***NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS*** My first complaint as always is I couldn't find a Hardcover Copy and I'm of the personal belief that ever...more***NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS*** My first complaint as always is I couldn't find a Hardcover Copy and I'm of the personal belief that every book should have a hardcover copy for those readers who want to keep a book for years and years and keep rereading it a few times. Paperbacks just do not withstand the test of time as well as hardcovers. Anyway that's beside the point.
This book introduces the character of Meghan Chase, a half-human, half-fairy who is the illegitimate daughter of Oberon, King of the Summer or Seelie Court of Fairies. While there are many stories out there which involve the Fae, the Seelie and Unseelie Court, this one has a whole new take on things. Yes I'll admit she brought many of her characters from Shakespeare's a Midsummer Night's Dream which is obvious in that she often refers to the play by name in the course of the story. However compared to other recent releases involving the Fae such as Karen Marie Moning's Fever Series or Cheyene McCray's Magic Series, it sort of turns the Fae World upside down. That's one of my favorite things about the Iron Fey Series is the fresh take on the Fae and the courts, the way she build an entirely new world in introducing Meghan, Puck and Ash.
It's the day before Meghan's 16th birthday when this story opens and you can't help but feel sorry for her, she doesn't know where she really came from until later in the story. She knows that only her four year old brother who honestly doesn't really behave like a four year old, seems to remember her birthday or even remember her. Her father disappeared on her 6th birthday, her stepfather forgets she exist only a few minutes after looking at her, and her entire wardrobe is thrift store bought. She's got none of the technological advances that most kids considered entitled to them and unlike most kids who expect gifts and a cake on their birthday all Meghan is hoping is the her mom actually follows through on taking her to get her learner's permit. While her younger brother is sort of endearing the rest of Meghan's family leaves much to be desired and it's actually kind of hard to understand just why she loves them so much. At best I'd consider her parents neglectful. The afternoon before her birthday she's excited to actually tutor the quarterback of the football team who she's had a crush on for two years only to have him first insult her, then to have the computer get hijacked with weird messages about someone coming for her and an insult to the quarterback himself which he of course blames Meghan for. As a wonderful birthday revenge the following day the quarterback gets someone to Photoshop a photo of her making her appear naked and not appealing so and sends it to the phone of every student in the school. What a wonderful way to say Happy Birthday. As if things couldn't get worse she comes home to find her mother on the floor of the kitchen passed out in a pool of blood, with her younger brother smiling about it. When her stepfather later takes her mother to ER and leaves her to babysit Ethan who attacks her taking a bite of out her leg. Having seen some decidedly odd things throughout the course of the day when her best friend shows up revealing he's actually Puck, the jester of the Seelie court and her younger brother is a changeling, and Ethan has been kidnapped she just goes with and journeys into NeverNever the land of the Fae to save her brother. I will agree with other reviewers in saying it is a bit odd that she never questions any of it, as unbelievable as this plot twist would be to a normal person. And I think it would have greatly added to Meghan's depth of character had she been a little bit more questioning and doubtful of this strange twist of fate.
The story then begins to take on an Alice in Wonderland sort of feel as she travels into the NeverNever, chased by Ash, sleeping in a tree, and then meeting Grimalkin, the mysterious talking cat. She's taken hostage by Goblins, followed by basically imprisonment in the Summer Court only to then be hunted down by the prince of the Winter Court Ash with whom she shares a strange attraction. A lot of the time Meghan seems to be a victim and she enters into deals with show no concern for her own well being. Her entire drive centers around saving Ethan. The story is a little odd and hard to get into in the beginning, you mostly keep reading because there are a lot of huh? moments that you want an explanation for, but as she enters the NeverNever and you meet an entire new world of beings, politics and magic you become quickly engrossed in Meghan's story. While there is a bit of a love story between Ash and Meghan, it's not really played up on and mostly focuses on physical attraction, leaving a lot to be desired as far as their relationship goes. However as far as an adventure goes, the Iron King isn't one to be missed and I would recommend the story to any reader of Fantasy.(less)
**NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN INCLUDE SPOILERS** I read this entire trilogy in a little over a day. It was a decent story, but my main complaint was that I...more**NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN INCLUDE SPOILERS** I read this entire trilogy in a little over a day. It was a decent story, but my main complaint was that I didn't see the need to break it up into three separate books for the story. It seems that each story ends in the middle of a scene and the length of the novels was short, therefore I'm not really seeing the need to have made three books out of the story.
The prologue begins with a little girl being tricked into the basement of her home by a frightening ghost. It doesn't really give an explanation as to why or tell what happens next and the scene isn't really mentioned again in any of the rest of the series, however despite that the prologue is interesting enough to hook you into the book from page one. I do find it unfortunate that none of this material is really brought up later, explained or expanded upon.
When we really enter the story at chapter one Chloe is 15, attending an art school in Buffalo, she seems totally normal except for being a little bit of late bloomer as far as puberty is concerned. When she gets her period though her world is turned upside down when a gory looking janitor only she can see chases her through her school resulting in her being subdued by teachers and removed from the school on stretcher. The next twist in this book however seems a little odd. Chloe isn't described as having ever been a trouble maker or ever prone to violent outbursts, but the school is requiring her to spend two mandatory weeks in a home for teens with mental issues before she returns to school unless she wants for the incident to appear on her permanent record and therefore destroy her dreams of a good college and future. While the story after this point is interesting, the plot twist that throws her into Lyle house seems incredibly unlikely to have happened. I could see the school making her see a counselor, but without a history, I can't see them forcing her into a home.
So she enters a group home of children with mental issues just like her, the doctors tell her she's schizophrenic, the other residents tell her she's a necromancer, a person who can communicate with ghosts and raise the dead and the focus of this section of the story is mostly Chloe's journey to deciding which one is the truth, is she crazy, or cursed?
The pacing is good, but not excellent and while I did enjoy the book I might not have bought the sequel if she didn't save the climax of the story for the very end of the book and leave the book off mid-scene. The Darkest Powers Trilogy might have received an all 5 Star Rating from me if it had been one solid book, however for a stand alone title the first story itself does leave much to be desired. Don't get me wrong there are quite a few exciting and intriguing scenes within the book, but you won't really understand how good what you're reading is unless you buy the entire trilogy at once and read them all together. What the first book in this series really reads like is the opening to a longer and more intriguing novel. Without the additional parts, it's definitely missing something.(less)
**NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN INCLUDE SPOILERS** Just when we think it's all over, the nightmare that Clary and Jace might be siblings, the awful father the...more**NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN INCLUDE SPOILERS** Just when we think it's all over, the nightmare that Clary and Jace might be siblings, the awful father they somewhat shared and the division between the Shadowhunters and the Downworlders and that they might finally be together, have some sort of positive relationship, Cassandra Clare comes back with an all new novel and tears the two star crossed lovers apart again.
This story is good I'll admit that, but I don't something about it wasn't as good as the original three in the trilogy and to be honest I can't quite explain why because there are some really good aspects to the story that weren't covered as well in the original trilogy, so I should really be delighted with this new work that came back to give those characters more of a voice, I think maybe it was just the ending that left me all pissed off and wanting more and possibly that might have been what colored my lesser opinion of this book than the others.
Simon gets a lot more of the spotlight in this story, not only does his mother discover his secret and he loses the only home he's ever known, but the love triangle between Simon, Maya and Isabelle sort of spirals out of control when they discover the existence of each other. Honestly I think this whole thing could have been avoided because it was mostly just bad decision making on Simon's part. Reading the other books you can't help but notice that Simon really isn't all that into Maya. I mean yeah he thinks she's a blast to hang out with and has fun being around her, but the chemistry between Simon and Maya has always been sadly lacking. While Isabelle is showing a lot more character depth in this novel and the attraction is definitely there, I also can't help but think what the heck is Simon thinking getting involved with her? I mean before he was a vamp she didn't want anything to do with him, and even now she mostly hides her interest in him. I really can't see what he was thinking getting involved with either one of these girls.
