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. (goodreads)
My thoughts...The Iron Thorn was my first journey into the world of Steampunk and I have to say I like what I saw.
This novel was impossible for me to put down. I was immediately drawn in by the characters. Aoife (Ee-fah) is in a race against time as she tries to help her brother. A cryptic message sends her and her friend Conrad on a journey outside the safe confines of their city. The dangers are great, as are the people. As their journey begins, they meet a guide named Dean who quickly became my favorite character. This world they live in is full of secrets, as are the people. I enjoyed the character development and the unfolding of various mysteries surrounding the characters. These become people you would want to have your back: strong, determined, and steadfast. No matter what challenges they face, these friends stick together.
There are so many words I could use to describe the action in The Iron Thorn. The first one that comes to mind is scary. Parts of this book had me checking the locks and under the bed before I went to sleep. It was full of things that go bump in the night. There was some violence and gore, as well as plenty of magic. The best part was the mystery. The Iron Thorn is full of riddles and secrets for the reader to puzzle.
Initially I was a bit intimidated by the length of The Iron Thorn. The advanced reader's copy came in at 492 pages. However, Caitlin Kittredge did a brilliant job of reeling me and holding my attention to the very end. The only problem is now I want more. Days later I am still thinking about this magical world.