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The Nightmare Garden (Iron Codex #2)

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  1,349 Ratings  ·  182 Reviews
Everything Aoife thought she knew about the world was a lie. There is no Necrovirus. And Aoife isn't going to succomb to madness because of a latent strain—she will lose her faculties because she is allergic to iron. Aoife isn't human. She is a changeling—half human and half from the land of Thorn. And time is running out for her.

When Aoife destroyed the Lovecraft engine,
Paperback, 432 pages
Published February 12th 2013 by Ember (first published February 14th 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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◕ ◡ ◕  Arooj
Totally awesome!
Though, it wasn't as good as the first.
Just sayin'.

Before I start this review, I just wanted to clear something first. As excited as I was to finally read this book (I totally loved The Iron Thorn), I sort of had a hard time reading it. But that wasn't the books fault - not entirely. Mostly it was because I've been in a reading slump for the past week. I don't know why. Guess it could be because of all the school work, or I maybe it was because I was having a crappy week. So it r
Dec 18, 2011 Karissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in the Iron Codex series by Kittredge. This third book is supposed to be titled, The Mirrored Shard, and from what I could find is scheduled for a late 2012/early 2013 release. I absolutely loved the first book and couldn't wait to read the second. In this book we venture into the Mists and get to meet the secret Brotherhood that Aoife's father was part of. I love the world and the characters created in this series; although I was a little disappointed that Aoife kept mak ...more
May 14, 2015 Mandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the first book after my retina surgery. I’m really glad I did because I know how to correctly pronounce Aoife. :-) Anyway, that was a couple of years ago and I didn’t remember tons from the last book.

Kittredge does an excellent job of summing up the previous book. For a couple of chapters, we read Aoife’s journal which reminds us what has happened. Kittredge did such a good job that you could probably just skip the whole first book, not that I would recommend that.

Like the first
Scott Tracey
Jun 03, 2011 Scott Tracey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic, fantastic sequel to The Iron Thorn. If you like dark YA fantasy, definitely check out this series.
Elizabeth Mock
I have a mad girl-crush on Aoife. For serious.
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.

Quick & Dirty: An improvement on the first installment, creepy and fast paced, but our heroine is still whiney and I’m still not impressed with anything but the world-building.

Opening Sentence: In my dream, I am alone.

The Review:

If you read the synopsis, you’ve already spoiled yourself for The Iron Codex, but reading this review will make it worse! If you haven’t read book one, you don’t need to read this review yet. SPOILERS AHEAD.

This sequel picks up wh
Sep 07, 2011 Lacey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First Thoughts:

Now that I’ve taken a few moments to pull myself together I can finally write this review…there was a moment where I had to stop reading and grab a tissue, I seriously couldn’t believe I found myself crying for a fictional character, but there I was blubbering like an idiot crying over something as trivial as a book but I guess some books can do that to you and it’s such a new and interesting experience.

This book was so much different than “The Iron Thorn”, for one it definitely
Jun 28, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Nightmare Garden is the second book in the Iron Codex series. I've been eagerly awaiting it ever since I read the first book last year. In this series we follow Aoife and her ragtag group of companions on a quest for answers and ultimately redemption. All Aoife wants is to fix the things that she has broken. To find a way to be normal again. Unfortunately for her that doesn't seem to be in the cards. Everything that comes her way is dark, and adventurous.

One thing I completely loved about th
Vanya D.
I received this book to review from Netgalley. I have not read the first installment, but as it happened, it wasn't really necessary. "The Nightmare Garden" was written in such a way, that a new reader, who has no idea what she's got in her hands - what world she's entering - would have no problem to follow the story. I sure did, you would too if you like a mix of steampunk, paranormal, dystopian kind of thing that has a tinny tiny flavor of romance underneath all the drama.

Well, unfortunately,
Dec 05, 2011 Isamlq rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-galley
Thank the gods, for the recap moments in Nightmare Garden which caught me up on the details that were fuzzy at best. As much as I loved whole chunks of Part One, the book is simply too long to bother with. The thing that’s stuck this long is how much I liked how different Cal turned out to be.

