May 27, 2014
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**contains some spoilers for earlier Steampunk Chronicles books**
my reviews: Book 1 / Book 2 / Book 3
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.
The Girl with the Windup Heart is a prime example of hating to see a series come to an end, but loving how it does. After the previous three books (as well as the novellas), the characters have all been introduced and are now, properly, part of the group and the story. From Griffin, Finley, Emily and Sam to Jasper, Wilcat, Mila and even Jack, they all have a role in The Girl with the Windup Heart.
Even as they work to solidify - or, perhaps, still figure out - their relationships, threats still loom. Mila is attempting life (mostly) like a human girl, under Jack Dandy's care. It's how that should all work, along with their differing views of how she should be treated, that inadvertently cause a rift.
Determined to strike out on her own - and to prove something to Jack - Mila is soon out in a world she still doesn't full understand.
All while Griffin and those at Greythorne House face another battle with The Machinist.
Everyone's unique talents (they're like a steampunk, less mutanty-y X Men) aid in the attempt to save Griffin and defeat The Machinist. (Though, Jack's skills may be more problem causing than problem solving when it comes to the situation with Mila.)
The Girl with the Windup Heart brings relationships started between different characters, in earlier books, to a new level. Even as things are being drawn together and wrapped up, there is enough action (on too fronts) to give this closer its own story.
As everyone takes place in one last big adventure (at least for us to read about), we see why it is they make such a superb group. Each has their own strengths and their own weaknesses, which play off of the others' very well. Now, its time for them to help each other and really come together as a group.
We get an even better idea of who some characters (namely Jack, Mila, Finley) are and get a sense of where the future might take them all. They did all seem older to me than the characters are supposed to be, something i haven't noticed (or noticed as much) in earlier books. It doesn't detract from the story, simply seems odd when their ages are mentioned as several years less than they seem to act.
You'll likely be sad to see the Steampunk Chronicles end, but won't feel and regrets about how it ended; both the plot and characters are very strong here.
earlier parts of the series:
thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my copy to review