Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review: The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney

Because Grad Student is the best, she loaned me The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney when we recently met up for a beach weekend/wedding, and I subsequently devoured it.

Good Reads says:
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.

A great easy read and perfect welcome back to YA fiction for this girl.  I couldn't put it down for the following reasons:
  1. Originality - 7.  Considering we start the book with a pretty but outcast high school girl unsure of her true powers (sound familiar?) this book gets a high originality score.  Mysterious secret Orders, crazy moving metal tattoos, Faeries, bat-crazy banished wood elves, alchemy and the elixir of life, it is all here.   
  2. Absurdity - 7. See above list of characters.  This book has it all, with a hint of engrossing teenage love, mixing of myths, undertones of orphan-ism/family issues, and deep secrets, all rolled into an industrial town somewhere in New York.
  3. Level of Paranormal Romance -8.  Daughter of famous alchemists falls for dreamy half-Faerie boy, both with some secret superhuman strength and speed issues = soul mates.  And his nick name is Xan, short for Alexander, and he is beyond sweet, o yeah, and rich and drives a Volvo.  Cue swooning girls (or least I would have swooned as a teenager, the Volvo sealed the deal).
  4. Level of Harry Potter-ness - 5. Donna has the power I think, but hasn't unleashed it.  In book 2, The Wood Queen, I anticipate more powers and more magic.  For now, Xan does his best to beat up wood elves with his half magic that he is o so secretive about.  (I have already started book two, so soon, we will know!)
Text Photo I Sent Grad Student at 5:17 after work last night...the best kind of night when it is 100+
degrees outside and you're sunburned from the weekend.

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