My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Freak. That's what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna's own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.
When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect.
I really wanted to like this book but in my honest opinion it was only ok. This wasn't a bad book it just didn't feel like anything new or different or original, and the characters just felt like obvious cliched rehashes of characters from other YA books. There is the main character- the girl who doesn't think she is very pretty and is a bit of an outsider with a secret power, the guy best friend who is secretly in love with her, the idealised bad-boy new boyfriend who is instantly madly in love with her and is of course perfect...
Throughout the narration of the story and even in the dialogue between them, parts of it felt really forced and there was just never any real spark in the writing. Other characters in the book like Donna's aunt (who she lives with)- we never really find out anything about her- I can't remember if we even meet her in the story or if we do only find out about her through Donna briefly mentioning her. Then we have Donna's guardians Quentin and Simon- She has known them most of her life but I never got a sense of a history there, I still feel like I know nothing about them.
Even with plot elements like a secret society called the Order of the Dragon and a rescue mission into faerie to save a kidnapped friend I still struggled to get lost in the world of this book and kept reading just to plow through it (because I hate to leave a book unfinished). Problems were solved quite quickly- to save their friend they had to obtain a secret and hidden alchemist potion, and they seemed to just break in and take it. I did like the character Xan (the new boyfriend one) who has a secret power all of his own, but he just felt a bit unreal to me, and again I just didn't feel a spark.
My verdict- meh :-/
But I hate writing negative reviews for anything because I always feel that just because I didn't like it it doesn't mean it's a bad book- it just means that I didn't like it (and wouldn't the world be a boring place if we all liked and disliked the same things?) So to even it out here are some reviews from my lovely blogging friends who DID like this book-
Iron Witch Review from The Slowest Bookworm (Karen)
Iron Witch Review from Magic of Reading (Leanne)
Iron Witch Review from Book Chick City
Iron Witch Review from Excellent Reads (Arjun)
Iron Witch Review from Heaven Hell and Purgatory (Lyndsey)