Published: February 2011 Publisher: Delacorte Press Pages: 493 Copy: From Library Summary: 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.
Did I enjoy the Iron Thorn? Yes, I did. Did I understand The Iron Thorn? Not so sure about that one! I think this book could be classified as steampunk, but since I haven't read much of that genre, I'm not 100% sure about that. It has an an element of magic and fae and I'm not so sure that steampunk has magic, if someone can enlighten me on this, please do, I'd love to have that cleared up. May'be it's just Fantasy? But, I think what I liked most about Iron Thorn was its differences. It was dark and creepy, weird and wonderful. Full of steam engines and clockwork parts, then magic and fae - it was a study in contrasts. Aoife (and if someone could please tell me how you pronounce that name I will be eternally grateful) is struggling with the knowledge that in a very short time she will go mad, just like everyone else in her family, but I never felt that she was feeling sorry for herself about it. She is the only female student at the school of Engines - way to go girl! - where she holds her own against the other students. Her best friend is Cal, who helps her find her way in the school. He was wonderful - a little naggy at times, but a good friend. When a letter arrives for Aoife from her brother, that's when the fun starts.
There are steam engines, airships, fairy rings (hexenrings) and the Folk. Friends betray friends, enemies triumph and are overcome, new friends are made and kept. There's a bit of romance going on with Aoife and Dean - I really liked him, even though he did smoke. Dean was one of those characters that reminded me a bit of Indiana Jones. You know, ready for adventure, rescues the damsel in distress, bit of a bad boy. There are also surprises coming out of the woodwork - quite literally. Every time I thought I had a handle on what was going on, another surprise would pop up. Some of them nice, many of them very nasty, some of them downright apalling, (can't say more or it would be a major spoiler) and all of them intriguing. All-in-all a very interesting world that I am looking forward to revisiting when the sequel comes out in ?. Sorry, I know Iron Thorn is the first book in 'The Iron Codex', but I couldn't find news of a second volume on Ms Kittredges site. I'm really, really interested to see what other readers think of this one.