Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of "them." The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.
Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help--and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.
But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on--even if it seems no one believes her.
However, Emily is completely brilliant. She's all Irish and smart and strong and doesn't let boys get her down. Her accent is totally cool, too, and she creates these awesome gadgets. CLOCKWORK CATS AND STEEL CORSETS. WHO DOESN'T LOVE THAT?
The boys in this book were... interesting.
So the friend who introduced me to this series is, like, OMIGOODNESS JACK DANDY IS SO AMAZING. But I don't know about him. There's really no character development, only a smooth-talking, arrogant, sarcastic criminal, who is admittedly very handsome. Therefore by default I like Griffin better, because with him I got a whole backstory that made me care about him and HE CAN ACCESS THE AETHER. He cares so much about Finley, too. It's sweet.
Sam Morgan I didn't particularly like, though it'll be really cool to see how he and Emily develop. Jasper was pretty chill, too, and I'll be looking forward to seeing more of him in The Girl in the Clockwork Collar, book 2 of the Steampunk Chronicles.
The third book, The Girl With the Iron Touch, came out a few days ago.
So here's summaries for the next two books:
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, the young duke's sanity is close to the breaking point. Seeking help, Finley turns to Jack Dandy, but trusting the master criminal is as dangerous as controlling her dark side. When Jack kisses her, Finley must finally confront her true feelings for him...and for Griffin.
Meanwhile, Sam is searching everywhere for Emily, from Whitechapel's desolate alleyways to Mayfair's elegant mansions. 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....