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Review: The Iron King

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Title:The Iron King

Author:Julie Kagawa

Series: Book 1

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩

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Synopsis

Meghan Chase has never really fit in anywhere. Her father disappeared when she was six, and she’s never really stopped wondering what became of him. Strange things start happening around her, and she feels like she’s being watched. It doesn’t help that her best friend is suddenly very protective. When she comes home one day and discovers her brother isn’t himself anymore she’s thrust into a whole new world: the world of faeries. She finds out she’s the daughter of a faery King, which means everyone wants to get their hands on her. She starts out a journey to save her brother, but she ends up having to save all of faerie from a dangerous new power that’s corrupting the land.

divider-51Favorite Characters

Hmm… I liked Grim, that cat, the most. I mean that should almost be obvious since I love cats so much but I just liked his attitude

Second favorite I think maybe Ash? Just because I hated how useless Meghan was half the time and how immensely immature Robbie/Puck was.

divider-51Favorite Scenes

► I found it funny just how casual Ash could be about these things. Oh Ash haha

“Tehnically, I was trying to kill Puck. You just happened to be there. But yes, if I’d had the shot, I would have taken it.”

“Then why the hell would you think I’d dance with you?”

“That was then.” He regarded me blandly. “This is now.”

► This is 100% accurate

“Of course not.” Grimalkin’s look was scornful, and no one does scornful better than a cat.

► One of Meghan’s good moments (and Grim <3)

Shard’s face went blank. “What?” For one glorious moment, she looked utterly bewildered. “That is not your name, half-blood. That’s not what we agreed on.”

My heart pounded. “Yes it is,” I told her, keeping my voice firm. “I promised to give you name, not my name. I’ve upheld my end of the contract. You have your name. Now, show us the trod.”

Beside me, Grimalkin started sneezing, a sudden explosion of feline laughter.

► He’s such a smartass, but even I got to admit that I liked this line.

“Oh, we’re playing nice now?” Puck remained seated, looking anything but compliant. “Shall we have tea first? Brew up a nice pot of kiss-my-ass?”

► Gotta love the casual death talk

“I suggest we postpone our duel until we arrive and the princess is out of the cold. Unless you’d like to kill me now.”

“No, no. We can kill each other later.” Puck hopped off the stump and padded up, shoving his dagger into his boot.

► I felt pretty bad for Puck in this moment. He felt pretty betrayed in this moment, and understandably so.

would’ve gotten you there!” Puck roared. “Me! You don’t need his help! Don’t you trust me to keep you safe? I would’ve given everthing for you. What didn’t you think I’d be enough?”

divider-51Review

Alrighty, time for the review. Phew, where to start. I feel like I have a lot of small things to pick at in this book which will make it seem like I hated it but I didn’t. I was right in the middle of liking and disliking it. I liked it just enough for me to be like “I could give the next book a shot”.

The very first thing that I have to say about this book is that the writing seemed a bit plain. I’m not exactly sure how to put it in words but there was just something lacking that really made it flow. Maybe it’s just the writing style in general, I don’t know. Along the same lines, there were a few tiny things with the formatting that bothered me. Like that fact that Kagawa used too many breaks in her writing. One scene would be separated from another in a chapter with “* * *”  and it bugged me because it happened a lot, and most of the time it wasn’t even necessary. There wasn’t something big that happened or a time skip, or even a change in location. It was just there. Meghan also had a really bad habit of shouting “What!” too much throughout the story.

This other thing didn’t bother me as much until the titles started giving away things in the book. You have the chapter number at the top in caps, and then under it is the chapter title in italics. I don’t see why it’s really necessary to have both. Especially if it ruins surprises in the chapter–one example was “CHAPTER FIFTEEN. Puck’s Return.” Great. Thanks. Now I can’t even be mildly surprised when Meghan gets into danger and someone comes in to rescue her. You know right away based on that who it is and that they’ll be coming in before she even gets in trouble. I hate it when chapter titles spoil things like that.

Another minor thing that bothered me was that there’s a character that they run into later in the book that apparently yells a lot or something? Anyway, anytime he speaks the whole dialogue is in all caps. Example: “ANSWER ME, HUMAN. ARE YOU MEGHAN CHASE, DAUGHTER OF THE SUMMER KING?” That is completely unnecessary and it looks tacky. I have always found things in all caps in books to look 1) dumb, 2) unprofessional. It just looks odd. Maybe that’s just me but I thought I’d mention it anyways.

Now that I’m done picking at the formatting/writing, let me focus more on the characters. Meghan had her good moments in this book, when she grew a backbone and stood up to people or when she managed to outsmart someone. However, she had far too many moments when she broke down and cried, was screaming for someone to save her, and–oh yeah–getting kidnapped. She had a Princess Peach complex. Constantly getting taken or grabbed by someone or other and then someone had to come save her. I didn’t like that she seemed so useless and damsel-in-distress throughout the book. Yes, she is in the Nevernever/Faerieland and there are dangers everywhere. But couldn’t you at least try to make the trouble find someone other than her?

I kinda liked Queen Titania in an odd way. She was so petty and childish (and vindictive), but she was written pretty well. I figure a faery queen would probably be a bit like that. I mean, she even has a part where she refuses to talk to Meghan directly so she has another faery pass her questions to Megan, and pass Meghan’s answers back to her. It’s so stupidly childish that I had to go “Yep, seems accurate”.

Puck was kinda in-between for me. I didn’t like that throughout the whole book (even before Meghan knew who she was) he kept calling her “princess”. After everything. I think it might have been going for endearing or maybe respect but it did wear me down a bit. He was really immature and fun-loving throughout the book. Just about everything was a joke to him (except maybe where Ash was concerned). Again, annoying, but very accurate of a faery so I liked it.

The thing that I probably like the most, and that has me wanting to read more is the storyline. I think it’s an interesting new take to be thinking “hey, humans are making all this progress in science and technology. How would this affect fey?” I think it’s a really cool concept to develop iron fey and have this other type of faery spring up out of people’s imaginations (which is how things in faery are apparently powered). I definitely wanted to find out more, I just wish the writing was a bit better. This is a book I wouldn’t recommend getting the whole series for right away. I’d say pick up the first book and see if you like the style. Give it a chance, then see if you want to continue. Buy with caution, I’d say. It’s a good concept, just not a good execution.

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