The Girl with the Windup Heart by Kady Cross

The Girl with the Windup Heart by Kady CrossMila has been spending the last few months with Jack Dandy, learning how to be a real girl and live in society. When he breaks her heart she runs away and joins the circus, determined to be independent. While Jack is trying to find her and bring her home, Griffin King is captured by Garibaldi and taken into the Aether. Finley, desperate to rescue him, temporarily dies in order to go into the Aether and bring him back.

I loved this book! It is the final installment in The Steampunk Chronicles, which is bittersweet because I’m really going to miss these characters. Everything finally gets wrapped up in this last book, and Griffin finally faces down Garibaldi for the last time.

My favorite thing about this book was that it was centered around my favorite character: Jack Dandy. I’ve loved Jack since the first book, mainly because of his complex character. There is much more to Jack than meets the eye, and he hides his true self behind the criminal persona he allows other people to see. In this book we finally find out why Jack is the way he is and we get a closer look at the real Jack Dandy.

Mila is another great character, and her interactions with Jack were great. She’s able to bring out Jack’s true self, and he allows himself to be vulnerable around her. She is incredibly strong and smart, and when she begins to fall for Jack he realizes he cannot allow that to happen because he believes that she deserves better. I really loved their story and the way Mila refused to let Jack treat her like a child.

Meanwhile, Finley is trying desperately to save Griffin from the Aether. Garibaldi imprisons and tortures Griffin, and Finley must temporarily die in order to enter the Aether to find him. The whole group bands together to try and defeat Garibaldi once and for all, and make sure that Griffin does not get killed in the process. In order to defeat Garibaldi, Griffin must face the magnitude of his ability, something he has been afraid of his whole life.

Overall, The Girl with the Windup Heart was a great final installment in The Steampunk Chronicles. I loved Jack and Mila’s story and the way the series ended, but I will miss these characters very much!

The Girl with the Windup Heart will be released on May 27, 2014.

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Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra ClareWARNING: SPOILERS FOR PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THE INFERNAL DEVICES TRILOGY AHEAD

“’Most people are lucky to have even one great love in their life. You have found two.’”

Mortmain is determined to use his clockwork soldiers to destroy the Shadowhunters once and for all, and the last piece of the puzzle that he needs is Tessa Gray. When Tessa is kidnapped by Mortmain, the two boys who love her, Jem and Will, are willing to do anything to save her. While Tessa waits for someone to come and find her, she begins to realize that she is the only one who can save herself and hopefully the rest of the Shadowhunter world.

I am a huge fan of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, so naturally I love The Infernal Devices as well. But honestly, I think Clockwork Princess is Clare’s best book yet. This book had a perfect balance of romance, humor, action, and suspense and the writing overall was incredible. Every loose end was tied up and I found myself nearly in tears at the end of the book, both because of the beautiful ending and the fact that such a great series is coming to an end. Clare really delivered with this book and I couldn’t have imagined a better way for this series to end.

Tessa is such a great character–she is absolutely no damsel in distress and she seemed to grow even stronger in this book, even after all she had to endure. She comes to realize that she is a vital member of the team of Shadowhunters, even though she is not exactly a Shadowhunter herself. Since the first book, she has been torn between Jem and Will, and this book starts out with her feelings once again conflicted because while she is engaged to marry Jem, she still harbors feelings for Will. I was worried that there would be no possible way for this to end well, but surprisingly Clare came up with something I completely didn’t see coming. I think the way she handled this love triangle was very unique but very fitting for the story. I loved both of Tessa’s love interests, so I was anxious to see how this love triangle would be resolved.

What really makes this book is the cast of characters. Clare really gives each of them a voice and I found myself just as interested in the side plots and romances as in the main love triangle. Each character brings something different to the story, and there is not a single character that I didn’t grow to love. Clare has a knack for jumping back and forth between characters without making the story choppy, which is something that is not easy to do. I also loved how Magnus Bane is still involved in this story, and it was interesting to see how some of the events in this book affect what happened in the Mortal Instruments books.

