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A teen outcast must work together with new friends to keep her family and town safe from murderous Fae while also dealing with panic attacks, family issues, and a lesbian love triangle in C.M. McGuires's kick-butt paranormal YA debut, Ironspark. For the past nine years, ever since a bunch of those evil Tinkerbells abducted her mother, cursed her father, and forced her fami A teen outcast must work together with new friends to keep her family and town safe from murderous Fae while also dealing with panic attacks, family issues, and a lesbian love triangle in C.M. McGuires's kick-butt paranormal YA debut, Ironspark. For the past nine years, ever since a bunch of those evil Tinkerbells abducted her mother, cursed her father, and forced her family into hiding, Bryn has devoted herself to learning everything she can about killing the Fae. Now it’s time to put those lessons to use. Then the Court Fae finally show up, and Bryn realizes she can’t handle this on her own. Thankfully, three friends offer to help: Gwen, a kindhearted water witch; Dom, a new foster kid pulled into her world; and Jasika, a schoolmate with her own grudge against the Fae. But trust is hard-won, and what little Bryn has gained is put to the test when she uncovers a book of Fae magic that belonged to her mother. With the Fae threat mounting every day, Bryn must choose between faith in her friends and power from a magic that could threaten her very humanity.


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A teen outcast must work together with new friends to keep her family and town safe from murderous Fae while also dealing with panic attacks, family issues, and a lesbian love triangle in C.M. McGuires's kick-butt paranormal YA debut, Ironspark. For the past nine years, ever since a bunch of those evil Tinkerbells abducted her mother, cursed her father, and forced her fami A teen outcast must work together with new friends to keep her family and town safe from murderous Fae while also dealing with panic attacks, family issues, and a lesbian love triangle in C.M. McGuires's kick-butt paranormal YA debut, Ironspark. For the past nine years, ever since a bunch of those evil Tinkerbells abducted her mother, cursed her father, and forced her family into hiding, Bryn has devoted herself to learning everything she can about killing the Fae. Now it’s time to put those lessons to use. Then the Court Fae finally show up, and Bryn realizes she can’t handle this on her own. Thankfully, three friends offer to help: Gwen, a kindhearted water witch; Dom, a new foster kid pulled into her world; and Jasika, a schoolmate with her own grudge against the Fae. But trust is hard-won, and what little Bryn has gained is put to the test when she uncovers a book of Fae magic that belonged to her mother. With the Fae threat mounting every day, Bryn must choose between faith in her friends and power from a magic that could threaten her very humanity.

30 review for Ironspark

  1. 4 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  2. 5 out of 5

    Caidyn (he/him/his)

    I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review! CW: loss of a parent (past, not death), parent with a severe and persistent mental illness, PTSD, anxiety attacks, fire and burning something down, and general scenes of action and violence 4.5/5 Damn, I was hooked right from the start of this book. It was so much fun to read. The Welsh inspired fae fantasy that didn't glorify them, but showed them for the tricksters that they are. I read this at the same time as Ink & Sigil and, I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review! CW: loss of a parent (past, not death), parent with a severe and persistent mental illness, PTSD, anxiety attacks, fire and burning something down, and general scenes of action and violence 4.5/5 Damn, I was hooked right from the start of this book. It was so much fun to read. The Welsh inspired fae fantasy that didn't glorify them, but showed them for the tricksters that they are. I read this at the same time as Ink & Sigil and, let me tell you, they worked really well together. Bryn hasn't had an easy life. Her mother was kidnapped by the fae, her father was cursed with a mental illness, they moved to get away from it, and she's left taking care of her two brothers. All while trying to learn how to kill the fae that destroyed her family. Also, there's a love triangle that's lesbian and (although no one seems to be mentioning it so far) an ace male character. Do you know how hard it is to find a guy who's an ace on the page? Really hard! So, I was thrilled when the character explicitly said it. This was a fun ride. I loved the mythology and finding things I was familiar with, then other things I wasn't since I'm not as knowledgeable on Welsh fae mythology. It was a really good book with strong friendships and supportive people. It gave me major Raven Cycle vibes (although, yes, I did DNF the series, but I might try it again now). That ending makes me wonder about whether this is going to turn into a series somehow, something I wouldn't be mad about at all. Overall, a fantastic debut I plan on owning!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Paula M. of Her Book Thoughts!

    "I wished for so much more than this. But maybe a normal life was never an option for me." The cover alone made me so excited to read this book, however, upon learning that this book has queer representation and that its Fantasy with Faes, I was beaming! This is C.M. McGuire's debut novel and I am really looking forward to more of her books whether its a continuation of Ironspark or not since one of the reasons why I really liked this book is how easy it was to read due to the authors "I wished for so much more than this. But maybe a normal life was never an option for me." The cover alone made me so excited to read this book, however, upon learning that this book has queer representation and that its Fantasy with Faes, I was beaming! This is C.M. McGuire's debut novel and I am really looking forward to more of her books whether its a continuation of Ironspark or not since one of the reasons why I really liked this book is how easy it was to read due to the authors very readable writing. But the characters are the real WIN for me here. You know those fictional characters that you think will be a great friend in real life? Of course you do. Well, Bryn is like that. Bryn is probably one of the most badass MC I've read this year. Don't get me wrong, this character isn't perfect. In fact, she's well aware of how difficult and stubborn she can be, her thoughts also shows how imperfect she is especially when it comes to being vulnerable. But the character calling out herself made me like her more. I admire how the character arc was done. Bryn can be described as "unlikeable" yes, however, she's authentic with realistic voice and this is what makes her well written. I could say the same thing with the secondary characters as well as their character individuality is noticeable.  There is a romance subplot included in this story and I have a mixed feeling about it, it's a little difficult to explain further without spoiling so much so let me try to keep this short. I liked this aspect, however, I wished it was explored more. The development of the whole thing, of the romance, it felt rushed and in some way, forced. Unfortunately, I felt this towards the whole story as well. Ironspark is indeed fast paced and action packed. However, there were too many things going on that I was wanting to have a chapter that will just be about the history of it all. I wanted more magic and faeries and more backstory. The Epilogue is greatly done though! It will really keep the readers yearning for the second book and it was the atmosphere of that whole chapter that I really liked.  Overall, IRONSPARK is really worth your afternoon. I say afternoon because you will just breeze through the whole book. if you're looking for a badass MC and a readable AND enjoyable fantasy, IRONSPARK is for you!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lea (drumsofautumn)

