Sunday, April 10, 2011

Review: The Iron Witch

The Iron Witch

by: Karen Mahoney

"When she was seven years old, a horrific fey attack killed Donna Underwood's father and drove her mother mad. Her own nearly fatal injuries were fixed by alchemy- the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. Now seventeen, Donna feels like an outcast, doomed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. Only her best friend, Navin, is keeping her sane.

But when vicious wood elves abduct Navin, Donna is forced to accept her role in the centuries-old war between human-alchemists and these dark outcasts of Faerie. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous guy with faery blood running through his veins and his own secrets, Donna races to save Navin- even if it means betraying everything her parents fought to the death to protect."

I was rather disappointed. I had expected so much more out of this one, and had really looked forward to it. This reader adores books that revolve around fey and magic (I'm a huge fan of Melissa Marr if you haven't figured that out by now from my previous posts), so when I saw the blurb - posted above- for "The Iron Witch", which included fey, magic, alchemy, and romance... well, needless to say, I was very excited. And then my excitement became a bit of a letdown as I read it, and then after finishing it, just disappointment. Very sad about that.

Maybe my biggest problems with this one was that everything was so cliché, it was predictable. The writing, too, made me frown a lot in annoyance. I kept feeling as if the author couldn't choose at the last minute whether to write in first or third person, so she tossed both POV's in. The entire thing, in my opinion, probably would have read much more smoothly without Donna's journal entries (keeping to a strict third person POV) or having been in first person POV overall instead.

The characterization fell a bit flat for me. Donna felt "Mary Sue". I couldn't connect with her in any way... and I didn't feel any empathy toward her at all. Xan- hot guy who is not all that he first appears to be and falls in love with Donna in a matter of hours/days... Yeah, predictable and cliché. I felt their relationship started off sweetly enough, but then it became really unbelievable and I hardly got to know him at all through dialogue or her thoughts, with the exception that he has the "most beautiful green eyes". And to top this off, I am really starting to get sick of the "love triangle" storyline. It was fun and cute for awhile in some stories... and it can still be pulled off well in some instances... but all in all, I am really ready to read a new type of romantic plot. Just stop already with the love triangles. Especially these predictable "best friend has been in love with girl... OMG girl meets new guy and now best friend is off on the sidelines" type. It's getting old. I'm about to this point nowadays where I'm scared to pick up new YA because of the chance that the sub-plot may include a love triangle since so many are now racing to compete for that storyline it seems.

For it being only 289 pages, I also noticed that it was a bit slow on the big climatic action. Page 175 was where it picked up for me and finally started getting really interesting enough for me to keep reading (without setting it down for awhile).

This was not a terrible book. But it does have its flaws- and I did have my annoyances with it.

It has a great blend of magic and beautiful descriptions, as well as it had its good moments. Things were rushed and a bit underdeveloped, but the series as a whole still has potential. I'll likely read the sequel when it comes out, from pure curiosity, but I won't be in a major rush to go out and get it.

I give this book 3 stars. A solid B- rating. Not that bad, at least.

The Bookaholic

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