✭ [PDF] ✪ The Iron Thorn By Caitlin Kittredge ✺ – Publitags.co

There s a lot going on in this book The setting is unusual Steampunk, in 1950s America It s set in a city called Lovecraft Boston, I think , which is, appropriately, infested with horrible things that would be at home in one of Lovecraft s stories But they aren t supernatural, of course That wouldn t be rational Instead, the creatures that stalk the city of Lovecraft, ghouls, nightjars, and springheel jacks alike, are people infected by the necrovirus Some infected turn into bloodthirsty creatures, and others go mad Like Aoife s mother, and brother, and, in time, probably herself All of this is set up in just the first 50 pages, and it only gets complicated from there So many writers wouldn t have been able to handle such a huge, complicated system of ideas But Kittredge is able to weave it all together into an easily comprehensible, complete world And although she can t entirely avoid infodumping, she does it as little as possible, and spreads the exposition through the book.There s also a good cast of characters Aoife is a good narrator, bright, capable, and with the best of motivations throughout the book her family and friends At no point did I find her thoughts or actions unbelievable or inconsistent with her character Her growing relationship with Dean didn t take over the book, because she had important things to worry about, and the trajectory of it was plausible to me I also liked her friendship with Cal Kudos to Kittredge for giving Cal the sort of casual, paternalistic brand of sexism that I d expect to see out of characters from the 50s, without letting it turn Cal into a villain or even an unsympathetic character Hard balancing act.My one small complaint about the book is that there s so much exposition at the front, out of necessity, that the first half drags a bit But once the world s been set up, it s a much quicker read It s the one thing that kept me from loving this book entirely Since so much has already been established, I expect that the other two books in the series will have less of that And the ending is enough of a game changing cliffhanger that I m eager to read them. Kirkus got it right when they said overwriting in their review for The Iron Thorn The book is almost 500 pages I read an advance reader s copy and it felt long Some books despite being long i.e Harry Potter and A Great and Terrible Beauty don t feel that way because they keep you intrigued and engaged The Iron Thorn did none of those things I can appreciate the writing, but it got to be where the author was repeating circumstances and explaining the character s outfits, which had nothing to do with the story The book combines steampunk with faeries and witchcraft set during an altered history of the United States in the 1950 s It was anything but simple and I think that hurt the flow of the story So many things could have been edited out without compromising the most important elements of the story, which to me were finding out what Aoife Grayson s destiny is, where her brother Conrad went, and their role in the land of Thorn and of Iron I could appreciate the world building in the book but it took too long and by the end of the book most steampunk elements weren t even being mentioned any, aside from the Lovecraft machine The cover of the book doesn t even allude to steampunk, and when you begin reading the book that is all that is being conveyed I will wait to see what kind of reviews come in for the second installment in this series, because I wasn t left with a desire to keep reading despite the fact that the book ended so abruptly Oh, and how the heck do you pronounce her name 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 DayAoife 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 Th 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 It s a good thing this has a little over 500 pages, otherwise it would have been too much The author throws in everything And surprise of surprises, I enjoyed it I am not saying it was perfect In fact, there is a specific clump of pages I could have just done without But all in all, IRON THORN was quite satisfying.One complaint though the reader shouldn t be tasked with having to figure out how to say the lead s name I mean, Aoife It took me several tries to figure out how to roll my tongue to come up with a believable right sounding name and I m still not sure I was am saying it right Let me just say that the first fifty pages were AWESOME There is no other way to describe why page after page after page just flew by To bad the awesomeness stalled around page fifty only to kick back into gear around p 160 I really enjoyed the characters in this one They are, all of them, not as they seem And I really do mean all of tnem Then there s the world that they live in I also enjoyed all the twists in it and there are a lot So here goes,She s is a ward of the state With her mother is in a madhouse, she goes to a school where she disagrees with half the things taught re Heretics In her blood, it is said, lies madness A madness that drives her away from her mother A madness that caused her brother to almost kill her In a few, she turns sixteen when her madness might be triggered Madness being just the first step to being virally decimated Those infected devolve Add on the fact that Her world is one divided between Rationalists and heretics The former look down on the latter as those who reject reality and substituted the fantastical lie of magic and conjuring for science and logic Cool, right The problem is by the time her world and its background had settled enough in my head she started sounding like a drip a she is like a lot of teenagers has a love hate thing going on with her mother b She hates her situation, complains to herself about how everyone sees her in a certain light, but does nothing about it That is, until her absentee brother pops in the picture c Then there s the way she treated her BFF, Cal and later on Dean Once they get to where they need to go, things get much better or different One, I was expecting a Leviathan Behemoth i.e a lack of romance compensated for by other aspects like action or mystery, but that was not the case here The change in relationship between the characters took me by surprise It seemed contrived As if the author felt something absent and decided to plunk the girl into trouble Let s put them in the impossible situation of having him them like her THANKFULLY, that was not the focus of IRON THORN I had a Clockwork Angel moment too when Conrad s role became clear A girl in search of her missing brother in a steampunk ish novel Sounding familiar yet With nothing held against CA, I am thankful again that the similarities are superficial IRON THORN is so much It s darker and edgier So dark in fact, that I could practically hear the moans of those in Doctor Portnoy s care, and the shrieks of those falling from the bridge So edgy, I could practically imagine the mist around her.And if steampunk and a missing brother ala Clockwork Angel aren t enough to convince you, well, why don t we throw in some Fey Apparently her life wasn t complicated enough BUT I loved it The fey aspect in this one raised the creepy factor up a couple of notches if that s possible With so many things going on, some might be tempted to chuck it I would have done so, but after page 160 the story just flows Reading on, I found myself liking the characters , curious about what they would do and what would happen to them So, the length of the book makes sense Nothing short of 500 could fairly contain all the details in the book In the end, IRON THORN worked for me The boring part pp 50ish 150ish was mind numbingly boring but that was offset by the good parts which were absolutely just that good I am looking forward to the rest of this series. My first steampunk And it was AWESOME It took me a little while to get into it I ll admit the world itself took me a while to get used to, the lingo and what not I can t really say if it was just this novel, or if it s steampunk related But once I was enraptured by the story, there was no turning back What a complex world Magic, machines, Kindly Folk I can honestly say I never knew what to expect next I was blown away by the complexity and innovation of this novel Kittredge is a very talented story teller, and at five hundred some pages, The Iron Thorn is one hell of a story.I loved the characters in this novel, Aoife, Dean Cal, and EVERYONE of them surprised me Aoife was a kick butt protagonist I loved how realistic she was, she was afraid and cautious but she still did what she believed she needed to do Dean was instantly my favorite the moment that he hit the page and Cal, well I ll leave you to make your own decisions about Cal Don t be afraid of it s size, there is a great story in those pages, and it builds and builds and that ending Wow I can only anticipate the epicness of the next novel I facepalmed at least 3 times It started off well enough, and Kittredge is a talented storyteller in that the overall story was interesting , but I find her writing abrasive She leaves details out, sometimes makes improper verb tense choices which make the reading confusing ie he saw instead of he had seen , makes clicheed dialogue choices, and is lacking in motivation for her characters, who do everything they do solely to either help or hinder main character Aoife, as it suits the convenience of the story, and for no other reason Cal is just flatout irritating I really hoped something nasty would happen to the condescending, pretentious little git Every character in the book is either incredibly stupid or evil Even when she is repeatedly presented with obvious evidence her mother is not, as she believes, crazy, Aoife is unable or unwilling to connect the dots As a reader, that is unbelievably frustrating, especially when something obvious seems to go ignored or unaddressed nearly every single chapter It annoys me too, that Kittredge gives no reason, no alternate history or background, to explain why 20th century America is a Dickensian construct plunged into what seems to be a combination of the Dark Industrial Ages, where heretics are steam burned at the stake in the public square If there s been a massive, world destroying war that robbed mankind of all the technological knowledge advancements of the last 200 years, TELL US SO WHY I find the lack of background story irritating and lazy I also find Kittredge s descriptions of the steampunk uselessly longwinded and nebulous, like she didn t fix it in her own mind before she set it down on paper She just sort of vaguely waves a metaphoric hand at the other end of the room and mutters over there All in all, I kept reading because I can t seem not to finish a book once started, but I skipped mass sections of rambling, insubstantial description, and I couldn t wait to be done with it I wanted to know how it ended, but I will not be reading any sequels.SPOILER ALERT Kittredge covers it with some mumbojumbo at the end about iron sickness, but there s no compelling reason to