    “Her soft lips against mine felt like hope. Somehow, some way, we were going to see morning, and I was going to have the chance to do that again.” Ironspark is a book that I picked up because I was very excited by the prospect of it being a book about Fae featuring a lesbian love triangle but sadly I was let down in a lot of aspects. This novel is about a girl called Bryn, who moved from Wales to the US with her family nine years ago, after her mother got abducted by the Fae and her fa “Her soft lips against mine felt like hope. Somehow, some way, we were going to see morning, and I was going to have the chance to do that again.” Ironspark is a book that I picked up because I was very excited by the prospect of it being a book about Fae featuring a lesbian love triangle but sadly I was let down in a lot of aspects. This novel is about a girl called Bryn, who moved from Wales to the US with her family nine years ago, after her mother got abducted by the Fae and her father was cursed by them, because her father had deemed it a safer place for them. But even away from Wales and the immediate danger of the Fae, Bryn made it her goal to learn how to kill the Fae in order to protect her family and in this book she needs to make use of those skills. Now I will start this review very honestly, saying that I am not the biggest fan of any Fae stories in general. But I do enjoy the occasional one, especially if it's diverse in some way, so I was definitely drawn to this book, especially because a lesbian love triangle sounded so very promising. But sadly, I found much of this book boring and a lot of the storyline and world building confusing. Some of it definitely is based on the well-known Fae mythology, like the Seelie and Unseelie Court, but a lot of the things in this book I was also very unfamiliar with. There is a glossary but sadly it is at the end of the book, so I had no idea until I finished it. I am sure that it would've helped a little bit but my problem was also the connections between all the different kinds of Fae and mythical creatures and I just had trouble following how all of the events connected to Bryn and her family. “I couldn’t help it. In spite of everything, a startled laugh escaped me. It felt like the worst possible time to be laughing, with everything going on... but it was sort of like grass growing through the cracks in the sidewalk. I couldn’t stop it, and it only made the cracks bigger, and soon I was laughing and tears streamed down my face.” Now this book definitely brushed on some interesting aspect but none of them were explored enough for me personally. There is Bryn's panic attacks, which she has throughout the novel but never get talked about more. There is her father's hallucinations and the fact that (it seems like) doctors diagnosed him with schizophrenia due to it and he takes meds for it which never help because the actual cause is a farie curse. There are her two brothers, who she has basically raised, but the relationship between them or even their own issues they have after everything they've been through are never quite get explored enough. It feels like none of the aspects in this book were really fleshed out or that there was much depth to any of the characters. There are these little Fae-like creatures called shadelings, that are good creatures and there to protect Bryn and her family. There is one in particular called Marshmallow, that basically becomes Bryn's side-kick later on in the novel and was truly my favourite character and also the one that had the most interesting relationship dynamic with Bryn, which definitely says a lot about the other relationships in this novel. Other than that, barely any of the side-characters had a personality that stood out and so the relationships with these people seemed dull too. There is Gwen, a kind of water farie. Gwen and Bryn were in a relationship but Bryn broke up with her because she knew her time in this town was coming to an end soon because of going to college next year. And then there is Jasika, a girl from Bryn's school who has a connection to the faeries too. “At this point, it was just a physiological reaction my body seemed to have to her, one I doubted I’d ever really outgrow, no matter how long we stayed split up. There would always be the lingering sensation of fireworks inside of me where the smoke hadn’t quite cleared. My lips curled up in an automatic smile. The whole world could be burning around me, and somehow Gwen’s presence would always make it better.” This is where the supposed lesbian love triangle aspect comes in but.. it is really not a love triangle whatsoever. Gwen and Bryn are still really good friends and Bryn worries about having broken her heart but she doesn't really have any sort of romantic relationship with her anymore. Bryn and Jasika develop something along those lines throughout the book but the romantic storyline was not very well done. I didn't feel any chemistry or romantic tension between the two characters whatsoever. It honestly seemed like they barely knew each other and then one day they kiss and that's kinda it, they're dating. They never really talk about what they are to each other after that... or honestly talk much to each other at all, except when it is about Fae stuff. So there was absolutely nothing between the two that made me think there were romantic feelings. I am also disappointed by the use of "lesbian" love-triangle in the synopsis. I am assuming this was done by the publisher, not the author, because the main character literally says at one point, that "not all girls who likes girls are lesbian", and clarifies that she likes guys too and isn't quite sure if she's bi- or pansexual. Jasika then mentions she is questioning. But it's honestly very disappointing to see this labelled as a "lesbian" love-triangle when none of the characters withing this book identify as a lesbian and, even if both Gwen and Jasika would've identifies as such, it is still not a "lesbian" love triangle because Bryn is not a lesbian. I know people will find this nit-picky but.. just don't bait me with labels that do not exist in the book. Sapphic love triangle totally would've done it. Again, not blaming the author here, but just something I wanted to point it. “Maybe I ought to grab her or kiss her back or do something, but mostly I was trying to wrap my head around the notion that Jasika Witters wasn’t straight and she must have read me like a freaking book and why were her lips so soft?” The one other character that stood out was a boy called Dom. Next to Marshmallow, he was for sure my favourite character and I enjoyed the friendship between him and Bryn too because there was an actual good development between the two. Also Dom is asexual and that term is used and explained on page. The scene does include some probing questions regarding this identity like "are you sure you're not attracted to anyone" and "but have you tried". I wouldn't necessarily call it aphobia and it gets quickly challenged but I still wanna mention it. Upon finishing this book I realized that it is not a standalone. Sadly, the ending was very anticlimatic to me. Now I don't know if that is just because I didn't really very invested with the characters and storyline in the first place or if others might've felt that way too. But I just found myself extra disappointed with the ending, leaving me with absolutely no motivation to ever seek out the sequel (which I don't think has been announced yet though). “People looked at me differently, and unfortunately nobody had invented an armor for pity.” Overall, Ironspark sadly was a very disappointing reading experience. None of this book really worked for me and I found myself having to push myself through it, to the point where I even thought of DNFing it, but had too high hopes for the love triangle.. that did not happen. I personally cannot really recommend this book, although you might wanna give this a chance if you are really into Fae stories. Trigger and Content Warnings for panic attacks (including vomiting due to it), blood, violence, murder, hallucinations, house fire, coma (minor character). Instagram | Blog | Booktube Channel | Twitter I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Speckels (Metaphors and Miscellanea)

