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A Reader of Fictions: Strange Snow - Simon Boswell

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Strange Snow - Simon Boswell

The Iron King
Iron Fey, Book 1

Author:
Julie Kagawa
Genre: young adult, fantasy
Pages: 368

Brief Summary:
Meghan Chase really wants to be one of the popular kids and date the hottest guy in school, much to the chagrin of her best friend Robbie. Her chances are ruined when some weird computer hack insults the hot guy while she is tutoring him in technology. On her birthday though, he is happy to see her and invites her to eat lunch with him. Maybe, she thinks, this will be the best birthday ever. Or not. It is all a big prank and life could not possibly get worse...Or not. Turns out that when she gets home her brother Ethan is gone, replaced with a terrifying changeling. Oh yeah, and faeries are real and her best friend is actually Puck (aka Robin Goodfellow) and she has to enter the Nevernever (the faerie land) and save her brother. Now there is a birthday she'll never forget.

Review:
The opening of The Iron King definitely worried me. It didn't look good. Meghan struck me as a bit stupid, her family as neglectful jerks and the school drama as obnoxious. Thankfully, this lasts only so long and, once the plot takes off, the book becomes much more interesting.

I know that these YA fantasy romances are everywhere these days (I read a lot of them). Their quality definitely varies from absolutely atrocious to fantastically good. Based solely on this book (not on the following books in the series, which I have not yet read), I would place The Iron King among the upper half of this genre of books. There were some moments that made me eyeroll, but, overall, Kagawa created a world that's largely convincing and a story that moves along at a good pace.

What was good about The Iron King?
  1. The References- William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream was a huge influence for this story. Since that is one of my favorite plays (and movies), I have to give Kagawa props for that (at least since she did it well enough). She also uses the term "otaku," which is a reference to nerds in Japan.
  2. Meghan Chase comes across as a realistic girl. She is weak, skeptical, clever, awkward, strong and annoying at various points in the story. While she frequently needs to be saved by her companions, she also gets stuff done herself when she needs to.
  3. The story falls a familiar fantasy quest plot, which is comforting in its way. Meghan sets off on a quest (to save her brother), acquires companions (Puck, Ash, Grimalkin, etc.), loses companions along the way, and must ultimately resolve her quest alone.
  4. Grimalkin- I love this cait sith (fairy cat?). Despite his powers and the fact that he's a fairy, he's mostly just a cat. And it's fantastic.
  5. The Pack Rats- They're just so cute.
There are some less good parts too, but the good outweighed the bad. It will be interesting to see how the story develops in the next books, which I will be reading over the next month.

And now, in case you're not sold already, check out this sweet book trailer:



P.S. Speaking of strange snow, there is a dusting of snow in Atlanta this morning...Crazers!

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1 Comments:

Blogger The Happy Booker said...

Great review! I recently read and reviewed this myself and agree wholeheartedly with what you've said. Meghan did seem a bit immature and even annoying at times, but I'm hoping that her character grows in the rest of the series. I also thought Grim and the Pack Rats were awesome!

(Its snowing in NC today too!)

December 26, 2010 at 2:56 PM  

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