Although I loved this story, I did find it a little disappointing after all of the fantastic tales in this series. It almost felt like a rushed ending for the sake of writing the ending, with two very different storylines not quite intertwined. That’s not to say that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy and love this book, it was just quite a departure from the first three novels that I was a bit… confused.
I kind of love the idea of an American cowboy in steampunk England. It gives the storyline a little more flavour, but mostly I think that the idea of Jasper just sounds kind of cute. He’s sweet, a bit of a charmer, and I can imagine his swagger as he waltzes around with a cowboy hat on. It helps that Cross’ vivid descriptions create a world where it is easy to imagine Renn running around the streets of London (literally).
The more I read of this series, the more I love it, and the harder I find to put it down. Emily, Finley and the rest of the gang journey onwards in their battle to find their place in the world and seek justice. Yet, The Machinist’s legacy still haunts them, and it forces Emily to face up to her inner terrors and strengths. Some of Emily’s past has been alluded to in the preceding books, but it’s not until The Girl with the Iron Touch that it truly comes to light. Along with her immense capacity for love and strength.
Jack Dandy fascinates me. He is the stereotypical ‘bad guy’, wearing black, acting charming, but running a cut throat (literally) business. Yet, there is obviously some kind of relationship with Finley throughout the rest of the Steampunk Chronicles books. Reading a novella that not only thinks about this relationship from Jack’s point of view, but also opens up the storyline for the next novel was incredibly enjoyable.
I loved the contrast between the setting of this and The Girl in the Steel Corset. New York and England, both set in the 1800s, and filled with the beautiful imagery of the steampunk world. Finley’s ability to navigate this world is put to the test as not only her relationship with Griffin changes and evolves, but she struggles to understand more of Jasper’s convoluted history.
This was my first ever steampunk novel. I decided to find one for the Popsugar reading challenge, and I’m so glad that I did. My life (and my personal library) have been changed forever. I’ve always had an interest and love for the steampunk subculture, but it’s always just been a passing interest. Now that I’ve read this book, it’s more than a passing interest, it may grow into a full blown obsession to be quite frank. The mentions of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Journey to the Centre of the earth have also further increased my To Be Read pile.
This was a great way to start the Steampunk Chronicles series. It introduces Finley, her strange affliction and her strong sense of loyalty. It’s also how she got the job that started her journey into the band of misfits. It also highlights her sense of loss and confusion in the world. How she doesn’t quite fit, and that although she is loved, she doesn’t really belong anywhere. Even when she saves the day and creates strong relationships with her employers, she still leaves to start anew.