“It seemed humans, the scientifically minded ones at least, were either tempting death or trying to prolong life. Surely that was an indication of madness.”
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.
The Girl with the Iron Touch is the third installment of Kady Cross‘ Steampunk Chronicles, which follows the story of Finley, Griffin and the rest of the gang of misfits. After their adventure in New York to save Jasper Renn, Griffin and his team were back again in London. As expected their group easily attract trouble, and this time an old nemesis is back to hunt them all. Emily is gone missing, Griffin is being hunted by creatures from aether realms, Jasper is still not back to himself, Finley has relationships issues to deal with, as well is Sam who is also much concern with rescuing Emily.
But while everyone has to deal with their own issues, the story is focused on Emily’s rescue operation. Not only Griffin’s team but also Jack Dandy is helping to find and save Emily from possible harm. Yes, he is finally back again since the story is back in London. Though Jack Dandy is still in cocky charming self, surprisingly he didn’t go much after Finley. The relationships issues were finally progressing, not only between Finely and Griffin but also between Emily and Sam.
The story is told between Finley and Emily’s point of view, which gives us more glimpse on Emily’s back story. How she become what she is now, and how she became friends with the Duke of Greythorne, Griffin King. Kady Cross reveal some of Emily’s secret and her life back before she met Griffin and went to London with him. These revelations not only gives us details of her previous life, but also shows more depth to Emily’s character. After-all she is not only a mechanical genius, but also a human being capable of emotions and getting hurt.
As for Finley, she is still her fiercely self. As she takes her chances in love, friendships, and family she becomes more vulnerable and sweet. She still can kick ass but more than her action packed stunts, what I really enjoy about her is how she embraced her soft side by giving in to her romantic side. She is much sure of herself and her feelings which makes the romance in this book a delightful read. Not only she and Griffin, but also the other characters who seems finally found their courage to deal with their feelings.
“I can’t promise that I’ll never be an ass, or that I’ll never make you cry. I can’t promise that I won’t make you so angry you want to cosh me over the head with a brick. I can’t promise you forever, Finley. I’d love to, but I can give you right now. I can give you me in all my defective glory.”
Other than the romance, the next good thing in The Girl with the Iron Touch is that witty and smart antics between the characters. I had a fun time reading Sams and Finley’s remarks to each others, as well as Jack Dandy’s cocky humors. Though he still his self contained self, he managed to throw a little part of himself in the story, which I think purposely made to tease the readers for the upcoming novella in the series, The Dark Discovery of Jack Dandy.
“Home.” Mila ran her hand down a line of books. “It must be nice to have a place where you belong.”
Jack’s eyes opened, and he turned his dark gaze on her. “Sometimes you have to make that place for yourself.”
There were just few things that I think didn’t fit quite right in the story. Just a few minor details that make me pause and asked myself if I missed anything. Like when Emily and Sam were captured. Emily mentioned about Mila finding her friends. How come Emily know that Mila is gone to find her friends? If I understand it right, Mila isn’t aware about her friends , much more where to find them. I’m not sure if I missed anything, but it looks like Emily know things that she shouldn’t have known because of her situation at that time.
I really thought that The Girl with the Iron Touch is the final installment of Kady Cross‘s Steampunk Chronicles, but with the the way this book ended, there is a huge possibility for another installment. There are still unresolved issues, untold secrets, and unexplained scenes.
I wonder what happened to Jasper while he was away with Wildcat? Just what Finley commented, he sounded more like Jasper when he came back to help Griffin and the others to save Sam and Emily. Kady Cross didn’t tell anything about what happened but just give few tease, which somehow makes me think that she is planning to release another novella just to expand and expose what really happened between the two.
Overall, The Girl with the Iron Touch is a much enjoyable read compare to its predecessors. With the right balance of intrigue, romance, and nicely-faced plot, this book is a welcome addition to Kady Cross’ Steampunk Chronicles series.