The Nightmare Garden (Iron Codex Series #2)

The Nightmare Garden (Iron Codex Series #2)

4.0 6
by Caitlin Kittredge

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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… See more details below


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 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.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
In the first book of the "Iron Codex" series The Iron Thorn, Aoife—good luck on pronouncing her name—thinks she destroyed all the cultures on Planet Earth and left her mother in dire circumstances. Now Aoife, Conrad (her brother), boyfriend Dean and two other friends are trekking through hostile territory and getting themselves into more trouble. Plus, Aoife fears she is succumbing to the same allergy to iron that has taken her mother into madness. Haunted by nightmares telling her how to fix the damage she has done, Aoife urges her friends to help her get back to her homeland. Eventually she does get home, but not before she learns information about her insane mother—sister to one of the Fae (Fairy?) queens—and her human father who, she thinks, abandoned the family years before. Impulsive, headstrong and arrogant, Aoife keeps charging off willy-nilly without heeding warnings or thinking through what her plan should be. In the end she does find her mother, but lets loose an even greater danger to the world and causes Dean to be killed. The author must not think her readers are very bright, since she constantly reminds them of what has gone on before. Aoife would have done better to learn from her mistakes and shown more emotional growth. How about more books set in our contemporary world with humans who are just as exotic as Fae or Ghoul or other creatures? Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
School Library Journal
Gr 7–11—This title picks up where The Iron Thorn (Delacorte, 2011) left off. Aoife and company are in The Mists. The teen, who is half human and half Fae, is fixated on the devastating repercussions of her destruction of the Lovecraft Engine. She is determined to return and rescue her mother from the wreckage. After a close escape from the Proctors and the Erlkin, they are able to return, only to find the Old Town section of Lovecraft overrun by Ghouls. In another near-escape, they are rescued by Aoife's father's zeppelin. Aoife's dreams tell her that she must find the Nightmare Clock to save her mother so she decides to head north to the Bone Sepulchre and the mysterious Brotherhood of Iron in search of it. More adventures and near-escapes ensue. Like the first installment, The Nightmare Garden is rife with action. Unfortunately, character motivations are unclear and world-building is awkward. For example, it is difficult to understand why pragmatic Aoife is so willing to trust her dreams to guide her actions. In addition, readers can't help but wonder why the shogoth venom in her shoulder alerts her to the presence of supernatural beings, but is not triggered by her friends Cal (a Ghoul) and Dean (a half-Erlkin). The action is fast paced, but it feels as if each incremental near-escape is inserted to extend the narrative of a paper-thin plot. Purchase where The Iron Thorn is popular.—Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH
VOYA - Amy Fiske
Book two of the Iron Codex series, The Nightmare Garden opens amid the ruins wrought by Aoife Grayson's disastrous quest in the first book, The Iron Thorn (Random House, 2011/Voya April 2011). Double-crossed by a conniving fae in the previous book, Aoife destroyed the Lovecraft Engine and the magical gates that acted as borders between the human world and other realms. Now on the run, Aoife criss-crosses worlds, with enemies in hot pursuit, as she tries to find a way to undo the damage of her earlier actions. A dark figure in her tormented dreams beckons her north to the Brotherhood of Iron, keepers of magic and secrets. There she will find the key to the Nightmare Clock, which has the power to right the world again. As in the first book, the world building is strong and richly detailed; however, the zig-zagging plot leaves the reader a bit drained. The supporting characters, so well developed in the first book, seem hollow and less important. This book is all about Aoife. Pursued by enemies with their own agendas, Aoife takes a page from their playbook and plays them off each other. The shift is understandable but makes her a less sympathetic character. Once again she makes a choice that wreaks havoc, this time with a greater understanding of what she is unleashing and for more personal reasons. Her final journal entry opens the door for another book by promising to fix the disaster she has created . . . again. Reviewer: Amy Fiske
Kirkus Reviews
This second installment in the Iron Codex series is as inventive and as bloated as its predecessor. Spoiled, inconsistent, often-thoughtless heroine Aoife Grayson nearly destroyed the world when she broke the Lovecraft Engine and sundered the gates between the worlds of human and Fae. But she's not going to let a little thing like that stop her, so she sets off on an exhausting, somewhat episodic adventure through the steampunk-horror '50s nightmare that is her world. She meets Erlkin, spends time with her estranged father, travels in a sub with Russian pirates and tries to play off her many enemies against one another. In so doing, she awakens a much greater threat with little regard to consequences. And she experiences love and loss, but her first-person narration sometimes strains credulity. Aoife states things she cannot know, says contrary things repeatedly (about her own emotions, the behavior of others, even the setting) and provides exposition at moments of high emotional tension, lessening the impact. Secondary characters exist only to move the plot along and then conveniently fade into the background, much like aspects of Aoife's personality. Even so, the unusual world stands out. There is a fan base that loved book one and will clamor for more of the same, which this certainly is. The ending promises even bigger adventures to come. (maps) (Steampunk/horror/fantasy. 12 & up)

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Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Iron Codex Series , #2
Sold by:
Random House
Sales rank:
860L (what's this?)
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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