Author: Kady Cross
Genre: YA Steampunk/Paranormal
Series: The Steampunk Chronicles
Publication Date: May 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 416 Pages
ISBN-10: 0373210531 (HarlequinTEEN)
ISBN-13: 978-0373210534 (HarlequinTEEN)
Reviewed by: Kayla
Sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne and her “straynge band of mysfits” have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper, hauled off by bounty hunters. But Jasper is in the clutches of a devious former friend demanding a trade—the dangerous device Jasper stole from him…for the life of the girl Jasper loves.One false move from Jasper and the strange clockwork collar around Mei’s neck tightens. And tightens.
From the rough streets of lower Manhattan to elegant Fifth Avenue, the motley crew of teens with supernatural abilities is on Jasper’s elusive trail. And they’re about to discover how far they’ll go for friendship.
More than ever, Finley Jayne will rely on powerful English duke Griffin King to balance her dark magic with her good side. Yet Griffin is at war with himself over his secret attraction to Finley…and will risk his life and reputation to save her. Sam, more machine than man, finds his moody heart tested by Irish lass Emily—whose own special abilities are no match for the darkness she discovers on the streets.
Now, to help those she’s come to care for so deeply, Finley Jayne must infiltrate a criminal gang. Only problem is, she might like the dark side a little too much….
Quick and Dirty: Finley Jayne and company head to America to save their friend Jasper from a infamous criminal. Witty remarks, many action scenes (or threat of), and a WHOLE lot of steampunk!
Opening Sentence: “What are you doing?”
Picking up right where Steel Corset left off, Finley and the gang are on their way to America in Griffin’s fancy private flying machine. The gang still has their doubts about Jasper — if he really is a murderer and all that jazz. So when they set up shop at a fancy hotel and scour the city for signs of Jasper, none of them (except maybe Sam) is surprised when they find him in the clutches of Dalton, a wanted criminal. He’s being forced to collect parts of a mysterious machine that he hid before he left for England — one that Dalton will do anything to get his hands on.
Told from Jasper, Finley, and Griffin’s point of view, this twisting, heart-breaking, steampunk-filled story is craftily written. Several questions and untold secrets are uncovered in the first chapter and not answered until the end. Although I missed Jack Dandy, I have hope he’ll be in the next installment of the Steampunk Chronicles. His importance has switched with Jasper’s from Steel Corset to Clockwork Collar.
This book centers around Jasper, the American “cowboy” that helped out Finley and the gang back in England. In Steel Corset, Jasper was the comic relief, but in Clockwork Collar, he’s the main conflict. Now he’s angst-y and blind by love — and it doesn’t suit him. I missed the funny, light-hearted Jasper. In fact, this book needed some comic relief — nothing major, just a few lines here and there that kept the book entertaining. This book was mainly drama-driven, so light-hearted banter every now and then would be much obliged.
Jasper is being held captive because Dalton has Jasper’s old love, Mei Xing (get it — aMA-Zing?). Every time Mei tries to escape, the clockwork collar around her neck tightens and only Dalton can stop it. I admit, I really liked Mei — until her and Finley met. She might seem sweet and “damsel-in-distress-y,” but BEWARE. She packs a mean punch. If you just read the beginning, you would not be able to tell the major twist that comes, but if you keep reading, Cross craftily drops several hints along the way. Although by the time it came, I was expecting it, but it still didn’t ruin how absorbed I was with the characters.
Now if any of you have read Steel Corset, you’ve got to be wondering about Finley and Griffin’s relationship. It’s still the main love story throughout the book, so don’t fret. There are plenty of Finley-Griffin moments that had me yelling “Kiss her already!” Most of the conflict between them are Victorian Era related. Since Finley is still lower class, she can’t be seen around Griffin unless he wants to be shunned from society (in London anyway. In America they can pretend that social status doesn’t matter). Finley constantly is on the lookout for ways to try to prove to Griffin (and Emily to Sam) that girls can get the job done as well — if not better — than guys. And I totally approve.
With life-or-death situations, Finley’s “other half” becoming more dominant, and a Miss Astor-Prynn trying to catch herself a duke, Finley and the gang have a lot to deal with in a seemingly short amount of time. Although the ending doesn’t leave a lot of conflict for the next book, there’s still enough of a cliffhanger (don’t worry it can hardly be called a cliffhanger) to prompt you to read the next book. Great romance + a thrilling conflict = great book!
“I don’t think you want to talk at all,” she remarked drily as his gaze traveled over the length of her.
Dalton chuckled, and for a moment, his features were transformed into something truly beautiful. It was almost painful to look at him. Angels had to weep at the sight of his face. “No,” he agreed quietly. “I don’t want to talk.”
She was prepared for the kiss, braced for it even. It was lovely, as far as kisses went. Her heart gave a little jolt at the contact, but that was it. There was no feeling of being struck by lightning. No desperate urge to grab hold of him and never let go. And there were absolutely no butterflies in her stomach.
Griffin only had to look at her in a certain way, and her stomach quivered.
It was a terrible time to realize you were falling in love with someone–when you were kissing another bloke.
The Steampunk Chronicles Series:
FTC Advisory: Harlequin Teen provided me with a copy of The Girl in the Steel Corset. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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