Reading Level: Young Adult
Size: 304 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 3rd book in the Iron Codex series
Rating: 3/5 stars
This is the third and final book in the Iron Codex series by Kittredge. While I absolutely loved the first two books in this series, I found this book to be somewhat disappointing. Not much is resolved and I felt like Kittredge was just going through the motions to finish this series. It is still beautifully written at points.
Aoife is determined to take on Death to win Dean back. To do so she must travel to the Deadlands. While there she must not only confront Death but she must also stop the Old Ones from entering the world and destroying it. In order to do all of this she must first leave her mother Nerissa in the Thorn Lands and escape the clutches of Tremaine.
This book felt a bit confused to me. You have this epic storyline about the Old Ones breaking into the world. It all suddenly gets pushed to a back story so that Aoife can selfishly obsess about getting Dean back.
This action stays true to Aoife’s tragic character, she seems to have a fatal flaw that involves saving those she loves at whatever cost…even if it is the destruction of the world. So suddenly Aoife is flitting around with her only goal being to find a way into the Deadlands to save Dean.
Then two thirds of the way through the story takes another drastic shift and Aoife is all like…oh hey maybe I am being too selfish…maybe I should deal with these Old Ones.
It’s a bit confusing because in the end the Dean storyline is resolved…but the Old Ones storyline is left wide open. It almost seems like Kittredge wrote half of the book and then decided…okay I’m all done with this series.
The writing is still eerily beautiful, as are the settings. Aoife is still a haunting heroine, and constantly finds herself falling from one horrible tragedy to the next. The world is incredibly creative and the surroundings are dark, eerie, and absolutely breathtaking.
This book has less of a steampunk feel to it than the previous ones. Aoife spends a good amount of time in the Thorn Land and Deadland, so the whole thing has more of a faerie tale bent to it.
I just didn’t find myself as drawn in to this book as the first two in the series. This installment just felt a bit half baked to me.
Overall an okay conclusion to this series. It feels rushed though and doesn’t wrap up the entire story. Aoife does grow up some as a character. The settings and world are eerie, creative, and beautiful. But by the end I didn’t care that much because I just found the story to be a bit unfocused and I had trouble engaging with the abrupt shifts in plot. I really did love the first two books in this series though. I do recommend reading this series if you are interested in a really creative steampunk YA series, just be prepared to a somewhat disappointing wrap up to the series.