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Book Review - The Iron Witch

 Thursday, 10 February 2011

I was gonna do the two Tammy Pierce reviews before this but since they were re-reads anyway I'm gonna go back and do mini-reviews when I've got time as I reckon it's important to get the new reads reviewed before I've forgotten everything I liked about them - with re-reads I know all my favourite bits so it's easier to review them after the fact.

Title: The Iron Witch
Author: Karen Mahoney
Date: 1/2/2011 AM
Source: Borrowed from Jess
Description: Freak. That's what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna's own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma. When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect (Description taken from Goodreads)

My Review
Despite all the buzz about this book on the blogosphere and twitter I had reservations before I started it since experience has told me that Faerie books just don't quite push my buttons and with my Twin Jess's lukewarm review I was even more dubious. I tried to keep an open mind but I was left feeling rather underwhelmed.

Don't get me wrong, I thought the mythology of the Faeries and the Alchemists were really interesting although we don't find out a huge amount about either group in this first book (who knows what else we'll learn in the next book). It's just that I didn't really connect with Donna and I found that the book whizzed by far too quickly - I mean she meets Xan and like three days later she's practically gushing over him when she knows next to diddly-squat about him!

I reckon that the third person perspective didn't help me to connect with the characters and I think that I was kinda confused as to why Donna would just go ahead with a crazy-ass plan and not consult her aunt who *knows* about the freaky faerie stuff - seemed pretty daft to me. I also don't think it was fully explained *why* Donna had to have Star Iron melded into her skin after the Faerie attack when she was little and how it gives her bad-ass powers. 

When it came to the climax for some reason I didn't really feel the tension of the faerie threat and everything ended a little too conveniently for my liking and Donna had to deal with surprisingly little consequence for her actions which were pretty serious or so I thought.

So basically I liked the mythology and the idea of the iron tattoos was intriguing enough to lure me in but overall I was left rather disappointed by the hasty development of Donna and Xan's relationship and lack of explanation for certain aspects of the story.

Although if you really love faerie books then I reckon you'd still like this, it's just not for me I'm afraid.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Has anyone else ever tried a book even though they've not really enjoyed others in the same sub-genre just to see if this will be the one to break the pattern?



ajmitchell 10 February 2011 at 16:57  

Thanks for the review. Your opinion seemed somewhat doomed from the start-- what with not loving fairies-- but I think it's really good that you gave it a try. Like you, I'm not always wild about third person so that's usually my complainant a lot of the time too. Glad the mythology was good though.

As for your question, I have tried stuff that is out of the box. My most recent was Across The Universe by Beth Revis. I dislike sci-fi (generally speaking) but I love me so Across The Universe!

Khadija 11 February 2011 at 03:38  

hmm...I keep hearing such great things about this one so it's ashame to hear you didn't like it all that much. I am really into faerie books so I'll probably still give this one a try. As for the question, I don't really have any genres i don't like, no i haven't really. I'm one of those people who can read just about anything. Thanks for the review!

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