Title: The Iron Witch Author: Karen Mahoney Pages: 289 Rating:...
I’m putting off my entry for The Iron Queen, until my brain sorts all my opinions about it. Since this is the last book I’ve read, everything I wanted to say is still there, and the information is still fresh in my mind. A warning though, I didn’t like that book. I don’t truly hate it, it just— it such a dismay because I feel the book have lots of good concepts. It was the way these concepts were patched together in the book was the disappointing factor. Faeries, Elves and Alchemy — see, it’s kinda refreshing to blend these ideas. There’s a huge potential if it was handled strategically. But like I said, the execution failed miserably. So instead of something out of the average, it fall deeply to the mediocre (and overshadowed by it) without the appeal most YA books have, to at least stand out.
I don’t do summary anymore but to exemplify the predictability here we go – Donna was attacked by Skriker (like a huge wolf… I think) when she was kid, got her dad killed in that incident, her mom lost her sanity and now she have tattoos on her arms— alchemical tattoos because of that. She was teased by her classmates because of this tattoo which ending up her being home schooled. Met a gorgeous half-mortal Alexander (Xan for short), and of course have an undeniably connection towards him. Her bestfriend, Navin, was intrigued by her, and realized something is different with her. And with no other choice she tells the truth but he was dragged by the “evil” elves. To save him, she was asked to get the elixir of life in exchanged of her captive friend. She managed to snag it in a freaking alchemy laboratory (ok, this substance is very important why keep it there, for the love of everything that is holy keep it guarded. Did they know how hard it is for Edward (Elric, ok? Not the vampire) to find the Philosopher stone, in which also were believed to be an elixir of life? What a frustrating loophole this is). Fortunately, they escaped (without handing them the elixir), and well, there is a second book for the cliffhanger.
When I find out that it has alchemy as part of the plot, I was really excited. The only media related I’ve know that deals with this subject is Fullmetal Alchemist. And it is no doubt a great manga series. Hiromu Arakawa created a masterpiece, it was detailed, elusive and undeniably remarkable because I know Arakawa research about alchemy and the way she put it in her manga was really interesting. The alchemy in the world she had created is very polished; you know she spent time exploring the subject. In contrast to this manga, The Iron Witch failed on this – I felt like it was there to stand out, to create a distinctive difference from other fey books out there. Which, I must say could be its major asset, only— if only, it was carry out as it should be.
The character as well isn’t that great. I do like Xan, but I feel kinda empty with his character, you know, just one of the “cool-mysterious-good-looking” guy. Donna is ok too, but her back-story is really vague to me (I know the save-for-later strategy but it’s kinda fuzzy, a lot of gray areas actually). I don’t know why she was called The Iron Witch in the first place. I don’t know what to say about Navin, he is ok, but like most of them, he is too much for convenience. Everything about the characters in this book felt so short – hollowed and unrelated.
I’m not really big fan of third pov, but even if the book is in this format if the plot is good I really don’t mind this minuscule preference. But the book isn’t really that good, plus this, so honestly, it was a struggle to finish this one.
It was disappointing all things considered. I can’t believed there is a second book (what do you know there is a sequel). And frankly, I don’t know if I’m up for the challenge of reading it.