BOOK REVIEW: THE IRON RAVEN BY JULIE KAGAWA

3 out of 5 stars

Book Review:

The nostalgia was strong with this one. As I’m sure many readers will be able to relate to, I read the og Iron Fey books yearrrssss ago and I loved them.

I was pretty excited for Puck finally getting his time in the spotlight but I had yet to read the trilogy between the two with Ethan and Keirran so I quickly tried to fit those in before starting this one. I’m glad I did as it filled in many gaps. Kagawa does a fine job breifly recapping so you won’t be lost if you haven’t read them but the experience is always going to be much fuller if you do. I did find with Ethan’s books as well as this one, I may have outgrown these novels.

While they are still good to me and have that same general feel to them that I remember from the original books, I’m not the same reader I suppose. I think it’s such a fine line to walk when trying to recreate nostalgic magic with your original readers and alao stay within the same age group perimeters of the original story, it’s now attempting to pander to two very different audiences and it can be really tough to do. I think I came in hoping for Cobra Kai.

I wanted the same cheesy young nostalgia from the original but with some juicy adult humor/story thrown in too and while it definitely delivered on the nostalgia end, the other end was missing and I felt that lost piece. I wanted a bit of the story or characters to have grown with me too. And while many years have passed in the story I just didn’t feel like anything much had matured along with the passing of time and that was a let down to me.

Ultimately it made it slower going for me to get through because I wasn’t as excited to keep picking it up. I’m a total mood reader though and I’ve been juggling this one with non-fiction political science books so that heavy contrast and my mood could definitely play a part in my feelings towards it currently as well. Things didn’t really pick up for me until the last 30% or so. Once Puck met up with Meghan and Ash I found I enjoyed it more. I love Puck though so it was kinda disappointing that it took the trio to make me actually invest in the story.

Some of the things I did enjoy:

• More backstory from Puck.
• Meghan and Ash scenes.
• Being back in the NeverNever
• The final battle when Puck brought his special brand of fun and levity which was sorely lacking throughout most of the book (but at least it was for a good reason).

Things I found lacking:

• Story/character maturity.
• Chemistry between Puck and Nyx.
• Puck’s ability to be a compelling MC on his own *at least in regards to this novel*.

All in all I suppose I am curious to know what happens next but I’m not quite sure yet if it is enough to actually pick up the next book or not. I might end up waiting to see how others feel after reading the next one before I make that decision.

I would definitely recommend this one to young readers, it is still a good story, but for people like me that mostly aged out of middle grade/teen type books I wouldn’t go in expecting any more than just that or you will likely be disappointed.

I received an arc of this book from Inkyard Press via Netgalley and this is my honest review.

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