Meghan Chase has a secret destiny - one she could never have imagined….
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.
©2010 Julie Kagawa (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
“The Iron King is a must read!” (New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter)
Just A little bibliophile!
While this story certainly has a premise with plety of potential, I'm sorry to say I found the writing a bit mediocre and uninspired, and even a little trite at some points.
Kagawa pens for us a herione with a noble and dramatic quest, saving her little brother. Unfortunately, I did not find Megan a truly compelling or convincing character. Her "inner-life" (thoughts, etc.) and her personality were just not very interesting.
I know that this series is fairly highly-reviewed overall, and it looks like it just may get better as it goes along. Because of the overall plot, and some characters who did interest me, particularly Puck and Ash, I will check out the rest of this series eventually. As far as the narration, it is very good and appropo of the story. Khristine Hvam has a very listenable voice that is suitable to the character.
This story had a promising storyline. However, the author could not seem to keep track of her story. Contradictions expounded. The world was unbelievable despite the fact that the author pretty much ripped her fantasy world from more creative authors. The characters had no soul, (Puck's character was saved only by the talented narration). While I can forgive improper english and swearing for the sake of the character/story/setting etc., the authors use of expletives left me remembering that swearing is for those that don't have the vocabulary to express how they truly feel. Save yourself the wasted time and read something with heart.
A few titles that I do recommend in the YA fantasy realm:
A Wrinkle in Time + any and all books by Madeleine L'Engle
Sabriel and Lirael by Garth Nix
the Septimus Heap books by Angie Sage
The Demon King by Cinda WIlliams Chima
Tyger Tyger (skip the sequel however) by Kersten Hamilten
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman
This book was fantastic, it was a wonderful blend of traditional Faerie elements (Oberon and Titania, Seelie and Unseelie Fae etc.) But also adds some suprisingly modern twists on the folklore. It has a wonderful romance and the characters are interesting and deep. I found it very easy to relate to the main character, a teen girl with typical teen troubles embarking on a fantastic quest and growing as a person. I can't wait for a sequel to come out because I could not stop listening to this one.
My eternal best friend is my husband. I act my shoes size, not my age. I have a love for cartoons of all Disney/Pixar/DreamWorks/CN types. I faithfully serve in the Kid's Ministry at church. Hopelessly addicted to audio books with happy endings.
No spoilers in this review :) An extra 200 colorfully written pages would have made this book epic. Warning: The Iron King has cussing in it.
Most notable positive aspect of the book - The narrator pronouncing Fairy and Pixy as if it were not a child's nursery book.
It is a Mythical Magic meets normal girl. At times it was extremely entertaining to watch as the author switched us from genre to genre. Fairy land, then Earth, then Supernatural, then back to Fairy Land and all the time having the main heroine and heroes being consistent in their responses, making them lovable and real characters. The author is true to the history of the legends. She doesn't change things like "Satyrs" (who are very sexual beings, and many times aggressive).
There are a LOT of characters in the beginning so it is difficult to remember everything (including all the character's names), but as you go along you realize who is important and who is not important. The narrator is not ENTIRELY consistent with the voice responses. When Ash shouts "Watch out!" sometimes it sounds like someone else is saying it because the voice inflections are out of Ash's calculating character.
The BIGGEST downside is the author or editor's fault…The descriptions of actions are hastily written and shallow. It leaves the relationships and scenery a bit...malnourished.
The book reads, "I picked up Ethan, and started to walk towards the door to the hall. Then he reached up to hold my hand while we traversed down the hall together…" Wait..what? I pictured her picking up Ethan in a cradle position in her arms, just to find out they are walking hand in hand together? Unclear at best…wouldn't her hands be busy holding him? . This makes it extremely difficult to picture the action and fight scenes because this kind of writing continues through the entire book. Made much of the book hold some distant realism (with fantasy novels the descriptions are the plate the meat of the story sits on) My 30 second rewind button got some mileage. What could have been written:
"I bent over to help Ethan get up, cradling him for just a moment before setting him on his feet. We turned towards the hallway door stepping through the echoing space. As we walked in step together side by side, he reached up to clasp my hand in an attempt at normalcy, however the emotion of fear was still etched in his small features.":
See what I mean? An extra 200 colorfully written pages would have made this book epic.
There's no nice way to say it - if the movie Labyrinth and the book Alice In Wonderland had an exceptionally ugly and annoying baby, it would be The Iron King.
I agree that there are elements of the book which are exceptionally well done, blending old myths with modern interpretations.
The technical elements are basically good - the reader is great, and the mythology is interesting, but the characters are either overdeveloped and undershared, or overshared and and underdeveloped.