believe Aoife s mother is insane when everything which Aoife thinks signals insanity turns out to be 100% true to Aoife s own experiences, and a smarter character would have put 2 2 together and figured out that if one s mother says she s been to the lily field, and then not only does one also go to the lily field, but while she is there, she is told flat out that one s mother was also there before her, said mother might be, oh, I don t know, actually telling the freaking truth about having been to the lily field, rather than hallucinating, for the love of GOD. The unexpected has happened.I have read a historical steampunk novel about faeries.And actually liked it A lot So much that it even made it to my books I fell hard for list dun dun DUUUUUUN Every time someone asks me what my least favourite type of books to read are, I always say historical And faeries You see, historical just isn t something I m interested in I find it boring The only other historical book I actually like is The Infernal Devices series, but that s because I already love Cassandra Clare and her books And faeries are justblah Besides The Iron Fey series, there aren t many novels about faeries that I like I m very iffy about them As for steampunk, it just sounds very confusing to me so I never tried to learn about it So the fact that I loved The Iron Thorn, which has all these three things, totally shocked me.This book made me see steampunk and faeries in a whole new way I actually searched steampunk to better understand what it is and found out a lot The best way to describe it is by this slogan I found, What the past would look like if the future had happened sooner Basically, a dystopian world set in historical times And I love dystopian How cool is that The Iron Thorn is full of magic, adventure, and some pretty scary stuff I loved it ALL The beginning instantly pulls you in and you just can t help but keep turning the pages At first it s very fast paced, but towards the middle, it slows down This is a pretty heavy book Do not expect a quick, light read It s the kind of book you should read when you have a lot of time on your hands to settle down and absorb all the information It s not the kind of book you d want to read in the 5 minute breaks you have in between work, or a quick chapter before you go to bed Though I wouldn t blame you if you couldn t help yourself I read this book at the worst possible time I had end of term school work to do while I was reading this and I could only read about a chapter at a time My mind was always on the book and at times I couldn t even focus See what this book does to you You need to be fully alert when reading this because since the pace is slow, you might get tired at times However, this book is NOT boring At all The romance takes some time to emerge It slowly builds up from the start keeps you guessing just when it will happen, but when it does, you ll be swooning over and over again like me It wasn t the main focus of the story, but I didn t mind that one bit In my opinion, this book is sort of a mix of The Infernal Devices and The Iron Fey series All in all, Caitlin Kittredge has created an amazing novel with a twist on the usual faerie theme that ll have you wanting to devour the whole book up in one sitting If that s even possible Before I began the novel, I made sure to learn how to properly pronounce Aoife s name it s ee fah otherwise I would have gone mad trying to figure it out Aoife is a badass She takes crap from no one She isn t the noble, order following good girl like others around her She thinks and speaks for herself I loved her immediately from the start and that love just grew when I learned about her admiration for books Anyone who knows how to appreciate books is immediately awesome in my mind Dean was by far my favourite character Totally hot, a little bad, and a charm that can melt any girl s heart I loved him Cal was adorable, but a bit annoying, however he turned out to surprise me the most Why Well, you ll have to read the book to find out then won t you Thanks to this book, I have a new determination to read steampunk books If anyone knows of any like The Iron Thorn, feel free to recommend some to me Thank you Caitlin Kittredge, for writing such an amazing book.4.5 5 Epic was my disappointment in The Iron Thorn, it was by turns boring, convoluted and confusing I felt no real pull to any of the characters, and only loosely understood what was going on most of the time All very bad traits in a book, but horrible traits in a book which you re hoping to entertain you for a four and half hour flight.For starters, the blurb is not really truthful I thought I was getting a steampunk book with madness Not so much The Iron Thorn is really a fairy book, with a touch of steampunk, and some dabbling in madness How do those three things fit together you ask Such a good question Not very well, would have to be my answer At no point did I feel Kittredge took her seemingly endless supply of disparate story threads and worked them together to form a whole More like they were pulled into a messy knot, and left to be sorted out in the next book.One of the greatest issues I took with this story was how things tended to cycle back in repeats of a situation, with no advancement of the plot or development of characters For instance, Tremaine, a sinister member of the Folk, kept cropping up and threatening but each of his appearances were just of the same without any new reveals What is especially strange about Tremaine s story arc, was that after his first