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The Iron Thorn
In the futuristic city of Lovecraft, a necrovirus threatens to ruin civilizations. Below the city and on its outskirts, hordes of ruined people rot in their own insanity--and threaten to infect the sane. Unfortunately for Aoife Grayson, madness runs in her family. So far, both her mother and brother have gone from being perfectly normal to completely insane after turning sixteen.
Aoife (pronounced "ee-fah") is deeply worried that she will become just like her mother and brother. She is a charity case at school, and is being watched for signs of madness. But, when she receives a magical letter from her brother asking for her urgent help, she cannot refuse him. As much as she'd just like to walk down the road and go to help her brother out in the open, this world does not work like that. Her brother is far away and any visit that Aoife makes will have to be secretive and underground. There ensues a journey of epic proportions--with her best friend Cal along for the trip and the hired help of a charismatic adventurer named Dean.
Dean easily steals the show. He reminded me a little (not looks wise, but in personality) of a young, swashbuckling Johnny Depp. Cal is fairly useless and maybe even a little dangerous to have on this trip, and I genuinely felt for Aoife throughout. She was in a tough position and needed to make choices that no teen should have to make. But, she was a tough cookie to begin with. One of the only girls at the School of Machines, she's no dummy. She has been brainwashed by the Proctors who govern over her and the rest of society, but she isn't afraid to step out of line to help her family.
Also, the writing in this book is filled with awesomely disturbing imagery. Action scenes are intense and so are the depictions of those infected with the necrovirus. Uck. It was not difficult to picture any of the scenes in this book. The government (called the Proctors) in this book are savage and cruel, but I loved the author's inventiveness when it came to their use of mechanical birds for surveillance.
If you are loving the abundance of dystopian reads as much as I am, you will want to find a copy of this book when it releases in February. And, this book is the first in a planned series, so there's more to come. Good thing, because I want to know more!