Iron Man: The Gauntlet Review

The armored avenger is headed to Ireland, gang, in the hands of one of the most well known children’s authors of the last two decades.
I missed the boat on the Artemis Fowl series when I was a kid so now it seems the time is right to find out if Eoin Colfer’s take on Iron Man will live up to the hype of his other works.
Let’s rock!

As always around here, this is your official ***SPOILER ALERT***

So the first thing I have to say is that it’s clear that this version of Tony is influenced by Robert Downey Jr and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is no where near a bad thing.
But it’s a stark *wink wink* and notable contrast to my previous Iron Man Novel Review.
The love of (what is now sadly considered) classic rock is there.
The smarmy attitude, got it.
And Colfer even manages to slip in a couple of small MCU references for those eagle eyed readers wanting more of that Tony.
If not for the comic booky version of The Mandarin, this could feel like a lost adventure of RDJ.
But make no mistake, despite all of the more widely known movie elements and such, this is still the comic book Iron Man we all know and tolerate…kidding!

Tony Stark is riding high as Iron Man, his new A.I. FRIDAY is developing faster than he hoped, and he’s finally making a change for good in the world.
Things are going well.
But Tony, through a long line of lies & hacking he wasn’t privy to, is suddenly thrown into a fight, along side a tech savvy Irish lass, against his worst enemy.

I have talked in many of these reviews about authors and their styles, which is always a nebulous concept to try and convey.
Colfer though has a less abstract style, his voice has an incredibly distinct feel.
An example of that would be a storytelling method he used that at first rubbed me kind of wrong until I figured out why.
In this book he repeatedly sets the stage for action and uses some version of the phrase “This is what happened” before omnisciently describing what went down.
It almost feels like somebody doing an overly descriptive narration of a documentary, and it works.
It bugged me until I figured out why it felt so familiar, and my biggest take away in that regard is that I think this dude could really nail a mystery series, especially the Monk-like summation of “He’s the guy, here’s what happened”.

Like most YA I’ve read recently, there’s not much wheel spinning, this story gets to the point.
And the point is that while he is still deeply flawed, Tony is trying his best to leave the world looking a little less shitty than it was when he strolled into it.
The only real complaint I can come away with is that we don’t really see Tony’s well known supporting cast.
No Pepper, no Happy, and no Jarvis, real or robot, this is Stark alone and relying on his own tech and smarts.

To wrap up, this is really the best of both worlds when it comes to Iron Man.
Colfer clearly knows what he’s doing, not just as a steward of the Iron Man character but as a writer.
Like I’ve said in so many of these reviews, this book makes me want to keep my eyes peeled for more from him.
And I definitely wouldn’t mind if that more was Marvel specifically, some day.

Let us know what you think of this review in the comments below or share this post on the Twitter times with the Hashtag #TNBBookReview.

Special thanks to @ACFerrell1976 for her continued editorial assistance.

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