Review: Irona 700


  • Author: Dave Duncan
  • ISBN: 9781504002189
  • Publisher: Open Road Media
  • Genre: Fantasy

I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first Open Road Media book I didn’t care for.  When I started reading, I thought it would be yet another Dystopian novel and Irona would overthrow the empire somehow.  In a way, Irona believes this of herself as well, but that’s not what happens at all.  Perhaps that’s the point of the story; not everyone is capable or even wants to start a revolution.  The problem with that is it makes for a yawn of a story.

I was interested in how Irona began working within the system she had hated all her life, but I continually wondered where the story was going and why I should care.  By the 75% mark, I began to dislike Irona, and by 80%, I was thoroughly bored but determined to finish the book.  It wasn’t until I had only about 5% left that I finally found out where Irona fit in the grand scheme of things.  She is the hero of the story, just not in the way you would think, and getting there made the book seem much longer than it is (the paperback edition is 402 pages).  On top of that, the author uses rape as a signifier of true evilness, and I’m a firm believer that there are better ways to write evil without having to resort to sexual assault.  While the one rape scene wasn’t exactly disturbing to me, it may trigger others, and it certainly wasn’t necessary.

Until today, the lowest rating I’ve given to an Open Road Media book was three stars (The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson).  This one gets two stars.  It just didn’t have enough good storytelling for me to give it three.  If you enjoy epic Greek or Roman style settings or political stories, and you don’t take issue with sexual violence, maybe check Irona 700 out from the library and give it a chance.  I wouldn’t pay money for this book, though.

#COYER Scavenger Hunt #51: Read a book with a number in the title.