Release Date: May 28, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Recommended By: Novels on the Run
Genre: YA | Steampunk
In 1897 London, something not quite human is about to awaken...
When mechanical genius Emily is kidnapped by rogue automatons, Finley Jayne and her fellow misfits fear the worst. What's left of their archenemy, The Machinist, hungers to be resurrected, and Emily must transplant his consciousness into one of his automatons—or forfeit her friends' lives.
With Griffin being mysteriously tormented by the Aether, Finley turns to Jack Dandy, but trusting the master criminal is as dangerous as controlling her dark side. Meanwhile, Sam is searching everywhere for Emily. He would walk into hell for her, but the choice she must make will test them more than they could imagine.
To save those she cares about, Emily must confront The Machinist's ultimate creation—an automaton more human than machine. And if she's to have any chance at triumphing, she must summon a strength even she doesn't know she has.
What is it with mad scientist buggers who want to stick brains in places they don't belong?
I've waited a darn long time to read THE GIRL WITH THE IRON TOUCH that's for sure! Kady Cross' YA steampunk books are always engaging quick reads that I breezed through this in a flash and I didn't realize how much I missed Finley Jayne & Co. til I've read Steampunk Chronicles 3. What I love about this series is though there's an overarching plot and Finley Jane is the lead, each installment tells the story of a member of their ragtag team. I love getting to know the secondary characters more which prevents the series from getting stale, all the while Griffin and Finley's story is moving slowly in the background. The downside is you have to read the books in order and won't be able to get away reading it as standalone.
Now THE GIRL WITH THE IRON TOUCH picks up the thread with The Machinist, Griffin King's arch enemy, who was introduced to us in book 1, The Girl in the Steel Corset. But instead of making a move directly against Griffin, The Machinist abducts technomancer, Emily, and forces her to assist him in his next evil plot. Of course Finley and her crew won't allow that to happen so they plan a rescue mission but The Machinist is too slick and he lived on. The good news is, Emily was saved and a new member is added to their team, Mila, and automaton, whose story will be told in the next book.
Though I love the world building and romantic developments amongst the characters, the plot development here is a little slow paced. For over half of the novel, they're still speculating Emily's whereabouts, consulting maps and sniffing around. Meanwhile, Emily, is making friends with Mila, the friendly automaton, and playing good prisoner. Sure there are other things happening in the background like Griffin and Finley taking their relationship a step further and some force manipulating the Aether but these are symptomatic compared to the main plot.
Sam cupped her face as he pulled back just enough to look her in the eye. "I don't want to lose you."
"You won't. You won't ever lose me, I promise." And she meant it. "And someday, I'm going to make it so that all you want to do is smile."
The story picked up for me towards the latter quarter of the story. KCross upped the ante and it was at a breakneck speed from that point til the end. Not only do we see the range of Emily's abilities and Sam's devotion to her, their relationship also got solidified here and I guess they're officially a couple now. What I find interesting and am excited over is the next story. The handsome, magnetic, and very mysterious, Jack Dandy found himself an admirer in Mila. It's safe to assume that theirs will be the next HEA to be told on top of this ongoing battle between Griffin and The Machinist.
So if you're a YA reader I sure hope that Steampunk Chronicles is on your to-read list.