On top of Simon's messy love life and heart-breaking life changes, Simon also becomes a wanted commodity in this novel with many different factions seeming to be interested in him and recruiting him. What bothers me the most about it is while before he and Clary were fairly inseparable, it seems in this novel he's forgotten all about that friendship and find himself instead confiding in Jace.
Maya's creator makes his first appearance in this novel as well, not only explaining what really happened to make Maya a werewolf but brings a whole new faction into the game in the form of the Praetor, a group of downworlders that stop new initiates to the downworld from making mistakes that could expose them all. Jordan Kyle's character is an interesting addition to this merry band Clare has created within her Mortal Instruments series. I can't help but hope to see a happy ending to the romance that created Maya the werewolf.
The part that I really didn't enjoy was the new issues with Jace, first nightmare where he kills Clary repeatedly then a horrid connection to Sebastian who everyone thought was dead and gone. The explanation that Clary's own "selfish" choice to bring Jace back is the reason Sebastian can come back as well. Personally I didn't think her wish was all that selfish when she made it but in this novel it's certainly portrayed to be. While the good guys certainly had their share of victories within this novel, I couldn't help but finish thinking OMG Clare let the bad guys win. As I'm not the type of reader who ever wants to see the bad guy win at the end of the book I wasn't really pleased with the ending, though I have no doubts that she intends to fix it in books to come. But with a year between books I couldn't help but finish this book feeling so angry that I wanted to throw it across the room.
It is a good read that keeps you turning the pages, definitely pulled into all the angst in the characters lives and the excitement of the Downworld however if you're the type to get emotionally involved with a book as I am you might want to wait until the next installment of the Mortal Instruments Series is published before reading City of Fallen Angels. Waiting a year with an unsatisfying ending to her current novel isn't a punishment I'd wish upon a fellow reader.(less)
**NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN INCLUDE SPOILERS** To be honest you could probably enjoy the Iron Fey Series and understand what's going on without ever readi...more**NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN INCLUDE SPOILERS** To be honest you could probably enjoy the Iron Fey Series and understand what's going on without ever reading this Novella, especially since some of the scenes within are recapped in the Iron Daughter. However if you enjoyed reading Meghan's story, you wouldn't want to miss even one leg of it and you'll find the short novella worth your time. If you don't have a kindle and therefore don't need the story in a kindle format Kagawa offers a free PDF download of the story on her website considering that, it would be just silly to miss part of Meghan's epic story even if you don't need that portion to understand what's going on.
The importance of this story is mostly the dynamics between Meghan and Ash. Even with his promise to his queen and the contract to bring Meghan to the Winter Court he allows her to sort of sever the ties with her old life, by first saying goodbye to her family and then despite the dangers saying goodbye to Puck who at this point still exists inside a tree healing from the bullet wound. It's like he knows that being within the Winter Kingdom is going to be one of the hardest things she's ever had to do and he doesn't want her worrying about the people she left behind while she's there. Seeing this and the fact that he chastises her for not leaving him to die and returning to the summer kingdom when she had the chance helps with your view on Ash's character when you see him later in the Winter Court during Iron Daughter.
Without reading Winter's Passage you really want to hate Ash for his behavior at the beginning of Iron Daughter, but after having read this you can almost understand that the only way he can protect her within the Winter Kingdom is to treat her like crap and keep her at a distance.
The dangers they face in the novella also give a lot to the character of Oberon, showing just how far he's willing to go to protect his daughter even if he hasn't really made her feel welcome or made any effort to get to know her. Combining what you read in this novella with what you see in the Iron Daughter also shows how little the fae really communicate with each other or make an effort to understand each other.
