October Releases

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Book Review: The Iron Thorn (Iron Codex #1) by Caitlin Kittredge

Author: Caitlin Kittredge

Series: Iron Codex

Number in Series: 1

Format: Audiobook

Narrator: Katie MacNichol

Publisher: Listening Library

Release Date: February 22, 2011
Genre: Young Adult/Urban Fantasy/Steampunk    

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Synopsis from Goodreads

In the city of Lovecraft, the Proctors rule and a great Engine turns below the streets, grinding any resistance to their order to dust. The necrovirus is blamed for Lovecraft's epidemic of madness, for the strange and eldritch creatures that roam the streets after dark, and for everything that the city leaders deem Heretical—born of the belief in magic and witchcraft. And for Aoife Grayson, her time is growing shorter by the day.

Aoife Grayson's family is unique, in the worst way—every one of them, including her mother and her elder brother Conrad, has gone mad on their 16th birthday. And now, a ward of the state, and one of the only female students at the School of Engines, she is trying to pretend that her fate can be different.

     I don't have much experience with Steampunk, but because of this book, I know I really should look into the genre more. I loved this book. The world in this book was dark, gritty and magical. It was almost hard to believe this was a Young Adult book. But I can honestly say I am so happy to have come across Caitlin Kittredge's work and I plan on starting her Black London series very soon.

     The Iron Thorn is about a young 15-going-on-16 year old girl named Aoife (pronounced Eefah) Grayson who has a problem, her family is crazy. But even worse, this craziness due to what is known as the necrovirus, by the time Aoife turns 16, she will be just as mad. So when her brother, Conrad, sends her a secret message to help him, her and her best friend Cal escape the "prison" of Lovecraft to save him. And to find the truth about Aoife and her possible insanity.

      This book was full of so many little and big things that made it so engaging. First thing I love was the take on the world. A city named Lovecraft, MA (named after the H.P. Lovecraft) that is run by people known as Proctors. They control the city and the people in it. If you go against their order, you will be made an example out of and unfortunately, it doesn't matter how young you are, you will be ridiculed. We get a taste of that in the first few chapters with Aoife. Aoife is a very smart and bright student at the School of Engines. But even with her brains, everyone she knows of her family history and she is struggling to prove that she will not turn out crazy. I loved Aoife because she was scared and had a hard time grasping the idea of magic, but she managed to hold her own against the creatures (fairies, nightjers, etc.). Now even though I loved her, she did annoy me with some of her complaining, can't blame her, but still, suck it up.

    One of many things I loved about this book were the characters surrounding Aoife. She meets Dean Harrison, a guy who becomes her guide and she ends up crushing on. He is a tough guy who doesn't treat Aoife like she is crazy and becomes more important to the story by the page. He was definitely a favorite. Cal was cute and made my laugh, but he has issues. He is Aoife's friend, but he doesn't seem to have much faith in her and that made me want to punch him a few times in this book.

    The plot to this book was just amazing. It was gritty and raw. With every chapter, we get a new secret. Everything we think we know will change maybe midway in the book and that is not even the core of it all. Lies are slowly brought to light and I can tell you now, you would not have predicted even one.

     I did have some issues with this book. The romance between Dean and Aoife seemed a tad random. He seemed much older than her (seriously can't remember his age), but I liked them both so it wasn't too weird. But than it did get weird when we find out that Cal likes Aoife (like likes her) and it was just strange. He was sort of childish and Dean was so macho. They were clearly different, but even more so than we thought. But I am happy romance wasn't the focus, it was mystery and adventure.

    Overall, if you want a dark Steampunk fantasy, I would recommend this. If you can as well, get this audiobook for this. Not only does Katie MacNichol have a soothing voice, but she made the book sound almost poetic. Also because of her, I know how to pronounce Aoife. Seriously if I read this book instead, I wouldn't have known how to say it. But if you are looking for a story that is scary, complex, and chaotic, check this out. And keep your eyes peeled for book 2. Their is no name for it yet, but it will be out next year, so in one word...WOOHOO!


*This book belongs to the following challenge*
BCC's Horror & Urban Fantasy Reading Challenge 2011

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