Title: The Iron Thorn
Author: Caitlin Kittredge
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.
The Iron thorn was a great read. Set in the 1950's, this alternate world on earth is pretty mind-blowing. Monsters stalk the night, Protectors hunt monsters, romance makes it's annual appearance and belief in any religion is considered heresy. I love the way the author was able to incorporate some of the ideas from the 1950's, woman's rights being a main one. It was truly awesome. I mean, to think that back then, it wasn't right for women or girls to act out of line... And if her story was real life, well, i'd have no reason to be even writing these reviews because the books wouldn't exist because of their fantsy and supernatural content.
The whole time I was reading this book, i couldn't help but think of the irony of timing. We are learning about The Scientific revolution (from witchcraft and God's will to science).
The plot line was very well written and very creative. Like I mentioned before, the timing of the actual story just made the whole necrovirus and monsters thing click into place. I like the whole concept of having the protectors who will protect you...as long as you weren't what they considered heretics. And the war in the book is intriguing (the author mentions it in the story, but it's almost just background information). I didn't really catch what it was supposed to be over but the way the author went about it like it was nothing new to the main character was just brilliant. Over all, I really enjoyed Caitlin Kittredge's writing style as much as I enjoyed the story.
Now to characters.
Aiofe is a very rebellious girl. She doesn't act like people expect her to. She has attitude, a voice, and spunk; and I appreciate that about her. She doesn't mind breaking the rules, as long as she finds her brother in the end. But the best part about her character is her brains. Aiofe is intelligent and a fast thinker when she needs to be and she's a marvelous engineer.
And every marvelous protagonist needs her own love-struck best friend, right? Cal, is that friend. I like that Cal is there for Aiofe but...he annoys me. I mean, yes he travels to help her find her brother but he's so corrupted by the Protectors in more ways then you even know. He's not opened minded toward her and some of the stuff they encounter through the book. Every time she tells him about something that's considered "heresy" to the Protectors, he blames it on her impending doom by insanity caused by the necrovirus.
Well, on a brighter note there's Dean (cue swoon).
To me, Dean seems more "street smart" then he does academic smart but that's a helpful trait for what he does for a living. He's the bad boy of the story, just the kind of guy every book crazed teen goes googlie-eyed for...and even better (or worse depending on your point of view) he is labeled as a heretic. I think what I like best about him is the fact that he actually believes Aiofe when she tells him stuff. I can't get into too much detail over Dean because I'm trying not to do any huge spoilers...
My favorite thing about this book was the ending. I mean, who would've known it end like that?! I loved it. It's almost one of those everything-is-not-what-it-seems kind of things. Ahh, you got to love those twists a story can take. Ijust hope there's a second book because this one wasn't necissarily a cliff-hanger per se, but it was enough to keep me up at night wondering "What's going to happen now?"
And that's pretty much it :D The monsters, the action, the romance, the Protectors and the ending are what held my attention throughout this book. I reccomend this book to any supernatural, YA and/or steam-punk fans.