The Nightmare Garden by Caitlin Kittredge
Published: February 14th, 2012 (Delacorte)
Challenge: Sophomore Reading Challenge
Series: The Iron Codex, #2
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Note: this is not the first book in a series, and can therefore contain (minor) spoilers for the previous book(s) in the series. Reading of this review is at your own risk.
Everything Aoife thought 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 a 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.
After reading and enjoying The Iron Thorn last year, I couldn't wait to get my hands on its sequel. Now that I've read it, I'm still fascinating by the world Kittredge has created with The Iron Codex series. But I can't help but feel a bit disappointed, since this book didn't live up to my expectations.
I won't go into detail on what happens in this book as that would probably spoil some of the things that happen in The Iron Thorn, so I'll try to work around it. Aoife was a strong young woman in the first book, but in this one she's mainly a stubborn 16 year old girl. Every time she was offered help, she would decline it, or worse, destroy some things and run away, which was really annoying. I described her as a little stubborn in the first book, but it's ten times worse in this one. Cal (who didn't nearly get enough attention in this book if you ask me) tried to help her, but was turned down. He was ignored throughout most of the book, which bothered me because he is such a lovely character.
Having said that, the storytelling in this book was just as good as it was in the first book. I liked all the twists and turns the story was taking, even though I didn't think Aoife made the right (or even reasonable) decisions. In the end, I guess I can say she paid for it, but that's not a nice thing to say if you know what happens at the end.
Anyhoo, if you've read and enjoyed The Iron Thorn, I'm positive you'll be able to enjoy this book as well. It's just as captivating and twisty, but with a heroine with a mind of her own that tends to get her into (unnecessary) trouble. I know I'll be awaiting the third installment to find out what happens next, because I sure as heck want to know..