    3.5/5, rounded up. Find a slightly longer version of this review on my BLOG! The opening scene of this book–Bryn and her mentor, a priest, hunting a changeling that had replaced a human baby–gave me big-time Supernatural vibes. Tons of action, herbs and iron, creepy evil things pretending to be human, all that good stuff. That scene in and of itself was enough to thoroughly hook me, and the rest of the book held my attention as well. The plot wasn’t what I would call twisty, but it threw in some 3.5/5, rounded up. Find a slightly longer version of this review on my BLOG! The opening scene of this book–Bryn and her mentor, a priest, hunting a changeling that had replaced a human baby–gave me big-time Supernatural vibes. Tons of action, herbs and iron, creepy evil things pretending to be human, all that good stuff. That scene in and of itself was enough to thoroughly hook me, and the rest of the book held my attention as well. The plot wasn’t what I would call twisty, but it threw in some unexpected sources of inspiration, drawing directly from, among other things, the King Arthur mythos and the works of Shakespeare. My inner literary nerd geeked out a lot at both of those. Bryn’s narrative voice is very distinctly teenager, laced with sarcasm and emotion in equal measure, depending on the situation. Her feelings of isolation, longing for friends and normalcy and a place to really call home, are very clearly rendered even as she insists on putting up a brave face to the world. Her conflicted feelings regarding her ex–who, by the way, is definitely not human–are a convincing blend of awkwardness and appreciation, in a way that really works. (As an aside, though: the blurb for this book emphasizes a “lesbian love triangle,” but honestly, it didn’t feel like a triangle at all–just a girl getting over her ex while also becoming interested in someone new.) Speaking of that ex: this book was one of those rare titles where I actually liked all of the characters, or at least found them all interesting. From flirty, optimistic, research-obsessed Dom, to the serene and dutiful Gwen, to Bryn’s mischievous and upset little brothers with issues of their own, the majority of the characters were convincing and engaging. When the plot started to get weird, the characters were what kept me invested in what was going to happen next. Also, quick note: THE SHADELINGS. Oh my god, these tiny little two-foot-tall, perpetually hungry creatures with bat wings whose sole purpose is to keep Bryn and her family safe. They’re just amazing. Every time they came on the page, I smiled, and most of the time, they’re just plain funny. But one line from one of them, maybe around a third of the way in–I won’t tell you what it was, because spoilers–made me feel a little bit choked up. So pure and sweet, if not always entirely innocent. A certain purple shadeling has completely stolen my heart, not gonna lie–and also allowed for a brief but affirming comment on gender identity, which was a nice touch. While we’re on the subject of queer rep, as has been mentioned a few times, this book does a nice job of normalizing queer characters without making their queerness a central focus. Without spoiling things, just know that there’s a f/f relationship, a character who identifies as bi or pan, a character who knows they’re queer but is still figuring out their sexuality, and a character who is ace. There’s a nice scene around three-quarters through the book where the characters, who are close but relatively new friends, actually discuss their sexualities and identities, which was a tad awkward, but also made me happy, because it explicitly put labels on them instead of leaving it to the reader to guess. With ace characters especially, if they’re not the main character, that aspect of their identity can be hard to determine if you just go based on their actions, so this upped their visibility. All that said, this book did have some shortcomings. I was a little hesitant on some of the mental illness representation in the book–Bryn’s panic attacks were depicted very well, and I have no issue with those. However, her father was depicted as having schizophrenia…sort of. We learn very early on that he was cursed by the Fae to see fairies everywhere, regardless of whether there are actually any present. Because of these hallucinations, they say that he is schizophrenic. I could understand them saying this just to people outside their family (let’s be real, there’s no “socially acceptable” way to tell people that the poor guy was literally cursed by fairies), but they internally refer to it that way as well, which struck me as a little insensitive, especially given that his symptoms do not even fully meet the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia; he only has one major symptom, and a minimum of two are required. Oh, and they still have him see a doctor and take medications for it, even though they know it's not actually a biological problem, which like...what??) As someone who is big on mental health advocacy and a major psychology geek, this rubbed me the wrong way. There were also some moments where the narrative strained believability–not the magic itself, but the choices made by some of the characters. For example, there’s a brief plot point involving a friend with a sick family member, where Bryn is very easily talked into making some questionable choices. Yes, teenagers do stupid things on impulse, but (a) Bryn typically comes off as more rational, except on things where her mother is involved (which this was not), and (b) this specific choice was for a reason that she literally just found out about and didn’t really have any personal stake in. This is just one example; things like this happened several times, where characters made out-of-character decisions, or where characters’ voices in dialogue started sounding like…not themselves. You know, like the quirky, old-school shadeling suddenly talking in casual, teenage English. And my biggest annoyance: what the heck was that ending?? I thought this would be a standalone, but apparently there’s going to be a sequel, and the setup for it involved transportation to a location previously only discussed in dreams (I’m still a little fuzzy on how that worked) and a character making a choice that truly made no sense, given all of their values, even though they have an extended monologue leading up to that moment with repeated heavy-handed use of an analogy about a chess game. I was loving the book up until that point, but the implausibility of that part pulled my rating down from a 4-star to a 3.5. With the exception of those quibbles, though, I really did like this book. Urban fantasy tends to be hit or miss for me, but I think this one was especially helped by its emphasis on family, its excellent diversity, and its minimal romance. That last point especially was refreshing–romance wasn’t absent from the book, but it didn’t become a central point. This really is mostly a teenage girl and her friends fighting Fae, kicking ass and taking names. And that’s exactly what I like to see. TRIGGER/CONTENT WARNINGS: anxiety/panic attacks, family member with hallucinations Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sofia S.

    3.5 stars!!! read this review on my blog! ------ 3.5 stars!! Aaaahhh okay so first of all I have to say I really enjoyed this book. I unfortunately had to read it a little here and there, but I wish I could have taken longer and read it in one or two sittings!! The beginning was a bit slow and didn't immediately suck me in – those who hate slow paced beginnings beware! – but the rest of the book was great and with a relatively fast pace. The relationships in this book were what I liked best – apart 3.5 stars!!! read this review on my blog! ------ 3.5 stars!! Aaaahhh okay so first of all I have to say I really enjoyed this book. I unfortunately had to read it a little here and there, but I wish I could have taken longer and read it in one or two sittings!! The beginning was a bit slow and didn't immediately suck me in – those who hate slow paced beginnings beware! – but the rest of the book was great and with a relatively fast pace. The relationships in this book were what I liked best – apart from the queer rep which was awesomeee! The ace rep was very nice and I mean, sapphics. That said, this book didn't have that much romance, which I really appreciated. This will most definitely be a book I'll recommend to those who like it with a little less romance. Anyway, as I was saying: the relationships in this book were great! My absolute favourite was Marshmallow and Bryn's (surprisingly). Their friendship is literally so sweet and adorable and like I can't 😂 so cute. But the trio's relationship – Bryn, Dom and Jesika – carried the book on its back! As for the characters themselves, I thought Bryn took really stupid decisions sometimes which maybe made me want to bang my head on a wall. That said, if she had taken all the right decisions it would have been boring! If you've read The Cruel Prince (or Modern Faerie Tales), this world will be very familiar to you. I honestly loved getting back into it, and learning more about it – I find it fascinating!! Overall, this was a sweet read that, after the beginning, kept me hooked!! I think the only reason I didn't give it four stars is because while I was reading, it didn't make me feel very strongly about anything. But this is still a book I really enjoyed and that I would recommend to fantasy lovers!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sara Codair

