Sunday, January 30, 2011

Of faeries and werewolves

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
published August 2010 by Harlequin Teen
304 pages (paperback), YA
YA Reading Challenge

This is the second book in the Iron Fey series, so if you haven't read The Iron King, you may want to skip this review. Meghan Chase has just saved her brother from the Iron Kingdom with the help of Winter Prince Ash and best friend Robin Goodfellow, aka Puck. In exchange for Ash's help, Summer Princess Meghan has offered to go to the Winter Court with Ash. Meghan is practically a prisoner and certainly despised by the Winter Fey, and her interactions with Ash are hot and cold. One minute he's kissing her and about to confess his love and the other he's ridiculing her and speaking to her as if she were scum. Romantic complications aside, the Iron Fey are gaining power even though Meghan had slain their King, which could mean the destruction of both the Summer and Winter Courts. Do they join forces to defeat the unnatural Iron Fey or fight each other, oblivious to the danger about to befall them?

This book started a little slowly for me. I appreciated the recap at the beginning because it had been awhile since I read The Iron King. But once I was about halfway through, I could not put it down. I love this world. I love Meghan's strange powers that I'm still trying to figure out. I even don't mind the little love triangle between Meghan, Ash, and Puck. And Grimalkin! Oh, I was so happy to see him again - that cat had quite a few witty remarks. There's action, suspense, romance, heartache, and comedy - what more could you want?

Four purple crayons from me! I can't resist a fanciful faerie story. :)

P.S. The Iron Queen is out this month!

Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber
published December 2010 by HarperCollins
292 pages (hardcover), YA

Celeste and her two best friends are dating three star athletes - the perfect high school sixsome. They spend their time at games, parties, and the mall, just like any other suburban Eastsider. Celeste has never liked the way the Eastside and Westside students ignored each other, Eastsiders the more privileged, wealthy and snobbish types while the Westsiders were more working-class, down-to-earth and humble. The groups didn't mix. But then Brandon moves to the Westside, and Celeste can't take her eyes off of him. She knows she can't like him, but she does anyway. Especially since he saves her life by warding off a pack of wolves on her snowy, misguided walk home one afternoon. Oh, and by the way, legend has it that werewolves exist in this town.

Like Celeste, I try to find the good in any situation, person, or book, in this case. I really battled with this one. Why was the writing so bland? Why was the story so unoriginal? Why did I even finish reading it? And I finally decided that I was not the target audience. This book would be just fine for middle or younger high school students, particularly struggling readers who still want to read the same kinds of books as their peers. The writing reminded me a lot of what I see in early readers for K-1 students - short, choppy sentences; stilted dialogue; and brief chapters to propel you. But then, what of the plot? The character development? They were both a bore and entirely too predictable. And maybe that's fine for a younger, less experienced in this genre audience, but not at all what I was expecting. 

So, that makes it a two purple crayon book for me.

P.S. The only thing that kept me reading this book was its resemblance to Kirk's movie in Gilmore Girls. The dialogue is eerily similar in style! 



Jan von Harz said...

I have had Iron Daughter on my TBR shelf for so long. I loved Iron King and have read such great review on the next two books, that I am pretty sure I will love this one too. Great review. Thansk Think I will move this up to the top of the pile!

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