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.
Worldbuilding: The Girl with the Windup Heart‘s wonderful world, and that of the Steampunk Chronicles was just as rich as I might have hoped. All the steampunk & paranormal elements were beautifully entwined and made for a captivating world I’d never want to stop exploring, from the Aether, to the fantastical beings living in London.
Characters: Finley, Griffin, Jack, Mila, Emily and Sam, even Jasper and Cat gained a special place in my heart. They’ve all evolved and grown as character throughout the series, and I thought they showed it very well in this last novel. Their love and loyalty, unwavering and taken close to the point of wholehearted self-sacrifice was touching, humbling and inspiring.
Since it’s the end of the series, I felt we got some special extra treats and got to know characters we haven’t yet, some that we hated from book #1 (Lord Felix *grrrr*) or that we thought about but never got to see (us or the novel’s characters either). I’m not spoiling it for you, but you’ll be in for some interesting surprises.
All the romance stories got their happy endings, and I was thrilled that Jack got his ’cause he deserved one. I’ll admit he was always my favorite of the bunch, all brooding and naughty and delightfully strong and kind of manipulative…or should I say, persuasive? 😀 Much love!
The Machinist was a worthy adversary, and I felt he played the role of the villain very well. The fact that at the end of the series he’s well and truly defeated feels right and is yet another example of those series ‘loose ends’ that get tied up in The Girl with the Windup Heart.
Favorite Character: Jack and Mila xD
Plot: The story was awesome, bringing beautiful closure to the series, to each of the stories that has some “pending” sort of status – which also means there was a lot of tension, emotions ran high and I was squirming and biting my nails pretty much all through. Loved it!
Writing: Third person, past tense narrative, from a few important POVs (Finley, Griffin, Jack, Mila). As always, loved Kady Cross’s writing.
Curb Appeal: Fab cover, hooking blurb, instant-buy author name – total impulsive buy material.
All in all, this was a great read and the well-done ending to a fabulous series, which I’ve enjoyed a great deal. If you’re into Young Adult stories with quirky and fun characters, proper action and awesome characters, dig in! I totally recommend the whole series, and have enjoyed it so very much!