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, the young duke's sanity is close to the breaking point. Seeking help, Finley turns to Jack Dandy, but trusting the master criminal is as dangerous as controlling her dark side. When Jack kisses her, Finley must finally confront her true feelings for him...and for Griffin. Meanwhile, Sam is searching everywhere for Emily, from Whitechapel's desolate alleyways to Mayfair's elegant mansions. 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....
Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: May 28th 2013 by Harlequin TEEN
Source: Publisher/Netgalley for unbiased review
Since the gang returned from New York, Griffin has been haunted and quiet. He refuses to share what is bothering him, and everyone, especially Finley Jane is growing frustrated. When Jack Dandy stops by to report the sighting of a mysterious automaton in a crate in the bowels of the city, Finely and Emily decide to investigate, as they are ever weary that the Machinist may not be dead since his body was not recovered. The search turns up nothing. Right after the girls return, Emily is kidnapped and everyone, especially Sam, is sick with worry. They will stop at nothing to get her back. Meanwhile, Emily is held captive by the very automatons that were created by the Machinist. She is forced to make an unspeakable choice. Can she somehow outwit this vile villain? Will the gang get to her in time?
What I Liked:
- I was excited to meet up with Finley Jane, Griffin, Emily and Sam once again. The gang is always ready for adventure and they are sure to entertain. This time out, they are once again faced with the vile evil of the Machinist. What does it take to get rid of this guy? He has cooked up another terrifying plot and it will take incredible strength and courage to stop him. What they don't count on is one of his creations metamorphosing into a nearly human girl! If you are a fan of this series, you will certainly enjoy this latest installment!
- Finally! The romance between Finley Jane and Griffin stops dancing around and goes somewhere. At first, I was frustrated when the book opened and the pair had gone back to their former ways of flirting and second guessing their feelings. Thankfully, they get past that and the romance finally ignites! If you have been anxiously awaiting more from the romance, I think you will be happy with this!
- I always love all the creative steampunk gadgets and gizmos that Ms. Cross presents in her world. This time around we get an automaton that is becoming nearly human thanks to the influx of organites. A machine that looks and acts like a human and even begins to understand emotions brings up a whole lot of intriguing ideas to ponder. Such as at what point does a machine who looks, thinks and acts human cease to be a machine? I was interested in watching this automaton character evolve and grow. I think she will be an interesting addition to the gang. I can't wait to follow her story in the next book!
- I am a big fan of Jack Dandy. I was so pleased to find that he played a much bigger part in this book. This series would not be the same without all the witty commentary from Jack. It seems,though, that he is hiding a few secrets of his own such as his origins and true identity. He is such a deliciously dark character! I love when he is in the scene because he always makes me smile. I hope he continues to play a bigger role in this series.
- The relationship between Sam and Emily is so sweet and I was happy to see it evolve in this book as well. I love that these two are so altruistic when it comes to the other. Sam or Emily would truly die for each other.
- The villain, The Machinist, and his army of automatons is even more creepy this time around. The automaton Queen Elizabeth returns a bit damaged, say her head is askew, and she is accompanied by a spider like creature with a doll's head. The whole automaton army was fascinating and scary at the same time!
- One thing that I love about this series is that it has such a great cast of characters and I enjoy the way they interact and work together. For instance, Finley and Sam have a bit of a love hate relationship. I think it stems from jealousy and the two are always sparring, but when it really matters, they put aside their differences and fight. Ms. Cross knows how to write well developed and likable characters.
- The world building in this series is well done and fun. I love all the interesting steampunk gadgets and gizmos in these books. If you have not yet tried a steampunk book, this is an excellent series to pick up.
- I thoroughly appreciate that so far each and every one of these books has resolved with a satisfactory conclusion, and that was indeed the case here. Everything ties up at the end except for one big dangling story thread that will be followed up in the next book. These days books in the YA genre without cliffhangers are hard to come by, so I am thrilled when I can read a series and enjoy that it won't end with a cruel cliffhanger. Also there are not any love triangles in this series either.
And The Not So Much:
- For some reason the action in this one was not as thrilling or exciting. In fact, there are very few fight scenes comparatively, and I especially found that I missed seeing Finley Jane strap on that steel corset and kick some butt. Thankfully, the ending culminates with an action packed scene so it was worth the wait.
- Jasper returns for this book, but he is moody and quiet and really doesn't play much of a role. I actually missed the handsome cowboy and his antics. Toward the end, he reunites with Wildcat, but what the two do together is a mystery. There is just a brief mention that they are off on a mission, but there are no further details. I was a bit perplexed by this development and wondered what was going on.
- I was a bit disappointed that there was not more steampunk gadgets and gizmos in this one. Usually, Emily is coming up with some great inventions, but this time there aren't as many. This is not a big deal at all, just a personal preference.
The Girl with the Iron Touch is a great addition to the series. It brings back all the characters that you have grown to know and love from the previous books along with a heaping dose of Jack Dandy! If you are new to the steampunk and are looking to dip your toe into the genre, I would highly recommend this series as a starting point. It has great characters, detailed world building, fun gadgets and gizmos and terrific story lines. This is a series I can recommend with confidence since it refrains from cliffhangers and love triangles and is just a flat out good time!
"If it were possible for people to be the weather, then Sam Morgan would be a thundercloud----dark, tumultuous, as gorgeous as he was intimidating."
"Sam Morgan was the kind of fellow who would lie down and die for the girl he love but he did not know how to actually voice his feelings."
"To her surprise, he laughed. "What would I do without you to give me clarity?" "I imagine you'd suffocate yourself by shoving your head too far up your own backside."
"What is it with mad scientist buggers who want to stick brains in places they don't belong?"
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.