Standalone or Series? Series. #2 in The Steampunk Chronicles Format: Ebook, 222 pages Published: June 1st 2012 Publisher: Harlequin /Mira Ink Author’s Site: http://www.kadycross.com/ Author on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KadyCross Buy: The Book Depository
In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling – or dangerous.
Sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne and her “straynge band of mysfits” have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper, hauled off by bounty hunters. But Jasper is in the clutches of a devious former friend 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..
In the last book – The Girl in the Steel Corset – Jasper didn’t feature as much as I would have liked, so when I read the blurb, it was as though Kady Cross had read my mind. More Jasper! Of course, she probably cunningly planted a seed of devotion for Jasper in her readers’ hearts.
The plot unfolds effortlessly, giving us insight into Jasper’s past and explores Fin’s personality and the extra effort she needs to put into taming her wilder impulses.
Fast-paced fight scenes were balanced out with more contemplative moments. So we get the action as well as the interesting questions to consider – aside from Finley, why are Emily and Sam part of Griffin’s team to keep others safe? Is Griffin’s evolution spiralling out of control? Where does Jasper fit in, will he betray them or be loyal?
My criticism of the first book was that the multiple points of view made it difficult for me to connect with a particular character. Although the narrative was from numerous points of view, I was now familiar with the characters, and I felt this style pulled the story forward at a time when many of the characters had to be separated.
There’s a hint of romance between more than one couple, but nothing’s easy in love with any of these characters, as they struggle with insecurities, social convention and – in Jasper’s case – knowing that one false move could mean the death of the one you love. Finley’s Neanderthal tendencies to smash irritating people up-side the head still annoyed me.
As in book one, I’m impressed with the setting and the steampunk gadgetry on offer. We cross the ocean from England to America, where the team have less of a reputation to maintain and with new identities, they’re able to get closer to very disreputable sorts.
I enjoyed this book a touch more than I did the first. It’s a fun series, the plots are well developed, the characters are growing on me, and the world creation is super; I’ve got high hopes for the third one.