Reading with Stefani
Just an FYI, I finished this at 2AM on Sunday, so I did stick to the reading schedule as planned. That is all. ;) I am a huge fan of faery lore, faery books, faery everything. This book is exactly up my alley. If you're not interested in those types of things, this might not be the book for you.
Wow, what a fun ride this was! I have to admit that the first 30% or so didn't really grip me. I was a bit disappointed that the author went the typical high school route and made all the popular kids evil and all the others victims. But, luckily, those scenes only last for a bit of the book before the reader is whisked away into the Nevernever, the land of the fey.
The Nevernever itself is interesting, but not unlike other things I have read before. Kagawa has a strong writing style, though, and made all of Meghan's adventures really interesting. Meghan herself was a decent heroine, too. She is not a dumb girl -- she's actually quite clever and able to think on her toes. I really appreciated that about her. And as she grows into herself, she becomes more self-confident and braver. I love that she was the one to strike the Iron King down, not Ash.
What really grabbed me as being clever was the concept of the Iron Court. This is a court born from human ambitions and dreams, and considering our dreams revolve around technology nowadays, the Iron Court was born.
This is a concept that could have taken the high road and preached about the evils of technology, how the old world is oh-so-much-better (no, it's not), etc.
But, luckily, other than one minor preachy moment, Kagawa was able to weave in this court without offense.
The Iron Court itself was my favorite court. All of the bad guys, like Virus and Ironhorse, were really interesting and I loved reading about their descriptions. I couldn't help but think that this was the coolest court ever created, ha. It really would be like a techie's dream. I especially loved the little pack rats. I thought that they were so endearing and adorable and showed that not all of the Iron Court is evil. I have to applaud Kagawa for this creation because I feel like it was a really original concept. I hope that the theme we saw with the pack rats will stay in the next book -- that the entire Iron Court isn't evil, just Machina and what's he's done. Since he's gone, I would love it if Kagawa could find a way for the three courts to live in peace.
I only had two issues with this book, really, and the first one is just a minor issue. It's a continuity error. This book is written in first person, past tense. If so, how could Meghan ever remember her father? This story is being told to us like it has already happened. Memories of her father should technically never exist, then, because if she's telling us about what happened, she wouldn't remember the memory that was taken by the Oracle. It's the same problem that happens when you have a narrator die at the end of the story.
My second problem was the way Ash and Meghan's relationship advanced. It just went way
too fast for my liking. As a character, I like Ash. He's honest in a world of liars and he's charming. But as a love interest? I have to say I was not too fond of him. I understand that Kagawa probably wouldn't make Puck a love interest because he's from Shakespeare's very, very, very
famous A Midsummer Night's Dream
and that might be borderline blasphemous to some people, but I was really hoping the relationship with Ash would show itself in the second book rather than this one. I remember thinking, towards the end of the book, that if he died, I probably wouldn't be that sad.
That sort of apathy towards a character shouldn't happen, especially if the character is meant to be the love interest. I feel like Kagawa should have fleshed him out a bit more before he and Meghan "fell in love". The fact that Meghan was ready to put him on the same level as her brother, after barely knowing him, really bothered me. I've never been one to emphasize the whole "blood being the most important thing" idea, but Ethan is her brother, a little boy she's known and loved for four years. Ash is some dude who told her he'd kill her if he had to. They just don't compare.
However, those minor issues aside, this really is a fun book. I had a lot of fun reading it and never once dreaded having to pick it up. I didn't feel like I had to force myself to get through any parts and just had fun, overall. I recommend it to people who love fantasy books, faery lore, and mythological creatures or mythology.