by Kady Cross
Series: Steampunk Chronicles #3
Published on May 28, 2013 by Harlequin TEEN
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Steampunk, Young Adult
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...
There must be something about Kady Cross’s writing that makes me love it and hate it all at once. Like the first two books, The Girl with the Iron Touch made me want to strangle and hug the characters all at once. I’m a big fan of the writing itself simply because it makes these books easy reads, but I had some issues with the plot and all the twists and turns it seemed to take. With this third installment in the series, I got the romance I wanted to see in the first two books (perhaps a little too much romance) and met some new characters while exploring more familiar ones. It was a good read but definitely had some…interesting elements to it.
So I’m not going to recap the characters as this is the third book in a series. Let’s just say that I saw some role reversals in this book. First off, I did really enjoy getting to know Emily better. She really comes out in this novel and I’ve liked her character from the start. But things took a turn for the worst with Finley and Griffin. Sadly, I didn’t see as much of Jack Dandy as I would’ve liked as Finley finally settled on her man (although it was pretty obvious from the first two books that Jack didn’t stand a chance, much to my dismay). Finley went from total badass to lovestuck teenage girl, and suddenly Griffin grew a pair. I wanted to bash their heads together to see if it’d swap them back. The other characters were more-or-less the same, luckily, but those two drove me nuts.
Speaking of Finley and Griffin, can we get a little less romance? I know, for the last two books, I wanted to see more of the romance that Cross continually brought up but never did anything with. Well I think she went into overdrive with The Girl with the Iron Touch where everyone seems to have paired off and the constant back and forth between Grif-ley overtook some of the plot. Finley’s pouting over Griffin and his frustration toward her pulled them away from the actual issue of saving Emily. And, of course, every time they’d sneak off Sam would just happen to appear and remind them that their friend is in the hands of the enemy. Thank goodness for Sam, although it became annoying when it happened several times and Grif-ley never really moved on from that (well, until the end but you’ll have to read the book to see how far the pair goes).
Perhaps it was this choppy Grif-ley romance, but the story seemed a tad all over the place in a choppy sort of way. Unlike the first two books, there were action scenes sprinkled throughout but they were few and far between. While Cross’s writing was smooth and didn’t make it too difficult to get through the slow sections, I’d have liked to see less of those overall. The inclusion of more science and “steam,” however, gave yet another spin to the world of Finley and the gang. In books 1 and 2, we saw London and New York during the age of steam and innovation, and while The Girl with the Iron Touch brings us back to London, the additional technology gave it that extra edge.
As with The Girl in the Steel Corset and The Girl in the Clockwork Collar, I flew through this book and enjoyed reading it. The Steampunk Chronicles is a great series for fans of fantasy, steampunk, and YA. These books all left me on the fence as to my thoughts on them but they proved to be enjoyable reads. Cross has a cast of fantastic characters at her disposal and an intriguing world to put them in. I hope to see more of Finley and her friends in the future.