Actual Rating: 2.5Despite some truly impressive worldbuilding and a good ending, I ended up not being as in love with The Iron King as I’d hoped to be. I knew things would be rocky when, within the first fifteen pages, Meghan refers to the popular cheerleader as “inflate-a-boob Angie”. Any kind of shaming of a woman’s body parts is not cool with me, and it made me immediately dislike Meghan instead of disliking Angie, which was the intent. While I appreciated the reappearance of Angie at the end of the book and it’s made very clear that what Puck did to her was not okay, Meghan’s own mental treatment of her isn’t called into question as well. Really, women in this book (besides Meghan) really don’t fare well. I expected the faery women to not be the nicest things around, but there was only one who wasn’t truly evil or grey, and she was only around for a few pages. Not even the appearance of some awesome dryads could make up for the fact that every woman in the book besides Meghan and her Mom are evil or “bitchy.” Added to that, the book actually uses the Fridged Woman trope to give both love interests in the book some manpain, at which I rolled my eyes so severely at I thought they would keep rolling out of my head. As for the romance and love interest/Ash, it was amazing how little I actually cared about him. I simply didn’t. Perhaps if there weren’t so many other love interests exactly like him in YA these days, I would be more forgiving (I’d still find him boring though). But it’s a pretty sad statement when I don’t even go “meh” when Ash and Meghan kissed. It simply wasn’t anything that could gain a reaction from me. I knew it was coming, it happened, and I wanted to read it and get it over with so I could move on to the next thing. While I was reading it, I had an easy time getting sucked in and involved in the story. When I put it down, however, I had trouble working up the excitement to read it. I’m not sure what kept me from being excited, really; I guess because I already knew how it would all unfold. The story is very cliche and predictable, but props to Kagawa for getting the “Meghan is Oberon’s daughter” reveal out of the way in the first 150 pages. It helped that the writing was easy to read and quick to breeze through, though Kagawa does have a bad habit of using descriptions and actions repetitively, especially “I sighed”. It got to the point when I wondered if Meghan had asthma or something. I was very surprised when the story gradually got darker and the action scenes got graphic. I wasn’t expecting it at all, and it was a very, very pleasant surprise that adds a slight layer to this otherwise predictable and almost stale story. The worldbuilding, also, was a high factor in the book for me. How Kagawa expanded on the idea of how the faeries and Nevernever exist because humans believe in them, and how technology plays into that, was truly inventive and original. Also, I did love the family dynamics I caught hints of in the beginning and ending of the book, to the point where I wished they had been the focal point instead of the boring romance. I realize I’m coming across as if I hated it, but I really didn’t. I was entertained enough to finish it, and I saw a lot of good things that I hope will be expanded on in the second book, which I do intend to read. But there were quite a lot of grievous things that irritated me, and after a while they built up and outweighed the good. I hope the series gets better as it goes on, but I’m going to have to readjust my expectations a tad before I go into The Iron Daughter.