Author: Kady Cross
Publication: Harlequin Teen (May 22, 2012)
Description: 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.
From the rough streets of lower Manhattan to elegant Fifth Avenue, the motley crew of teens with supernatural abilities is on Jasper's elusive trail. And they're about to discover how far they'll go for friendship.
More than ever, Finley Jayne will rely on powerful English duke Griffin King to balance her dark magic with her good side. Yet Griffin is at war with himself over his secret attraction to Finley…and will risk his life and reputation to save her. Sam, more machine than man, finds his moody heart tested by Irish lass Emily—whose own special abilities are no match for the darkness she discovers on the streets.
Now, to help those she's come to care for so deeply, Finley Jayne must infiltrate a criminal gang. Only problem is, she might like the dark side a little too much….
My Thoughts: This story begins with Griffin, Finley, Emily and Sam on their way to America to try to rescue their friend Jasper Renn who was grabbed by bounty hunters and accused of murder. They are traveling on an airship the Griffin owns. When they arrive in New York, they discover that Jasper is not in the Tombs and have to begin a search to find out where he is.
The viewpoint switches to Jasper and we learn that the bounty hunters were hired by Reno Dalton who wanted Jasper because he stole a valuable machine from him when he left. Dalton is using a former friend of Jasper's - Ma Xing - to guarantee Jasper's good behavior. Dalton has attached a device to Mei that is the clockwork collar of the title. If she gets too far away from Dalton, the collar tightens and strangles her is Dalton doesn't turn it off in time.
The story is filled with adventures as the gang tries to locate and rescue Jasper and as Jasper tried to recover the device and free Mei. Emily creates all kinds of marvelous machines including a cat that can turn into a personal flying machine and a motorcycle. Finley fights her way into Dalton's gang and has to wonder if she is letting her dark side control her. Griffin has to learn more about the aether as he battles some sort of creature in it.
Both Emily and Griffin consult with Nikola Tesla who has invented a number of machines including the one that Dalton is trying to recover and use for his nefarious purposes. Griffin also has to deal with social climbing debutantes as he becomes a very desirable guest since he is a Duke. Griffin and Finley also have to work more on their relationship. Griffin and Finley aren't in the same social class. He is an aristocrat, in fact, a duke; she is a member of the middle class and has acted as a lady's maid and companion. Despite that, they are attracted to each other.
This story was entertaining and exciting. I recommend it to those who enjoyed the first book in the Steampunk Chronicles - The Girl in the Steel Corset.
She realized then what he and Jack had in common. They liked themselves. They knew their own strengths and weaknesses and had made peace with them both. She envied that. Respected it. She still didn't know what her strengths--the nonphysical ones--were, but she was pretty certain her weaknesses outnumbered them.I received this eARC from Harlequin Teen via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.