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The Iron Witch (The Iron Witch #1)

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  7,977 ratings  ·  869 reviews
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 an ...more
Paperback, 299 pages
Published February 8th 2011 by Flux (first published February 1st 2011)
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20th out of 663 books — 4,305 voters
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38th out of 1,153 books — 6,880 voters

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Community Reviews

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How bad is it that talking about the girl on the cover, who is holding a bottle of perfume while sniffing her armpit is more fun, and more interesting than actually reading this book? After putting up with 25% of this book I still feel like I'm looking at a brick wall so I'm throwing in the towel as well.

Come on Jared, throw it in for me, will ya?

I'm going to tell you a short story to express what I want to say about this book. Trust me, I'm going somewhere with this.

Imagine yourself on an avera
Kat Kennedy
The Iron Witch, first book in Mahoney's new Iron Witch series tells the tale and Donna, a young female witch, and her adventures - if you could really call them that.

You don't need to read this book. I can copy and paste an abbrieviated version right here.

Donna: "Oh dear, my life is miserable. I'm different and unique from the people around me because I'm a witch but it's brought me nothing but pain."
Xan: "No! MY life is miserable. I'M different and unique from the people around me because I'm *
The Iron Witch is the epitome of a clichéd YA paranormal. There is nothing - absolutely nothing - unique and special about it. This story has been done a billion times before. And it includes everything that has made me weary when it comes to the genre: The heroine, Donna, has lost her parents due to a horrific incident in her past and has been labelled a freak ever since. She is an outsider, bullied at school by the mean popular cheerleader and her clique. She has only one close friend, whom sh ...more


And the award for Most Unoriginal Book of 2011 goes to...


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Seriously, was there anything new in this book? I don’t think so. We’ve got the half-orphaned, bullied, outcast heroine with magical powers, we’ve got the best friend who seems to be secretly crushing on her and we’ve got the dark, mysterious and insanely hot boy who seems to have some kind of magical powers of his own and to whom our heroine feels an instant and soul-deep connection to. *yawn* Basic
Derivative and lackluster. That’s the best I can sum up this book as.

Okay, so the romance is another one of those gag me, “Dude, you are sooooo hot!” “You too, babe.” “You wanna bone?” “RAVISH ME NOW!” Donna is all obsessed with the bloody bastard and is all in lurve as soon as she meets him. Bleh. I’m tired of this stuff.

Donna is some super special girl with these uber awesome tattoos on her arms which is supposed to hideous as heck, but if I had tattoos like that in high school I’d be the badd
Hmm, what to say, what to say...
I guess I should start off by saying that I did actually like this one.
It has a great blend of magic, alchemical and paranormal. I enjoyed the characters, the writing was well done and the plot was thick with entertainment and intrigue.

However, there wasn't anything hugely unique in The Iron Witch and I felt like I've read all these elements before.
Donna's role is the 'freak'. She wears gloves to conceal her mysterious hands and has a power that's more like a curs
I'm tired of writing reviews in the conventional sense so I'll just write my thoughts as I read:

"Hm. Oh. Interesting."
"Hah. Strange new guy. Well then. Why am I not surprised?"
"Of course. The Indian kid next door is the best friend. What is it with these Caucasian authors having guys of different races be the best friend but never the boyfriend?"
"Ooo, fairies. Time to complicate things a bit more?"
"I guess not."
"So right, you are so worried about your best friend but you are entirely unaware tha
well, what can I say that hasn't already been said?!?!? Atleast it was short. I had really high hopes for this one. I liked the cover. I haven't read that many witch books. It had a lot going for it before I had even begun to read it. But, it was crap.

My number one complaint on this: The journal entries!! Oh, sweet baby jesus who writes in their journal like that?!?!? Drives me insane in the membrane. The author was using the journal entries as a way to complete/tell the story and for me, in th
“Memories are stupid things. Why is it that I can only remember the useless stuff?” Truer words have never been spoken because right now I am remembering rather stupid stuff, but not only that I’m nitpicking over them too!

The book wasn’t terrible, in fact it was rather good at certain moments, most of which involved boy-girl interaction, get your minds out of the gutter! I was referring to Donna and Nav talking the way best friends do and to Donna and Xan, flirting away.

That said, I found the
Rating 2.5 stars

Meh.....This was just okay for me. The writing was okay, the plot was okay, the characters were okay (although Donna is fascinated by guys who can raise one eyebrow), the ending was okay, the romance was okay. I think you get the picture......