There be SPOILERS for the first book ahead...
(view spoiler)
Dec 21, 2011 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, readers who are already familiar with Caitlin Kittredge's work - adult or young adult - will find that it's no real surprise that THE NIGHTMARE GARDEN was a deeply engaging novel and is the perfect addition to the Iron Codex series. And boy, with such a heart-breaking and over-the-top ending that this sequel successfully delivers to us, I have to say the author knows how to really step up the game and I'm really, really looking forward to reading the final installment of this series, wh ...more
I liked the first book of the series when I listened to it -- I originally DNFed it in hardback. (3 stars)

I listened to this one and ended up removing book three from my tbr.

So...I guess that makes my feelings pretty clear. I finished it, but it felt all over the place from the first and I just stopped caring at all.
Aug 17, 2013 Journey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had a really hard time staying engaged with this book. it just didn't get my attention. however, it picked up more towards the end. AND the two seconds we get to see of Nerissa is awesome, I may read the next book just to see more of her. also can we get more of the lesbian pirate captain please?
I'm reducing this to 2 stars because the female protagonist has just gotten on my last nerve. Repetitive mistakes in her choice of actions and too self centered. That she carries the story gives little to the other character development.
Jul 06, 2011 AnQi marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Soooo excited! Luv the cover.
Jennifer Hitchcock
I think it was actually better than the first!
Rachel Friars
Mar 08, 2013 Rachel Friars rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a really good and under-hyped series. This book is better than the first one for sure.
Syahira Sharif

This book has one awfully good storytelling for a sequel. I love the way Miss Kittredge weave her stories in a way that its entertaining and intriguing at the same time. Its been a long time since I last read the first book but in this book, I find myself back to where I was in the story which is by its own way, are not fillers. I like Kittredge's Nocturne adult series but I gave up after 5th or 6th book since the series is pretty familiar with Keri Arthur's Riley Jenson books so I probably will
Kathy Davie
Second in the Iron Codex steampunk series for young adults.

My Take
I'm half and half on this. Kittredge wrote a great story, but Aoife drove me nuts. She is such a typical charge-in-and-pay-no-attention-to-the-consequences kid. I couldn't decide if I wanted to smack her or shoot her. She keeps charging into situations just to satisfy her own needs. She whines. Omigod, she whines on and on. Dork. She rushes off to rescue her mom without any planning. She runs away to find the Brotherhood of Iron a
Dec 19, 2016 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
3.5 stars. Interesting twists...
Cecily Kyle
Mar 18, 2017 Cecily Kyle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uno
This book is a little out there for me, maybe I don't have enough of an imagination but I had a little bit of a difficult time staying interested, I even contemplated stopping halfway through but I was using it for a challenge so I trudged along. I didn't much care for the first one so I kinda knew this going in so maybe that hampered my view. Either way I am not a huge fan of Steampunk so if you are you will probably love this book..
Much like the first book, its sequel was also fairly interesting. Unfortunately unlike the first book, the things I found only slightly annoying there, became greatly more so in this book.

Kittredge continues to mix steampunk, fantasy, lovecraftian mythos and YA into a very unique and entertaining mix in the second book involving Aoife Grayson's adventures in discovering who she is, and her role in the world around her. Where the first book included a large number of lovecraftian elements, this b
My review will be posted on January 14 2012 both here, and at my blog:
Feel free to drop by and read some of my other reviews :)


Aoife Grayson is on the run, not just from her mistakes, not just from her Iron madness, but from the rivalling influences that each want to use the unique powers of her Weird for their own sinister reasons. When she destroyed the Lovecraft Engine, Aoife had no idea what she was getting herself into, and now she will pay the p
*Genre* YA, Steampunk
*Rating* 3.0


The Nightmare Garden picks up almost immediately after the events of The Iron Thorne. If you've read the synopsis of this book, you can pretty much tell that a lot of bad things are going to happen to not only Aiofe, but other characters over the course of this book. You would would be right in your presumption.

I'm really not a fan of Aiofe (Ee-fah) Grayson's after reading this book. Yes, she is the so called destroyer of worlds after taking apart Lovecr
Apr 15, 2011 Braiden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

The Nightmare Garden is an outstanding sequel to The Iron Thorn that cleverly combines the magnificence of Lovecraft, Steampunk, and Fae into a dark and eerie world, which has an ambitious protagonist on an ambitious adventure to turn back time and make things right – the way they should have been in the first place years ago. This adventure-filled tale has twists, shocks, and surprises around every corner, and will leave you wanting the third book, The Mirrored Shard, to see how this
usagi ☆ミ
Man, the middle books of 2012 are on a roll so far – this book is pretty “middle book syndrome” free! And that makes me so very, very happy to read. A lot happens to Aoife in this book, and I feel like she grows a fair amount as a character with her journey to the Bone Sepulchre. I also like that we now have more of a time period to pin down with Aoife and the rest of Lovecraft than we do in the first book (a major improvement in terms of the alternate history setting), so generally I really enj ...more
Nicole Pramik
After I read The Iron Thorn, I just knew I had to read its follow up novel, The Nightmare Garden and put it on my to-do reading list. But as much as I couldn't put down the first book, sadly, the second novel failed to hold my interest.

