Monday, 14 March 2016

Review: 'The Iron Trial' by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare


The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Series: Magisterium
Pages:  295
Format: Paperback 


Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.

Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.So he tries his best to do his worst - and fails at failing.Now the Magisterium awaits him. It's a place that's both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .


When I first picked up this book I was incredibly intrigued by the premise, the summary felt like the book would be something I had never read before but unfortunately the story fell flat for many reasons.

My main issue with this book was the pacing. Some things that could have used more of a focus, such as character development, friendship building etc. were not developed well enough to create a connection to the character. However, some scenes felt as though they dragged, with pages and pages going by with no plot developments occurring. The only character with any real development was Call, which meant that some of the plot points weren't as effective as they could have been, with just a little more time spent developing our opinions of specific characters. 

The plot, however, is quite strong. There are quite a few plot twists which I didn't see coming, making the overall reading experience gripping and engaging. Some of the ideas felt familiar, however. Call felt like a mix of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter, and had no real personality that separated him from other novels of this genre. The premise of the school felt like a mix between Harry Potter and the Karate Kid (if you've read the book you'll understand), and very little in the book felt like it was an original idea.

My main issue with this book was just that it was too short. There wasn't enough character development, plot development or world development, and the book could have done with being twice the length it is. I do hope the next book is more developed, but looking at the length of it I'm not quite sure it will be. 

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