Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Iron Witch

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.

Beth says 2 Stars…

As soon as I saw this cover I had to pick this book up – it gave me a serious case of cover lust. Also, I thought that it sounded interesting and different than quite a few of the books I’d seen lately; the alchemist angle isn’t often used. Alas, I was disappointed. The plot didn’t particularly grab my attention and lacked pretty much any nuance. The direction was simplistically straightforward and evident within the first third of the book. Additionally the plot really needed some originality, because the concept ended up falling flat. So much additional information needed to be given out for it to make sense, and Mahoney’s attempts at explaining the lore were clumsy at best. Too much was left either to the imagination or ended up as a garbled mess. I really believe this to be one of the major flaws of the novel and why I just couldn’t pull myself into the story. The writing also didn’t strike me as very good; I’ve read worse, but this still ranks on the low end. If only one area lacked then I think the book could have been salvaged. However, with everything sub-par the book couldn’t manage to be captivating and fell flat.

Oh the characters… for some reason I just felt ambivalent towards Donna. Yes I wanted her to succeed, but only in the “I don’t want to be a bad person and wish ill on this seemingly decent human being” way. Her character never developed into anything particularly complex and entirely lacked depth. I think it was because the entire novel mainly focused on muddling up the original concept and didn’t particularly address the characters. Navin, although likeable, seemed to me like more of a convenient plot device than an actual person important to the story. I wish that he had been more prominent because I honestly found him the most interesting character. Xan did absolutely nothing for me. Yes, he filled the niche of tall and broody, but I found his past and revelations murky. Perhaps I’m just dense, but there was some serious lack of sense making on his part. I think a good bit of that goes back to the poorly built world, because some of my confusion stemmed from my lack of understanding of the lore that supposedly exists in this universe. I thought that the love triangle in this book was absolutely pathetic – it consisted of a couple and then someone who wished they were in it.

This book really let me down. Instead of an interesting and original novel, I found a muddled mess of a world and a lackluster plot. I guess this serves as a reminder that you really can’t judge a book by its cover. This book belongs in the skip pile.
Book from Library


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