REVIEW: "The Iron King", by Julie Kagawa

Since starting this blog, I've been keeping an ear to the blogosphere and doing my best to make note of some of the books which come highly recommended by all the veteran YA bloggers out there. Recently, The Iron Fey books have been getting mentioned a lot, and always in glowing ways. So onto Amazon I popped, where I spent the last of my Xmas Amazon vouchers (the BEST present I can possibly be given!) on this popular book.

I was excited to receive the book after all of the 5* reviews it has been getting; all of the shiny praise and tweets.

I was almost immediately disappointed.

The book is about a two-dimensional 16 year old who thinks she's living a normal, two-dimensional life until, one day, her one-dimensional brother is kidnapped by a less-than-menacing fairy. Meh.

I didn't mind the basic concept of the story: the idea that Faery is being destroyed as mankind's dreams turn to technological advancement. Furthermore, some of the writing was colourful and the imagery was interesting and nicely chosen.

I think, for me, the problem was that I just didn't care about any of the characters. Meghan, the protagonist, was barely fleshed out and there was little connection with her inner thoughts as she encounters the bizarre world of the Fey. Instead, she often just acts, succeeds in her endeavors and then moves on to the next challenge. There is little emotional character development.

The other characters in the book were similarly thin. Meghan's best friend, Robbie, is about as 2D as ... as...something which is 2D. He is meant to have been her best friend for years, but you'd never imagine it given the lack of warmth in their relationship. You find out fairly soon that "Robbie" is actually Puck, from A Midsummer Night's Dream.

The love interest, Ash, and Meghan's little sidekick, a quirky Cait Sith, were the only characters who had any flesh to them. Ash was sort of a hottie, and Grimalkin, the Cait Sith, (although very derivative of Carroll's Cheshire Cat) was good for a giggle.

Worst part of the book? The fact that Puck call's the alternate world of the fairies, "Faeryland" or (ick) "The Nevernever". I hurt inside...

It's a shame that there was so little going on beneath the surface of what really wasn't such a bad idea for a story. Considering the description of the setting and physical aspects were so nicely done, it was disappointing that there was so little emotional detail.

I don't know where all the hype for this book came from. If anyone else has read this and completely disagrees with me, please comment. Maybe it'll help me understand why this book is so popular.

If anyone want's to give it a try and tell me I'm wrong, then comment or email me and I'll send it out to you. This is SO not a book that I want to treasure forever!


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