Ethan Chase has always been able to see the fey. What’s worse is that they know he can see them and take great pleasure in torturing him whenever possible. He does his best to ignore them and stay out of trouble, but then they start to disappear and he is forced back into the Iron Realm, seeking the help of his half sister, the Iron Queen. Ethan is determined to protect his family…and Kenzie St James, a nosy girl who refuses to let him alone. A girl that is getting too close for comfort that Ethan can only ignore for so long.
Let me just state for the record that I have not yet read any of the books in the Iron Fey series. I was under the impression that this was a new spinoff series and it wasn’t necessary. I stand by that assessment, though understanding some of the characters in the Iron Realm as well as that world itself may have been a little easier if I had. I have wanted to read them and that desire has only increased after reading this. Now that I have that out of the way, let me just say that I’m a little glad I read this one first because at least I know throughout all the expected angst of the Iron Fey series that Meghan will end up with Ash and I’ll be able to enjoy seeing Ethan as a little kid.
Ethan is a great leading man, with just a touch too much angsty and brooding, but with great reasons to be that way. Listening to him berate himself for being a dick to Kenzie while still giving her pissed off stares was priceless. You can’t help but feel sorry for the guy, with all the shit he gets blamed for that’s rarely his fault. Despite knowing better, he ends up getting involved in all manner of mayhem because he can’t seem to stop himself from saving the day. He does everything from save a kid from bullying to striving into a cavern filled with evil fairies just to save a guy he barely knows. That buried hero complex completely balances out most of the angst. Add that to the banter between him and Kenzie and you’ve got me hooked.
Kenzie, well I liked her instantly too. If I had to describe her in one word, it would be determined. Her overly cheery personality hides a fierce determination to accomplish her goals, whether Ethan likes it or not. I loved finally seeing a female character who didn’t back down from the broody male just because he said too. If you are hoping for a mousey shy heroine, look elsewhere because she’s definitely not here.
There was a plethora of other characters, including a talking cat that was like the love child between Cheshire Cat and the cat from Coraline who I really enjoyed. Then there was Kieran, who is a certain pairs child and that shocks the hell out of Ethan. My favorite side character though, was definitely Puck. Holy fuck, I LOVE HIM. I would read The Iron Fey series just for more of HIM! He’s got that attitude where he’s always smiling and flinging out one liners and saving the day. All of the side characters where enjoyable and memorable, but he was a special treat.
The writing was great, and the plot kept me interested. I read several reviews stating that they found the story rather boring, but I wholeheartedly disagree. I was enthralled once I got a decent way in and before that point I was still pretty interested to see where it was all going to lead. The Fey world Kagawa describes is fascinating and I am as captivated by it was Kenzie was. Speaking of Kenzie…****SPOILER****I KNEW SHE HAD CANCER. I saw coming pretty early on, when everyone was treating her slightly different. Of course she has cancer, because we couldn’t just let her be a normal teenage girl. X_X They better fucking find a damn cure and her and Ethan will live happily ever after or you will suffer my wrath!
****END SPOILER****Beyond that very spoilery blip, this has a pretty happy ending, with the majority of the story wrapping up nicely and only a few tolerable loose ends. I can’t wait to read the next one!
****Thank you to Harlequin Teen for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****