Monday, 20 January 2014
Add a Little Steam
The Girl with the Iron Touch is the newest book in The Steampunk Chronicles by Kady Cross. The series follows a group of teens lead by Griffin King, the Duke of Greythorne. Each has a little something extra about them, working the Aether, talking to machines, or duel personalities. In this book the focus is mostly on Emily, who has a way with machines.
Since returning from New York, Griffin hasn't been quite the same. He spends more and more of his time locked away, and his friends know he is keeping a secret. Before they can get further into deciding what to do about it, Jack Dandy shows up at the door. He was recently asked to deliver a package, which when he took a peek, it spoke to him.
Emily and Finley head down to where he delivered it to, and find nada, not even tracks to suggest movement in the area. Back at the manor, Sam waits worriedly about Emily. Their relationship is becoming closer, and on return Emily declares her love for him, but before he gets the chance to respond, he is pulled away and Emily is kidnapped by automations.
Emily is taken to the underground, where she learns the Machinist is still alive, and needs her to transplant his brain into a living machine. This living machine, Endeavor 312, is a girl made up from genetic material from Emily, Jasper, Finley, and Griffin. She is learning quickly, and Emily feels responsible for her. Plus she wants to put an end to the Machinist since he has hurt Sam so badly before.
Sam, Griffin, Finley, and Jasper continue on their search to find Emily, and they find out Griffin's secret. They must find a way to save Emily and stop the ghost that are haunting Griffin before it is too late.
I figured that the Machinist was not dead, that would have been to easy, and a villain like that does not go that easy. But what he has become, part monster barely being kept alive, part Aether entity, is much scarier than I could have imaged. Plus his automations have a creepy fanatical devotion to him, reminds me a little too much of some of histories worst dictators. He is quite the foil for Griffin and his group. You know that quote from The Mummy movie, "Death is only the beginning," I think it applies perfectly to the Machinist.
In this book, we got a lot more relationship development between the characters, especially between Emily and Sam, and Finley and Griffin. Plus there was some excellent background development of Emily. Learning about her past makes you realize just how strong she really is, and how much of a miracle her love for Sam is. And Bonus, there are more hints dropped about Jack Dandy's origins. I am definitely going to have to go back and read The Dark Discovery of Jack Dandy.
Remember Wildcat from The Girl in the Clockwork Collar, she shows up again, and needs Jasper's help.
I really enjoy this series, and its characters. If you are a steampunk fan, this is a must, and if you are just looking to try out steampunk, this is a good series to start with.
by Ransom Riggs