Goodreads Summary: "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 day.
Aoife 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 16th 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."
In the beginning The Iron Thorn was extremely slow going to the point where I was sure that I wasn't going to like it despite how highly it came recommended to me. I was either bored with the pace or completely confused as to what was going on.
It took me awhile to decide just how I felt about Aoife as she didn't appear to be the type of heroine I normally crave in my novels. She seemed off to put it simply. There was something about her I just couldn't quite put my finger on. After having spent a few chapters with her however Aoife grew on me. I began to understand her character, what drove her, her ambitions, her hopes, her dreams and the girl who she was versus the girl she dreamed of being. I understood her and then found myself liking her.
I think one of my absolute favorite aspects of the novel was Dean and the relationship between him and Aoife. I positively lived for the chapters where the two of them would interact, I just loved their banter and the way that they fed from one another in their actions. They were a true partnership even in the beginning when it seemed as if they were the farthest thing from it. I loved his character and not just because he was a bad boy, though being me of course that made me squee.
Cal on the other hand was one of the contributing factors to me not enjoying the novel in the beginning, I don't think I've ever been quite so irritated with a character. More often than not I wanted to reach in through the novel and box his ears a time or two. He drove me mad, mad I say! He got better in the last, third or so of the novel but it wasn't quite enough time to endear him to me after our rocky beginning.
What drew me to this novel in the first place was the fact that I'm a lover of fey and quickly falling in love with the genre known as steampunk. The Iron Thorn was both and I couldn't for the life of me figure out how the two could possibly co-exist in a novel. I mean, its fairly common knowledge that the fey don't care for iron and there is quite a bit of it involved with the mechanics of steampunk.
The best analogy for this book is going on one of those insane rollercoasters where it feels as if you are climbing to the top of the hill for fairly close to forever, just going up and up and up as if you'll never be doing anything else then suddenly there is that click and you hardly get a chance to realize you're at the top of the hill FINALLY before you're plunging down. It seemed to take forever for this novel to really pick up speed but once it did I couldn't put it down.