The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

Most reviewers of this book have compared it to Harry Potter. I mean, I guess? Are we comparing all book where kids go off to wizarding school to Harry’s tale? Or maybe it’s because the main character is a boy with a physical flaw… But don’t most heroes have some sort of flaw? Oh! Or maybe it’s because the main characters are two boys and a girl. But seriously guys, are preteen boys (which is who this book is probably targeted to, as well as preteen or young adult girls) really going to read a book about two girls and their guy friend? Probably not. Preteen boys are still halfway on the fence about whether girls have cooties or not. Not to mention their guy friends would probably say something about reading a “girly” book.

There are some Potter-esque characteristics I suppose but then we might as well put Charlie Bone, Percy Jackson, The Kane Chronicles, Artemis Fowl, Sabriel, and Ranger’s Apprentice in that category. I mostly don’t want to compare it to Harry Potter because you can’t really compare any book to Harry Potter in my opinion. There will ever only be one. I liked The Iron Trial but not as much as Harry Potter.

I really liked the middle and the ending of this book. The beginning was a little meh :/ though. I think they jumped into a little bit and I don’t think they knew where they were going at first. The first chapter was pretty okay but their introduction of the main character, Callum Hunt wasn’t so great. He was boring. Even at his tryouts for the Magisterium. I kept hoping for a flicker of something interesting but it wasn’t there. I had to wait about 50 pages in to start liking him and the only reason I did was because of the other characters. I think my favorite character is the girl Tamara. I like how she’s a pleaser but she’s not going to put up with other peoples crap either. I’m still trying to decide about Aaron. His character reminds me of Murtagh from Eragon, basically a good guy but sprinkled with a little tortured soul. I’m also not sure about the chaos-ridden yet either. The whole pinwheel, spinning eyes thing throws me for a loop.

I feel like this book doesn’t feel very Cassandra Clare-like and I think that’s what I was hoping for. If you have never read The Mortal Instruments you may end up loving it, just don’t go into it with those kinds of expectations. It came off more of a Holly Black book to me, but she seems like more of a middle grade author than Cassandra Clare does. I read her Modern Faerie Tales books back in the day, but I don’t think I ever read the last book. I just wasn’t a fan of her characters, and the dialogue in her books. There didn’t seem to be a lot character building in it. That’s just my opinion though. I know lots of people who love her books.

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