Book Review — The Iron Witch

Title: The Iron Witch
Author: Karen Mahoney
Publishers: Flux
Year: 2011

Okay, okay. I admit it. I read this book because the cover was pretty.

I had better reasons, too. There’s the ever important one that I believe debut authors should be given a chance.

There’s nothing about this book that is bad, really, it’s just not original. Nothing stood out to me as fresh, captivating, or tense. It was just bland. Our heroine, Donna, thinks too much, and thinks the same things over and over. The only real break up in the story we get are these occasional journal entries, which I have to admit made very little sense to me. What did that add? What were the entries situated where they were? Why did they disappear for the last half of the book, when they could have served as a means of enlightenment? They just don’t quite fit into the story, and as far as I remember, they gave nothing new to the text.

In a world where alchemy is a regular practice and fey who have had their wings ripped off live among us, there should have been something fascinating about this book. And all I’m left with is the feeling that I just don’t care. Oh, and that book two will include a fight for Donna’s love between her loyal best friend and her quasi-boyfriend. That’s how every post-Twilight YA urban fantasy goes, right?

I don’t want to go into too much detail about why this book gave me no satisfaction. I think it’s important to remember that this is a first book; I don’t think any author would say their first was their best (unless you’re Harper Lee and you only published one). I home that with more books, the prose will be cleaner, more concise, and filled with plot-driven tension. Not a mesmerizing debut, but not a completely hopeless case, either.

Rating: 2 stars

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