    I received a free copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review: Ironspark was good, but it didn't immediately suck me in and keep me turning the pages. Still, it was nice to see a story with faeries where it was the main character, not just the side characters, who was queer. The mc was bi or pan. I liked that she wasn't sure which. The same was true for her love interest. About 3/4 of the way through the book, after the girls talked about their identities, another character came I received a free copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review: Ironspark was good, but it didn't immediately suck me in and keep me turning the pages. Still, it was nice to see a story with faeries where it was the main character, not just the side characters, who was queer. The mc was bi or pan. I liked that she wasn't sure which. The same was true for her love interest. About 3/4 of the way through the book, after the girls talked about their identities, another character came out as ace, which made me happy. I want to see more ace rep! I went into reading it expecting a standalone, but the end implies it's the first of a series. I'll read the next book, assuming there is one.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Overall, these are the fae you're searching for with a lesbian love-triangle, but the writing is a bit hit-or-miss at times. Spoiler-Free Review: https://amberinoface.wordpress.com/20... I received an ecopy of this book through Netgalley; however, my opinions are my own. Overall, these are the fae you're searching for with a lesbian love-triangle, but the writing is a bit hit-or-miss at times. Spoiler-Free Review: https://amberinoface.wordpress.com/20... I received an ecopy of this book through Netgalley; however, my opinions are my own.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard

    This review is a part of the TBR & Beyond Book Tour where I did receive an ARC I am actually incredibly pleasantly surprised by this book! I really enjoyed the world. Books set in our world but with magic can be hit or miss for me. This really worked! While it is in our world, there's so much of the magic that I really forgot it was our world. It was made into the world CM McGuire needed for this story! It was clearly our world but the author added so much with the magical creatures, family backst This review is a part of the TBR & Beyond Book Tour where I did receive an ARC I am actually incredibly pleasantly surprised by this book! I really enjoyed the world. Books set in our world but with magic can be hit or miss for me. This really worked! While it is in our world, there's so much of the magic that I really forgot it was our world. It was made into the world CM McGuire needed for this story! It was clearly our world but the author added so much with the magical creatures, family backstory, and the fae court that it felt "wrong" when I thought of it as our world. The characters were enjoyable. I've grown up in a not "ideal" family household and struggled with anxiety and depression for like 10+ years now so it was really nice to have a Bryn tackling those things and be the hero. I really felt the struggle within Bryn's family and friends. From her younger twin brothers to her father's illness to her mother being gone to the role of Gwen, Dom, and Jasinka and the priest trying to help her take on the Court Fae. Of the entire cast, Bryn and Dom were my favourite which was awesome because they got a lot of screentime. It was also honestly just refreshing to read a book with fae in it where they aren't the main POV and are honestly just not the best of people/creatures. Maybe that will evolve and we will get more of their perspective on why they do what they do. Now one thing that did surprise me was the ending which is VERY left open for a sequel so I really hope there is a follow-up. It's currently not labeled as such on GoodReads so I hope it's not a stand-alone with an incredibly open ending! Rep: f/f romance, asexual male, anxiety

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sacha

    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. I’ll post that review upon publication. Updated 8/26/20 3.5 stars I'm not sure that I've ever read a YA novel centering on this subject, so I was intrigued by the cool concept alone, and the first chapter got me hooked instantly. It seemed like I was maybe entering into some kind of tangentially Buffy-related space, and I was very into seeing how that character and story line developed. As it tur Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. I’ll post that review upon publication. Updated 8/26/20 3.5 stars I'm not sure that I've ever read a YA novel centering on this subject, so I was intrigued by the cool concept alone, and the first chapter got me hooked instantly. It seemed like I was maybe entering into some kind of tangentially Buffy-related space, and I was very into seeing how that character and story line developed. As it turned out, the first chapter was the most gripping - for me - of the work, and while I didn't lose interest entirely after that, I did struggle a bit to stay engaged from about the 40% mark all the way up to the Epilogue (which I thought was great). There are some promising characters, but I had a hard time getting too invested in them (outside of the m.c., who just spent a lot of time dreaming and processing). I wanted to see more development of the ancillary folks, the mom's backstory, and even the shadelings. On a related note, the one shadeling who is a bit more round...ugh. I could not handle the way this character talked, the name it wanted, etc. This character started slowly descending into Jar Jar Binks territory for me at some point, and that became distracting. While I do like that there is some good LGBTQ+ representation here, the conversation around that went from organic (the m.c. talking about a past relationship) to oddly placed - a late-in-the-novel conversation about folks' identities along with a quick lesson on asexuality. I'm SO here for this rep and discussion, but it felt weirdly forced and disconnected to me in this context. There is a great concept here, and this is an enjoyable read, but the characters and story line fell short for me. Since there is a clear setup for a sequel, I'll be interested to see what comes next...

  11. 5 out of 5

    A.M. Rose

    This book is incredible! You need it in your lives! And it’s queer ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alexx

    The romance and the characters felt a little lackluster to me (or maybe I just wanted a lot of angst for the romance?? lol), but still, I gotta give kudos to this book and the author because it was action-packed and definitely entertaining! Full review will be posted soon as part of Ironspark Blog Tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours. (Actual rating 3.5) Find me elsewhere: Instagram | Twitter | Blog The romance and the characters felt a little lackluster to me (or maybe I just wanted a lot of angst for the romance?? lol), but still, I gotta give kudos to this book and the author because it was action-packed and definitely entertaining! Full review will be posted soon as part of Ironspark Blog Tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours. (Actual rating 3.5) Find me elsewhere: Instagram | Twitter | Blog

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kerstin

    A great read! The characters are multifaceted and the story refreshing. It's hard to find fey stories that don't cookie cut, but I feel like the author did a great job of spinning traditional legends into a new story. The ending left on a suspenseful note, I'll be keeping an eye out for the sequel.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Paige Green

    Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: Ironspark Author: C.M. McGuire Book Series: Standalone Rating: 4/5 Diversity: LGBT characters (f/f and love triangle, ace male), anxiety rep Recommended For...: fae lovers, revenge story, ya fantasy Publication Date: August 25, 2020 Genre: YA Fantasy Recommended Age: 16+ (death, anxiety, anxiety attacks, parent with mental illness, violence, slight gore, arson, kidnapping) Publisher: Swoon Reads Pages: 336 Synopsis: Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: Ironspark Author: C.M. McGuire Book Series: Standalone Rating: 4/5 Diversity: LGBT characters (f/f and love triangle, ace male), anxiety rep Recommended For...: fae lovers, revenge story, ya fantasy Publication Date: August 25, 2020 Genre: YA Fantasy Recommended Age: 16+ (death, anxiety, anxiety attacks, parent with mental illness, violence, slight gore, arson, kidnapping) Publisher: Swoon Reads Pages: 336 Synopsis: For the past nine years, ever since a bunch of those evil Tinkerbells abducted her mother, cursed her father, and forced her family into hiding, Bryn has devoted herself to learning everything she can about killing the Fae. Now it’s time to put those lessons to use. Then the Court Fae finally show up, and Bryn realizes she can’t handle this on her own. Thankfully, three friends offer to help: Gwen, a kindhearted water witch; Dom, a new foster kid pulled into her world; and Jasika, a schoolmate with her own grudge against the Fae. But trust is hard-won, and what little Bryn has gained is put to the test when she uncovers a book of Fae magic that belonged to her mother. With the Fae threat mounting every day, Bryn must choose between faith in her friends and power from a magic that could threaten her very humanity. Review: For the most part this was a good book. The plot was intriguing and the world building was really well done. I also liked the pacing of the book. I really liked the anxiety rep and I'm genuinely intrigued by the mythology. However, the characters were a bit off in my opinion. The fae were.... kinda lackluster and the other characters flat. I also had issues with the "father cursed with mental illness" thing. It felt kinda offensive to me because I have a mother who has anxiety and I had to grow up trying to figure out why my mom would sometimes go off on me unexpectedly and why sometimes she would lock herself in her bedroom for the rest of the day. I never felt like I was cursed or she was cursed by whatever her health though, it was just something I had to learn and adapt to. I got the vibe the author was going for but it kinda hurt. I don't like books where the author uses mental illness as the punishment for a curse or uses it to explain away why people don't believe they're actually seeing the supernatural. It really rubs me the wrong way when mental illness is used as a villain. And while this book wasn’t doing that intentionally, it gave off that vibe. Verdict: It was well done and I liked it overall.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Candyce Kirk

    3.5 stars When I heard about Ironspark I knew it was a book I needed to read and I was right about that. Ironspark is a fast and fun read and it left me wanting more. That's always a good sign. I got a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer vibes while reading this and that made my fan girl heart really happy! It's really clear that our main character Bryn had a lot on her plate, but was also really determined to make sure her family felt safe. As much as that's possible. I really loved her, because she 3.5 stars When I heard about Ironspark I knew it was a book I needed to read and I was right about that. Ironspark is a fast and fun read and it left me wanting more. That's always a good sign. I got a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer vibes while reading this and that made my fan girl heart really happy! It's really clear that our main character Bryn had a lot on her plate, but was also really determined to make sure her family felt safe. As much as that's possible. I really loved her, because she wasn't perfect. She didn't have all the answers and even made mistakes. In a lot of books the main character is the perfect hero, but it's such a nice touch when that's not the case. Bryn is definitely a strong character and her love for her family is something that really hit home. Even though she didn't know what was going to happen, as long as her family was safe, she was okay! I loved the magical elements in our own world. I loved all the different type of fae and I have to say the Shadelings have a special place in my heart. Marshmallow was just so much fun! That's the first time I've seen something like them in a fantasy book and I loved how it made the story just a bit more unique. It was also interesting to see the difference between human magic and fae magic. I would've loved to have more time with the magic element and maybe even more time with her training and learning, because I think that would've added just a bit more for me to this story. Besides our main character and the magical side of this book, the cast of side characters was one I really enjoyed. There was diversity and I just loved how loyal Jasika and Dom were to Bryn. They didn't have to get mixed up in any of this, but they wouldn't let her go on her own. Friendship is something I love seeing in books, so this definitely scored points. Also, I loved that there was a hint of romance, but that it didn't take over the whole book. I would definitely be curious to see how that continues. I have to say I was the most shocked about how open Ironspark ends! I haven't seen anything around saying it's a series, but I really hope so. Ironspark has made me invested in these characters and their story and I need to know how it all plays out. All in all, I really enjoyed this book and I'll definitely be keeping an eye on C.M. McGuire for more books!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Abbey "Burner of Boys in Bear Suits" Flentje

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The word that comes to mind when I think of Ironspark is “meh.” It pains me to say that because I really wanted to like it. Dark faeries, kick butt heroine, and a queer love triangle? Sign me up! In reality, though, the faeries felt like they were in the periphery of the plot, the heroine was a static character, and the love triangle felt forced and underdeveloped. When I say the faeries are in the periphery, it seemed that the idea of them drove the plot forward more than their actual presence. The word that comes to mind when I think of Ironspark is “meh.” It pains me to say that because I really wanted to like it. Dark faeries, kick butt heroine, and a queer love triangle? Sign me up! In reality, though, the faeries felt like they were in the periphery of the plot, the heroine was a static character, and the love triangle felt forced and underdeveloped. When I say the faeries are in the periphery, it seemed that the idea of them drove the plot forward more than their actual presence. There were a few moments of action that included some fae, but the prospect of the fae showing up was far more prevalent. We are told Bryn fears these creatures, but they never actually materialize in a way makes the reader fear them along with her. Similarly, I was left longing for the atmosphere that accompanies fae novels. Woods and mystical settings are what I associate with these types of books. Ironspark seems to strive for that in its setting but never quite reaches the mark. Even the dream world seemed to be lacking anything (for lack of a better word) dreamy. What I liked most about this book was the representation in it. Queer fae and queer humans was quite fun to read. The conversation between the trio around 3/4 of the way through the story, where the discussion about their specific identities comes up was a sort of odd addition because up until that point the relationships flowed along with the narrative. Perhaps the most interesting part of this novel could have been the relationship between Bryn and Gwen. I longed for more development there, something that wasn’t just Bryn feeling guilty for dumping Gwen, and Gwen selflessly caring for every injury Bryn had. Adding Jasika in the mix could have been another element that would give the somewhat flat characters a lift, but the stakes are lowered towards the end when Gwen disappears. Overall, this book had so much promise, but it left me wanting. I’d be very interested in reading future novels by this author because I think the voice in the prose itself is quite good. Match that voice up with stronger characters and a more solid setting and I believe it would be an excellent read. Thank you to Netgalley for providing the ARC of this book!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shelf Blame

