Monday, September 29, 2014

Book Review Discussion: The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Book: The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Genre: MG Fantasy
Rating: ★★☆ ☆ ☆
For: Review

From: Received for free from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own. 

Short Synopsis: Call is a magician but he needs to pass the tests that allow him to get into magic school. (These tests are called the Iron Trials.) His dad is adamant that he fail, because if he ends up going to this school it will be BAD BAD BAD. But Call does not know why. All he knows is that his dad has told him that magicians killed his mom and that they want nothing but to do bad things to people. Despite his best efforts, Call passes and ends up at the school being tutored by the best teacher there. Adventures ensue and he, along with his new found friends, learn some deep and dark hidden secrets.

My Response: Hmmm... sadly, a little on the boring side for me and I struggled to get through it. All the description of the actual physical school... boring. All the back history of the magicians... boring. I enjoyed the characters and their interaction, but it seemed a small part of the story. I enjoyed the bit of mystery that Call needed to find out, but only a little. It wasn't compelling to me. I'm wondering if younger kids will like this one? Maybe. Maybe it will be too boring for them too? And the whole thing is much too Harry Potter-ish for comfort.

Bottom Line: It was okay in parts, but in the end I was disappointed.

Let's Talk About: Do you think all magic school books from now on will be compared to Harry Potter? Is that fair? Can no one write about a magic school ever again? I think it's okay if you make it very unique and different from Harry Potter. But so good if you make so very similar. What do you think?

Other Reviews:

The book is not a fast read. Especially not for a MG book. It’s actually quite slow to get started. By the end, though, it was kinda hard to put down. I wanted to keep reading, but didn’t find I had to. From Proud Book Nerd

Fans of Harry Potter will enjoy both the differences and similarities here, though readers of Percy Jackson will also find themselves right at home. From Walking Brain Cells

The Iron Trial has a fun story line with some unexpected twists and the characters are fun, but it really let me down when it came to world-building. From A Word of Reviews

The Magisterium series is not about to usurp Harry Potter in my heart. I truly loved reading it, but until the series continues I can’t say whether this story will become important to me or not. From Bibliomantics

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