Being so short it doesn't give a ton of depth and does leave you wanting more to flesh out the story, however that's normally the case with a novella if you're used to reading longer fleshier novels. It is however an enjoyable story that is worth reading.(less)
In this portion of 16 year old witch, Portia Mullins, story she and her friends Shelly and Brad take off s...more***NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS***
In this portion of 16 year old witch, Portia Mullins, story she and her friends Shelly and Brad take off searching for Portia's warlock boyfriend Vance Mangum. Vance has left Portia to search for his father in hopes of taking out the dangers his father might present to Portia in the future. Portia's friends are quickly ensconced in her magical world as they travel searching for Vance. Though Vance is quickly found, his fears of the danger he presents to Portia creates a lot of obstacles in their budding relationship and they find it difficult to convince him to return. The friends succeed in convincing him to join them and all four work together to search for Vance's evil father before finding him in Mexico. Eventually the entire coven joins them and this magic tale merges with one of spies and missions leaving readers turning the pages to the very end wondering who will win the game of cat and mouse.
The writing in this book compared to the first has cleaned up quite a bit with minimal grammatical errors and nothing enough to really jar you out of the story. It has the same wonderful flow and voice of the last story and definitely falls into the thrilling page turner category. It seems with each book by Weatherford she improves her work a little more offering the reader a better story. If she continues to improve at this rate I wouldn't be surprised to find her on the best sellers rack in a couple years.
While the characters still fall into the Mary Sue category, they are becoming more believable as she gives them more flaws and more hardship in this novel. The main issue with this work in my opinion is that her writing has a kind of sugar coating to it, like she's glossing it over so even the bad parts aren't that bad and it's almost as if she's afraid to get a little gritty with her characters and her story. There were a couple parts that were a little far-fetched like her father going from encyclopedia salesmen to government agent and the perfect moral compasses of every teenager in the story but otherwise it was a great read that kept you turning the pages from beginning to end.
I'd like to thank the author for offering this book as a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway that I was fortunate enough to win. I look forward to reading more works by Lacey Weatherford in her Of Witches and Warlocks Series.(less)
Portia Mullins thought she was a normal girl with an encyclopedia salesmen for a dad, a nurse for a mom an...more***NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS***
Portia Mullins thought she was a normal girl with an encyclopedia salesmen for a dad, a nurse for a mom and a crush on the hottest boy in school who didn't even know she was alive. All that changes when she turns sixteen and she finds out not only is she a witch and a powerful one at that, but her Dad is a warlock and her Grandma is a witch too. To top it off the hottest boy in school, Vance Mangum, very much knew she was alive and as a warlock himself had been counting the days to her sixteenth birthday so he could introduce himself to her. Vance explains to Portia that not only is she his soul-mate, but he's in her coven because his demon father has been hunting him trying to steal Vance's power and turn him to a demon as well. When her best friends, the wannabe Barbie doll turns into a crazy goth chick Portia knows something's up, she only hopes she can get to the bottom of it before it's too late.
If you like paranormal romance, you'll most likely enjoy this books. It's fast paced with a good flow and easy to read. However, you'll also find quite a few grammar errors and I guess you'd say an immaturity in the writing that goes beyond it being a first person narrative in the eyes of a sixteen year old.
The characters are first of all a bit too perfect, their only possibly bad qualities have very good reasons behind them. They really don't have character flaws in anyway and both could be described as a Mary Sue character. They also seem to accept everything blindly. Oh I'm a powerful witch, well maybe I'll express disbelieve for a couple paragraphs but then I'll roll with the punches. Oh, we're soul-mates, cool, it's what I've always wanted. They fall instantly in love without any of the doubt or getting to know each other in typical relationships. She also has an 18 year old boy turning down sex with his girlfriend because he wants to wait until she's of age and they're married. And neither of their parents care that they spend every night sleeping in the same bed. Magic or not, no eighteen year old will be spending the night in my daughter's bed when she's sixteen. Their relationship is like a PG version of an adult relationship minus the courtship where they get to know each other. Nothing in real life falls as instantly into place as these characters' relationship does. No teenager is that good or accepting either. With a little more internal conflict in the characters and some more obstacles put in their way this could have been an excellent story. A better copy editor would have help as well.
