Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Iron King Top Reviewer

Our Top Review and winner of the $10 Amazon Gift Card is... Mel @ Mel's Books and Info

Support Mel's blog by becoming a follower!
Here is her review:

Title: The Iron King
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: 2/2010
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Purchased copy for review.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Not since Alice went down the rabbit hole, or Dorothy flew over the rainbow, has there been a book so exciting. Iron King is a wonderful fantasy adventure that takes us into Nevernever, the heart of myths and fantasies, where danger lurks behind every turn. This book was too good to put down, as our heroine escapes one perilous situation only to stumble into more trouble at the next turn. Iron King has something for everyone; action, adventure, danger, friendship, and forbidden romance.

Tired of her life on a pig farm, Mehgan Chase looks forward to her sixteenth birthday, when she hopes getting her drivers permit might add some excitement to her dreary life. When she comes home and discovers her brother, Ethan, has been kidnapped by faeries and replaced with a dangerous changeling, Meghan gets more excitement than she had bargained for, as she resolves to save Ethan from the faeries who have captured him. After her only true friend, Robbie, reveals to her that he is actually the mythical Puck or Robin Goodfellow of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Meghan enlists his help to venture into Nevernever to save her brother. As Meghan embarks on the adventure of a lifetime, she has no idea what dangers and revelations she will soon face.

There have been a lot of faery books published lately, and most focus on faeries interacting and living in our world. It was refreshing to see a book that dares to venture into fairyland, and the resulting story is top notch. Kagawa created a world where creatures of myth and legend roam, and what you say and the deals you make can have serious consequences.

My one criticism would be that the story’s climax came too swiftly. The entire story had been building towards this confrontation, but it was over in a matter of a few pages. The ending was a bit of a letdown after all the dangers and obstacles they face trying to get to the climax, but the journey to get there could not have been better. This quick ending may be partially due to the fact that this is the first book in a series, but still I feel with the time I invested in this novel I should have gotten more from the climax than the few pages it was given.

Still this was a fun and entertaining read and I find myself lamenting the fact that I have to wait another five whole months for the next installment in the series. I am anxious to see where Kagawa will go with the next book. Overall I found this book to be a very pleasant surprise. If you are looking for something to tide you over while you wait for the next installment, you might try Carrie Jone’s books Need and Captivate or the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr. The next book, The Iron Daughter is due out in August 2010.

Discussion Questions:

1. What did you think of the feud between Puck and Ash? How do you think that might play out in the next two books?

I felt that the feud between Puck and Ash was somewhat manufactured. I understand why Ash feels the way he does, but I think the author put it in simply to build the romantic conflict. There had to be some reason for the two to hate each other so that the competition over the girl is stepped up a notch. It creates more resistance to the relationship between Meghan and Ash. Kind of an Jacob/Edward type relationship and I feel it is being slightly overused in the genre lately.

I hope in the next two books that they find a way to get around Ash’s vow to kill Puck. I am hoping that Meghan can barter with Ash and get him to relinquish his vow for vengeance. Even Ash believes that it might have been hasty, but faery promises can’t be broken.

2. Favorite scene or line from the book? Could you relate to any of the characters?

The scene that made me chuckle was the one in New Orleans where Puck hales a carriage pulled by a mule and Grim hops up next to the driver and tells him “Historic Voodoo Museum and step on it.” For some reason that cracked me up.

Many of the characters were difficult to relate to because they were so unusual. You have dark and brooding Ash, and playful Puck, and Meghan who thinks she is ordinary but is actually extraordinary.

3. With whom did you identify with the most? And Why?

I could really identify with Meghan at the beginning of the book the most. I remember what it was like in high school being somewhat of a loner. Yeah I had friends, but admittedly I was a geek and was always afraid of being made fun of. It didn’t help that I wore my heart on my sleeve and you could make me cry at the drop of a hat.

4. Did you find the concept behind the Iron King- being a technology fueled modern day faerie- original or unbelievable?

The book has a very environmental theme. Our technology could be our undoing, and I can see this as becoming a more common theme in literature. Kagawa’s treatment of the topic is however most original in that the technology has spilled over into the fairylands. I think though, that they made the enemy almost too invincible since the ordinary fey can be killed by iron. It makes the tasks of Meghan and her friends in the future books nearly insurmountable.

5. Kagawa used a lot of mythical faeries in The Iron King, such as King Oberon, Queen Mab and Puck. Which fae from myth would you have liked to have seen added into the pages of The Iron King besides the ones she used?

I was happy with her choices.