From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Donna Underwood is not your typical high school senior. At a party, she meets Alexander (Xan), who is also anything but typical, and in fact bears the scars on his back from where his wings were removed. Donna wears elbow-length gloves to cover up her iron hands, made for her when she was seven and her father was killed, her mother driven insane, and Donna burned by a terrifying creature called Skriker. These teens are trying to act normal in the world of the "commoners," but Donna is forced to use her atypical strength and knowledge about the fey world to save her friend Navin, with Xan's help. Teen girls will love the descriptions of Donna's feelings about her new love interest, Xan, and the details about clothing, friendship, and her attempts to fit in. Fantasy lovers will enjoy reading about a different world trying to hide in ours. There are subtle references to sex and underage drinking and drug use. At the end, readers are aware of more to come, and this book should prove to be the beginning of a popular series.-Kathy Kirchoefer, Prince Georges County Memorial Library System, New Carrollton, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Fifteen-year-old Donna�called �Iron Witch� by the foul wood elves because of the fusion of iron, silver, and flesh on her forearms�reluctantly reveals her identity as the youngest member of the alchemical Dragon Order, first to her best friend, Navin, and then to the more enigmatic Alexander. The reappearance of the elves in the contemporary world means something is seriously amiss, and when Navin is kidnapped, Donna discovers that his ransom is the last vial of the order�s Elixir of Life. Donna�s family history is compelling, but the present thread of her story suffers from slow pacing and a lack of any strong sense of urgency. A potential love triangle offers readers a way to bond with the main characters, despite its predictable outcome. However, some secondary characters show promise as future bad seeds in what may be more gripping sequels in this proposed trilogy. Hand this book to fans of Melissa Marr. Grades 6-9. --Cindy Welch