The Girl in the Clockwork Collar
by Kady Cross
Publication date: May 22, 2012
Genre: YA Steampunk
Buy: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Book Depository
In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling - or dangerous.Sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne and her "strange band of misfits" 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.(synopsis from Goodreads)
The Girl in the Clockwork Collar is the second book in the Steampunk Chronicles by Kady Cross, and the third about protagonist Finley Jayne. This time we cross the Atlantic to rescue Jasper. Cross delivers a plot filled with suspense, a dash of romance, history, awesome characters and amazing gadgetry. I love the steampunk genre and Cross has earned herself a permanent place on my bookshelf. If you have not read The Girl in the Steel Corset,(click title to see review) I strongly advise you to stop reading, as this review might contain spoilers regarding the first novel.
The year is 1897, and the tale picks up right where the Girl in the Steel Corset ended. Finley Jane our sixteen year old protagonist is traveling to America via air. Along with her are Griffin, Sam and Emily. In the last novel Jasper was arrested for murder and taken to America. The gang is headed there to clear his name. When they arrive Finley is in awe of their living accommodations. Griffin has secured them each a room at the Waldorf-Astoria. When they arrive at the tomes, they discover Jasper hasn't been arrested. They meet a lawman from San Francisco who searching for Jasper and learn that he may be involved with a shady character named Dalton. As the team searches for Dalton and Jasper they discover he is in serious trouble. He seems to be protecting a girl in a clockwork collar named Mei. Finley manages to get herself caught up in the thick of things, and Griffin may just lose it. A side plot has a dark entity warning Griffin and I look forward to seeing that plot progress. The tale kept me on edge as they worked to solve the mystery, stop Dalton, and save Jasper.
I adore the characters Cross has created. While I didn’t see a lot of character growth, I did feel Cross did a great job of fleshing them out more and bringing them to life. I connected with all of them on some level. Jasper has a lot on his plate, and the go lucky, fun loving personality I’d come to love didn’t present itself as much. His relationship with Griffin, Sam, Emily and Finley grew as he realized they believed in him. Emily loves Sam but is jealous of anyone who pays attention to Jasper and I found it hilarious. She’s like a kid in a playroom hoarding toys and yelling mine. Griffin has a lot to deal with and almost faces death in this novel. He is evaluating his feelings for Finley and trying to determine if he can trust her. I laughed as it’s so obvious he cannot live without her. Finley adores Griffin, wants Griffin, and needs Griffin, but thinks herself beneath him socially and as a person. While the romance between them didn’t progress much, the dance was still fun and I look forward to seeing what happens next. The new characters we meet made the plot feel genuine and added to my overall enjoyment of the tale. I loved Cross's use of historical figure Nickola Tesela as the inventor residing in the Gerlach Hotel. Sadly, Jack was not present in this novel although he still managed to create a wedge in Griffin and Finley’s relationship.*giggles*
The world-building was amazing-tasitc! (Yep, I know it’s not a real word) I loved her use of multiple POV's and found it helped me connect with the characters and tale. Cross combines historical facts and characters, while weaving the Victorian era through her plot keeping me enthralled. From the Waldorf to the Points Five neighborhood this novel is steeped in history. While she herself admits she has taken liberty with the timeline, the actual descriptions were delightfully accurate. The steampunk gadgetry was stunning and I gobbled it up. I am looking forward to the next installment of this series.
I highly recommend The Girl in the Clockwork Collar to fans of steampunk, mystery and historical fiction with a dash of romance on the side. This novel kept me highly entertained and the characters delighted me. I am looking forward to reading more of Cross’s Steampunk Chronicles and will update you when information is released on the next novel.
I want to thank netGalley and Harlequin for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.
I gave this novel 4 coffee cups out of 5.
Other novels in this series: