Speculating on SpecFic

Fantastic Literature: From epic fantasy to fairytales to myth-making

The Girl with the Iron Touch

The Girl with the Iron Touch - Kathryn Smith Kady Cross hooks me once again - I read this book over two days, but the whole time I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it. I love The Steampunk Chronicles - sometimes a girl needs a rip-roaring adventure with sweet romances and super-creepy automatons. These books make me let go, forget all my troubles, and focus on how things could be so much worse - an automaton of Queen Victoria could be hell-bent on killing me!My favourite aspect of the series are the relationships between the characters, and it's no different in The Girl with the Iron Touch. We get to see a lot more of Emily and Sam, and since they have always been my favourite couple. I couldn't be happier. I also liked that Finley finally owned up to the fact that she just likes that Jack Dandy is interested in her, and that she's never really considered him as a potential love interest. I do think she's a bit petty and odd when it comes to Griffin, and got tired of hearing how she liked seeing Griff being jealous of Jack, and how she was jealous every time a woman talked to Jack. I feel like she should just stop stringing Jack along, it's very unfair to him because he's so willing to help her out because of his feelings, and I think Finley takes advantage of him.I love the plot of this book - the automata certainly achieve a whole new level of crazy! The narrative focuses on Emily and her unique talents, and I liked getting to know her better, especially how she feels about the rest of Griffin's motley crew. I like how Griffin's newfound moodiness and Jasper's gloominess all tied in, and how there's actually some resolution on both those fronts - too often I see authors come up with problems and then drag them on in the hopes of keeping readers entertained, when it's probably more entertaining when we actually get some answers. There's still a lot to come though, with the series being planned for a total of five books, and I'm eager for it.In previous books I've mentioned that the world-building has felt shaky to me, but I don't think that's where my only discomfort with The Girl with the Iron Touch lies. It's more to do with Finley's attitude towards intimacy before marriage. I completely understand her views, given the things she's been through, and relish the idea of her just deciding she's going to live each day to the fullest and damn what anyone else thinks. But then she acts mighty odd when she feels someone may have found out about her and Griffin, when they're not really doing anything wrong to begin with. In my opinion, this is the author trying to balance Finley's outlook with what is expected of her in that world, but it comes across as clumsy and a bit confused.An enjoyable, thrilling read, The Girl with the Iron Touch is bound to be adored by fans of the previous books The Steampunk Chronicles. New readers will also enjoy the series' boldness and the heartwarming friendships and romances between the characters, and vivid setting, and are encouraged to begin reading at The Girl in the Steel Corset.A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.You can read more of my reviews at Speculating on SpecFic.