I think if you a new to reading young adult paranormal fiction you might love it. But to me I felt like this story has been told before. I do see some potenial in this series as the whole alchemist world is quite interesting but I don't know
Erica (daydreamer)
I was so anxious to read this book. The premise sounded intriguing, and I thought the cover was pretty cool (not that the cover honestly says anything about the story behind it or that I read a book based solely on the cover, although *cough cough* I kind of do :P). Then I read a couple reviews that said the book wasn’t so great, and my excitement deflated a little, but I still wanted to read it and find out what I thought about it. And, if truth be told, I was kind of disappointed.

The Iron Witc
One of the major problems among many others with this book is that it feels as though the premise of this book died within the first chapter, and the rest of the book was spent dragging around said corpse of premise. Why did the premise end up dead so soon? Because it really wasn't taken care of very well. It takes good plot structure to pull off a premise, and that was unfortunately not being done.

The book didn't seem so sure what to do with itself. It was as though it tried to be in more than
So disappointing.

Those are the only words I can think of to describe this book. I'm not much of a fairy person, nor vampire or werewolf. I like my fantasy to include a realistic feeling to it. Alchemy has always been the closest to "real" I could imagine. I mean, in reality, it was the base of chemistry--before "Science" became reality. So, I was looking forward to a book that had a real alchemy base. Not a side factor. Not a alchemy is magic factor.

But there was none of that. At all. Faeries.
I feel really torn about what rating to give The Iron Witch. If there were half-stars on Goodreads I think that I would give it three and a half. I don't know. But I did enjoy this book, and I'm looking forward to the sequels. I really liked Navin -- he was a believable and sympathetic character -- but, I don't know, I think the romance between Xan and Donna could have been better written. I feel uncomfortable saying this because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but first of all I didn't ...more
lilly bear ♡
How would I describe this story in one word? Underdeveloped. It had so much potential that went unrealized. I was rather intrigued by the premise (a girl whose arms have been adorned in iron tattoos as a result of powerful alchemy that saved her life. I mean, sounds kick-ass, right?), but overall the reading experience left me with a very underwhelmed feeling. Although it was well-written, it lacked a degree of freshness and new ideas that made it hard to engage in the story. I had a hard time i ...more
Leanne Bell
This has been on my to-read list for a while now and it struck me just how many books now have the word 'Iron' in them. Yet it's also struck me how wonderfully different they are, which goes to show that titles and covers don't tell you everything!
The Iron Witch focuses on a teenage girl called Donna Underwood who, after an horrific attack as a child in which her father was killed by the Fey, ended up with severely damaged arms which were then reconstructed using magic and metal. As if this isn'
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
So. Iron Witch.

It didn't leave a lasting impression on me. I read it yesterday and already I have trouble remembering what happened. I guess it's just an entertaining enough story to pass time with, and that's pretty much it. The writing didn't have the certain depth I like or a story even should have if the goal is to make the readers feel something towards the characters.

Not gonna lie, the storyline is pretty weak. It didn't impress me at all and overall I just expected more from this. There w
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
4.5 stars

I love a story that introduces me to fantastic characters, has a plot that keeps me guessing, and leaves feeling satisfied, but also wanting more. The Iron Witch is a wonderful, captivating read that holds magic, romance, and danger within it's pages. It's a story that blends together fairytale and lore perfectly.

Donna Underwood is a breathe of fresh air! Her character completely drew me into her world. She's someone who I completely loved getting to know, as she's a fierce, loyal, dev
 Tina (Fantastic Book Review)
Mini Review
I love the cover of this book and the synopsis is what really made me want to get my hands on it. With high praise from and a comparison to some of my favorite authors, I had a feeling I would enjoy THE IRON WITCH immensely. This book immediately pulled me into the life of Donna as she tried to remain in the background while keeping her secrets. A secret that she’s kept from her best friend Navin until an attack blows the lid off of her hidden world.

I really liked how Donna met Xan. I
Karen Mahoney's "The Iron Witch" evokes conflicted sentiments within me. I probably should not have liked this book as much as I did given the familiar elements and progression, but somehow it had its moments of bringing me into the overarching story. I didn't go into this novel with high expectations, and part of the reason I decided to pick it up were because I was approved for an ARC of the third and final book of this respective trilogy. It seemed interesting, so I jumped at the chance.

