Wow, how to explain this book? This is a dystopian, steampunk novel that is set in a alternate Boston, Massachusetts called Lovecraft. Here there is no such thing as magic, religion, God, souls, and anything that cannot be explained by science. Everything is ruled by steam and machines that are governed by the Proctors. Rules are very strict especially after the necrovirus spread 70 years ago, which caused many people to go crazy and change into abnormal beings.
Aoife Grayson is a month away from turning 16 and she is not happy about it. Her mother has the necrovirus disease and has been passed down to Aoife. So far, Aoife is sane but she knows that when she turns 16 she too would turn mad like her mother and like her brother, who went crazy the year before. Aoife is trying to be a good student as a ward of the city, but she soon receives a secret letter from her brother pleading her to help him. Now she has no choice but break all the rules and go seek her brother knowing that the "mad" disease is getting closer.
Also, the time period of this book was not evident at first and it drove me nuts! At first I thought that the book took place in the future because most dystopian novels that I've read are in the future but then there were references that perhaps this was taking place in the early 1900s. It wasn't until in the middle of the book where I was able to make calculations that this was in fact taking place in the 1950s. Boy, what a relief that was.
Another thing that irked me was Aoife's name. How do you pronounce that?! I had my own version of what I thought it was until I gave up and looked it up online. It turns out that her name is actually pronounced "Eee-fah" instead "aye-o-fee".
After getting the time set and the name straightened out I was able to understand the book a little bit more.
The Iron Thorn is tedious though, and I felt like it could have been told in a much shorter book. The book does pick up after half-way into it (which brought my rating up by half) when all the action and secrets begin to unfold. The book does end abruptly, which means I have to get the second book and continue on this arduous quest again.
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