appearance he lets Aoife know she has a week to live up to her end of their agreement, but then he crops up two times in less than 24 hours just to repeat himself Why It was never clear to me, but I was starting to feel like there was a glitch in my Matrix.A convoluted story can be both confusing and mind numbingly boring, but somewhat excusable in a debut author if they redeem themselves with characters you can invest yourself in There have certainly been authors I ve given the benefit of the doubt to, and carried on to book two because I loved their characters and the relationships they had built Sadly Kitteredge didn t sell me on this point either Cal is patronizing and annoying, and I spent most of the story even after his big reveal wondering how desperate Aoife must have been to make him her best friend Dean was simply uninteresting, I mean at least Cal evoked an emotion from me, but Dean was just there And his cowboy talk was ridiculous, especially once it s discovered he s part mystical creature of some fairy type descent Cowboy Steampunk Fairy Madness tale was just two too many combos for the story I can only imagine how much fun it must have been to fit this baby into a genre.Most shocking of all was the Acknowledgments at the end, where Kittredge goes on to thank an extensive list of authors I greatly respect, including Cherie Priest, Mike Mignola, and Holly Black Although it seems some of these she s just quoting as inspiration, Cherie Priest and Tiffany Trent seem to have helped her at points with the manuscript How this is possible is one of the many, many mysteries of The Iron Thorn.It was such an intense challenge, and downright pursuit of boredom to finish this book I am greatly relieved I didn t buy book two when I picked up book one I can t see myself ever becoming desperate enough to give it a chance Though I would be curious to know if any of you have read it and found it an improvement on The Iron Thorn.So tell me, what did you think Rating 2 stars only The extra one star is given to the creative homages to H P Lovecraft and his Cthulhu myths How can this book be so dull Even duller than End of Days by Susan Ee 1 The heroine Aoife Garyson is an annoying, ungrateful brat She is supposed to be a charity case without the protection of her family, an almost orphan living off the charity offered by the city s welfare system Yet she acts so entitled, ungrateful, unworldly and naive for an entire book Not to mention she also treats her one and only male best friend like dirt, always hissing and yelling at him whenever they have disagreement 2 Despite of all the Lovecraftian homages and reference to Cthulhu myths, still the story is hopelessly unimpressive and dull.Trust me, I really do appreciate the Lovecraftian homages and the reference to all those Lovecraftian creatures in the story A city in the fictional steampunk version of America named Lovecraft A town named Arkham Innsmouth The Older Ones Sisterhood of the Stars Cthulhu Flesh eating ghouls I love them all The Lovecraft fan girl in me was jumping in pure joy when I saw those references Link Still, the story is dragged down to the mud by the heavy weight of the disorganized storyline, the irritatingly slow pacing and the uninspiring characters 3 The characters are hopelessly dull.I d mentioned above that the heroine is a bratty cow, the other main characters and unluckily, the main love interests, since it s a YA book so love triangle is just unavoidable, Dean and Cal are almost just as bad.Dean is the mysterious, supposedly streetwise and jaded older teen, who hangs around with Aoife for no good reason even after shit hits the fan I mean, why would he risks his neck for a girl whom he barely knows when he is supposed to associate with her just for the money Okay.because of true love How can I forget As to Cal, the male best friend is also unimpressive For the first half of the book he tags along with Aoife with seemingly no good reason, risking his future and his place in the society to help her to a point beyond the power of friendship and loyalty Their friendship is also unconvincing as well, I can t see Cal sharing anything deep and meaningful with Aoife and in turn I can t see why would Cal care enough to hang around, neither.Not to mention, both Aoife and Cal are acting so naive when they first visit the black market in a supposedly dangerous slum filled with outlaws, cultists and thieves, trusting every single person they talk to and believing every word those complete strangers tell them Oh, goodness As sad as it sounds, Cal only becomes half way interesting only after view spoiler he is revealed as a ghoul by the end of the story hide spoiler This is a very dark fantasy steampunk, set in a world in which magic was discovered instead of nuclear power Rather than embrace the new energy, a government led by President McCarthy is trying to eradicate it and the people ghouls, vampires, and others that thrive on it Aoife Grayson is an engineering student under suspicion by her schoolmasters and living with the fear of the madness that took her mother and brother and may well take her Determined at last to seek out her unknown father and to learn the truth of why her family history decrees madness at the age of 16, she hires a guide to take her and her friend Cal out of the city, where she takes flight on an airship, is bitten by the strange, Lovecraftian monster called a shuggoth, and discovers that magic is her inheritance, and nothing is what it seems I loved it and can t wait for the next book.