Review of The Iron Ship (The Gates of the World Book 1)

The Iron Ship (The Gates of the World, #1)The Iron Ship by K.M. McKinley

Goodreads Description:

An incredible epic fantasy begins!

The order of the world is in turmoil. An age of industry is beginning, an age of machines fueled by magic. Sprawling cities rise, strange devices stalk the land. New money brings new power. The balance between the Hundred Kingdoms is upset. For the first time in generations the threat of war looms.

In these turbulent days, fortunes can be won. Magic runs strong in the Kressind family. Six siblings strive – one to triumph in a world of men, one to survive murderous intrigue, one to master forbidden sorcery, one to wash away his sins, one to contain the terrible energies of his soul.

And one will do the impossible, by marrying the might of magic and iron in the heart of a great ship, to cross an ocean that cannot be crossed.

My review:

DNF at 35%. Actually I made it to 40% but the last 5% was me scanning the pages. I really do not like having to post a DNF. I actually feel guilty and disappointed in myself. At the same time the mere thought of picking up that book again…ugh. I also very much do not like writing a negative review, let alone a review on a book I didn’t finish. However, the point of reviews is to receive both good and bad feedback. If I had to rate this, just on what I read I would probably give it 1-1/2 stars, maybe two for the potential this story could have had.

The worst part about this is that I really wanted to like it, even more so because I received the second book, The City of Ice, on NetGalley and I have to do a review on it. The covers of these books are amazing and they make you want to read them.

I will say that I didn’t not finish this book because it was bad or poorly written. The first chapter sucked me in and I actually closed the book the first night and smiled. I couldn’t wait to read more. Then little by little, somewhere, I got lost. Between the numerous characters and their names and the numerous places/cities/towns most with names I couldn’t pronounce and a very, very slow plot, I got lost. I found myself re-reading sentences and then re-reading paragraphs. I found myself paging back a page or two to remember where I was when I picked it up again. Then, to only be at 35% after 4 days…I called it. This was a very sleepy read, not bad, just boring. Another reviewer said “nothing” happens in this book and that’s exactly what I found.

As I said this book takes off right in the beginning starting with the Prologue. There’s this girl that goes into this cave and bathes in this pool (fountain of youth) that heals her wounds and makes her young. Then she goes further into the cave and performs some ritual before a statue, the statue comes alive and gives her some sign about something she has been chosen to do. Couldn’t wait to read more about her. But…

Chapter One, The Haunted Marsh, was just as good with one of the five or six Kressind brothers (Aarin) who is a Guider and his assistant, Pasquanty crossing a haunted marsh on the Path of the Dead. They are followed by two dead zombie like people who are carrying a chest. They are confronted with a ghost, Hollow Anika, looking for her children. They are taking the chest to The Stone of Passage to perform a ritual that will call upon a ghost or a spirit, Mother Moude, who is called from the chest from a pile of bones and a skull. She’s a bit pissed off when she comes out of that chest and wants very much to be set free. The Kressind brother brings her out of the chest to ask her why the Rite of Passage is changing. She tells him “You will see, you will see! The layers in the Earth hold the answer. The lights in the sky know! Go ask them!”. When he tries a second question she basically tells him to go fuck himself (sorry for the language) unless he will free her, which of course he refuses to do and sends her back in the box.

I know, I know…you’re thinking what in the hell did that all mean? I was too but I thought my answers were coming in the following chapters. I may not know what was meant by the Rite of Passage was changing nor did I know what it meant by the layers in the Earth hold the answer but I was patient, I would wait to find out.

It was in the chapters that followed that I began to lose interest because none of the following chapters had anything to do with the Prologue or Chapter One…or maybe they did and I just didn’t put it together. All I can honestly tell you from 5% to 40% is there is a hanging, a wedding, there’s a big Iron Ship being built (duh!), there’s a bunch of brother’s all going in different directions, one of which has a little thing that lives in his hair and talks to him (a Tyn) and the one engineer brother is trying to find this lost city, which I think is in the ocean somewhere? Oh and there’s this other guy Boskovin and a slave he bought, that are going someplace too but unfortunately, I just didn’t care enough. I think the story itself is a good one and it has potential. It just took too long to get there.

It is with regret that I have to decline to review City of Ice because I didn’t finish book one and I’m not interested in reading the second book in a series without having read the first.

Even when you get a DNF, keep reading! 🙂

View all my reviews


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