Steampunk Chronicles 3 & 4 review: saving the best for last

February 7, 2022 by Bec | Reviews

Steampunk Chronicles 3 & 4 review: saving the best for lastThe Girl with the Iron Touch by Kady Cross
Series: Steampunk Chronicles #3
Published by Harlequin Teen on May 28th 2013
Source: Purchased
Genres: Historical, Steampunk, Young Adult
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In 1897 London, something not quite human is about to awaken...

When mechanical genius Emily is kidnapped by rogue automatons, Finley Jayne and her fellow misfits fear the worst. What's left of their archenemy, The Machinist, hungers to be resurrected, and Emily must transplant his consciousness into one of his automatons—or forfeit her friends' lives.

With Griffin being mysteriously tormented by the Aether, Finley turns to Jack Dandy, but trusting the master criminal is as dangerous as controlling her dark side. Meanwhile, Sam is searching everywhere for Emily. He would walk into hell for her, but the choice she must make will test them more than they could imagine.

To save those she cares about, Emily must confront The Machinist's ultimate creation—an automaton more human than machine. And if she's to have any chance at triumphing, she must summon a strength even she doesn't know she has...

The Good Things

  • My reread of this nostalgia inducing series continues! This is probably my favourite book I’ve read in the series so far.
  • It’s a YA steampunk/ historical fantasy by the way.
  • We got so much Emily in this one! Her relationship with Sam is my favourite (but I think they might be beaten by a couple in book four soon).
  • It explored that really interesting concept you see in sci-fi about what makes a human vs a machine. Mila is going to be a very fascinating character to follow.
  • I liked that there were darker themes in this one. Not only did we have the return of some morally grey characters and villains, but the characters were facing some interesting moral dilemmas.


The Not So Good Things

  • It feels like we barely scratched the surface of some of the themes, especially those involving Mila’s storyline. I wish it was longer so we could have seen more development as the characters developed new relationships.
  • I cannot figure out what the pacing with Finley and Griffin’s romance is supposed to be. It feels like things are progressing quickly, but then they’ll suddenly be angsty and feel like they’re still pining for a relationship.
  • Jack and Jasper like to keep disappearing to have adventures off page. We do get novellas about what they’ve been up to, but I wanted more of them in the book (especially since I no longer have my old kindle that had their novellas on them).


This is my favourite book in the series so far. It introduced some interesting plot points and character points. I wish it had been longer so we could explore some of the relationships and plots in more depth. I’m excited to see how everything wraps up in book four!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


Steampunk Chronicles 3 & 4 review: saving the best for lastThe Girl with the Windup Heart by Kady Cross
Series: Steampunk Chronicles #4
Published by Harlequin Teen on May 27th 2014
Source: Purchased
Genres: Historical, Steampunk, Young Adult
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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 Good Things

  • A little over ten years after I started this series, I have finally read the last book in the Steampunk Chronicles! And it’s tied with book three as my favourite of the four.
  • Mila’s storyline and growth are some of my favourite things in the entire series, and a key focus of this book. I would have loved for it to play an even bigger part than it did.
  • We finally got a glimpse into Jack Dandy’s life! I’ve been waiting the entire series for this.
  • Everything wraps up and almost comes full circle! I was surprised how many elements from book one reappeared in this story.
  • The Aether was a massive part of the plot! It’s always been something that was mentioned, but we finally got to explore it more fully in this one. It was fascinating and kind of creepy.
  • We got to meet some characters I wasn’t expecting to see! I loved their little bits of page time.


The Not-So-Good Things

  • Like always, I wanted more. Especially more Jack and Mila. It feels like we barely scratched the surface of Jack’s life and powers. And Mila is such a fascinating character, there is so much more that could have been explored with her. They deserve their own full-length novel.


A nice ending to a series that’s filled with nostalgia with me. I enjoyed it overall and I don’t have any complaints about how everything wrapped up. If anything, I wish the story was split over two books. At least I wish Jack and Mila’s storyline was its own novel.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Have you finished any series recently?

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Bec is an Aussie blogger and reader who loves all types of novels. Fantasy, sci fi, and historical are my usual go-to genres. If I’m not binge reading, I’m usually gaming, trying to take decent photos for bookstagram, or freaking out about silly things.

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