Review: The Iron Witch - Karen Mahoney

The Iron Witch (The Iron Witch, #1)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.

Generally these days when I see the word 'Iron' on a book, I assume fae of some sort.
Usually, when this happens, I am right. 

Yep. I was right. This book is another story about a girl trying to get somebody back from another world, with the help of the strange, mysterious boy she fell in love with the second she meets  him, who may/may not have some sort of power.

There was some originality, I won't say it was all bad. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that alchemy was involved, I enjoyed that side of the story, and I really enjoyed reading about Donna's arms, I even liked reading about Donna's interactions with teens, but the rest was just unoriginal and dull. 

The development of the alchemy plot didn't go as deep as I hoped it would, I hope it is expanded on in the sequel, I really, really wanted to see a little more alchemy, in the book the Order of the Dragon serves more as a background plot device, I wish i could see it involved a little more.

I found that the romance aspect of the book was just horrible. There is Donna, who has these MYTHICAL TATTOOS!!!!!! and Xan, who has these MYTHICAL SCARS!!!!!! and that, apparently makes them THE PERFECT MATCH!!!!!. There was no build up to the romance, it is like BAM! Page 3; Girl meets hot guy, hot guy and hot girl chat, next day "OOOFT YOU'RE HOT! LETS MAKE OUT!" I didn't like that development really.

And the characters. Oh.... the characters. Donna is... okayish, she seems like a nice enough person, but she's a little... double sided? One minutes it is 'Must hide my tattoos, can't stand out!' and the next its, 'Ooooh popular girl , MUST BEAT UP!', I mean, Donna, what happened to turning the other cheek? Xan is your typical book guy. Hot, older and mysterious, which would be good, if he had any original aspects. Sure, he has mythical being roots - been there, done that. I just didn't find myself relating to either of these characters.

Then... theres Navin, who is Donna's best friend and the only character I really liked in the book, he's quirky and funny and while sometimes Mahoney makes him out to be wittier than he is, I liked his character. Only one thing ruined it for me. HE WAS IN LOVE WITH HER?!?! Originality? None here. I mean, I just want either a) a book where the best friend ISN'T in love with the main character or b) a book where the best friend gets the girl? 

This book had okay pacing, it improved through the book. The beginning was slow, I found it hard to get into it, but throughout the book the pacing got better until it was almost perfect at the end.

All in all:

Overall rating: D+

Stand alone/series: First in a series
Released: February 3rd 2011 (Paperback)
Publisher: Corgi Childrens
Pages: 312
Book obtained via: Bought!

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