Thursday, February 2, 2012

Book Review: The Iron Witch - Karen Mahoney

Published: February 8, 2011
Publisher: Flux
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 289 pages

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 my magic -- the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by her 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 has to finally accept her role in the centuries old war between 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. 

"The Iron Witch was a marvelous fey novel with twists and turns that left me breathless. Karen Mahoney's debut has left an imprint on my mind that has yet to go away!

With The Iron Witch, I heard some reviews with people saying that it was "boring" or "underwhelming", and of course, I wanted to find out my opinion. And when I finished this novel, I knew that this fey novel was excellent.

Enter the world of The Iron Witch. Donna Underwood's father died ten years ago fighting to protect his daughter from wood elves. This tragedy drove her mother insane and ultimately led her to being put into an asylum. Fast forward ten years later: Donna wears gloves to hide the iron tattoos that a Wood Monster put into her skin. It's bad enough that all of her classmates call her freak, just imagined what they'd do if they would see iron in her arms, running all the way down to the tips of her fingertips. When Donna and her best friend Navin go to a party, she meets mysterious Xan. She and Xan then start to hang out some, and she finds out that he is half-fey. Then, of all things, Navin is abducted by wood elves. Now, Donna and Xan must find a treasure that the elves' Queen is wanting to have for the safe return of Navin. But will she destroy her family's legacy along the way?

This book was creative and epic. I'm a huge lover of Fey novels (in fact, Need by Carrie Jones is the book that got me into reading again!), and I knew that I would love this book.

First, the writing. Karen Mahoney writes this book in third person, although there is some parts called "Donna Underwood's Journal", which is written in first person. Mahoney's writing style was beautiful. When talking about magical creatures/objects, I feel the need for the author to have a good writing style to actually make me think that these things can actually happen (even though it's fiction, of course). And Karen Mahoney succeeded big time! I loved reading the words off the page, and the writing style was just marvelous.

Next, the characters. This is the part that knocked the book down from a 5-star to a 4-star. My favorite character was Xan. He was sarcastic and quirky and I thought that he was just a really awesome character. Donna was a good character, but I found her a bit whiny at some times and she asks so many questions! When one character (mostly Xan) did one thing, Donna would usually question it. It is good to have a mind of curiosity, but when you ask a lot of questions, maybe you just wait and see what will come of it and be satisfied with it. Navin was a good character, but to be honest, I found him almost invisible sometimes. Like he wasn't part of the story.

Then, there's the setting. I'm not sure why, but with fey novels, I always love the settings! I like how they describe maybe the woods or there's a part where they're in a mansion. This is another part where Karen Mahoney's writing style shines.

Finally, the novel itself. Karen Mahoney's debut novel was a very intriguing story with a beautiful writing style, but unfortunately, it contained a very flawed protagonist.

My Rating:

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