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The Iron Thorn
Aoife is about to turn sixteen and has a lot on her mind. Sixteen is the age both her mother and brother went mad, and in the City of Lovecraft, madness is not taken to very kindly. A few weeks shy of her birthday, she receives a mysterious note from Conrad asking her to help him. Grabbing her best friend Calvin, the two of them set off to figure out what really happened to her brother. This task will not be easy, however, as right away they encounter terrible things that want to eat them, imprison them, and infect them with the deadly necrovirus. But Aoife must push on, as the alternative choice is much worse.
Wow, was this book ever quite the fantastic adventure! The details were fully imagined and thoroughly thought out. I felt as though I actually went somewhere and did something extraordinary with these characters. There were secrets I was not expecting and twists I never would have thought possible. The whole book was this great gothic/paranormal/steampunk combination. Aoife is a very smart girl, never succumbing to her feelings for a boy or giving in to a moment of girlish weakness. She was truly a girl for readers to aspire to be. She stayed strong through some very creepy creatures and hair-raising situations. Kittredge's writing had the perfect amount of beautiful description to offset her captivating dialog and action. The worlds felt so real and alive, and the use of machines and clockwork were some of the best executions I have read to date in the steampunk genre. Fans of Cherie Priest's Boneshaker will devour this book. I have not read any of Kittredge's adult books (and I am not yet sure I will) but this book will haunt my thoughts until the next installment in the Iron Codex comes out!