Title/Author: The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney.My Thoughts: The Iron Witch took me into familiar territory with fairies and elves and their not so harmonious relationship with humans. I enjoyed the first few chapters when introduced to main protagonist Donna. I liked her voice and the fact that she had to wear long gloves at all times. Not exactly something to make you look cool but a great plot device. I also liked meeting "Xan" (Alexander) and getting to know him. Bad boy at first, but he connects to Donna because they are both different. They accept their feelings toward each other, which I found refreshing. None of the games and pretending and keeping each other at arms length like in so many other books.
Publisher: Signet Books.
Source: Received at BEA
Favorite character: Xan.
All in all: A good premise.
Synopsis: 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.~Goodreads.com
Donna is also discovering that her world, not so mundane as it is anyway, has even more secrets than she realized. This causes her to mistrust the adults in her world and take on the mission laid out in this story mostly by herself. While she gets a lot of help from Xan it is her own stubborness that allows her to save her best friend, Navin.
Although it started fast, I felt as if it slowed down at times, kind of pushing me along and then holding me back as a reader. The book also had an interesting premise, but I felt there was something missing. I don't need everything spelled out and The Iron Witch definitely had some mysteries with answers sprinkled throughout the story, but I still felt like I closed the book still being a tad confused, a bit like I had missed something. It was as if I got from point A to point C and had to infer point B. Which again, isn't always a bad thing, I just personally had a hard time with it.
Maybe it's because I've read soooo many fairy stories that it's hard to reinvent the wheel. But I also think that you could always put a new spin on your wheel, or pull them with your characters. I liked the characters in The Iron Witch, but I didn't feel absolutely invested in them. Donna and Xan confide in each other and it's not that it is too soon for them to do so, maybe it's because I needed a little bit more from them to begin with. Some of the writing just didn't have that ease for me. I know that this is just the first one in the sequel so hopefully the tale will get stronger as the story continues.
There is a lot more in this story as well, Alchemist lore, friendships and the backgrounds of Donna and Xan. So, just because it didn't grab me don't let that deter you. Check out other reviews from Goodreads and Amazon before you decide.