Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading .. The Girl in the Clockwork Collar

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Just Finished Reading .. The Girl in the Clockwork Collar

Girl in the Clockwork Collar

by Kady Cross

Published by Harlequin Teen

On May 29, 2012

Source: received an e-ARC from the publisher through NetGalley. Read my review policy/disclosure here.

Series report: While this book does a good job of recapping past events, it doesn't do as much to refresh the reader's memory about the relationships between the characters.


My summary: In Girl in the Clockwork Collar, the gang of misfits from Girl in the Steel Corset returns for new adventures. Finley, Emily, Griffin and Sam leave London in search of their friend Jasper, who has been taken away by bounty hunters. In New York, they find Jasper and his ex-girlfriend Mei, who are being controlled by a hoodlum named Dalton. Jasper used to be in Dalton's gang, and thus knows the location of something Dalton desperately wants. To ensure that Jasper is willing to help him, Dalton has fitted Mei with a clockwork collar that will choke her if she flees.

My thoughts:  If you enjoyed Girl With the Steel Corset, you'll probably like The Girl In the Clockwork Collar. I thought both books were light, enjoyable reads, but as I turned the pages, I kept wishing for even more -- more character development, more surprises, more of an emotional payoff.



I was very excited to learn that this series was moving to New York for book two. Turn of the century New York is one of my favorite settings for fiction -- I'm crazy about books like The Alienist, The House of Mirth, and Washington Square. 


The characters in the Steel Corset/Clockwork Collar series are all appealing -- feisty Finley, noble Griffin, tart-tongued Emily, and the gentle mechanical giant Sam. I know many readers will be disappointed that there's no trace of Jack in Girl in the Clockwork Collar. I missed him too!

While I did like the characters, I can't say I felt much of a connection with any of them. Each seems to have been assigned an insecurity that they repeatedly obsess about in interior monologue. Griffin broods about Finley's affinity for "the dark side" and Finley frets that a nobleman like Griffin will never choose a lowborn girl like her. But none of this ever gets discussed or resolved, even after two books.

As in The Girl in the Steel Corset, the plot of The Girl in the Clockwork Collar moves smoothly and steadily, fueled by luck and coincidence. There's really never any doubt that the gang will prevail and the bad guys will be defeated.

To me, the best parts of this series are the steampunk elements. I'm not sure I fully understand the Aether or the "beasties," but I enjoyed reading about all the cool gadgetry, like Mei's clockwork collar.  I also appreciate the fact that these books don't end on cliffhangers. Each book has a resolution, while still trying to tempt you to read the next installment. Looks like the gang is headed home to London, which means ... Jack is back!

Have you read either of these books? Or do you have any steampunk recommendations for me? Let me know in comments!

16 comments:

  1. I didn't read this review yet since I haven't read Girl in the Steel Corset, but you've reminded me to read it. Thanks!

    Kathryn
    Clean Teen Fiction
    Clean Adult Fiction

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  2. Your point about how Finley and Griffin have their own insecurity to worry over is so true-I got so frustrated and am craving resolution in both of those subplots!

    As for other steampunk reads, have you read the Leviathan trilogy by Scott Westerfeld? It's set during the beginning of WWI following an English girl masquerading as a boy so she can join the military and a Austrian boy who could be the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. Germany/Austria-Hungary are mechanical powers and England has used the work of Charles Darwin to manipulate the biology of animals to create a flying whale and other creatures.

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    1. I really do hope the two of them move past that. Or at least stop thinking about it!

      I have not read the Leviathan series but I've heard of it. I'll check it out!

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  3. I haven't read either of the books yet. The Girl in the Steel Corset sounds really good, I just never found time to read it I guess. Great review! Maybe I will eventually get around to reading this series.

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    1. I know -- so many great books out there!!
      You're too busy reading the ones that would scare the pants off me!

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  4. I really do want to read this series. There are way too many books that I want to read.

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  5. Haven't read steampunk yet. I don't think I understand what it is quite yet.

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    1. I'm not either. I mean, I get the definition of what it is, but I'm not sure about it....

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  6. I haven't read either book yet. I won both of them signed and have been trying to make the time for them forever. It's so sad lol I haven't read anything steampunk before either. This will be my first taste.

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    1. That's exciting! I'm sure you'll get to them..

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  7. I have the books on my reading list. I have not read much Steampunk. I'm still waiting for it to grab me.

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    1. I'm not sure it is going to grab me, but you never know...

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  8. Haha, their worry about how the other views them does get slighty annoying. No Jack was sad, but hopefully in the next book! I really enjoy these books, probably because of the steampunk in them.

    Great review!

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    1. I'm still on the fence about steampunk, though in the Metropolitan Museum today, I saw a really cool mechanical looking Griffin. I'll post a picture when I can....

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