Release Date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Recommended By: Novels on the Run
Genre: YA | Steampunk
In 1897 London, a final showdown is about to begin.
London's underworld is no place for a young woman, even one who is strong, smart and part-automaton like Mila. But when master criminal Jack Dandy inadvertently breaks her heart, she takes off, determined to find an independent life, one entirely her own. Her search takes her to the spangled shadows of the West End's most dazzling circus.
Meanwhile, taken captive in the Aether, Griffin King is trapped in an inescapable prison, and at the mercy of his archenemy, The Machinist. If he breaks under the hellish torment, The Machinist will claim his powers and control of the Aether itself, and no one in either world will be safe-especially not Finley Jayne and her misfit band of friends.
Finley plunges headlong into the Aether the only way she knows how, by temporarily dying. But she cannot parry The Machinist's maneuvers for long. To defeat him for good, Griffin will have to confront his greatest fear and finally come face-to-face with the destructive power he wields.
THE GIRL WITH THE WINDUP HEART, the 4th book in Kady Cross' YA fantasy series, Steampunk Chronicles, is my favorite installment ever! There are two stories in one book, a story arc closed (maybe), an awesome budding love story, and filled with action and fantastical things!
So I mentioned that THE GIRL WITH THE WINDUP HEART is a two-in-one kind of thing therefore I'll focus on that and not bore you with the details that other bloggers have already mentioned. I'm sure other readers have already prodded and dissected this book to it's basest particle so I'll even be more subjective and a little vague for those of you who are unfamiliar with Steampunk Chronicles.
Griffin & The Machinist: These arch nemesis finally battled it out and it. Was. Pure. Suspense! These two have been dancing around each other since book 1 and the showdown finally happened! I have to admit, I was doubtful for a while there because The Machinist is one clever SOB and Griffin doesn't play dirty, the former brought the war to Griffin and took him to the Aether (like the spirit world, loose comparison) where he grew even more powerful. True, Griffin can manipulate the energies in this plane but so can The Machinist. Good news is Griffin's got a great team on his side and Finley likes to color outside the lines so they found a way to save him. Gosh, if I were the type who bites my nails, mine would be stumps by now. I was doubtful that Griffin and/or Finley would survive, KCross was relentless and kept things hanging on the edge. It was torture but I loved every minute of it!
The Crime Lord & The Automaton: I love Jack Dandy and Mila the snarky robot (oops, is that politically correct?) together! I was wishing THE GIRL WITH THE WINDUP HEART is Adult Steampunk instead of YA just so KCross can be liberal with Jack and Mila's budding romance. Simply put, the tension and delicious romantic push and pull we read in historicals, Jack and Mila have except for the blistering smex. Mila may be an automaton but she's wonderfully made, snarky, sexy, smart, and a quick study. She keeps Jack on his feet and undoubtedly his equal in so many things. Jack may invoke the fear of God in a lot of people but he's putty in Mila's hand. Who doesn't love a powerful and notorious man in love? These two are the unlikeliest couple but they work and so far, the most entertaining pair in the series. Forget Griffin and Finley, let's shift to Jack and Mila instead! Now it's important to mention that part of Jack's backstory has been revealed which made my jaw drop. I can't say I was surprised since it's been speculated and to avoid spoilers, I'll sum it up in one word: SCANDALOUS!
Obviously THE GIRL WITH THE WINDUP HEART is a great series installment. I can't wait for the next one because I'm curious who the next super villain is and which character s/he will battle with. I hope it's not Griffin or Finley, let them rest for a bit, that way the other characters can shine and maybe Sam and Emily can redeem themselves, they were kinda boring in book 3, and allow the supporting cast to step up to the plate and shine on their own. Better yet, why not give us more of Jack and Mila? These two are firecrackers and I sure wouldn't mind more of the automaton and the dashing crime lord.
P.S. I was told that this is the last in the series. Obviously I've stepped out of the YA genre for far too long because I wasn't aware of this. I'm sad but at the same time, KCross ended this series well. I wish there's more!