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The Girl with the Iron Touch Paperback – March 25, 2014
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The Steampunk Chronicles return to Victorian London after a journey to New York City, with our team of paranormal adventurers grown older, wiser, sadder (in the case of American cowboy Jasper), and more firmly coupled. Finley and Griffin, Duke of Greythorne, are breathlessly close to consummating their relationship, while mechanical genius Emily and ruggedly handsome Sam are clearly an item as well. The plot and subplots include an automaton of Queen Victoria, the evil genius known as the Machinist, and a not-human-but-not-wholly-machine automaton in Emily’s likeness. Classic steampunk elements abound as do classic romance clichés, including fantastical airships and submarines; dandified crime lords; plentiful clothing descriptions; and hard biceps and “trembling excitement.” Hardcore steampunk fans may object to the formulaic romance writing, and as the third in the series, this title won’t quite stand alone. However, romance-loving steampunkers new to the series may go back to the first two titles to catch up on the action-packed adventures. Grades 10-12. --Debbie Carton --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"A well-calculated blend of paranormal romance and genuinely innovative story." -Kirkus Reviews
"Surprising, vivid and cohesive-the work of a pro." -Kirkus Reviews on The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (starred review)
"Teens will enjoy the fast-paced action." -VOYA on Girl in the Clockwork Collar
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The story was great! Action packed and I was certainly guessing until the last possible moment as to how things would work out. I'm still worried for my favorite characters. Their arch nemesis can still get at them and destroy everything and I can't see how they are going to protect themselves now. As I stated above, I loved seeing into the mind of Emily and getting her back story and I did enjoy Finley's frustration at Griffin's aloofness. I just expected her to go beat Sam up rather than pout about it. The new machines and automatons and weapons introduced added to the depth of the steampunk layers that have been building throughout the series.
I highly recommend this series to fans of the other books in the series, to people just venturing into Steampunk, YA lovers, and Alt/Historical fiction. There is some romance and some Victorian talk about sex, more rather implied than stated.
I received a copy of the digital advanced reader's copy of this novel from the publisher for review. This did not affect my opinion of the novel or my review in any way.
It's a great world, interesting concept (even if it does boil down to Steampunk X-Men), and has generally likable characters. Unfortunately, the characters are often too likable, and if they're not, another narrative perspective comes along and tells us why we should like them, even if they're being annoying.
The characters do exhibit signs of growth though, and Emily does take over a larger part of the book. Unfortunately, we're only teased with bits and pieces of Emily's past, enough to make her a Strong Female Character. The ultimate focus is still on Finley and Griffin, though Griffin is Keeping Secrets from Finley and the reader as well, since his perspective isn't shows like in previous books. While the pairing does hit a lot of my fluff buttons, just like it did in the first book, I wanted to see more evolution of their relationship beyond "powerful feelings" they have for each other. We're constantly told how much they make the other's stomach flip and heart beat faster, but we're shown so little interaction, to really believe it.
I still haven't decided if I'll finish out the series. I hate not knowing endings, especially since I'm 3/4 finished but I really can't get past the sneaky Asian slut of the last book. Said villain does make an appearance here, but in no way redeems her character, and it's hard to see how such a thing would even be possible.
A lot of things happen in this novel, but Ms. Cross's writing is so spectacular that the story is never overwhelming or confusing. There are plenty of action scenes that are extremely well written, but there is also a great deal of romance. I loved being able to have a glimpse into Emily and Sam's love, and I can't wait to read more about it. While a lot of stories could be bogged down with romance, Kady Cross never wavers from the plot. The romance is mentioned, and it's always a thought in the reader's mind, but that doesn't stop the plot from charging ahead and sweeping you into a fantastical world that you never want to leave.
The Machinist returns in this novel, and I must say, he is even creepier/scarier than before. This novel was definitely unpredictable, and there were so many twists and turns you never see coming. The ever-lovable Jack Dandy makes several appearances, but I wish he was in the story just a little bit more. Ms. Cross is releasing a novella about Jack Dandy, and I'll be one of the first to snatch that story up!
Throughout this novel, you can tell how much research and ingenuity Kady Cross has when writing. The world and character building is fantastic, and I sincerely hope that this isn't the last in the series. I can't wait to read more about Finely and crew!!
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The story begins a bit boring if I'm honest.Read more