“Power doesn’t always have to equate to physical strength.”
Sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne and her “strange band of misfits” 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.”
From the rough streets of lower Manhattan to elegant Fifth Avenue, the motley crew of teens with supernatural abilities is on Jasper’s elusive trail. And they’re about to discover how far they’ll go for friendship.
More than ever, Finley Jayne will 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. Sam, more machine than man, finds his moody heart tested by Irish lass Emily–whose own special abilities are no match for the darkness she discovers on the streets.
Now, to help those she’s come to care for so deeply, Finley Jayne must infiltrate a criminal gang. Only problem is, she might like the dark side a little too much….
I recently requested from NetGalley an advance eCopy of The Girl with the Iron Touch. I really thought that it was the second book of the Steampunk Chronicles of Kady Cross. It took awhile before I realized my mistake, since The Girl with the Iron Touch is in fact the third book which means I can’t read it without reading first the second installment, The Girl in the Clockwork Collar. After a week or two of book hunting I finally get my hand to a copy of the second book.
At the end of the first book, The Girl in the Steel Corset, Kady Cross dropped the major plot point where we read how Jasper Renn dragged off to New York to stand a trial for murder. A murder no one from Griffin’s team is aware. So basically, The Girl in the Clockwork Collar centers on Griffin’s team following their American cowboy friend, Jasper in America to find out if he is in fact guilty for murder or not, and to check if there is anything they can do to help him. Soon they learned that Jasper is not in prison but taken by an outlaw Reno Dalton to do some of his bidding.
Since the group leave London there’s no Jack Dandy in this book. He was mentioned at the beginning but that was it. Part of me expected Jack Dandy to be playing major role in here since the first book leave me with that expression, so I am surprised to find out that the he is in fact never showed up in here. I kinda expecting him making his move to get Finley’s attention more and dueling Griffin for Finley.
Finley did get better in this book compare from what she is in The Girl in the Steel Corset. Her dual personality still makes her unpredictable and intriguing character. But the conflict between her two sides is not prominently address in the story unlike in the first book, which is a bit odd since the gap between the two books is just a matter of days. Finley seems easily adjust to her dual personality faster than I expected. She is stronger now in a sense that she is taking actions on her own. She doesn’t need much Griffin’s help or protection, not even in giving her encouragement or little reminders about her dual personality.
“Finely dropped her head, squeezed her eyes shut and began silently to do what some might call praying, she called it begging.”
Griffin is charmingly honorable as ever. He is still loyal and protective to his friends. He will do anything to help and save them. His ability to control the aether realm which I found interesting in the previous book wasn’t explore much in here. But instead Kady Cross shows how Griffin’s struggle in trusting Finley fully and letting her in charge of the situation.
“Everyone has doubts, lad. What you have to decide is if the risk is worth it.”
Emily and Sam though present in the story took a backseat in this book. There were still few interactions between the two but very minimal, which makes me missed Emily’s scolding and Sam’s silent awkwardness. While the plot focus on Jasper Renn’s capture and survival, I still felt that like Emily and Sam he also took a back seat and his story is much more like a backdrop for all that is happening. The presence of Nikola Tesla in a steampunk book like this one is not surprising at all.
As for the plot twist and villains, Reno Dalton falls flat as the character villain in my opinion. His goals and motivations is a little shallow and simple. The twist on Mei characters doesn’t surprise me at all. From the moment Mei Xing entered in the story, I know right away that the girl is trouble. I didn’t actually recognize her as the one in the cover jacket, but nevertheless I know she plays a major role in the plot. So basically, I find the plot predictable just like with the first book. Mei Xing role is not hard to guess, even her relation to the villain is too obvious for me. I know right away their connection.
Overall, The Girl in the Clockwork Collar though predictable is a fast-paced and action-packed continuation of Steampunk Chronicles series. With action, romance, betrayal, and schemes, followers of this series will enjoy this second installment from Kady Cross.