Publisher: Delacorte Books
Everything Aoife thoughth she knew about the world was a lie. There is no Necrovirus. And Aoife isn't going to succumb to madness because of a latent strain - she will lose her faculties because she is allergic to iron. Aoife isn't human. She is changeling - half human and half from the land of Thorn. And time is running out for her.
When Aoife destroyed the Lovecraft engine she released the monsters from the Thorn Lands into the Iron Lands and now she must find a way to seal the gates and reverse the destruction she's ravaged on the world that's about to poison her.
THE NIGHTMARE GARDEN is an absolutely breath-taking sequel with a beautiful descriptive prose and some very delightful steampunk elements added onto the storyline to satisfy any sort of reader out there. With so much love and high praise for the author's first YA book, The Iron Thorn, there's just something otherworldly about Caitlin Kittredge's dark world and it's no matter why she's become a favourite author of mine!
Now I won't talk too much in detail over what happens in this sequel as it would spoil many things as seen and read from the previous novel The Iron Thorn, but the main heroine, Aoife, is one of the best heroines in the steampunk fantasy genre and she's also a very stubborn one at that. In the best possible way of course. From the first book to this next one, I found Aoife has grown so much into her own and while some readers - including myself - may not agree with every single action and decision she makes, which can lead her and her gang of friends to all sorts of trouble, but I respect her for many reasons and in the end she's just trying to do everything she can to keep those she loves safe. With Aoife being a great heroine and all, it partly comes from her being in the company of Dean, the boy we had met from the previous installment and one whom we love dearly. Now Dean had totally stolen the show for me compared to every other character we meet along the journey! Every word, every action and every small affection he shows for our leading lady, Aoife, Dean is - to put it simply - one of the best love interests ever and while Aoife may not always let him in . . . into her heart . . . but boy, this boy right here has a heart of gold and I just want more of him! He's never willing to give up a fight and I love him for it!
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, which I'm sure is going to blow my mind immediately!
4 1/2 / 5 stars