The Girl in the Clockwork Collar
By Kady Cross
Published: June 1, 2012
In this sequel to The Girl in the Steel Corset, Finley, Griffin, Sam, and Emily head for New York to help their friend Jasper who has been arrested for murder. Once they get there however, they discover that all is not as it seems. Jasper is not in jail but is instead being held in the home of Reno Dalton, a powerful and wealthy criminal who Jasper double crossed. To make matters worse, Dalton has also captured Mei, the girl Jasper loves, and she is forced to wear a clockwork collar that will choke her if she tries to leave, if anyone tries to remove it, or if Jasper doesn't follow orders. Now it is up to Finley and the gang to help Jasper get out of his mess and to stop Reno Dalton from fulfilling his monstrous plans for New York City.
I thought this was a strong sequel. The first book had a lot of setup and explaining the rules of the steampunk world but this book gets right to the story and the focus is on mystery and romance. I enjoyed the unexpected twists and the action scenes. Finley proves again that she is a strong force to be reckoned with as she goes undercover with Dalton's gang. I liked her character more this time around. The absence of Jack Dandy allowed Finley and Griffin to become closer and to explore their feelings for each other. Jasper was an interesting character but he seemed a little too naive which made him annoying.
The scientist Nicola Tesla, a real historical figure, is also involved in the plot and it will be interesting to see how that plays out. An unsolved mystery remains at the end of the book involving the aether and a potentially deadly enemy for Griffin. Overall, I really enjoyed this book perhaps more than The Girl in the Steel Corset. There was plenty of mystery and romance and steampunk elements that made it a fun reading experience.
Readalikes: The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee