Author: Kady Cross
Series: The Steampunk Chronicles #2
Published: 22 May 2012 by Harlequin/Mira
Length: 416 pages
Warnings: violence 13+
Other info: Book one, The Girl in the Steel Corset, was reviewed here.
Summary : 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.
Review: A few weeks ago, I reviewed The Girl in the Stele Corset and really liked the start of this steampunk series. So I was quite pleased when I got this off Netgalley (even if I did get hold of this before I got hold of Steel Corset). It picks up directly from where Steel Corset left off, something I quite like in sequels. Finley, Griffin, Emily and Sam are on a dirigible to America, chasing after Jasper, who has been dragged away by police at the end of the last book. Once they’re there, they learn interesting things about their friend, meet a few more, and get into a lot more trouble than ever before.
As I said, I really wanted to read this one. It, like the first, didn't disappoint, with some more light hearted near the beginning before getting into the more serious stuff.
I'm very pleases with the inclusion of Jasper. As I noted in my review of Steel Corset, he was totally ignored in book one. He has quite a major part in this one though, so we get to learn quite a lot about him and his past. The other characters pulled over from Stele Corset were consistent, and also developed themselves and their relationships.
There's also a good lot of new characters. My favourite was Wildcat-she's a vicious fighter, she talks back, and she's generally awesome. I really hated Mei (which I'm guessing you're meant to do). It's not that hard to do, especially with the way she treats Finley, and Jasper towards the end. And finally, I'm sure steampunk has an obsession with Nikolai Tesla. And making him completely insane (Scott Westerfeld's Goliath, I'm looking at you). I know he's important and there's so much you can do with him in the world of Steampunk, but still. It's kind of annoying having him crop up everywhere.
Steampunk technology is just as included in this one. Tesla’s machines, and once again, Emily's cat. Which we learn also flies. Emily is amazing.
I think it might just be the netgalley copy, but I didn't like the fact that scene changes weren't broken up. It made it confusing, hard to follow, and a bit annoying.
There's too many implied love triangles in this. Finley/Griffin and Finley/Dandy (though Dandy's pretty much out of the scene). Then there's Emily/Sam and (one sided) Emily/Jasper. And then there's Jasper/Emily and Jasper/Mei. I know they're not implied, but tangled love lives aren't my thing.
The writing was full and descriptive, giving a good sense of the steampunk devices, and the action well. On a final note, not affecting my review, Kady has an amazing choice in music (Emilie Autumn and Amanda Palmer) to write to.
Overall: Strength 4 tea to another good steampunk that's not quite as amazing as book one, but very good none the less.