Aoife Grayson's time is running out. She lives in Lovecroft, in what was once America, where a great engine turns underneath the streets to provide steam and aether to power the city. She studies to be an engineer, but she knows that she will never truly become one. Her mother is locked up in an asylum and her brother tried to kill her; the same madness, a dormant form of the necrovirus, lives in her blood. When she turns sixteen, she, too will go mad.
But a few weeks before her birthday, she gets a letter from her brother. Find the witch's alphabet. Save yourself. To save her brother - and her sanity - Aoife will have to flee the Proctors and escape her city. She will have to survive ghouls and all sorts of dark necrovirus monsters. She will have to open the gate between worlds - and she will have to save them both. Or go mad trying...
Loved it to death. The steampunk elements were tasteful and cool, the faerie world(s) were awesome, the characters were interesting and unique... overall: awesome.
I liked the plot, and I loved the twist/twisted ending. It was gripping, exciting, fast-paced... yeah, it was pretty cool.
I took off a star here because I didn't like Dean all that much. He seemed kind of shallow - not self-absorbed, just like there wasn't a lot of depth to him, nothing really interesting. That would have been fine if he was a side character or something, but I expect a little more from a love interest. Cal was cool, until his secret was revealed, and then he transitioned to amazing. Aoife herself was pretty neat, a strong kickass heroine with an interesting Weird (magic gift.) The side characters and villain(s) were also quite well done.
End Result: five stars. A really excellent book. Read it.