The thing I loved the most about this book.. okay, 2 things. First of all, the protagonist's love of books, despite, at first, being unable to read. T...moreThe thing I loved the most about this book.. okay, 2 things. First of all, the protagonist's love of books, despite, at first, being unable to read. There is something almost admirable about it. Second, the use of language to remind you that the story is being told in Germany. Occasionally, a German word will slip through, reminding you that these people are German. And they also aren't monsters.
This book really knows how to tug your strings, and to think, I bought it on a whim whilst doing some food shopping.(less)
This book was a brilliant read and I look forward to reading the following books in the series! The first person perspective really helps you to conne...moreThis book was a brilliant read and I look forward to reading the following books in the series! The first person perspective really helps you to connect to Yelena, and to love and hate the characters. The idea of a fantasy novel based around assassination, rather than epic quests, is great and I loved every moment of it, as you can see it took me less than a week to read. I did find myself wondering how exactly the characters were measuring time as the environment was medieval-esque and there were no mentions of clocks or watches, just the position of the sun, however, I'm sure that's just my overactive imagination. Would definitely read again!(less)
I finished this one sometime last week while I was away - the sequel to Poison Study. Whilst I didn't feel it was as good as Poison Study, I love Snyd...moreI finished this one sometime last week while I was away - the sequel to Poison Study. Whilst I didn't feel it was as good as Poison Study, I love Snyder's writing style, the first person perspective is well done and helps to integrate yourself into the story, making it a lot easier to lose yourself in the story, which is sometimes just what you need. The story developments were good, and if you enjoyed Poison Study (or enjoy, if you haven't read it yet), then I do recommend this one to you. Looking forward to finishing off the series with Fire Study.(less)
Originally, I was going to give this one a 5 star rating because I did think Fire Study was a fair bit better than Magic Study (though as I've said be...moreOriginally, I was going to give this one a 5 star rating because I did think Fire Study was a fair bit better than Magic Study (though as I've said before, Magic Study was read in a time when I found it quite hard to focus, so that may have had something to do with it), I probably enjoyed it as much as Poison Study - I love fiction that involves magic. The story flowed well, and it was fun to read. A few loose ends were tied, too. It was still pretty predictable, everybody who seemed bad was bad and everybody who seemed good was good. Perhaps there were one or two who strayed from the mould, but that's it really. The ending was what lowered the rating for me, because it felt so rushed. I felt like there could have been more description, maybe more of a struggle, but there wasn't. Either way, I still felt this novel was a very good read, and I would read the series again!(less)
The Iron Witch is based upon a piece of folklore sometimes called the ‘Girl With Silver Hands’ or the ‘Armless Maiden’, among many other names, in whi...moreThe Iron Witch is based upon a piece of folklore sometimes called the ‘Girl With Silver Hands’ or the ‘Armless Maiden’, among many other names, in which the girl’s hands are severely damaged and replaced with silver, though the details surrounding that change from story to story. Mahoney’s story follows a teenage girl called Donna Underwood who is not your ordinary teenager. Kicked out of high school, she is home schooled in the art of alchemy. Born into a secret order, she isn’t given much choice in the matter. She has to wear long gloves to avoid drawing attention to the silvery-iron intricate tattoos that her hands and lower arms are made up of. The story begins with her best and only friend Navin dragging her to a party full of people from her past at Ironbridge High, she doesn’t want to be there and so escapes to an empty room and finds her way to the roof where she meets Xan.
Initially, I wasn’t all that impressed by this novel. It took what felt like half of the book to get anywhere and it’s lucky that I’m so adamant on not dropping books unless I really can’t stand them because then I might not have got to the part that was a joy to read. Sadly, this really was too much of the book to salvage the rating, if the entire book was as good as the last half, it could easily have been a 3.5. I found throughout that a lot of the plot points were glaringly obvious to the reader while the characters remained ignorant, which was a little frustrating, and a lot of the dialogue felt forced and unnatural – mostly that between Donna and Nav.
The story itself, although a little slow going and could have used a few more twists, is excellent. As mentioned, Donna is born into a secret alchemical order sworn to protect the secret of immortality and guard the mortal world from that of the fae, who are pretty darn sinister. I wasn’t actually expecting alchemy in this book, I thought it was a faerie based paranormal novel when I picked it up for some reason, but I was pleasantly surprised. Since watching Full Metal Alchemist I’ve been intrigued by stories based on or including alchemy, so it was a nice read. While there was a romance in it, it didn’t feel quite so bad. There were no mystical powers drawing them together, no love at first sight, just your usual budding teenage romance.. as usual as a paranormal based romance might be. It was awkward and a little shy, and that’s great, that’s how it is. In fact, it was the times that Donna was with her love interest that her voice was the strongest in my honest opinion.
Throughout the book I found myself thinking that it would really have benefitted from being written in a first person narrative because Donna’s voice is so strong, we are seeing the world through her eyes. Her voice just works as a narrative because she comes across as any other teenage girl, having the same thoughts and feelings that any of us would have felt in her position, and in the process she does her darndest to keep away from the self pity. It’s a shame that it wasn’t a first person narrative. The imagery in The Iron Witch is brilliant. Mahoney really makes the world come to life.
While I didn’t find it amazing personally, I would definitely recommend it to young adult paranormal fans.(less)