Release Date: 22nd May 2012
Source: eGalley for review from Netgalley
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.
I have come to realise that the main appeal of The Girl in the Steel Corset was, in fact, Jack Dandy. And therefore, without him, my enjoyment of this book was considerably lower.
The Girl in the Clockwork Collar starts shortly after the end of the previous book, with Finley and co off to NYC to find Jasper. I did have high hopes for this book, but felt it was let down by bad writing and ultimately, a formulaic and highly predictable plot.
You can pretty much tell what will eventually happen from the offset, and I found that quite irritaing. Whilst lots of attention is paid to historical accuracy, steampunk gadgets and descriptions of outfits, the plot seems like an afterthought, an inconvenience. This was definitely a disappointment. I found myself reading it more to see if my suspicions would be correct than out of enjoyment for it.
The writing also felt fairly sloppy to me, it's not bad, it's just not good. The POV jumps around depending on which character it suits the author to speak through which I didn't like. It didn't feel as though there was much consistency as far as the narration went.
There was little to no progress as far as the romantic subplots went. Finley and Griffin remain at an impasse; neither one apparently prepared to make the first move despite seeming to realise their feelings for each other. Finley constantly puts this down to Griffin's social ranking, but it seems more like a flimsy excuse than a genuine reason. Any relationship between Sam and Emily seemed forgotten, Jack Dandy was out of the picture (and lets be honest, he was never really an option in the first place, was he?) and Jasper is suitably distracted.
I did like some of the characters we were introduced to, such as Wildcat who was pretty awesome. We learnt more about Jasper and he does seem like a pretty decent guy. Griffin is a bit too nice for me, and Finley had lost some of her appeal now the two sides of herself are pretty much reconciled, though she got into some awesome fights, both verbal and physical in this book.
Like I say, Kady Cross paints a wonderful picture of Victorian New York turned Steampunk, but I was disappointed by this book as a whole.