I should also mention that these modern day children never even mention computers or video games or any of the other things that are normally as close to every teenage kid as the air they breath. It sort of reminded me of the PG way a mother might describe her teenage years to her children leaving out any part that could possibly be construed as a negative influence for them to copy.
That said the plot was interesting and it did flow well. The writer also has a nice writing voice. If she learned to be a little meaner to her characters I feel she could write an excellent story. She has potential and I plan to read more of Weatherford books in hopes these things will improve.(less)
Chloe and her friends may have found Andrew but they’re not out of danger just yet. When they meet the gro...more***NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS***
Chloe and her friends may have found Andrew but they’re not out of danger just yet. When they meet the group that Andrew works with, they begin to wonder if they’ve found safety or another prison. With a new demon spirit whispering about previous Edison Group Experiments and while threatening Chloe at the same time, they know it’s time to start looking for answers that the adults who are supposed to be protecting them won’t provide. Will they discover Andrew’s secrets before it’s too late for them all?
This is by far the best novel in the series. The first person narrative told again from Chloe’s point of view is filled with action from beginning to end. While the other books definitely offered a great deal of action in this novel it’s twice as intense and definitely twice as thrilling. I liked how Armstrong dissolved or resolved rather the developing love triangle in this choice as I loved how Chloe just didn’t run off with the cute popular guy but instead chose the guy with more emotional depth. Derek’s change was one of my favorite scenes in the novel, it was not only intense but it was emotional. And well the ending, though slightly open ended was excellent. Armstrong has already promised that we haven’t seen the last of Chloe and Derek so I guess I’m okay with the novel being slightly open ended. It was a good enough resolution for now and the last scene leaves you with bubbly happy thoughts. Personally I’m hoping to come back to these character’s from Chloe’s point of view but with the new trilogy I’m kind of thinking we’ll probably see Chloe again from Maya’s perspective. But who knows, at least the author has assured us that we’ll get more of Chloe in the future. I’m not really sure what to say about the novel because I can’t really think of anything I didn’t like and I’m better at talking about things I didn’t like than about things I did. There’s a lot of action and secrecy that keeps you turning pages. The story is emotionally intense and fast paced. Armstrong did start a bunch of things leaving me with questions about the future like Chloe’s interactions with the demons, but knowing that she’s eventually planning to come back to their characters and has given them a slightly fulfilling ending for the time being I can’t really complain about the loose ends.
My favorite part of this novel was really the character development. Chloe continues to be a well developed character who continues to experience major character growth. Derek is more fully developed in this novel with the same intensity as Chloe even though it’s not told from his point of view. You watch his character grow and flesh out just as much as her. Tori and Simon gain a lot more flesh in this novel in terms of character development. The remaining secondary characters gain some development as well and the new character introductions are fairly well developed and definitely distinctive. You can’t help becoming attached to these characters and wanting to learn more about them by the time this story ends.
Overall I know this review is one of my shorter ones but it’s kind of a choice between going into massive spoiler detail and telling you all of my favorite scenes and what was great about them which most people don’t quite appreciate as much I love talking about it or being a little more vague and telling you I really loved this novel. As a standalone title without the previous titles in the book it wouldn’t be as good. I wouldn’t recommend it to readers who haven’t read The Summoning or The Awakening first. But as the finale to her opening Darkest Powers Trilogy it’s a phenomenal book not to be missed. Highly recommended.(less)
Chloe’s Aunt Lauren has betrayed her again, returning her to her worst enemy, the Emerson Group. The compa...more ***NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS***
Chloe’s Aunt Lauren has betrayed her again, returning her to her worst enemy, the Emerson Group. The company for whom she learns Aunt Lauren works. The same company who gathered the children at Lyle House, the children who were all subjects of an experiment in genetic mutation. When Chloe discovers the experiment is considered to have gone dramatically wrong and the company is permanently eliminating the failures who don’t fall into line from life, she knows she can’t stay in their testing facility no matter how much they attempt to make it hospitable for her. If she stays she’ll end up just like Liz a ghost who doesn’t even know she’s dead. She doesn’t know where Derek and Simon are, all that she knows is that Simon’s insulin is at the Emerson Group and Simon is not. Not having it could mean severe health issues for Simon, but turning them over to Emerson Group so he can get it could mean death. She has to escape, grab the insulin and find the boys, the question is how? And even if she does manage to escape – what then?
