume to offer a judgment on that topic. Ryodan or Christian? Let the girl make up her own mind. I'm looking forward to reading lots more about these three before I declare a winner.

ZEE: I actually have no thoughts on the whole sex/virginity thing right now. I'm withholding judgment till I read the first book, and then I'll know where I stand on the issue and what my concerns are. I will say this: anyone but Ryodan and I'll be disappointed.

AMANDA: I don't have any concerns in relation to Dani's age and virginity. I trust Moning to do what works with her characters and story. I am torn on who I am shipping Dani with. I choose Ryodan because I'm being an idealistic, romantic fool. (Barrons would be so disgusted if he read this.) I would delight in Ryodan, who had such disdain for Barrons' fixation on Mac, falling prey to love. However, Ryodan is ancient, and Dani is so young and brand new. They can still work, depending on how Dani matures in the trilogy. I can also see Dani with Christian MacKelter. He is closer to her age and experience, simply because he is not thousands of years old like Ry-O. Also, Christian had some nasty experiences in the Fever series, and I'd love to see him happy. Between the two of them, I believe that Christian is the more likely suitor. Making him Dani's suitor would allow more of his story to be told. If Ryodan was Dani's suitor, it might feel like it's Barrons all over again.

MARGO: I'm hoping for Ryodan and Dani because he is disgusted with Barrons' love for Mac. It would be interesting to see if he's the one who fights it versus Dani being the one (like Mac).

ANNE: I want her to realize that just because you are attracted to someone, it doesn't mean you need to have sex with him! She sees V'lane and Barrons, and after the first meeting says she's going to lose her virginity to both of them. Whoops, not at the same time, of course, you dirty-minded people. But, after she sees each of them, she says the same thing, "I'm going to give ... my virginity one day." She needs someone to teach her that sex (when you are that age) shouldn't happen just because you are attracted to someone. It should be special, especially the first time. As for shipping, I want to learn more about this mysterious Dancer. I hope he doesn't turn out to be a bad guy though! As long as she stays away from *my* Christian, I'll be a happy Wench!

OLGA: This is a real hard question. I don't know to whom I'm ready to give her. If I want to keep Christian for myself, then I'll leave Ryodan to Dani. Besides "Ry-O" kind of had it coming. He needs someone just so he'll shut up about Mac. But I'd be more than delighted to be that person, which means I have to give Christian to Dani. He's sweet and smart, and his tiger eyes would be good on Dani "Mega" O'Malley. He would know how to treasure her and, as Rainey Lane taught her daughters, "He'll think he's won a prize when he gets it, and he'll work that much harder to keep it." That being said, either guy would be good for her. I'll take the remaining one.

ANGELA:  I think Ryodan is the one for Dani. He is clearly intrigued by her and I can just see it playing out that way. Which is not to say I don't see a love triangle in this series between Ryodan, Christian, and Dani. Given she is 14 at the start of the first book in the trilogy, I'm doubtful this issue will be resolved until Book 3.

VERONICA:  I'm not shipping Dani with anyone yet. But I really need Christian to have his HEA with someone. As for her age and her virginity, I'm not really worried about it. I trust the author. Whatever happens (or doesn't happen) will make sense in the context of the story.

BETA: LOL, I agree with Anne about wanting her "to realize that just because you are attracted to someone, it doesn't mean you need to have sex with him!" :) I want to see her become a bit older before I start talking about sex and Dani in the same sentence... after all she'll be only 14 at the beginning of the first book, so I'm not seeing anything happen in that department just yet. (I'm assuming she really is 14 in human years, hehe.) But we'll see what KMM has planned for her; whatever it is, I trust her. Regarding the shipping, maybe we'll see her break down Ryodan's wall of caveman-ess, but I actually want to read the first book before I decide who I'll be shipping Dani with. Who knows, we might get to know someone new who'll be perfect for her in the future.

Are you excited about returning to the Fever world? Are you looking forward to reading Dani's story as much as we are? What do you think is in store for Dani, Ry-O, Christian, Mac, Barrons, and the rest of the characters?



* Dani graphics from Fever Moon by Karen Marie Moning; collages created by Wench Olga

Comments

  1. Lol so much has changed since I said this stuff and read Iced. Amazing. Needless to say, I now have very definite thoughts on Dani's potential love life.

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    Replies
    1. What Veronica said. Aaaarrrgggghhhhhh!!!! But I'm so happy to know you loved Iced! That means I will too!

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    2. Evil Zee. I'm interested to see that you say so much has changed since you wrote you piece.

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    3. Heeheehee :D

      I love being Evil Zee!

      Also, a lot has changed in the Dani HEA part. Not so much elsewhere :D

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  2. I love how this turned out! Nicely done!

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