The Iron Thorn is an AWESOME YA fantasy by Caitlin Kittredge.
Aoife has always dreaded her sixteenth birthday. Both her mother and her brother went insane when they turned sixteen. And the day is drawing nearer for Aoife - something that she can't deny, but tries to anyway.
In the city of Lovecraft madness is an epidemic - a result of the necrovirus, a virus that causes all the horrifying creatures that haunt the darkness and the heretical magic and witchcraft that the Proctors stamp out with enthusiasm. There are many madhouses in Lovecraft, one of which houses Aoife's mother - and threatens to house Aoife as well if she begins to show any signs of following in her family's footsteps.
For now, Aoife focuses as much as she can on her schoolwork - having gained an impressive slot at the Lovecraft Academy where she stretches her intelligent mind and is fascinated by the engines that run the city. But as her sixteenth birthday looms even closer a letter arrives - it is penned in the familiar handwriting of her brother Conrad. He had escaped from the asylum a while back, and she occasionally received a forbidden correspondence with he who had once been her rock, but had tried to kill her on his sixteenth birthday as the madness consumed him.
In the letter is but this enigmatic message: Find the witch's alphabet. Save yourself.
Is it the ramblings of a mad man? Or could it be a warning from the brother who used to take care of her and love her? All Aoife knows is that her only hope of avoiding the mad houses and losing her grip on her mind, which she already feels slipping away, is to find Conrad and get answers. To do this she must leave Lovecraft, dodge militaristic Proctors, and slip into the outside world that doesn't offer the same protections against the night creatures. It's a world full of Heretics, people whom her very association with would garner her punishment, including air pirates.
What Aoife doesn't know is that her own family secrets may cause her the most danger of all...
But will she find any answers before her mind succumbs to the necrovirus?
Oh my goodness!!! I knew I liked the sound of The Iron Thorn - but wow!!!!! What a fantastically creative and original novel! I was absolutely flabbergasted by Caitlin Kittredge. In The Iron Thorn we have an ominous and suspenseful dark fantasy adventure filled with new, different creatures and origins which are terrifying both in their physical appearance and the psychological ramifications!
The alternate 1950s setting of Lovecraft, Massachusetts offers a perfect locale to begin this steampunk novel - featuring a feisty, flavorful tone and the ever-worrisome fear of madness. Amazing! I have honestly never read anything like The Iron Thorn before - and I was gobbling it up!!!
It's full of clockworks and engines and brilliance! Incredibly unique with dark fantasy, wit, a fully realized universe, and pure genius! I plain and simply loved The Iron Thorn! It shines brightly with promise and cleverness, it has a heavy but addictive plot, sparkling characters, and an involving, rousing adventure with unmatched spunk and style!
The Iron Thorn is a gem of a book - and should be embraced by all lovers of phenomenal YA fantasy!!!!!
And then there are the unspeakably stunning, terrific revelations that I never saw coming, charming romance, and breathlessly climatic end that leaves off with a cliffhanger that left me needing more. Thank goodness there is more coming!!!
I hope to follow Aoife for many more books and continue to delve into this colorful, awesome, nail-biting, multilayered world! More details would only ruin your own experience, so just please, please, please read The Iron Thorn bibliophile!!!
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