Most importantly, the protagonist is all over the place - she's inconsistent and not in a good way. She's got backbone, she's a coward, she believes nothing, she believes everything she's told.
I don't feel I have to LIKE every character in every book, but if I can't connect with the protagonist, or if the whole story feels like a really bad re-telling of a couple of other fairy tales, it's just 12 hours of wasted time.
I can't take it anymore! I've listened to this as long as possible can. I don't like buying a book and then not finishing it, but I'm not going to waste my time on this book any longer. The fantasy in it doesn't make sense, the main character doesn't use her brain, and the author writes things that are completely illogical. For example, the main girl doesn't recognize the sound of her best friend's voice which she has known sense birth, and first she has to walk a long ways to the bus stop but when the bus drops her off in the same spot, she just walks up her drive way. The author does use good analogies, but that does not make a good book. Fantasy is only good when an author really makes the reader feel like it could be real, which this author did not.
Designer. Aviation Enthusiast. Fitness Instructor. Love books. Prefer long series with happy endings in mystery, comedy, fantasy, & romance.
I got the first book in this series during one of Audible's many buy one get one events. As an avid Audible addict, I've listened to literally hundreds of books (nearing 300+ at the time of this review). As the old saying goes, don't judge a book by it's fairy cover; ok I added the fairy part. At first glance it looked child-like and whimsical; which in a lot of ways is something I like, plus I love getting into series because it's more entertainment with characters you've already built a good rapport with. As long as the author throws in some variety to their writing style and doesn't beat a dead horse into the ground reviewing the same materials, not to worry that is not a problem in this series.
On second glance, cover is beautiful and aptly designed for the book. Though I didn't imagine Megan looking like the cover; at least not in the first book. This story has magic, love, a twist of fate, palaces, adversaries, and kingdoms at odds. Our fairy princes and her beau must save the world and lose much in the process. What will she lose? That is for you to find out in the book.
One thing I don't get is that the author insists they are bound by their fey promises but they don't always seem to be; maybe I'm just being legalistic or picky... but I kept catching ways to get out of things or word plays that she could have played up a lot more. Semantics.
If you enjoy this type of tale I recommend:
The Wicked series, even if you've already seen Wizard of Oz, this series will catch you buy surprise and is not what you expect. There are kingdoms and magic. Even love in unexpected places.
Deborah Geary's Modern Witch series is not about fairies but it is a modern tale of love, family, and magic. You have to enjoy good witch books for this to fit your tastes.
The Hobbit, it's nothing quite like the movies.
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi - Modern day love, world being taking over by big brother, a fight with unusual genetic powers that sound fanciful and interesting to listen about.
Endless Knight, Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Winter Witch (all good books of similar genre that I just don't feel like writing about here. Just read my other reviews from my listener page if you are interested).
Of Poseidon/Of Triton - this is about mermaids, love, magic, and protecting family. It's a coming of age tale that would also be consider YA.
Ok story line, not a riveting book where you can't put it down. Will read the next one to see if it develops more. Wish the author had more of a sense of humor. Something I would listen to full the gap if I did not have something else that I know was better such as a book written by Brandon Sanderson - Mistborn or Jim Butcher - Dresden Files.
The storyline was intriguing at the outset, and the characters were certainly interesting. But the unfolding of the story didn't quite live up to the expectation that was set with the description. Eventually, the story got to the point where it just went on and on, and I was wishing it would just wrap up and send everyone home!
The narrator spoke well, and with good enunciation. She was youngish-sounding, however this fit well with the book and I think she did quite a good job.
I'm a MA in Theatre and love a good story. I also sometimes forget to proofread my reviews so sorry for any typos ;)
I lost count of how many times I said "Idiot" outloud while driving. This book was promising but everything in it was taken from better writers or movies. The main girl is horribly shallow, and the cast of characters are so Storytelling 101. Oh, and speaking of 101, despite interesting worldbuilding (which was mostly already done for the author - see title of my review) there were random contradictions sprinkled throughout the book.
My first instinct was to give this book a chance - after all, I do like all the movies/plays/books I listed as this author's inspiration. But after the first bit where the girl thinks something to the effect of "today, super-cute quarterback guy will finally notice me" I knew it was downhill from there. Damsels in distress are okay every now and then as long as they aren't idiotic to the point of lameness. This girl had one thing after another happen and while she appreantly has enough brains to tutor people in computers, she has no common sense to spare and is like a doe running in headlights for most of the book.
Despite all this, I heard the other books get better and I am intrigued by the world despite the horrid main character and I'll probably keep going. Oh Shakespeare, what I do for you.
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