I was super excited to finally read The Iron Trial because it is written by two really awesome writers; Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. I’m not a hug...more I was super excited to finally read The Iron Trial because it is written by two really awesome writers; Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. I’m not a huge fan of middle grade books, but this book was SO good. I will definitely be ordering a finished copy of this book to share with my son! I’m going to attempt to write this review without giving too much away, but I urge you all to check out the book for yourself!
Once a year, a few chosen children with magical abilities receive an invitation to participate in a special test called The Iron Trial. All of the children that participate in the trial want nothing more than to pass, and gain admittance into the Magisterium, a school of magic. All expect for Cullen Hunt, who has been told all his life by his father to stay far, far away from magic. But even though he purposely fails all of his tests at the trial, he still manages to gain admittance into the Magisterium, and once he is there, he begins to question everything he’s ever been told about magic.
The three main characters in the story, Callum, Tamara and Aaron, are all really well written characters. I found Call to be the most relatable character, as he was snarky and sarcastic most of the time, and I really love that in a character. I enjoyed following the journey with these three characters and watching them grow and mature throughout the book. Also, they were all pretty funny. I laughed so many times while reading this book, and I absolutely adore books that make me laugh.
I really liked how creative the storyline was for this book. I was worried that it would have the same feel as the Harry Potter books, but I didn’t really get that feeling at all as I read the book. I also liked that while the book was a fantasy, it still dealt with issues that kids deal with today; with bullying being a big part of the storyline. It definitely makes the book more relatable. Also, the world-building for the novel was awesome. I loved the world that Clare and Black created! At only 304 pages, this book made for a really quick read. Besides that, the storyline was so engaging that it kept me hooked as I turned the pages.
Overall; The Iron Trial is a wonderful beginning to what should be a spectacular series. I really did not expect to like this book as much as I did. It was a really great read. I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series in the future!
Atlantia is the first book that I’ve read by Ally Condie, although I’ve had her ‘Matched’ series on my to-read list for quite a while now. I jumped on...more Atlantia is the first book that I’ve read by Ally Condie, although I’ve had her ‘Matched’ series on my to-read list for quite a while now. I jumped on a chance to review Atlantia, not only because I had heard great things about the author, but because the story sounded completely fascinating. I definitely was not disappointed.
Rio has wanted nothing more her whole life than to live Above; to touch dirt, breathe fresh air, to see the sun in the sky. After her chance to go above is gone in an instant when her twin sister decides to go above instead, leaving Rio forever stranded below. Feeling abandoned by the only family she has left, and hiding a massive secret about herself, Rio devises a plan to join her sister once and for all in the Above.
The characters in the novel were all very interesting, especially the main character, Rio. At times you couldn’t help but feel sorry for her, because she had pretty much been abandoned by everyone that she loved. But she was also really strong, and she never gave up on herself. I always find that admirable in a character. I love, love, love the family bond that Rio has not only with her sister, but especially with her mom. Also, her relationship with True was super cute.
The storyline for the novel was very creative. While I can’t even imagine living in a world underwater, everything was described wonderfully and it all felt very realistic. The descriptions of the living environment in the Below were really well thought out, and very creative. I liked that the book kept me guessing as well; mostly why some characters did some of the things that they did. I needed to know why; it was so frustrating to be in the dark! I also really liked that this was a standalone novel, but I do did have a few questions after I closed the last page of the book. I don’t want to say that anything was left undone, I’m just curious as to what happened with a few things.
Overall; I really enjoyed reading Atlantia, and I can’t believe that I waited so long to read something by this author! I’m definitely going to be reading more by Condie in the near future.