Alexandra Shostak
Originally posted at:

THE IRON WITCH is a YA urban fantasy novel centering around Donna Underwood, a high school student branded a freak by her classmates because of extraordinary strength due to the iron and silver tattoos covering her hands and forearms. The tattoos are alchemical--the result of an attack by malicious fae creatures and the magic used to save her.

The story is fast paced like the best action movie (I love action movies.) Only a few pages g
My disdain with the current state of Young Adult Paranormals has grown and lately everything I’ve read in this genre has left me disappointed. This leads me to being more critical with these books and I was afraid that would ruin my reading experience with The Iron Witch. I’m happy to say that didn’t happen, and I found The Iron Witch to be refreshing and one I enjoyed reading very much.

The Iron Witch features seventeen year old Donna Underwood, who at seven years old went through a great trauma
Brian Kell
Karen Mahoney creates a wonderful, fresh story with her debut novel. The voice of Donna Underwood will resonate with all ages as she tries to discover her role in the war with the Dark-Elves. Funny, fast paced, and tender, this story unfolds in so many interesting layers. A must read for all who love a great paranormal.

Review orginally posted at http://bookstobrightenyourmood.blogsp...

2.5 stars
The Iron Witch,left me with somehow mixed emotions.Although i wasn't really amazed by it,i can't say i didn't like it at all either.There were times i was really excited with it and eager to know how things evolved and times were i was a bit bored.I just couldn't get into this book,no matter how much i wanted it.

I was more than excited when i picked up this book.It was among those books that i wanted to read as soon as i
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

THE IRON WITCH throws readers right into the middle of the story using numerous vague references to The Incident that got her kicked out of school and a traumatic childhood experience that left her an orphan. Normally, I like stories that allow me to dive right into to the good stuff, but in THE IRON WITCH I feel like an opportunity was missed to tell what arguably is the most interesting parts of Donna’s story. Skipping past all that left me confused f
You know how it feels when you want a story to go on and on? Yeah, me too and that’s why I’m so sad that I’ve finished reading this fantastic debut book. I can’t actually think of anything I disliked about this book.

The cover is gorgeous with the golden/bronze embossed pattern like the tattoos on Donna’s arms. Even now I keep picking it up and looking at it. It’s so pretty.

The main character in The Iron Witch is Donna Underwood. I loved Donna right from the start. She’s a real softy at heart, bu
nancy (The Ravenous Reader)
The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney was a book that I have been waiting for months to read. I could not wait to get my hands on it and devour it whole; the cover was enticing and the synopsis was based on Faeries and a human girl that literally had the power of iron within her body. AWESOME!! right? Yet, I am hate to admit that I was sadly disappointed.

The story begins well enough as we witness the protagonist (Donna) angst about her relationship with her best friend (Navin). Donna wishes she could
Feb 19, 2011 Skye rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
This review is also posted on my blog, In The Good Books.

I had The Iron Witch on my to-read list ever since the (gorgeous) cover was unveiled months ago. The blurb made me think the book would have a twisty, complicated, clever plot, though I found after reading that it didn't have that. A complication was introduced - Navin's kidnapping - and it had a fairly straight-forward solution.

Overall, though, I did enjoy this book. Even though the plot wasn't as complicated as I thought it would be, it
2.5 stars

Sigh....I really wanted to love The Iron Witch. That cover alone is breathtaking, isn't it? In the end, I walked away from the book feeling feeling pretty unsatisfied. I've tried to break it down for you as best as I could..

Donna, the girl with the swirling iron tattoos, has lost so much. Not only did she lose her parents in a vicious attack, but she must struggle with a painful and embarrassing disfigurement. To make matters more bleak, Donna's father died protecting her dur
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British writer of fantastical things.

THE IRON WITCH, THE WOOD QUEEN & THE STONE DEMON make up my YA contemporary fantasy trilogy for Flux in the US and Random House in the UK. It's about alchemy, dark elves, and a girl with magical iron tattoos. FALLING TO ASH (September 2012), began a new series for Random House UK about an ass-kicking teen vampire called Moth. You can read more of Moth's adv
More about Karen Mahoney...

Other Books in the Series

The Iron Witch (3 books)
  • The Wood Queen (The Iron Witch, #2)
  • The Stone Demon (The Iron Witch, #3)
The Wood Queen (The Iron Witch, #2) The Stone Demon (The Iron Witch, #3) Falling to Ash (Moth, #1) The Lost Boy (The Iron Witch, #0.5) Moth

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