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.
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published May 27th 2014 by Harlequin TEEN
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Three and a half stars: A book about tying up loose ends that ends up being a bit too hurried.
Griffin, Finley, Sam, Jasper, Wildcat and Emily are hunting down the latest menace to London society. When Griffin taps into the Aether to control the threat, all hell breaks loose. The Machinist appears from the Aether and snatches Griffin. Finley is desperate to recover Griffin. She knows that the Machinist will slowly torture and then kill Griffin. If it means dying to retrieve him, then so be it....Meanwhile, Jack Dandy has taken in Mila, the half human, half automaton. Mila is a handful, but Jack is patient and kind, until the day she claims to have developed feelings for him. Feeling jilted, Mila runs off and joins the circus. Jack turns to Finley and the gang for help, but finds they are busy trying to recover Griffin. Can Jack, Finley and the others recover Griffin and Mila?
What I Liked:
- Yet another series comes to an end..... I have been a fan of this series from the beginning and I was anxious and eager to read this final installment. For the most part, I was pleased with this ending as all the loose ends are tied off and the book ends on a happily ever after note. It was a satisfying conclusion to a fun series despite a few flaws.
- There are two story lines in this book, the main one that focuses on the gang recovering Griffin from the Aether and stopping the Machinist for once and for all, and then the subplot which follows Jack and Mila. I was surprised to find that I was much more engaged in Jack and Mila's story line. Jack Dandy has long been one of my favorite characters in the series. He is a bit of a scoundrel, but underneath his facade, he has a kind, big heart. His true nature shines through in this one as his relationship with Mila develops. It was all kinds of fun watching the antics between the two, and then seeing Mila runaway and discover the world. I loved the romance, and I liked peeling away Jack's layers and finding out more about him. This is really Jack's novel in my opinion, and in all honesty I would love to see a spin off series featuring Jack Dandy.
- I liked that Finley and Sam finally seemed to come to an understanding. After Griffin is kidnapped, they work together and realize that the have much more in common than they thought. Sam understands when Finley is frustrated and needs something to punch. Their relationship has been one of friction and jealousy, but this time around they put their differences aside and work together, and end up real friends.
- The book moves at a quick clip leading up to a dramatic conclusion that satisfactorily ends the series. I was pleased that there weren't any dangling questions and I liked the resolution. A good ending to the series.
And The Not So Much:
- While I appreciated the fast pace of the story, there were two times that I was not happy with the rapid movement. The first occurs when Mila has landed in a dangerous situation and the gang storms to her rescue. Everything was set up for a terrifying scene, and then it is concludes quickly and I felt it was too easy. Then in the big, final confrontation between Griffin and the Machinist, everything goes fast and furious, and then the last battle cuts out, and the reader doesn't get to witness the battle, instead you get a recount after the fact. Seriously? After all the buildup? I thought that both of this scenes could have benefited by a slower pace and more detail.
- In order for Finley to save Griffin, she must don a special suit that allows her to be in the Aether, and in order to go into the Aether she must die... say what? I was disappointed that there was little description on the suit and then Finley supposedly keeps dying, but there is no detail on how this is achieved. This was a big flaw. How does someone continually die? What exactly was the suit made of and how did it function? Usually I am impressed with the detail and the gadgets in this series, but this time around, they were a fizzle.
- I have always enjoyed the relationships between the gang, but this time around, there was not much focus on the relationships. Sam and Emily are not big players in this book and their relationship is not a focus. I missed the dynamic between the two, and I was disappointed that there didn't have bigger roles.
- In all honesty, I thought the plot following Jack and Mila completely detracted from the main storyline and I lost interest in the main story of Griffin trying to defeat the Machinist. It might have been better to put Jack and Mila's story into their own book.
- I was not a fan of the transitions. This is a book that switches view points and story lines from one paragraph to the next without any indication. I always find this jarring.
The Girl with the Windup Heart was a good ending to a fun series, but I found that I was disappointed in the rapid pace, and the anticlimactic finishes after big buildups. I thought the sub plot featuring Jack Dandy and Mila was far more entertaining than the main story. Still it is a book that ties up all the loose ends and answers questions, and it leaves the reader satisfied.
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.