On a positive note, the world-building in both novels is solid and doesn't try too hard to be steampunk (meaning it doesn't just toss in random references to gears and airships). This was my first exposure to American-themed steampunk and I liked it rather well (t
Kristin (Beneath Shining Stars, I Read)
If you haven't read The Iron Thorn yet, you might want to stop reading now--if you don't want spoilers from The Iron Thorn (as it was the first book in the series).

The Nightmare Garden begins where The Iron Thorn leaves off, with Aoife Grayson being reunited with her brother, Conrad Grayson in the Mists, the world between the worlds Iron and Thorn. In The Nightmare Garden, Aoife will search for her mother, learn of the Brotherhood of Iron, visit the Erlkin city called Windhaven, and journey to t
May 25, 2011 Lothfleur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Nightmare Garden est le genre de roman qui vous donne envie de relire le tome précédent, mais aussi de vraiment s’intéresser à l’œuvre de Lovecraft. D’accord, je savais qu’il y avait des références dans le tome 1 (les créatures, le nom de la ville par ex), mais voilà, je m’y connais très mal. Sauf que les Great Old Ones, avec leurs tentacules, j’ai tout de suite pensé à Cthuluh, qui est un Grand Ancien ou, in English, un Great Old One. J’avais mis le doigt dans le mille ! (pas peu fière lol) ...more
Krista (CubicleBlindness Reviews)
In the first book The Iron Thorn, Aoife destroyed the Lovecraft engine, setting war about all the lands. The gates that have always been closed, have been opened and creatures have set an all-out war amongst each other. Aoife is taken to the Mist lands to stay safe from the danger with her brother and friends, But soon finds that even they are not welcomed there. The more the portals are opened, the easier the Proctors can find them. Aoife cannot fall into the hands of the Proctors because it ju ...more
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~!The Young Adult...: The Nightmare Garden 2 15 Jun 09, 2012 05:22AM  
Audio Format 2 5 May 14, 2012 08:34AM  
(spoiler alert)the ending 1 12 Apr 08, 2012 05:04AM  
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Caitlin started writing novels at age 13. Her first was a Star Wars tie-in. Fortunately, she branched out from there and after a few years trying to be a screenwriter, a comic book writer and the author of copious amounts of fanfiction, she tried to write a novel again. Her epic dark fantasy (thankfully) never saw the light of day but while she was struggling with elves and sorcerers she got the i ...more
More about Caitlin Kittredge...

Other Books in the Series

Iron Codex (3 books)
  • The Iron Thorn (Iron Codex, #1)
  • The Mirrored Shard (Iron Codex, #3)

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“My eye was caught by movement from behind the automaton. Just a flicker, but my heart clenched with surprise and fear, and I tapped Dean on the arm, pointing. “Something’s over there.”
He followed my finger, and we both saw the flicker of red on the unbroken gray brick of the foundry walls.
“Son of a bitch,” Dean growled, jamming his hand in his pocket and pulling out his switchblade. “Hey!” he bellowed at the moving shadow. “Hey, you!”
“Dean …,” I started, thinking that perhaps shouting at the figure wasn’t the best idea.
“I see you!” Dean shouted. “No point in hiding.”
“Dean, we don’t know what it is,” I whispered, worried that if he made a move, whoever or whatever lurked beyond the automaton would take it badly. Dean shook his head.
“Relax, princess. It’s a kid.” He advanced on the shadow. “Aren’t you?”
“Up yours, mister!” the shadow shouted back. I pressed a hand over my mouth, both to stifle a laugh and from relief. To find another person in this wasteland was ten times more unexpected than finding a creature like the nightjars and ghouls that populated Lovecraft’s underground.
“Say,” Dean drawled, brows drawing together. “I know you, kid.”
“I know your mother!” the kid retorted. “And she has some disappointing things to say about you.”
“Regardless of the shape he took, Cal had a nearly endless capacity for worrywarting.” 3 likes
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