May 20, 2014

ARC Review--The Girl with the Windup Heart by Kady Cross

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.

I received this ARC from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, I was in no way compensated for this review.

The Girl with the Windup Heart is Kady Cross's conclusion to her Steampunk Chronicles! I have enjoyed reading this series immensely, and grateful for Netgalley having had all the books each year! This final installment was quite an exciting read! Each of these novels has had its own level of awesomeness. I don't think I could pick a favorite really, because they were all so incredible!

In this final installment, we have a dual storyline going on. Granted, there's the general multiple points of view, but we firstly have Mila's story and then there's Griffin and Finley's as well. I truly enjoyed reading about Mila and Jack though! We know from last time that Mila was an automation meant to be used by The Machinist, so that he may live again. But she ended up developing her own personality, and well, her own person.

We learned from The Dark Discovery of Jack Dandy novella, that Jack was the one who delivered Mila to the bad guys without knowing what he was delivering. He then ends up taking Mila into his care. A ward, he calls her to those who ask. But during the weeks where he teaches her a little bit about being human, Mila has grown to care for Jack. Deeply. Yet, it doesn't appear Jack feels the same way what with all the ladies of the night visiting him. So she leaves him and joins the circus. Seriously!

I love Mila! While not completely human, she is very humane. She has an innocence about her that's just endearing and fresh for a character. Jack does truly care for her, but he believes she deserves the best and the best is certainly not him. Granted, that whole scenario nagged at me where Jack thinks he knows what's best for Mila when Mila is perfectly capable of knowing what she wants in her new life. But it does make for an intriguing story as Jack's reaction to her leaving was quite astounding!

Then we have Finley and Griffin's story in that The Machinist is the villain that just doesn't die and stay dead. Now his ghost is causing trouble for Griffin and all his friends. He manages to kidnap Griffin and has him held hostage in the Aether. Finley will do anything to save him, including going into the Aether herself, even if it means she has to die, because an alive human cannot go there otherwise. It takes some mechanics and the genius that is Emily to make that happen without Finley being permanently dead.

I was also happy to see Wildcat and Jasper in the story, as well as Sam of course. If Emily's there, you know he won't be far behind. I can't quite recall when we met Wildcat, but I know she was there in the other novella The Wild Adventure of Jasper Renn.

But first, they have to finish saving the world. And that in itself will be tricky since The Machinist remains to be their most diabolical villain ever. And there is still plenty of danger afoot in the Aether. But luckily, Finley and her friends have more than enough help.

I truly enjoyed reading this one and thought it was the perfect ending to the series. I was especially glad to get a little more inside knowledge to Jack Dandy. He played a large part in one of the main storylines and we get some insight to what this guy thinks and feels. We also finally learn his background. Things he didn't even know.

The pacing to this one was fantastic! Since there were two storylines going on, we hopped back and forth between them with either Jack, Mila, Finley or Griffin narrating in the third person. Each segment always seemed to end with a mini cliffhanger and I was always eager to return to the previous narrator! It was quite daunting at times! 

The action was delightful as well. Just the right amount to go with the perfect pacing! And the romance was enjoyable as well. And that goes for all the romantically involved couples!

The Steampunk Chronicles was one of the first steampunk books I read and I have loved ever moment of it! The Girl with the Windup Heart was filled with shocking twists and surprises that every moment was a delight! While the series is over, I will continue to read and enjoy the works of Kady Cross--and her many personas--as she is a very talented writer who takes the world of steampunk and makes it one wild ride!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

The Girl with the Windup Heart releases May 27, 2014


  1. Great review! I can tell you took serious time and thought for this review. I, myself, may just have to read this series!

  2. Ah! I haven't read this series at all yet! I guess I need to go check it out, it sounds really great and I just love that cover!


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