    Thank you so much to Swoon Reads and TBR and Beyond Tours for the ARC of this book! Ironspark is the story of Bryn, a girl who spends her time fighting fae and protecting her town from their magic. Ever since her mother was taken by them nine years ago, she's made it her mission to protect whoever she can. When the court fae show up, she realizes he's not going to be able to handle them on her own. She has the help of her friends, but it might not be enough when she learns the truth of what happe Thank you so much to Swoon Reads and TBR and Beyond Tours for the ARC of this book! Ironspark is the story of Bryn, a girl who spends her time fighting fae and protecting her town from their magic. Ever since her mother was taken by them nine years ago, she's made it her mission to protect whoever she can. When the court fae show up, she realizes he's not going to be able to handle them on her own. She has the help of her friends, but it might not be enough when she learns the truth of what happened to her mother and why the fae are after her family. You'll recognize some of the lore in this story if you're a fan of fae reads (which I absolutely am!), but there are some new bits here that I thought were super interesting. It did take a bit to get to the mystery, but I really loved how Bryn's family were woven into a relationship with the fae. The book end on a cliffhanger, so I hope we see even more of this if there's a book 2! Bryn as a character is the classic oldest sibling trying to shoulder everything. She wants to protect everyone, even if it means not protecting herself. She starts out as a kick ass faerie slayer, hellbent on destroying them all so they can't hurt her family anymore. By the end of the book, we see a few more of her layers and I was glad there was more to her. Her friends are important to the story, and they manage to be that way without detracting from it. Jasika's help ends up being more important than Bryn can imagine, and having Dom steadfast by her side while she tries to navigate this terrible world of court fae without expecting anything in return was refreshing to see. There's also really great queer rep in this book. There's a sapphic love triangle with the MC being bi, and there's another character who is asexual. In the entire book there's only one real conversation on page about this, and yet that one conversation was so well done, especially the ace explanation. I was so glad to see it! All in all, a pretty great read!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dai Guerra

    There was so much to love in this book from the world-building to the characters and more. Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours, Netgalley, and SwoonReads for the advanced copy of the book so that I could participate in this book tour. Thoughts and Themes: My favorite part of this book was the world building and the fantasy elements. I loved all the magic that was included throughout the book and how this world got more complex as you read on. I liked learning about all the different fae that Byrd a There was so much to love in this book from the world-building to the characters and more. Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours, Netgalley, and SwoonReads for the advanced copy of the book so that I could participate in this book tour. Thoughts and Themes: My favorite part of this book was the world building and the fantasy elements. I loved all the magic that was included throughout the book and how this world got more complex as you read on. I liked learning about all the different fae that Byrd and her friends encountered and how they all interacted amongst themselves. I thought it was great to see how they all were the same but also very different and some were good and others weren’t Characters: I loved getting to learn about this world as Dom, Jasika, and Byrd learned new things about it. I enjoyed how the characters exploration of themselves and who they are goes along with them learning about the world they are living in. There’s a scene in which Dom, Byrd, and Jasika are in the church discussing their sexualities which I really enjoyed. I liked how it was a casual conversation that they had with each other and thought the setting was spot on. I loved that this book has asexual representation through Dom and I liked how he’s an asexual who has had sex before. I thought it was great that we got to see that asexuality presents differently for each person. I thought it was also nice to see that Jasika was still figuring things out and Byrd was between bi/pan. It was very refreshing to see them both kind of figuring things out and being okay with not knowing yet. Writing Style: I liked that this book was told in first person perspective because you can see how everything affects Byrd but you don’t see how her actions affect others until its late.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Paddy Pikala

    Ironspark by C.M. McGuire⁠ ✨⁠ A teen outcast must work together with new friends to keep her family and town safe from murderous Fae while also dealing with panic attacks, family issues, and a lesbian love triangle in C.M. McGuires’s kick-butt paranormal YA debut, Ironspark.⁠ ✨⁠ I had trouble getting into this book (I actually decided to re-read the beginning again, because I wasn't sure what was happening). But in the end, it was a fun read.⁠ ✨⁠ ⁠It's an action-packed book with loads of supernatural Ironspark by C.M. McGuire⁠ ✨⁠ A teen outcast must work together with new friends to keep her family and town safe from murderous Fae while also dealing with panic attacks, family issues, and a lesbian love triangle in C.M. McGuires’s kick-butt paranormal YA debut, Ironspark.⁠ ✨⁠ I had trouble getting into this book (I actually decided to re-read the beginning again, because I wasn't sure what was happening). But in the end, it was a fun read.⁠ ✨⁠ ⁠It's an action-packed book with loads of supernatural characters that reminded me a lot of The Near Witch. Even though the main character fights Fae, they aren't all depicted as evil. The main character befriends (and crushes on 😉 😉) all kinds of creatures. My favorite character, Gwen, was the voice of reason, and the polar opposite of the main character. I also liked the way the asexual character was portrayed-this person just happened to be asexual and their sexuality didn't influence everything else in their life. ✨ There was an equal amount of action and mystery, and the pacing of this book was great. There is a lot of suspense in the book connected to some past secrets reemerging, but this aspect of the book was very slow-burn and therefore, it was difficult to predict what was going to happen. I've been waiting for a book to surprise me as much as this one did for a very long time. ✨ The romantic subplot (queer, obviousy), was very subtle and I didn't see it coming, to be honest. I loved it because very often in fantasy books, the romance prat takes over the whole story. Here, it was just a nice bonus. ✨ I definitely wouldn't mind reading a sequel to this.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    ***ARC review*** Sweet, fun, and intriguing, Ironspark is a fantastic story full of mischief and magic. This book has an interesting, relatable, and diverse cast of characters and amazingly well done queer representation. The side characters are well developed and I really love their personalities and the main character has a very interesting arc. The plot started off as fairly unoriginal and uninteresting but then got better and better throughout the book, concluding with huge plot twists and a ***ARC review*** Sweet, fun, and intriguing, Ironspark is a fantastic story full of mischief and magic. This book has an interesting, relatable, and diverse cast of characters and amazingly well done queer representation. The side characters are well developed and I really love their personalities and the main character has a very interesting arc. The plot started off as fairly unoriginal and uninteresting but then got better and better throughout the book, concluding with huge plot twists and a cliffhanger that has me on the edge of my seat in anticipation for a book two. The romance was done very well as well. I generally strongly dislike love triangles but C.M. McGuire executes her’s perfectly. It does not dominate the plot in any way and has a mostly clear resolution that still allows for a sweet romance instead of the ongoing battle that is usually seen to go along with love triangles. The magic system and world building, on the other hand, are cool but extremely unoriginal and fairly boring, to be honest. I think it could have been better if the magical side of their world had been explained more thoroughly although the ending of this book did leave a clear opening for delving deeper into this aspect of the story in the next book or books. I did enjoy how multiple classic tales were implemented in this story, though, as well as the descriptions of the many different types of fae. Overall, while Ironspark did not blow my mind I very much enjoyed reading about the adventures of Bryn and her friends and am excited for more.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Belle Ellrich

