Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney

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.

I went into this book with a lot of expectations. I read the summary and really wanted to read it. First, I love books about the fey and second I thought a plot dealing with an alchemist secret society would be wonderful. The things is, this book does offer that, it is wonderful in some ways, however, there are ways that it’s a bit dreary and before I sing its praises I will list the dreary.

  1. The narration. For some reason, it seemed as though the narration was written in first person and then, at the last minute, it was re-written in third person. A lot of the description used the words “dude” and “guy”, which I would understand from the point of view of a 16 year old narrator. However, as it was not written in the first person it was a little off putting. 
  2. A lot of things happened quickly. The relationship between Xan and Donna started of sweetly enough, but then became unbelievable, especially given Donna’s reactions to Xan. We hardly got to know him through their dialogue. 
  3. Now this last issue has nothing to do with the way the book was written, it’s just my preference. I’m not a fan of books with love triangles, especially when the protagonist is ignorant of the blatant display of affection by their best friend. Also not a fan when the best friend is constantly around and getting into trouble. 

Putting these issues aside, the plot has a lot of potential, and while I didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to, I am interested in reading the sequel.

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