THE IRON WITCH by Karen Mahoney [REVIEW]

the iron witch book cover

Yikes. That’s the first thing that I can think to say in this review of THE IRON WITCH. I was really, REALLY looking forward to reading this book – young adult paranormal? Sign me up!! And the magic that is in it is GREAT. Instead of “standard” magic, the special abilities of the main character focused around alchemy which is something that I don’t know a lot about. Not to mention that you don’t usually read about alchemy in books either, this made it all the more interesting to me.

That’s about where the interesting plot points ended. I’m not sure if author Karen Mahoney was thinking that her story was something different BECAUSE of the alchemy aspect; but this book is something that I’ve read a million times, just with different characters and in a different setting.

We are introduced to Donna, our heroine, in the first pages of The Iron Witch. Donna is different. She’s been different her entire life, lost her parents in a horrible accident in which her father died to protect her and turned her mother insane. She has no friends to speak of except one best friend… and even he doesn’t know her secrets.

Cue the misunderstood loner boy that Donna feels an “instant” connection to (and of course he’s got a secret as well) and said best friend becoming jealous because he has feelings for her too, and we have every paranormal young adult book ever published in the last few years.

Oy Vey.

I’m also fairly sure that somewhere along the line Mahoney forgot to fully develop characters in The Iron Witch, ESPECIALLY Donna. There really is no growth within her character which is what makes a GOOD heroine. The dialogue is a little bit precious as well. It seems like Mahoney was trying almost TOO hard to harness the voice of high school students.

BUT enough bashing. I would really like to see Mahoney publish a different story because there were passages of the book that really grabbed me and made me want to read more. Just not the book as a whole. There is narration that will transport you to Donna’s world, but the second a character starts talking you’re quickly reminded that you’re reading a story.

Another high point of the story would be the cover art. Kudos to that designer, they did an AMAZING job.

Overall, I would probably say that fans of the genre can bypass The Iron Witch. Its story has been done before and we all know how it ends.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars | Publisher: Flux | Pages: 290 | Source: Publisher | Buy on Amazon

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