The Mirrored Shard by Caitlin Kitteredge. The third book in The Iron Codex series.Aoife Grayson must face death to win back Dean—the love who was ripped from the Iron Lands of the living when he was shot in the arctic north. But getting to the Deadlands is something that Aoife can't do on her own. And if she can find a way there, Tremaine would surely never allow it. He has sworn to keep her in the Thorn Lands, the fairie home of her mother, Nerissa. But Aoife is determined to find her way out. And she has no trouble if that means she has to kill Tremain and his queen to do it. (taken from Goodreads)
Objectionable:4 for language, some violence like injuries, torturing and rumors of terrible things. Fey and otherworldly creatures, madness due to exposure to iron, magic and science mixing, visiting the Deadlands, and old beings with strange and unknown powers. A couple kisses.
Thoughts:Almost every review I've read for this book has been the same. It was disappointing, they couldn't believe this was the same author and the same series that held The Iron Thorn. That book was amazing. The characters, the plot, the worlds, descriptions, the adventure and the steampunk/Victorian feel. It was a wonderful book. And I've almost convinced myself that it was the only book in this series. While the second book was okay I've forgot exactly what it held. It wasn't great. It wasn't as good as the first book (as is often the case in some series) and it was shorter. The only thing killer about the book was the cover and Dean. I can't even say that for this book. While they were the same characters and somewhat the same world, it felt very different. Aoife felt like a spoiled. petulant child that just wanted what she wanted, but then would feel guilty for what she brought on the world. Then she was determined to do something to fix it and even though she somewhat did it felt rather pathetic.
While the story was interesting and the plot alright, there wasn't a zap and zing to it. The thing that pulled me in was gone. There were even several questions that were never really answered too (Why was Dean in the prison where the really bad dead were kept?) and there were bumpy scenes that definitely could have been better. The ending was nice, it was happy and hopeful. Not one that I would have imagined for the series though. But who can really argue with a happy ending? There several things that didn't quite add up in the ending, it was almost like the author was ticking off the characters enemies and then tying up whatever needed to be tied up before moving on to the next thing. Overall, this was an ending to the series and not a totally bad one. There were flaws and anyone who had read the first book would be disappointed. But there are things I liked, revisiting the characters, going to new places, new threats (even if they did rather fall through in the end) and an adventure. I did enjoy reading about the Deadlands, but through the whole book my mind couldn't help going back to the first book and comparing. Personally I'm going to seclude the first book off by itself and consider that book the series. The following books didn't match it, although they were good in their own way. If you are going to try it, like I did, I would recommend to YA+ girls.
Characters: Like I said, Aoife felt really off and demanding and all mixed up. I had loved her in the first book and not now :/ Dean was hardly in this book, which was a real disappointment. The only character that was actually in the book that I liked was Cal. He's Aoife's friend who has always stuck by her. He's a little quirky, but Sweet.
Cover:I said that the cover was killer and I meant it. I really like the cover...the thorns or trees in the background, the brown color scheme, the jacket, her eyes and mouth contrasting. I really like it :)