Sunday, November 10, 2013

Review: THE IRON TRAITOR by @jkagawa #AmReading

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.

Is it wrong that I want Julie Kagawa’s faerie world to exist?  Life would be so much more interesting, if a bit more dangerous...

The Iron Traitor picks up Ethan Chase’s story. He desperately wants to avoid all things faerie and go about his normal, human life, but when you have the Sight and family ties to the Nevernever, that is just not meant to be. 

In a lot of ways, Ethan and Kierran are set against each other as foils.  Both of them are in love with a girl who is dying, but they are choosing to handle the situation very differently. I enjoyed the whole ethical dilemma over how far you should go for love. 

I really started to not like Keirran in this book, which is a shame because his father, Ash, is one of my favorite characters in the whole series.  Keirran might have noble intentions--he is driven by love to save the life of the dying Summer Girl Annwyl--but his unreasonableness and single-mindedness make him come across as a spoiled prince.  I know growing up as an only child in the Iron realm kept him sheltered, but he comes across as a brat whenever he doesn’t get his way.

Ethan, on the other hand, also grew up as an only child, but he behaves much more maturely.  He understands the seriousness of Kinzie’s illness, and he wants to help her live the fullest life possible while she can.  He knows it might be possible to strike some sort of bargain with the Fae to extend her life, but the stakes for doing so would cross many moral lines, probably harming others in the process, and Ethan is not selfish enough to pursue those options.  It is a very hard, very mature attitude to have. Yes, I think in future books there will be some way to fix Kenzie’s health, but I trust that Ethan will not have to betray his ethics to do so. 

Fans of the series will be happy to see a recurrence of some of their favorite characters, including Grimalkin, Razor, Puck and Ash. Meghan only appears briefly--she does have a kingdom to run, after all.  And as with all of Kagawa’s books, there is plenty of action to keep the plot moving. 

Overall, I give The Iron Traitor...

Plot - 5 stars

Character Development - 4 1/2 stars (I’m having a hard time connecting with Annwyl. Keirran might bug me, but he is supposed to, as the foil character to Ethan.)

Love Story - 4 stars (Ethan & Kenzie are awesome, but much of the book focuses on Keirran & Annwyl, and I just don’t connect with them as well.)

Action - 5 stars (Lots of fighting, bloodshed and all around mayhem.)

Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Britt Robertson (Annwyl), Jamie Campbell Bower (Keirran), Kaya Scodelario (Kenzie). I drove myself crazy for two hours scouring the internet for the guy I picture as Ethan. I have a very clear picture of him in my head, but I can’t remember what the actor’s name is or what I saw him in. Grrr!!!! Xavier Samuel comes close, but taller and darker. I don’t know.  I’m sure it will come to me at two in the morning like everything else does.  

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