    *I WAS PROVIDED A DIGITAL GALLEY FOR THE PURPOSES OF A TOUR. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT MY OPINION* When I started reading this book, I was deep in the trenches of one of the worst book slumps I've ever experienced. Ironspark recognized that, tutted at my slump, and forced my brain to overcome it. This book was as magical as its contents promised. We have a bisexual main character who just wants to protect her family from the evil fae that stole her mother away just after her brothers were born. This st *I WAS PROVIDED A DIGITAL GALLEY FOR THE PURPOSES OF A TOUR. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT MY OPINION* When I started reading this book, I was deep in the trenches of one of the worst book slumps I've ever experienced. Ironspark recognized that, tutted at my slump, and forced my brain to overcome it. This book was as magical as its contents promised. We have a bisexual main character who just wants to protect her family from the evil fae that stole her mother away just after her brothers were born. This story was deeply alluring, and I really felt myself loving it as it continued on. I really loved the setting and world-building that C.M. McGuire provided. I think it was definitely some of the best I've seen. However, when it came to the plot, there were parts I loved and parts I didn't. I really felt like there were some holes toward the middle to end of the story. It wasn't so much there were inconsistencies as it was things that were rushed or didn't have much context/meaning to them. Along with that, I wasn't a fan of how Bryn and Jasika kept asking Dom if he was sure he was asexual. They asked him "are you sure" around three or four times in just one scene after he'd said yes, yes, yes, and that didn't leave me with a good feeling. All in all, I did like this book. I definitely felt like there was an equal amount of strengths and weaknesses, and there was room for improvement. I hope to see that in the sequel, and for that, I rate Ironspark 3.75 stars.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Becca Mee

    Ironspark is a story about a girl trying to protect her family, friends, and her entire town from a devious Fae queen who will stop at nothing to ensure a blood promise generations old is kept. Bryn has always been an outcast in her little Pennsylvania town because she has her own secrets to keep: since the Fae took her mother nine years ago, Bryn has worked tirelessly to keep everyone around her safe. But when the Court Fae turn their attention toward her family, Bryn must learn to trust those Ironspark is a story about a girl trying to protect her family, friends, and her entire town from a devious Fae queen who will stop at nothing to ensure a blood promise generations old is kept. Bryn has always been an outcast in her little Pennsylvania town because she has her own secrets to keep: since the Fae took her mother nine years ago, Bryn has worked tirelessly to keep everyone around her safe. But when the Court Fae turn their attention toward her family, Bryn must learn to trust those around her in order to take survive. But as the threat grows greater, Bryn uncovers the secret legacy of her mother's involvement with the Fae. Soon, Bryn finds herself grappling with a power and a legacy that seeks to wipe away her own humanity. Ironspark was not at all what I expected, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. This book is a dark iteration of Welsh legends of the Fae, a mythology of magic that very heavily features in this story. I found the darkness of the Fae and Bryn's connection with them to be immensely fascinating and satisfying as a reader. I loved Bryn as a character for the kindness of her heart and her desire to protect the people she loves. Ironspark is a fresh iteration of the Fae, one with mad queens, dangerous magic, and a resilient heroine in the middle of it all who will sacrifice everything for the people she cares about.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cranky - The Book Curmudgeon

    5 CRANKY STARS This is a book about all kind of goblins and ghoulies terrorizing the houses just outside the woods. The real bad guys in this case are fairies. In our world, fairies are cute little humanlike creatures with wings. In this story, they are evil and look evil. They also like to steal human babies for changelings. Our heroine is Bryn. She has twin twelve-year old brothers. She is in high school. Bryn’s father moved the family to this small town after her Mother’s disappearance. She ha 5 CRANKY STARS This is a book about all kind of goblins and ghoulies terrorizing the houses just outside the woods. The real bad guys in this case are fairies. In our world, fairies are cute little humanlike creatures with wings. In this story, they are evil and look evil. They also like to steal human babies for changelings. Our heroine is Bryn. She has twin twelve-year old brothers. She is in high school. Bryn’s father moved the family to this small town after her Mother’s disappearance. She had grown up in Wales and her Mother had taught her all about the fairies, goblins, et.al. Here in America, no one knew about these things. She worked with Father Gooding of the local church to fight these hobgoblins and keep the city free of evil. Her father did not know what she was doing, or he would not have allowed it. Fast paced action on every page that will not let you put it down. When the truth comes out, it is up to Bryn to save her family. Nothing is as it seems. Truly an interesting read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Brianna Belbin

    “Anyway, if everything goes to hell, at least I can say I didn’t die a virgin.” I enjoyed this book way more than I thought I was going to. I’m honestly not too big on fae because I’ve never been able to get into it, but it’s queer and I loved the cover. As soon as I read the first paragraph I was hooked and knew that this wasn’t going to be your normal fae book! “The problem with that is that most fairy tales are sixty percent bullshit, thirty percent wishful thinking, and ten percent horrifyi “Anyway, if everything goes to hell, at least I can say I didn’t die a virgin.” I enjoyed this book way more than I thought I was going to. I’m honestly not too big on fae because I’ve never been able to get into it, but it’s queer and I loved the cover. As soon as I read the first paragraph I was hooked and knew that this wasn’t going to be your normal fae book! “The problem with that is that most fairy tales are sixty percent bullshit, thirty percent wishful thinking, and ten percent horrifying unknown.” Bryn is rash, wreckless, and fueled to protect her family at all costs. Dom is thrown into the world of magic and fae, but is an act now, questions later type of guy and has one of the biggest hearts. Gwen has to be my favorite character along with a certain shadeling. She’s the well needed voice of reason and truly cares about those she loves. The shadelings truly seemed like CM’s creation and I don’t think think I’ve ever read about anything like them before. The descriptions of the Fae were vivid and each character was well developed. The folklore and learning about the different types of Fae and magic really intrigued me. I was glad that the romance didn’t consume the book and the story line was filled with twists and secrets- one twist had me squealing with excitement. This book deals with panic attacks, loss of a parent, and mental illness and how a teenager is dealing with it while going to school, fighting the fae, and raising her brothers. It is also very LGBT+ inclusive. There’s a male ace sex positive character, two lesbians, and a girl who is still trying to figure out if she’s bisexual or pansexual. None of the characters were judged or pressured by one another for their sexuality, but I did find the setting ironic for where they talked about it at. *I received a free copy from Netgalley and TBR and Beyond Tours in exchange for an honest review

