Book: The Iron Trials (Magestrium #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare and Holly Black
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 . . .
Cassandra Clare and Holly Black are The YA paranormal authors (notice how I’ve capitalized the T in the); You’ve definitely heard of the Mortal Instruments and the Infernal Devices series. And The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and the Curseworkers series are literary masterpieces. So what are you supposed to get when two crazy, awesome geniuses (No, it’s not genii) get together to write a book? A crazy, awesome book maybe? Unfortunately that’s not what we got with the Iron Trials which is the first book in the Magestrium series.
Two boys and one girl go to a ‘Magic’ school which is dangerous. Hmm…what does it remind you of? It wouldn’t be Harry Potter by any chance, would it?
So how is this book like Harry Potter? Oh! Let me count the ways.
First of all, out protagonist is a kid named Callum Stone (but everyone calls him Call *snicker*) who was brought up by a man who called magic ‘dangerous’ and was considered a freak by the neighborhood. Deja vu, anyone ?Now let’s move on. I have to give Clare and Black points for the test. After all, I never did get how it was possible for Hogwarts to figure out who was eligible for their school and who wasn’t (Oh, right there’s something called magic).
Anyways…Right away we see this beautiful, brilliant girl who is so obviously better at magic than everyone else…She’s Hermione with better hair. There’s also another kid whose pretty talented…so guess who forms the (un)holy trinity that’s the new golden trio? That’s right. The best ‘Master’ in the school takes these three under his wing and tells them that together they form a special combination. Can I just say knock-off?
Wait! It gets worse. The most obvious thing is the group of antagonists. Do you know what they call themselves? Mmmhmm, it’s the Enemy of Death. Is it just me or does that sound remarkably similar to the name ‘Death Eaters’? As if that wasn’t enough, their leader is a guy who is desperate for immortality (now why does that sound familiar?).
That’s the big stuff. There are other smaller things in the book which give you a strong sense of deja vu. For example the set-up of the castle as well as the appearance of ‘food’ (remember that scene at the Yule Tide Ball in the fourth book where Dumbledore gives everyone at the table whatever food they wish for?) as well as the common room (although it’s given a lamer name- I think it’s called the games room).
Another thing that annoyed me about this book was the fact that it wasn’t Young Adult fiction. For some reason, I thought this would be young adult. It wasn’t. Not even close. It’s more middle-grade than anything else. Maybe this book will be like the Harry Potter series (in yet another way) in the fact that it will slowly progress into a more mature and complex series with time. (It’ll probably take a long time, though.)
Towards the ending, the book gains a little more originality and complexity. Stolen identities and intrigue. However, after all the obvious hints in the book , I had to say I knew where the book was going. And even though I’m not disappointed with the ending, I’m far from being awed. The cliffhanger was enough to redeem the book…almost. The keyword here being almost
The Iron Trials is a cheap rip-off of Harry Potter. Unless you’re feeling a bunch of Harry Potter nostalgia, I wouldn’t recommend this book to you. In fact, I don’t think I would recommend it even then; seriously guys,there’s a lot of good HP fanfiction out there. Needless to say, I am disappointed. I am very disappointed.
Plotholes: 1/5 (Copying is not cool; it’s plagiarism)
Overall Rating: 1.5/5