Source- Review copy courtesy of DMPCR Media
Publisher- MIRA/ Harlequin
Publication date- June 2012
Synopsis- In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling – or dangerous.
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.
Review- This review will have spoilers for the first book in the Steampunk Chronicles- The Girl in the Steel Corset.
Well, the gang are back and have left London behind to locate their friend Jasper in New York City. He’s been taken back to face murder charges, but he’s friends aren’t convinced he’s guilty. When they arrive and find that he has actually been re-enlisted back into his old gang headed by the conniving but charming Dalton against his will, they vow to find a way to release him and return home to London.
I absolutely loved the freshness and atmosphere Kady Cross created in The Girl in the Steel Corset and the sequel does not disappoint. Sixteen year old Finley Jayne is on her way to merging her two selves- the dark side and the side where her humanity lies. But Finley and her friend/ crush Griffin aren’t quite convinced which side is the more dominant. The author really fleshes out this dilemma and the pull and tug of the darker side for Finley- especially once she infiltrates Dalton’s gang with the hope of finding a way to save Jasper. She gets to use all the energy in her aggressive side via fighting and living the pseudo life of the criminal, but there are times when she finds she likes this a little too much. There’s also the pull towards her humanity and her feelings for Griffin. But he’s a duke and she doubts herself, resigning herself to never being good enough for him. Griffin on the other hand has strong feelings for Finley and doesn’t care about her class or social standing, all he cares about is what side she chooses and whether he can trust her.
Feisty Emily and durable Sam, who is now partly made of machine, are also in London to help Jasper. Jasper soon realises that Dalton means business and wants him to recover the parts to an important device that Jasper dispersed across the city prior to leaving the country with a murder allegation sitting on his head. Dalton has Mei Xing, Jasper’s first love under restraint; literally, she is bound by a heavy metal, clockwork collar that tightens around her neck if she tries to escape.
I love the chemistry between Finley and Griffin which is often overpowered by their insecurities and strong defence mechanisms. It was a surprise that Jack Dandy, the London crim who appealed to Finley’s dark side in the first book didn’t make an appearance in the sequel- though he was mentioned from time to time. The author did make me anxious that she was going to create another love triangle with Finley and Dalton but I can see that his role was really a test of Finley’s character. She doesn’t really know who she is, but through the wicked dealings with Dalton, she certainly discovers who she is not.
A very satisfying sequel to a fantastically unique YA series that I hope to read more of. This series is my first encounter with steampunk and it definitely makes me a fan of this genre!
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Read my review for The Girl in The Steel Corset
Also by Kady Cross: