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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (Steampunk Chronicles #2) by Kady Cross

In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling-or dangerous Finley Jayne and her "straynge band of mysfits" have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper from the clutches of a devious criminal 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. From the rough streets of lower Manhattan to elegant Fifth Avenue, the motley crew of teens follows Jasper's elusive trail. And they're about to discover how far they'll go for friendship. More than ever, Finley must rely on powerful English duke Griffin King to balance her dark magic with her good side. Yet Griffin is at war with himself over his secret attraction to Finley...and will risk his life and reputation to save her. Now, to help those she's come to care for so deeply, Finley must infiltrate the criminal gang. Only problem is, she might like the dark side a little too much....

Released: May 22nd 2012   Pages: 416
Publisher: Harlequin Teen    Source: Library

Sometimes, when I read a book that I enjoy, I go out and grab a copy of the sequel right away.  Other times, I enjoy a book, but I'm really slow at getting around to reading the sequel.  I read The Girl in the Steel Corset in August of 2011, and for whatever reason, I only bothered to read the sequel now.  I'm not sure why--after the initial excitement faded, I felt little motivation to continue the series.  More than anything else, I picked this up because I felt like reading some steampunk.

I love the setting that Kady Cross has created.  It's a familiar turn-of-the-century world, with just enough added steampunk flair to make it interesting.  Automatons and dirigibles always make everything more interesting.  And then there's the element of the Aether, which is how Finley and the others get their powers--it adds just a hint of fantasy to the books.

I love the group dynamic in these books.  It's a perfect example of how several different characters (and real-life people) can each relate to one another in separate ways.  For example, to Finley, Emily is a best friend and confidant; to Griffin, she has the skills that hold the team together; to Sam, she is a girlfriend.  Sometimes these relationships overlap and clash, and that creates interesting conflict.

Despite this, I got annoyed with Finley constantly fretting over her relationship with Griffin.  Um, hello, your friend Jasper's life is on the line, and you're brooding because you and Griffin aren't from the same social level?  Yes, this is an important plot line, but it got to the point where it became more important than everything else.  Then it became annoying.  I don't care much about Finley's relationship drama--I want to see them spying on people or executing a rescue or something.

Other than that, though, I enjoyed this.  It had enough plot twists to keep me alert, and left enough unanswered questions to keep me turning the pages.  It moved quick enough to not get dull or slow.  Some of the language seemed too modern for the time, but I noticed less problems overall with the writing than I did with the first book.  I wish I would've started making tally marks, though, every time Kady Cross referred to Emily's "ropes of hair".  It came up half a dozen times, at least.  All it did was make me think Emily has dreadlocks, because otherwise, how is hair "ropey"?  According to the cover of The Girl With the Iron Touch, though, Emily does not have dreadlocks.  So I'm not sure what's up with this.

I have nothing else to say about this, other than the fact that I'm in love with Mei's dress on the cover.  I didn't love it, but it's an enjoyable read, especially if you like steampunk.  I won't wait as long to read the third book.  Well, probably.  Hopefully not.  

Similar Books: It's in the same steampunk/fantasy vein as Stormdancer, Clockwork Angel and The Iron Thorn.

Blog note: If you haven't noticed, I've added a "song of the week" feature to the bottom of the right sidebar.  I'm not quite sure where I'm going with it yet--I put it there because there are so many times when I want to share an amazing song I've found, but have no good place to do it.  If you have a comment about the song of the week, feel free to leave it on whatever post you happen to be on (I'll see it no matter what).  It would be cool to hear your thoughts!   I've actually thought about starting an entirely separate blog where I share songs I've discovered. Does anyone have thoughts about that? Tumblr or Blogger? Would you follow it?

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