Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Review: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron Queen
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Action, Adventure
Perfect for: Readers who read the original two novels! Not something you want to jump into!
Release Date: February 2011
Star Rating: 3/5 Stars

Taken from Goodreads, "My name is Meghan Chase.  I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it. This time, there will be no turning back."

I'm going to keep this review short and sweet due to the fact that this series is so very popular and I don't want to accidentally spoil anything before the official release of 'The Iron Queen'. Now, on to the review...

I've made it known from previous reviews on this series that I'm not as crazy about it as the masses. I've enjoyed the previous books in the Iron Fey series, but neither one has grabbed me in the same sense it seems to have grabbed everyone else. Unfortunately, 'The Iron Queen' let me down more so than the other two... It holds some great moments-- some of the best in the series, but I felt as though I was pushing myself through 90% of the novel... What went wrong with this novel? I put blame on two things, mainly the predictable nature of the series in general and the romance suffering from what TV folks call 'Moonlighting syndrome'.

Starting with the latter, I feel like the romance progressed far too quickly in the second installment and in 'The Iron Queen', honestly, any tension the love triangle had is gone. The intrigue of who she really likes or if she'll ever really like Puck might be hinted at, but is never believable. (On a side note, 'Moonlighting Syndrome' comes from an old 80's tv show called Moonlighting that was driven by the characters love/hate relationship. Once the characters fell in love for good, the show's unique quality and sense of intrigue was gone and it was quickly cancelled.) I don't want to go into this more just yet due to the fact that the book isn't released yet, but those looking for the love triangle to get a bit more even, don't expect it to happen.

The other downfall? The fact that I could have predicted most of the plot elements in 'The Iron Queen'. Nothing is wrong with a little predictability, but it was just too much for me when it came to this novel. As readers, a key ingredient to getting sucked into a novel is the sense of adventure that the characters bring to the story and already knowing what they'll do didn't help me get dragged into the story at all. I felt like I was really pushing through it. It was unlike my reading experiences with the first two books.

Earlier in my review, I mentioned that we see the best and the worst of the series in this novel... Well, onto the best, I really loved the last 30 pages. They were everything I wanted in the novel. The intrigue was there, as well as some fantastic character development. If only the entire novel had read like that! After days of thinking, why am I reading this and should I really continue this, the last 30 pages sold me on adding Kagawa's next book in this series to my 'to read' list. Again, I won't go into spoiler territory, so I'm going to keep specifics close at the moment, but this ending blew me a way.

I'm sure I'll be in the minority on this novel. Most will probably love it to no end, which I totally understand. (I love 'Fallen', but understand how others may not see it as I do!) It shall be interesting to see the reception this novel gets when it comes out... I'll be keeping my eye out! 'The Iron Queen' gets 3 out of 5 stars from me and will hit store shelves February 2011!

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