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ronove

    I went in expecting urban fantasy with lots of different faeries and that's what I got! So I definitely enjoyed all that. Bryn was a firecracker, I liked her sense of duty throughout the novel, and I did like that she was this tough girl with a soft center. I also loved her friends too. They were what made the novel shine for me. What I really disliked was the plot only happened because Bryn was a dumbass. (view spoiler)[Oh, Gwen my faerie friend says not to use this book without her? Pshh, I got I went in expecting urban fantasy with lots of different faeries and that's what I got! So I definitely enjoyed all that. Bryn was a firecracker, I liked her sense of duty throughout the novel, and I did like that she was this tough girl with a soft center. I also loved her friends too. They were what made the novel shine for me. What I really disliked was the plot only happened because Bryn was a dumbass. (view spoiler)[Oh, Gwen my faerie friend says not to use this book without her? Pshh, I got dangerous things to do! Oh shit, something went wrong. Well, time to use the book again. OH NO SOMETHING ELSE WENT WRONG, etc. etc. I do like that it was basically 3 times use the book for Bryn to finally bury it, but it was too late. Her dumbassery made Gwen leave, get taken in by the big bad, and allowed Gwen to be used to make Bryn give herself up to be in a faerie court. I know this all had to happen, but the fact that Bryn did not learn at all made it very much not engaging. (hide spoiler)] Overall though, I guess I'll be waiting for a sequel because it has a cliffhanger. I'd like to see these characters again despite my annoyances with the plot.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alice Moon

    Thank you TBR and Beyond and C. M. McGuire for the opportunity to read this lovely fantasy book about faeries because I am a big fan of them. Well.. I am a fan of everything that is fantasy and not real world. So of course I had to read this book! Ironspark was an interesting read but a bit confusing in some parts. I loved to find different kind of fairies and that they aren’t like in fairytales beautiful and sparkling. These fairies are the real deal. At the end of the book you can find a glossa Thank you TBR and Beyond and C. M. McGuire for the opportunity to read this lovely fantasy book about faeries because I am a big fan of them. Well.. I am a fan of everything that is fantasy and not real world. So of course I had to read this book! Ironspark was an interesting read but a bit confusing in some parts. I loved to find different kind of fairies and that they aren’t like in fairytales beautiful and sparkling. These fairies are the real deal. At the end of the book you can find a glossary about all of them. The idea of Bryn and Father Gooding fighting Fae gives Supernatural and Buffy the Vampire Slayer vibes. The plot was pretty good, but it ended with a lot of unanswered questions, but maybe we will find more in the sequel. Unfortunately some parts felt flat, like the discussion between Bryn, Jasika and Dom in Bryn’s bedroom or the chemistry between Bryn and Jasika. All in all, I enjoyed reading Ironspark and I can’t wait to see more of Bryn in the future.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Crystina

    Special thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. Ironspark is a fun adventure story with action at every turn. It's a refreshing addition to the fae-centric fantasy sub-genre of YA, with it being heavily inspired by the more traditional fairy lore. For romance lovers, this book promises a queer love triangle, and while it delivers the romance often takes the backseat to the action. Which is a bit refreshing in itself as romance tends to ove Special thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. Ironspark is a fun adventure story with action at every turn. It's a refreshing addition to the fae-centric fantasy sub-genre of YA, with it being heavily inspired by the more traditional fairy lore. For romance lovers, this book promises a queer love triangle, and while it delivers the romance often takes the backseat to the action. Which is a bit refreshing in itself as romance tends to overshadow the overarching plot. Additionally, this book includes a rarely represented group, with the character Dom being canonically asexual. The book ends in such a way as to set up a sequel with the potential to have an even more riveting adventure, this time in the fae-lands. The final review will be on Geek Declassified August 24, 2020.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Daniela

    I really loved the dynamics of Ironspark! The characters are so vibrant and lively, and I liked seeing the interaction of modern technology and research with ancient Welsh folklore. This book is also full of casual LGBT+ rep that is really refreshing to see (it even has a love triangle!) But the romance tends to take a backseat to the main plot. One thing I thought was really nice about the book, especially in the beginning, is that it really felt like a continuation of someone’s life when you’r I really loved the dynamics of Ironspark! The characters are so vibrant and lively, and I liked seeing the interaction of modern technology and research with ancient Welsh folklore. This book is also full of casual LGBT+ rep that is really refreshing to see (it even has a love triangle!) But the romance tends to take a backseat to the main plot. One thing I thought was really nice about the book, especially in the beginning, is that it really felt like a continuation of someone’s life when you’re dropped right in the middle of their story! Most books start at the beginning of the action but Ironspark begins close to the middle, referencing the Bryn’s past romances and adventures! Overall it was a fun, action-packed read full of fairies, folklore, and fighting!

  29. 4 out of 5

    D

    Thank you Netgalley for letting me read this book in return for an honest review. Rep: WLW characters, Bi/Pan character(Bryn isn't sure which label is for her), Panic Attacks, Ace character I read this book in four days while I was on holiday. It was the sort of book that even though I wanted to read it all in one go, I enjoyed it better reading it in chunks. Almost instantly, I fell in love with this book as I found all of the characters quite endearing, even when they were not fully fleshed out Thank you Netgalley for letting me read this book in return for an honest review. Rep: WLW characters, Bi/Pan character(Bryn isn't sure which label is for her), Panic Attacks, Ace character I read this book in four days while I was on holiday. It was the sort of book that even though I wanted to read it all in one go, I enjoyed it better reading it in chunks. Almost instantly, I fell in love with this book as I found all of the characters quite endearing, even when they were not fully fleshed out (due to being side characters) Bryn is an angry teenager after her mother was taken away by the Unseelie court ten years ago. With her father having to work and also having to deal with delusions given to him from the fae. Jasika has her own grudge against the Fae but she also practices in witchcraft and is a school friend of Bryn's who is really nice and always looking out for people which I adored. Dom is the new kid in town who gets dragged into the mess of the Fae and almost immediately becomes protective (not in a bad way) of his new friends. Gwen is a water witch who is so gentle and kind and also the ex-girlfriend of Bryn. There are plenty of other characters in the story such as the twins who are Bryn's younger brothers and even shadelings who I love and adore so, so much. Rating 4.5⭐ (rounded to 5 on Goodreads) Would I read it again: Yes Would I recommend it: Yes

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sara Alcorn-Luparello

    Ironspark was the perfect book to read to start out my September. The first scene builds a perfectly spooky vibe that puts the reader right into the world of the Fae. This isn't a world of beautiful elegant Fae, but cruel, ruthless Fae from the legends. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Bryn is a hard edged teen, burdened with responsibilities many her age can't even imagine. Her fierce attitude and constant vigilance makes her a boot stomping bad ass with a secretly soft heart. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ While the romance is refreshing and realis Ironspark was the perfect book to read to start out my September. The first scene builds a perfectly spooky vibe that puts the reader right into the world of the Fae. This isn't a world of beautiful elegant Fae, but cruel, ruthless Fae from the legends. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Bryn is a hard edged teen, burdened with responsibilities many her age can't even imagine. Her fierce attitude and constant vigilance makes her a boot stomping bad ass with a secretly soft heart. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ While the romance is refreshing and realistic for Bryn's age, it is the friendships between the newly formed gang that really gave me all the feels.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ This is an action packed, fast paced fantasy read that I would suggest for younger teens. While I enjoyed the story, it hit a little younger than I prefer. ⁣⁣

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