This is my second time reading this novel, the first was before I started blogging and I read all three in this series in the course of a day. At that point I couldn’t see their individuality as novels but felt they should have been all in one longer novel. I still believe that they’re best read together but now I can see how the storyline does cover enough for the novel to be on its own as a part of a series. The first person tale, told from Chloe’s point of view is action packed from beginning to end. What makes it more than just a bunch of action though is seeing it through Chloe’s eyes and experiencing her emotional reaction to the changes in her life. When this series started Chloe was a spoiled, sheltered rich girl, like it mentions in the first novel no one had ever hurt her before. Even though Derek hadn’t intentionally hurt her, it was the first time that anyone had. Now she’s living on the streets not completely sure of what to do next. Her Aunt and the girl she thought was her friend betrayed her, even if they thought what they were doing was right, they’d let her into the hands of the enemy. Her Dad is so worried he’s offered a half a million dollars for her return and though he’s not involved in the experimentation nor does he have any idea of her abilities he’s actually made it worse for her because it’s not safe for her to return to her Dad. Edison Group will never let her just go back to her old life and if she did they’d probably eliminate him to get to her. But with the reward on her, it’s no longer even safe to hide in the city she grew up in because everyone is looking for her. So everyone this character has ever trusted and depended on, with the exception of Simon and Derek who she still doesn’t totally trust, has pretty much stolen all the security out of her life whether intentionally or not. Chloe’s character has a lot of growing up to do and she’s not doing it sheltered anymore. So with her emotionally slant on the action sequences the story is so much more than just fast paced, it’s emotionally gripping. Unfortunately under all this character growth an action, Armstrong has chosen to add just a whispering of the ever popular teen love triangle. You can see interest developing between Chloe and Derek though both would be quick to deny it and then there’s Derek’s brother Simon who’s clearly interested in Chloe and she’s slightly interested in him as well. Nothing is really played into because it’s neither the time or the place to pursue it, but it’s there nonetheless and I’m SOOOOO tired of love triangles. The problem with a realistic love triangle is no one ends up totally happy in the end. The person who loses gets a good case of rejection and possibly a broken heart and the couple who end up together usually end up with a good case of guilt for the guy that lost. I know love triangles happen, but not nearly as much as young adult authors seem to make them appear. So my main issues with this book are the triangle developing and the fact that even though it’s got enough content to be a novel it’s not something meant to stand alone and without the novels around it, a reader picking it up is likely to spend most of the novel confused. As part of the series it’s great, fast paced, good character development, emotionally gripping and well written, but it’s not a novel someone can pick up alone and just read and say oh that’s an awesome story because without the first book they’re missing too much of the background.
Both primary and secondary characters are fairly well developed in this novel. The main character Chloe is of course well developed in a first person narrative, it would be difficult for her not to be. She’s got as many strengths as she does weaknesses and is easy to relate to. What’s wonderful about her character is how much character growth you get to experience with her throughout this tale. Derek also become better developed in this novel as we get to know him better. I mean the previous novel and short stories do help a lot with understanding his character but even in this novel alone I felt he was extremely well developed. Simon, Tori, Lauren and Rae also get some more fleshing out in this story, and the other secondary characters presents are for the most part distinctive and original.
Overall I would definitely recommend this novel to young adult paranormal readers, but only if they intend to read the entire series and read The Summoning first. Otherwise they just won’t get as much enjoyment out of the tale as a series reader would.(less)