Overall, Clockwork Princess was the perfect conclusion to a fantastic series. While I am sad to see this series end, I am very pleased with the way it did.

Clockwork Princess was released on March 19, 2013 and is the final book in The Infernal Devices trilogy.

The Girl with the Iron Touch by Kady Cross

The Girl With the Iron Touch by Kady Cross“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.”

Emily is kidnapped by automatons who want her to transplant The Machinist’s consciousness into another automaton so that he will be resurrected. Finley and the rest of the group try their best to find out where Emily is being held, but meanwhile Griffin is being tormented by the Aether and isolating himself from the others. Finley seeks help from Jack Dandy, but must deal with his feelings for her and her feelings for Griffin.

I loved the previous two books in this series so I was really looking forward to this, but I was a little bit disappointed. I absolutely love all of these characters so I enjoyed this book regardless, but I felt like the book was a little bit repetitive of itself. Finley and Griffin kept having the same argument over and over throughout the book and after awhile I was tired of reading the same conversation again and again.

I loved Emily and Sam’s moments in this book though. It was nice to see them both finally realize just how much they care about each other–especially Sam since he was always so surly and aggressive. When Emily is taken, Sam will stop at nothing to find her and his dedication to her was really sweet.

Jack Dandy is one of my favorite characters, and I was glad he played a big role in this book. There isn’t really a love triangle in this book–Jack is mainly just a source of tension between Finley and Griffin–but I love what Jack brings to the group and I love his interactions with Finley. I can’t say I would be happy to see him involved with Finley romantically because I love her with Griffin, but the two definitely have chemistry.

A big focus of this book was Emily and her abduction by the automatons. I love Emily because what she lacks in strength and size, she makes up for in intelligence. While she still needs help from the rest of the group to end The Machinist’s plans, Emily uses her brain to delay his return and the others use Emily’s creations to find her.

Overall, The Girl with the Iron Touch was a fun story but a slight disappointment. I will still be continuing on with the series because I love this group of characters, but I hope the next book will bring something new to the series.

The Girl with the Iron Touch was released May 28, 2013 and is the third book in The Steampunk Chronicles.

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

“’I like a little fight in my girls.’
She grinned at him,causing blood to dribble down her chin.
‘Then you’re going to love me.'”

The Girl in the Steel Corset is about a girl named Finley in 19th century England who has a dark side that gives her the ability to knock out a grown man with a single punch. When she loses her job because of this very thing, she meets Griffin King, a young duke who has some abilities of his own. He sees her powers as special, and invites her to join his group of friends who all have some sort of ability. She decides to join them and help Griffin find The Machinist, a man who has been using automatons to do crime. What she finds, however, is a place where she finally belongs.

This was my first steampunk book! It was recommended to me by my friend Lisa and I am so happy that I finally picked it up. Finley is such a great character–she is brave and strong and does not feel that she needs to depend on a man to protect her. In fact, she can beat most men in a fight, however she is frightened by the power her dark side gives her and seeks Griffin’s help to learn to control it. She is a bit headstrong at times but she is loyal to Griffin and his friends even though they are unsure if they can trust her at first.

The best part of this book was all of the characters. I absolutely loved each and every one of them because they are so wonderfully written. The story is told from many points of view and it gives the reader an insight into many of the other characters, which I really enjoyed. They are all extremely well developed and they all work together so perfectly that it really makes the story what it is. I also loved the romance in the book and the fact that it wasn’t the sole focus of the story made it even better.

Overall, The Girl in the Steel Corset is a fantastic book full of so many different elements:  history, romance, paranormal, and of course–steampunk! Kady Cross herself has described this book as X-men meets A League of Extraordinary Gentleman. I would highly recommend this one, especially if, like me, you haven’t read many steampunk books.

The Girl in the Steel Corset was released May 24, 2011 and is the first book in the Steampunk Chronicles. The second book, The Girl in the Clockwork Collar was released May 22, 2012 and the third book, The Girl with the Iron Touch, is set to be released May 21, 2013.