Series: The Iron Fey #1
Published by: Harlequin Teen on January 26, 2010
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Meghan Chase has a secret destiny—one she could never have imagined...
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school...or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face...and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.
Judging by all the amazing reviews, I expected The Iron King to wow me, but it sooo didn’t.
The #1 problem for me was my lack of feeling towards this book. I didn’t care about any of it, really. I never cared about Meghan or her fate. I felt like I barely even knew her. She, along with most of the other characters, were so two dimensional. I never got invested in any of them. I didn’t care if they lived or died.
But to make matters worse, I often found Meghan to be annoyingly naïve and sometimes just plain stupid. At the beginning, she accepted the existence of the Fae and the Nevernever far too easily. She was basically like, “Okay, there’s this entire other world full of creatures that I never knew existed. That’s fine. Now what do we do?” There was no resistance or denial; she just accepted it. But then, she was told that she’s actually the daughter of the faery king and there are multiple pieces of evidence to support that, but she refuses to believe it for, like, ever. And she’s told that because she’s his daughter she has some powers, but again she refuses to believe it’s even POSSIBLE.
“I will never understand humans,” he muttered. “With everything you have seen, magic, fey, monsters, and miracles, you still could not believe you could become invisible.”
Or, another example, she’s gone in and out of the Nevernever multiple times. She walks in through one part of the US, trots around the Nevernever, and comes out a few states away. Then, when they get ready to do the same thing later, she suddenly acts like these Nevernever “wormholes” just don’t exist and she can’t effortlessly travel around the country like the Fae can. It’s like she’s forgotten all the magical traveling they’ve already done before.
“You’re talking about New Orleans. [..] That’s hundreds of miles away!” I protested. “I have no car and no money for a plane ticket. How are we going to get there—or were we planning to hitchhike?”
You’re traveling around with Fae in the Nevernever and you seriously think you’re going to have to take a plane ride or hitchhike to get somewhere?
I was also annoyed with Meghan’s refusal to kill anyone. People would be trying to kill her and her friends, then her friends retaliate in self-defense, and she scolds her friends for killing them. Fair enough if you don’t want your friends killing people in cold blood, but these people are trying to kill you! The only way to come out unscathed is to attack them back, but she’s standing there playing peacekeeper.
Then, Meghan just had a few stupid, WTF moments. Example: it starts raining, then this happens:
Water splashed over my jeans, and I yelped as something burned my skin.
We examined my leg. Tiny holes marred my jeans where the drops had hit, the material seared away, the skin underneath red and burned. It throbbed as if I’d jabbed needles into my flesh.
My first thought would be: acidic rain. As in, stay the fuck away. But Meghan’s first impulse is to stick her hand outside to feel for more:
“What the heck?” I muttered, glaring into the storm. It looked like ordinary rain—gray, misty, somewhat depressing. Almost compulsively, I stuck my hand toward the opening, where the water dripped over the edge of the tube.
The final straw for me was the romance. There is no romance for 90% of the book. Literally, none. Not a single flirty conversation or romantic hint. Then all of a sudden, at like 90% View Spoiler » [Meghan and Alex randomly make out. Randomly. I shit you not. One minute they’re fighting an iron dragon, the next minute we get this quote: “I looked up at him, and then he was kissing me.” Uhhh WHAT?? Where did that come from? And when they finally come up for air, they act like they’re immediately dating and need to explain this to their parents. O_O I have no idea where that came from, but I’m not onboard with it. « Hide Spoiler]
Overall, I just didn’t like this book. I didn’t like the tone, which felt childish and very “Alice in Wonderland” (in terms of vibe and target audience). Meghan was annoying as hell. And the romance just popped up out of thin air.
A few people have told me that the series gets REALLY good after the second book, but I’m not sure if I’m going to make it that far.