Thursday, October 31, 2013

Book Review: The Iron Traitor

The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #2)
by Julie Kagawa
ARC, 304 pages
Expected publication: October 29th 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

In the real world, when you vanish into thin air for a week, people tend to notice.

After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as "normal" as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for-his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he's forbidden to see her again.

But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, "normal" simply isn't to be. For Ethan's nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan's and Keirran's fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan's next choice may decide the fate of them all.

Review:

I am not a big fan of this book, is what you should know before you continue on with reading this review. But also, you should know that I love The Iron Fey series, and it is the primary reason why I cannot bring myself to let go of this series even though The Iron Prince left me beyond disappointed.

The story picks up from where The Iron Prince left off. Ethan and Kenzie have just gotten back from the faery world and the "tough guy" that Ethan is, he gets all the blame for bringing Kenzie with him inspite knowing about her illness. In the first book, the greatest problem Ethan and Kenzie had to face were the fae but in this book, they get to face the wrath of her dad too. I thought it was the beginning of their normalcy but when Ethan finds out that Keirran is missing, he is suddenly thrown back into the world of fae to search for his missing nephew.

I was reeling with anger and frustration toward the characters as I read the book, but wait! Before I go on with the rant, let me start first with the things I like in The Iron Traitor. Like in the first book, I was filled with shortlived joy when Grim, Puck and Ash appeared. Ash joined the band later in the book but Grim and Puck were able to join the fun. I liked the times when Puck was all-too nostalgic during the journey, always associating Keirran and Ethan's encounters to those that he and Ash once had. These were the few moments that I truly enjoyed in the book. I also like that despite their differences, Keirran and Ethan still have some grave similarities. They are basically living in the same situation - with both Annwyl and Kenzie's lives on the line. They are offered the same options but each chose differently. It has a dramatic feel to it, but too bad the characters essentially killed it. It goes to show that not everything is either black or white; Not because Keirran chose to bargain for Annwyl's safety in exchange of his everything doesn't automatically make him a saint and the fact that Ethan didn't make a bargain for Kenzie's doesn't make him a bad person. The Iron Traitor delves into the various consequences those two choices present; but regardless, the result is ugly.

So here I go with the rant:

Majority of the things I disliked in the first book, sadly, are still present here. I'm grateful that Julie finally lessened the overly-romantic moments between the couples and I could finally read them without cringing but in place of this, Julie has gone over the board with reminding her readers of how tough Ethan looks like to the unsuspecting eyes. Kenzie already nicknamed him "tough guy" so I don't need Ethan himself to constantly remind me how parents, highschoolers and strangers probably see him as a "brooding thug" or a "dangerous hooligan". Don't flatter yourself too much, Ethan! Kenzie, as well, still did not impress me in this book. Her supposed strong points as a character such as courage and cheerfulness in the lieu of her illness fell far too short for my liking or for my sympathy, for that matter. There's also the matter of Annwyl. I didn't even like the girl in the first book but she still managed to disappoint me in this book. Annwyl is such a weak character. She could've done so many things to prevent Keirran from all the insanity he's doing but oh, she looks so beautiful and delicate and she's useless and oh, sometimes I want to strangle her! Julie spent more time shaping her not as her own character but as Keirran's love interest. But speaking of strangle, the person I really want to hurt the most here is Keirran. They said love can make people do stupid things and if there's a competition for whomever does the stupidest thing because of love, I bet my two cents Keirran would win it. I understand that he is truly, madly and deeply in love with Annwyl and the fact that he's willing to do anything to save her is very chivalrous and romantic but for the price of what? The dude still keeps throwing his promises away (like in the first book) and killing ancient faeries to uphold something that's not even a sure bargain.

The Iron Traitor presents answers to the questions that stemmed from the first book and even from its parent series. The readers will learn a lot more about the Forgottens like where they came from, as well as the real reason why Meghan cut-off all her ties to her family since all those years ago. I know I didn't like this book and the book before this but ohhh I still want an ARC of the third book! (Even though I'll probably end up ranting about it again. My heart is confused! T_T)

Rating: 2/5 stars

Disclosure: This book was received from the publisher (Harlequin Teen via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

12 comments:

  1. Sorry this one didn't work for you Chel!!!! I haven't read it yet, I'm VERY concerned about this cliffhanger ending I've been hearing so much about, so I think I'll be waiting to pick this up for a while. I liked the first book, not as well as the Iron Fey books, but I had a rocky start with the first book in that series too so I'm trying to give it the benefit of the doubt. I'm bummed about Annwyl, I thought she was a bit weak in the first book too but hoped she would grow into someone who suit Kierran perfectly. Doesn't sound like that's the case though. I'll be interested to see what you think of the next one!

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    1. I don't know how many books there are in this series but if there's only 3, then I'd stop holding my breath for any development in Annwyl's character. I'm still hoping that the next book will surprise me though.

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  2. I actually like how stubborn Kierran and Kenzie were, just my feelings. Fantastic review! I enjoyed your rant, especially the bit of Ethan mentioning the sang thing again and again. I really wish there was more to Awenyl too, I completely dismissed her in my review.

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    1. Glad you liked Kierran and Kenzie, Rachel! It seems that almost everyone has a problem with Annwyl's weakness though.

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  3. Sorry this was such a disappointment for you. I've been seeing mixed reviews of this one lately so it seems to be a hit or miss kind of book. It sounds like the characters could easily grate on my nerves though. I have never read a book by this author so I have yet to see if I'd be an uber fan of hugely displeased. I do have her Iron Fey series here that I'm curious enough about to give a try. Hopefully your next read will be better!

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    1. Really? Lots of people are enamored by this series and I rarely hear negative reviews about this, so there's big chance that you might like this. But anyhow, I think The Iron Fey series is so much better! Hope you enjoy it, Giselle.

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  4. Hmm, this is kind of disappointing because I too really love the Iron Fey series so I am afraid my feelings for this spin-off would be similar to yours. Too bad about the characters especially since I always love Kagawa's characters.

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    1. I really hope this would work out for you. And yes, I loved the Iron Fey characters and I'm just glad that Puck and Ash are still here too.

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  5. Aw, I'm sorry you were disappointed! It's awful when you love an author's previous work but the latest just doesn't work for you. I hope the next one is better.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. Kagawa was well on her way to my favorites authors list but this changed everything. :/

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  6. Lol, I don't normally continue reading series where the same problems keep appearing in the sequels but there are definitely TV shows I keep watching in spite of how bad I think they've become. It's too bad you found this one disappointing for the most part so hopefully your next read is better, Chel.

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    1. Me too! But there are still the extremely rare cases. This is one of them. I just can't let go of the Iron Fey characters yet.

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