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Christina Reads YA

"A children's story which is enjoyed only by children is a bad children's story. The good ones last." --C.S. Lewis

The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Traitor  - Julie Kagawa

You can find more of my reviews plus discussions and giveaways at Christina Reads YA.

 

Not a typical review from me today as I'm not sure I could fill out my usual form and I also do not think that I will be continuing with the series anymore. Not because this is a bad book - on the contrary, it has broad appeal to Kagawa's and UF fans - but because I think this become a case of author-reader incompatibility.

  • Again I had issues with the beginning of the novel. The first 100 pages felt like filler to me - like there were only two real plot events with any repercussions (and one of which had consequences that any seasoned Kagawa fan will understand right from the outset, thus losing its surprise). Again catching us up on all the details from previous books, even mentioning one experience Meghan had in the very first Iron Fey novel. This is an issue I've had before with Kagawa's Immortal Rules series and possibly, if I reread the Iron Fey books, I might find this in them too. I think that I *personally* am not a fan of how the recap is inserted into the story. Certainly I appreciate the efforts to keep the reader up to date and to attract readers who are not as familiar with the Iron Fey series, but it doesn't work for me as a reader. This is partially what I mean by author-reader incompatibility.
  • Again this novel is full of imaginative details regarding the world, new Fey, the origins of the Forgotten, quests that the crew will undertake, complications to that quest and character relationships, and new action scenes that likely come from someone with cinematic visions in mind or with cinematic writing. Although I had issues with the beginning, it was clear these did not continue through parts two and three of the novel. Aside from that beginning, I also thought that it was paced really well, keeping the conflict in parts two and three highly strung with tension.
  • Again we have Kagawa humor and charm with cameos and her usual characters and romance. If you like her humor from previous novels, particularly the banter between the characters as they fall into worsening circumstances and seemingly impossible tasks, you will like it again. If you liked the romance in the first book in this spin-off series, you'll like it again. Kenzie takes the edge off Ethan's character and is ferocious in her own right. The characters also seemed easier to relate to this time around, though it would be nice if Ethan stopped feeling such self-hatred. He is the tortured bad boy type who I have previously discussed, and he has genuine conflict to make him that way. This novel also improves on its predecessor - plot, characters, character relationships and motivations, etc.
  • So what's my issue? I know, right? I've basically written that if you liked the characters, world, romance, writing, and humor in the previous novels, you'll like it again in this novel (and no rereads necessary for you!). But that's just it. I've now read four Kagawa Iron Fey novels (and skimmed Iron Knight) and her novellas, and have read her two Immortal Rules books, and I don't know that I have it in me to continue with this particular series. It's a similar blend that I've read in the previous work. Without character growth or themes that really interest me, I'm just not as invested anymore. It also has the kind of angst that I generally like to avoid. There is some character growth as Ethan learns to trust others and stop acting like that PNR romantic interest who purposely drives away the heroine because he's tortured and people die around him and all that jazz. There are some interesting themes that are repeated over the course of the series such as the importance of family and friendships, a theme that is rather reminiscent of Harry Potter and its gallivanting quest/mystery plots full of imaginative details. Still not enough for me anymore, though it seems that my case is peculiar and unlike any others I've seen (current rating on Goodreads? 4.34 stars).


Full of imaginative creatures and settings and cameos from much loved Iron Fey characters, The Iron Traitor will appeal to longtime Iron Fey fans as well as those of the spin-off series. Although I will not be continuing with this series, I hope that you do and that you enjoy this novel and the next as well.