Released: February 22nd 2011
"There are Seventeen madhouses in Lovecraft. I've visited all of them."
Aoife Grayson is counting down the days until her sixteenth birthday; the day that, according to family tradition, she will go mad, just as her mother and brother before her. In the city of Lovecraft, the necrovirus is to blame for the madness, the dangerous and terrifying creatures that lurk in the night and just about everything else considered Heretical. The Proctors rule, burning Heretics (those who believe in or conduct witchcraft) and ensuring the great Engine, the heart of the city that churns beneath Lovecraft's streets, is in perfect working order and that no one escapes the "safety" of the city. But after Aoife receives a mysterious message from her bother, Conrad, she plans to do just that: escape Lovecraft and find Conrad before the necrovirus claims her mind and her future.
This book is about 500 pages of awesome!!! Okay, so a finished Hardcover copy has 512 pages and 40 chapters, but every bit is still amazing. As Aoife races to stay sane, there is hardly a dull moment. Narrated in the first person point of view we are constantly updated on the woes of being Aoife, which is never boring because she is always having a new situation thrown at her. But unlike most first person novels that I have read, the other characters are just as well developed as Aoife herself , and a vibrant cast there is. My favorite is snarky and devil-may-care Dean Harrison, the silver-eyed heretic from the Rustworks, which is the place outside of the gates of Lovecraft where Heretics hide form Proctors and revel in their dangerous freedom. Even the settings jump off the page, surrounding the reader in their almost tangible fantasy. Caitlin Kittredge describes each change in scenery in detail, but never in a long-winded and snore-worthy way.
The Iron Thorn is a novel that will lure you into it's pages. For this very reason I believe this to be the next phenomenon in Young Adult literature. People will flock over this as they'd done with Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games, adore it's characters and gather in the cult-like followign this novel deserves. It will open the eyes of the public to steampunk, a re-emerging genre that mixes alternate history with magic and machine. Say good-bye to the brooding undead and hello to steam-beaten and grease-spattered engineers. Plus, who doesn't love the excitement of crashing dirigibles and secrets galore? I'm not totally sold that this cover. Albeit, it's stunningly gorgeous, but I'm not sure it's bland color scheme would attract a reader in such a rush they don't have time to read a synopsis to pick it up. What do you think? Given no background on this book, would you buy it based on the cover alone? Let me know in the comments.
The Iron Thorn is Caitlin Kittredge's first novel for young adults and it is the first installment in the Iron Codex Series.
Level of Romance: Mild. Aoife is a girl on a mission, she's bound to be distracted by a handsome man, isn't she?
Rating: 5 out of 5
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