The Girl with the Clockwork Collar picks up exactly five days after the end of The Girl in the Steel Corset. American Jasper Ren has been taken away from London, and brought back to the states by what he believes are bounty hunters. They claim he killed someone in San Francisco and now must pay the piper. It is up to 16-year old Finley Jayne, Sam Morgan, Griffin King, and Emily O’Brien to clear his name.
I definitely liked this book a lot more than the first one. I liked the fact that this story takes place in 1897 Manhattan which is a rarity in the steampunk genre. I liked that Ms. Cross actually used a real character like Nikola Tesla who was a legend before his time to tell this story. I also liked the fact that steampunk played a prominent role in the story and wasn’t just in the background.
The synopsis for this release doesn't really tell the full story, and that’s fine with me. The real story is that Jasper has been brought back to America by his nemesis Reno Dalton. Jasper, it seems, stole one of Dalton's devices and hid the parts all over Manhattan in an attempt to keep is love, Mei Xing, safe. It’s why he fled to London in the first place.
For Finley Jayne, she is slowly learning how to keep her darkness under control knowing that if she releases it, she could hurt someone badly, and end up in the pokey for the rest of her natural life. She also has strong feelings for Griffin who believes that if Finley is pushed one way or the other, she will be lost to the darkness forever.
Finley is one of the most interesting YA Steampunk characters you will find. She is tough with a capital T. She’s also strong and brave to a fault. She ends up hurt but doesn’t allow that to distract her from helping her friend Jasper. She also doesn’t waste any time crying about her relationship or the fact that she is often hurt while saving herself and others.
There is a prominent romantic feeling to this story as well with two distinct couples dancing around each other afraid that they might say or do something wrong to hurt the one they love. Unfortunately, not everything is peaches and crème for Jaspers love life. One can only hope that he finds a true HEA with someone as strong as he is.
If you’ve read the first book and wonder if Jack Dandy plays any sort of role in this book. The simple answer is no. Not that I minded since I enjoyed the whole two step dancing that Finley and Griffin do around each other.
Overall, I enjoyed this sequel and will definitely read the third book once it’s release probably next year?
*ARC received via Netgalley for Harlequin - Expected publication: May 22nd 2012 by Harlequin
Author: Kady Cross
Title: The Girl in the Clockwork Collar
Released: May 22, 2012