Steph Su's Reviews > The Iron Thorn

The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge
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's review
Apr 30, 2011

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Read from April 06 to 14, 2011

THE IRON THORN has its fair share of logistical worldbuilding inconsistencies, but should still be one heck of an adventure for younger, avid readers.

The steampunkish city of Lovecraft exists in alternate-world 1950s, which is always risky and ambitious, because it involves really thorough worldbuilding, and I’m not sure THE IRON THORN really thoroughly accomplishes that. It’s less steampunk than it is a creepy sort of urban fantasy, with the threat of dangerous fey creatures driving the second half of the story. I never entirely felt like the Proctors were frightening, because their appearances throughout the story were so sporadic: it should’ve been much harder for Aoife and her friends to escape Lovecraft, and I never fully got the sense that the Proctors were on her tail, watching her every move.

In addition to worldbuilding inconsistencies, the characters felt a little…off as well. What, exactly, is so endearing about Dean constantly calling Aoife “princess” and remarking on her apparent beauty? It’s creepy. It deserves a slapping. Multiple slappings. And an unexpected twist regarding Cal at the end of the story was the breaking point for me in what was an increasing number of poorly explained “twists.” It felt like an unsuccessful attempt to justify his bratty, bad-friend behavior in the previous 400 pages. It was almost like the story couldn’t decide what it wanted to be—a steampunk? an urban fantasy?—and so it tried to incorporate a bit of everything, with the result that some elements of the story felt a little short.

Nevertheless, Aoife is an admirable protagonist. She’s extremely motivated and determined, and therefore a delight to follow around. She is someone who you could really see accomplishing everything on her own: she just happens to attract the support of friends through her determination.

THE IRON THORN is ambitious, sprawling, and epic. I nitpicked a lot while I was reading because I wanted MORE, but there already is a lot going on in this novel that is impressive and engaging. Recommend it as a gift especially to younger, avid readers who enjoy sprawling adventures.

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Reading Progress

04/06/2011 page 54
04/06/2011 page 95
19.0% "Lalala, nothing much to say about this yet."
04/07/2011 page 197
38.0% "Meh."
04/08/2011 page 231
45.0% "Interestinger and interestinger..."
04/11/2011 page 294
57.0% "More fantasy than steampunk, really."
04/13/2011 page 411
80.0% "Cal, you inconsistent, insufferable git."
04/14/2011 page 423
83.0% "What the--?!?!?!"
04/14/2011 page 434
85.0% "What a ploy to garner my sympathies. YOU WILL NOT PREVAIL, BOOK. I have already made my mind up about [character]!"
04/14/2011 page 439
86.0% "3 logically problematic details in the last 4 pages. Tsk tsk."
04/14/2011 page 512
100.0% "Phew."
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Thebookbutterfly I laughed when I saw this on my update feed :D

message 2: by Capsguy (new)

Capsguy My gamertag for Xbox Live is THExIRONxCHEF, so when I saw THE IRON THORN I thought it was my gamertag for a sec :o

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