The Girl In The Clockwork Collar is the second book that Kady Cross has written in the Steampunk Chronicles. I can honestly say that I enjoyed this book even though I had never read the first one. It was easy enough to understand due to Cross’ amazing writing capabilities. The plot is good, and the storyline is easy to follow. It spans only a short time and jumps from different narratives. Even though I did not have a good understanding of the characters, their abilities and their backgrounds, she incorporates the necessary explanations into the characters’ lives so that the imminent storyline makes sense as you are reading. In the sense that this is the second book in the series, I did find that the character development was lacking in the beginning. I am guessing that the first book delves deeper into the characters backgrounds and you understand where they are coming from more so than if you were to dive straight into the second book. However, that being said, by the time I finished the book I felt as though I really knew the characters.
This story takes place in the year 1897 in New York City. A group of friends, Finley, Griffin, Emily, and Sam, who are slightly different than the average human, have traveled from England to New York in order to help rescue their friend, Jasper, from a criminal man who has hunted him down. This criminal wants a device back that Jasper has stolen from him, and convinces him to give it back by bartering with the life of the girl that Jasper is in love with. If Jasper does not do everything he says, then the clockwork collar that hangs around Mei’s neck will slowly tighten. Jasper and the others are in for a lot of trouble and find out just how much they will do for their friends. Not only is Finley worried about rescuing her friend Jasper, but she is also battling with her two sides, one dark and one good. She must figure out which side she is really on.
I found that the more I read, the more I wanted to keep reading. This book got better the further on you read and by the time I got to the end I was hoping for more. Thank goodness there is a third one! The ending of this book is spectacular. I loved it. I also loved that the female characters are just as strong-willed and heroic, if not more so, than the male characters. Finley not only has to deal with the criminals, but she is also fighting within herself between her dark side and her good side, and this book leaves you rooting for her to choose right. You will also be rooting for the love of Finley and Griffin to win out over her love for the dark side.
The research that Kady Cross did of the history in New York and of the time period shines through with the rich descriptive and a sense of realness amidst a world of magic and automatons. I enjoyed learning a few things about New York in that time frame while being taken away to another world of fiction.
There is a lot more that I want to write about what happens in the book, but I fear that if I do, I would reveal some spoilers, and I would hate to ruin the book for those of you who have yet to read it. I would recommend this book, but I would suggest picking up the first book called The Girl In The Steel Corset first. I will be hunting that book down and reading it soon, before I pick up the third one, The Girl With The Iron Touch.