by Kady Cross
Series: Steampunk Chronicles #3
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....
I remember when I picked up the novella The Strange Case of Jayne Finley back in 2011 and fell in the love with the quirky character and Kady Cross’s version of steampunk and suspense. It’s been a love affair ever since and each novel adds more depth to the characters as it delivers an action-packed tale. The Girl with the Steel Touch delivers the most romantic tale of the series thus far. We see character and relationship growth all while fighting our favorite nemesis. I was captivated from page one and cannot wait for the next book in this series.
We are back in 1987 London after our adventure in America and something is wrong with Griffin. Jack shares some interesting and disturbing news about a crate he delivered and Emily is kidnapped by automations. The tale that unfolds was riveting as we face danger, see relationships develop and face our nemesis the Machinist once again.
While all of Cross’s characters are fleshed out this tale gives us the most romantic developments to date and we see character growth in quite a few characters. Griffin the big lug is struggling with the Aether and of course keeps it all to himself causing Jayne to feel cut off from him and unsure where she stands. Griffin really carries the weight of the world and fate of his friends on his shoulders and watching him open up and expose himself was delightful. We see growth in Jayne as she takes chances, faces danger, and makes personal demands. It was delightful to watch. Sam and Emily are two of my favorite and tormented characters. There is a lot of self-discovery and confessions which I loved. Their interactions had me giggling one moment and sighing the next. Jasper is still a character we do not really know all that well, and I am anxious for his story to be revealed. Jack Dandy is back and ooh baby he can call me poppet anytime. Perhaps the most mysterious character in the series we see a softer side of him and questions are raised about his true identity. I want to peel back all of his layers and expose him and look forward to what Cross reveals next. We meet a new character and I adore her and hope she has a larger role in future novels. Leonardo Garibaldi aka the Machinist and his rogue automations are back and creepier than ever. Cross brings them all to life making the danger real.
From the very first page Cross allowed me to slip into the world she has created immediately drawing me into the story and the characters I have come to love. Her descriptive writing style brings the automations and steampunk gadgets to life making for some heart-stopping action. This was fast paced and before I knew it I’d finished the tale. I loved the banter between the characters and found the danger Emily faced to be fascinating and cleverly done. Cross mixes a little paranormal into her steampunk that is clever and I enjoyed the thread regarding Griffin and his struggles with it. The climatic ending was suspenseful and I felt Cross gave me a panoramic view of the events as they unfolded. The author has a vivid imagination that she seamlessly conveys into the pages of her novels from the gadgets to the characters facial expressions. I am looking forward to continuing this story and like the way the overall ARC is progressing.
If you loved the previous novels in the Steampunk Chronicles you are sure to find The Girl with the Iron Touch delightful. There is a novella to be released July 1, 2013, called The Dark Discovery of Jack Dandy and I am looking forward to seeing what secrets it reveals about Jack!
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