The Girl with the Windup Heart: Steampunk Chronicles #4 by Kady Cross

My first encounter with this author and series, and it just happens to be the conclusion.  Sometimes things just work out that way – and you have all the answers before you knew the questions existed.  But, in this case – I am thrilled to have a new series to read from book one, and won’t worry about my knowledge of what is resolved when I get into them.

Kady Cross has developed a lovely world where an automaton girl, Mila, is completing her transformation to human. Her refreshing excitement, very childlike and innocent, with all that she is learning and experiencing is wonderfully depicted, and her burgeoning relationship with Jack Dandy and the emotional development in that connection is apparent and palpable. 

For his part, Jack is starting to share more of his history and secrets, and those all help to present interesting interactions and depth to his character for me. It isn’t all about Mila and Jack though: we do see Finley and Griffin strengthen their relationship.  Griffin was trapped in the Aether, and Finley is to the rescue: a wonderful adventure as the gang is working to stop the villain’s despicable deeds.

The gang, as it were, are cleverly presented and described: their adventure allows each member to show some strength and skill as they work together to solve the mystery. And the gadgets! Oh my goodness, it is obvious that Cross enjoys and dreams in steampunk with several unique accessories designed with flair and style: surely destined to make every gadget geek drool.  Who knew that there were so many ways to reimagine something so simple?

I really did enjoy these characters, and the strong women were wonderful and heartening.  Mila with her childlike approach and naiveté that contrasts with her apparent age, but is wholly in keeping with her humanization. Finley with her headstrong and bossy stubbornness that could be wholly annoying if it weren’t contrasted with the real depth of feeling and care she has for both Griffin and the gang.

While the general storyline was not particularly original, Cross did imbue it with the world she has reimagined, added in some wonderful characters and given us all a reason to smile at the end: and that is exactly what I would look for in a series conclusion. Now I’m off to get the earlier books in the series and plan a steampunk only weekend of reading.

The Girl with the Windup Heart: Steampunk Chronicles #4 by Kady Cross

Title: The Girl with the Windup Heart
Author: Kady Cross
Series: Steampunk Chronicles #4
Genre: Science Fiction / Steampunk, Urban Fantasy
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 400
Rated: four-stars
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See this Title on Goodreads

In 1897 London, a final showdown is about to begin.

London's underworld is no place for a young woman, even one who is strong, smart and part-automaton like Mila. But when master criminal Jack Dandy inadvertently breaks her heart, she takes off, determined to find an independent life, one entirely her own. Her search takes her to the spangled shadows of the West End's most dazzling circus.

Meanwhile, taken captive in the Aether, Griffin King is trapped in an inescapable prison, and at the mercy of his archenemy, The Machinist. If he breaks under the hellish torment, The Machinist will claim his powers and control of the Aether itself, and no one in either world will be safe-especially not Finley Jayne and her misfit band of friends.

Finley plunges headlong into the Aether the only way she knows how, by temporarily dying. But she cannot parry The Machinist's maneuvers for long. To defeat him for good, Griffin will have to confront his greatest fear and finally come face-to-face with the destructive power he wields.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Kady Cross

Kady Cross is a pseudonym for USA Today bestselling author Kathryn Smith. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and a pride of cats. She likes singing with Rock Band on the 360, British guys, Vietnamese food, and makeup (she’s hopelessly addicted to YouTube makeup tutorials!). When she’s not writing Kady likes to catch up on her favorite TV shows, read a good book or make her own cosmetics.

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