Saturday, May 12, 2012


The Girl in the Clockwork Collar
Kady Cross

Rating: A-
Release Date: 06/01/12
Synopsis from
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.

Click read more ONLY if you've read The Girl in the Steel Corset. This review does contain spoilers for the first book. 

My thoughts on the book:
 The Girl in the Clockwork Collar is an action-packed thrill ride that you don't want to miss. This novel picks up right where Steel Corset left off. Griffin, Finley, and the gang are on their way to find Jasper and get him out of jail. Once they arrive in New York, however, they realize that Jasper is not being held at the Tombs (jail in New York), but instead, he's being held by a former friend who makes Jack Dandy look like an angel. Finley is forced to infiltrate this gang of evil-doers in order to save Jasper, but will committing real criminal acts be enough to make the dark side of her personality take over for good?

I really enjoyed Clockwork Collar. The book was excellent. This novel uses free indirect discourse, a narration POV that Jane Austen employed in almost all of her novels, and that gives the book a more Victorian feel. Therefore, the narrator slides in and out of various characters' minds, and when the narrator is in one person's mind, then he/she speaks the way that person speaks. When the narrator switches to another person, the narrator's voice switches as well. The narration slips between Finley, Griffin, and Jasper.

The dialogue is a bit more relaxed and Americanized than an English Victorian novel would be, but I kind of like that because it's not as stiff. Since Griffin and co. are rebelling against the British class system and ways of life to an extent, it'd make sense that their dialogue would be a bit more relaxed. Cross does throw in quite a few British phrases to make the novel feel more authentic, though. I also liked her comparisons between Victorian Era America versus Victorian Era England. That helped give me a sense of place.

Finley and Griffin both grew a lot as characters over the course of Clockwork Collar, and all of their changes were for the better. I'm interested to see how these changes continue once they return to London. One of the things I like about this series is that Cross shows over and over again that these characters are, in fact, teenagers. However, these teenagers are more rational than most and realize that even though they love someone it may not be some everlasting thing. They reject the idea of marriage at an early age, at least for the man. That is also ideal for the time.

The action in this book is nonstop, and I was kept on the edge of my seat for the entire novel. The pacing is super fast, and Clockwork Collar flew by, but nothing felt rushed. The ending tied up most of the questions raised in this book, but it left room for a sequel. Thankfully, there was no cliffhanger. Also, there were no new love interests introduced for Finley in this novel. It's nice that some authors don't use the cliffhanger/increased number of love interests plot device in the second book.

Things that people may not like about this book:
- There is no Jack Dandy. I kept waiting for him to appear, but he didn't. Jack Dandy fans will be a bit disappointed in this, I'm sure. However, he wasn't forgotten. He makes his presence known, and I'm sure he'll be back in the story as soon as they return to London.
- One of the mysteries isn't exactly mysterious. There's one character who's pretty transparent.

Okay, those two things are the only things I can think of that may put someone off a bit about this novel. I actually enjoyed Clockwork Collar more than I enjoyed Steel Corset, though I love them both. I feel that Cross grew as an author quite a bit between the two books. I can't wait to see what happens next. I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good steam punk story. Fans of Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices series will love these books!

Want to pre-order The Girl in the Clockwork Collar?


  1. OOhh I have the first book still waiting to be read and It does sounds so good, shame that I havent read it yet, I loved steampunk stories and this series is pretty sure my kind of read. Great review <3


  2. I liked this book A LOT more than I liked the first book. The first book was so cry and almost cliché most of the time. This book had more action, more choices, and less silly, half-attemped drama in it. I wonder if it's the last one in the series...? I think it was a good ending. Thanks for the review~

    Alyssa Susanna


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