Friday, January 20, 2012

The Nightmare Garden (Iron Codex # 2) by Caitlin Kittredge

The Nightmare Garden (Iron Codex, #2)The Nightmare Garden by Caitlin Kittredge

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thank the gods, for the recap moments in Nightmare Garden which caught me up on the details that were fuzzy at best. As much as I loved whole chunks of Part One, the book is simply too long to bother with. The thing that’s stuck this long is how much I liked how different Cal turned out to be.

There be SPOILERS for the first book ahead...

Recall that there was something special about Aoife.
Recall as well that by the end, it had come to light that ALMOST everyone around her had something special going for them. It was all half this or part that… or wholly something else disguised as something else ordinary.
Recall the role that Cal had had in it as not simply the token BFF (who’s predictably in love with her,) but also one duty bound keep tabs on her.
Recall her escape from Lovecraft, then her encounter with Dean, a teen boy with secrets his own.
Recall their flight from one place to another each place each as mysterious as the previous one.
Recall Tremaine convincing her to trust some but not others, to do certain things that had unforeseen consequences; unforeseen on her part of course, because for a smart girl, she simply had a tendency to trust the wrong fellows.

This second book did take things up a notch in terms of pace. My primary complaint in the first was how needless some moments were. And while this second installment is along one, most everything in it didn’t drag by. If anything it was one chase then another then another. Now, if that were all to be said, I’d stop. But there’s a couple of things nagging at me:

Foremost of which is Aoife.  I could never settle what I felt for her. Did I like her? Was I annoyed by her? Did she make me sad? And it seems she made me feel all these things but never too deeply. One thing was clear to me: she was doing the same wrong things she’d done in the first book.  And it had me wondering if she’d she ever learn. Add the fact that I did not like what Cal had become in this one. If in the first he was a major player (BFF and all that,) here little was heard from him. His presence felt like an afterthought to me.

If there’s one thing that’s got me more than a little excited it’s Dean. We finally know a little more of who he is. That aside... I need to find out what’s to come for him. Because that damned ending (cliffy or not) was effective.


Thank you Edelweiss!

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