Title: The Girl with the Iron Touch
The Steampunk Chronicles: Book 3
Author: Kady Cross
Publisher: Harlequin, Harlequin Teen
The Girl With the Iron Touch delivers the same kind of good YA steampunk read as the previous two books in this series by Cady Cross. We have the same team, Emily, Sam, Griffin, Finley and Jasper, though Jasper is very much on the sidelines, taking off on his own intrigue with Wildcat for much of the book. Jack Dandy plays a pivotal role and we get to see a little of the real man for a moment when his cockney mask slips at one point. By the time we get to the finale, they also have a new member on the team, Mia, a girl who began life as a machine, but organites using flesh from no other than ‘the team’, turned her into a human.
Mia was created by Garabaldi, the mad mastermind behind their troubles in book one – I don’t remember if he had anything to do with the events on book two or not.
Garabaldi should be dead – Griffin did bring a building down on his head – but we soon discover that, though his body is damaged beyond repair, his machines have kept him alive in a vat of organites, or rather they’ve kept his brain alive. His body is merely managing not to decay quite as quickly as it would otherwise. That wouldn’t be too much of a problem on itself, except that he is using the ether to communicate with his sentient machines and get them to do his bidding. He wants Emily to transfer his brain into a host, which was supposed to be Mia, so he can be reborn again. The machines kidnap Emily and the rest of the story is the others trying to rescue her.
It’s a simple story, well suited to its readership, but has a little more of the touchy-feely kind of romance than previous books in the series – some kissing, heart palpitations and so forth. It’s the natural, and possibly belated, next step in the relationships between Emily and Sam and Finley and Griffin. It was good to see Sam smile and Griffin stop being quite so stuffy.
Anyone who enjoyed the previous books in this series will enjoy this one as well, and you don’t need to have read the prior ones to be able to understand what is going on here. The ether and the organites aren’t explained, but I don’t think that will be a problem for most readers, since what they do is fairly obvious in the story, even if what they ‘are’ isn’t.
The book is well-written and sleek, without even one extraneous word. It’s not a long novel, and is fairly light in feel, perfect for young adults.
The end is predictable and it leaves us set up for yet another story in the series. It is a good series, but I hope Ms Cady doesn’t stretch it beyond its natural limit.
About the author:
In her other life, Kady Cross is a USA TODAY bestselling author of more than twenty books. She is lucky enough to have a husband who shares her love for the slightly twisted and all things geek, and a houseful of cats with whom she shares her darkest secrets. When she’s not listening to the characters in her head, she’s either trying to formulate the perfect lip gloss or teaching herself to solder. She has a weakness for all things girlie, sugar skulls and boots. Her love of books and makeup borders on addiction-of which she never, ever wants to be cured.