The Girl with the Windup Heart by Kady Cross
Book Four of the Steampunk Chronicles
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley
Summary (from 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.
What I Liked:
I'm actually going to try and be a little brief in this review, because I don't want to spoil anything in this book, as well as in the series in general. I kind of liked the first book, liked the second book, LOVED the third book, and definitely enjoyed this final book. The third book is by far my favorite, but I think I'd give this series four stars overall. That's pretty great!
Finley and the crew never have it easy - even if Garibaldi is dead. In the Aether, Garibaldi hunts Griffin - and succeeds in capturing him. Now it is up to Finley to find Griffin in the Aether, with the help of Emily, Sam, Jasper, Wildcat, Ispley, and someone no one expected.
Meanwhile, Mila is adjusting to life as a human. Once an automaton, she is now a human, living under the care of Jack Dandy. Except that she is in love with Jack, and he doesn't seem to either notice, or reciprocate, the feeling. Stupid, typical man, no? So Mila does exactly what Jack did not want her to do - she leaves, and goes on her own. She joins a circus!
There are several plots going on in this book. There is the overarching plot, for the entire series, in which Griffin attempts to defeat Garibaldi. There is the plot that each book has, in which a pair of characters struggles to find each other (in this case, it is Mila and Jack). There is Finley and Griffin, and their own personal struggle to be a couple. But in this book, there is also the problem of Jack and his past. You'd think that I'd immediately be all over this multiple plot thing, saying something about the plots being too confusing or underdeveloped, but no. I actually really like this setup. One thing that bothered me about it is below, in the next section. Just to give some perspective.
You all know how I feel about Finley and Griffin. I love the pair of them, as well as each of them individually. I love how well-characterized each character is in this book, despite the fact that there are at eight important ones. I wish that Griffin and Finley could have gotten more page time. They are the most interesting about which to read, and the chemistry and romance between them is beautiful and fiery. I can't find it in me to put that in the next section (that Griffin and Finley didn't get enough page time), but I wish there could have been more scenes between them. Alone. Not necessarily doing certain things. Just, alone.
This book wraps up beautifully. Like, I'm always terrified of reading conclusion novels, because authors always find a way to make the ending depressing or bittersweet or something. That is NOT the case, with this book (and series). The ending is a good one, a happy one, an even, well, slightly perfect one. You all know how I feel about perfect endings. BUT. I liked this ending.
What I Did Not Like:
I think this book was a little strange, in terms of its structure. I like the multiple plots - that was interesting and definitely not confusing. But it felt like the overall series plot - Griffin vs. Garibaldi - got pushed to the side a little, with other plots threading through this book. Like, it wasn't always a concern of mine that Griffin might be dying. Which is bad, because Griffin is probably my favorite character. In the first book, it was all about Griffin and Finley. While I like that each of the successive books feature another pair along with Griffin and Finley, I dislike that Griffin and Finley (and Griffin himself) are pushed aside a little. Sometimes, with a large cast of characters, we need to remember who are the MOST important. And you can't say all of the, or one large group, because that is NEVER true. One or two characters are always primary.
Would I Recommend It:
This book in particular, or the series in general? I'll start with the book. If you've made it this far into the series, DEFINITELY read this book. If you've read book one, or books one and two, read the remaining books in the series (including this one). If you haven't started this series, but you have the means to do so (legally, only legally), then do it! I had a rocky start with the series, but I'm so glad that I kept reading.
4 stars. What a great ending to a fantastic series! I feel so proud of myself, for sticking with yet another series - especially with a series that started out in the "meh" direction, for me. I ended up really liking this series!
Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!