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The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (Steampunk Chronicles Series)

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (Steampunk Chronicles Series)

4.4 49
by Kady Cross

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In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling—or dangerous

Finley Jayne and her "straynge band of mysfits" have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper from the clutches of a devious criminal demanding a trade—the dangerous device Jasper stole from him…for the life of the girl Jasper loves. One


In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling—or dangerous

Finley Jayne and her "straynge band of mysfits" have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper from the clutches of a devious criminal demanding a trade—the dangerous device Jasper stole from him…for the life of the girl Jasper loves. One false move from Jasper, and the strange clockwork collar around Mei's neck tightens and tightens.

From the rough streets of lower Manhattan to elegant Fifth Avenue, the motley crew of teens follows Jasper's elusive trail. And they're about to discover how far they'll go for friendship.

More than ever, Finley must rely on powerful English duke Griffin King to balance her dark magic with her good side. Yet Griffin is at war with himself over his secret attraction to Finley…and will risk his life and reputation to save her. Now, to help those she's come to care for so deeply, Finley must infiltrate the criminal gang. Only problem is, she might like the dark side a little too much….

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Surprising, vivid and cohesive-the work of a pro." — Kirkus Review*Starred* review

"Teens will enjoy the fast-paced action ." — VOYA

VOYA - Kelli Czarnecki
Part of The Steampunk Chronicles series, this book takes place in 1897. Soaring above the Atlantic Ocean in an airship named Helena, Finley and her friends, including Griffin King (the Duke of Greythorne) and part-human, part-machine Sam and Emily (who can talk to machines) are flying to New York from England. They plan to find Jasper Renn, their friend who has been accused of murder and taken by bounty hunters five days earlier. Dalton is the evil menace who is holding Jasper hostage. He wants a device that Jasper stole from him and hid around the city of Manhattan. Dalton is using Mei, Jasper's love, as leverage. He makes her wear a necklace of clockwork pieces around her throat, which is also the photo that graces the book cover. She tells Jasper if anyone touches it, it will slowly close around her neck to suffocate her. Even though Finley and her friends possess superhuman abilities, such as the strength to take down buildings, it is not enough to easily rescue Jasper. Teens will enjoy the fast-paced action as Finley and her friends try to outwit Dalton and his gang as well as figure out what Jasper is really up to. They soon discover that it may be more important to keep the device out of Dalton's hands than anything else. Readers will get to meet such inventors as Nicola Tesla and experience airships they know and love from Westerfeld's Leviathan series and Oppel's Airborn series. Reviewer: Kelli Czarnecki

Product Details

Publication date:
Steampunk Chronicles Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 5.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

High above the Atlantic Ocean
July 1897

"What are you doing?"

Finley Jayne smiled in the darkness. She should have known Griffin would come looking for her. Gripping the slender prow with both hands, she glanced over her shoulder and saw him standing just inside the dirigible's softly lighted observation deck. The wind blew strands of hair into her face. "Finding out how it feels to fly," she replied.

"You're over three thousand feet in the air." His gravelly voice carried over the sound of the airship's engines. "Flying might prove fatal."

Finley laughed. That was his way of scolding her for having ignored the signs that warned passengers not to climb out the windows or over the protective railings. Griffin King was the Duke of Greythorne, and sometimes he carried the weight of the entire world on his shoulders. That he was worried about her was…sweet.

"We're going to be landing soon," he called, trying another tactic. "Why don't you come in and make sure you have all your things?"

"I'm packed and ready," she called back. "Why don't you come out here and see how beautiful New York City is at night?"

She didn't expect him to take her up on the dare. It wasn't that he was a coward—he was anything but. However, as a duke and an only child, it would be irresponsible of him to risk his life for no reason but a pretty view, just because she asked. No, Griffin wouldn't be so foolish, but Jack would.

Finley pushed the thought of the notorious criminal Jack Dandy from her mind. Jack was in London, and it wasn't fair of her to compare Griffin to him when neither of the young men had an equal.

There was a faint noise behind her, and the next thing she knew, Griffin was there, sitting with her on this narrow shaft. All that was below them was the ship's figurehead—a robust blonde woman of dubious virtue carved from wood—and thousands of miles of night.

"What are you doing?" Finley demanded, her tone a reflection of what his own had been—only slightly more panicked. She wasn't that breakable, but Griffin was. "You shouldn't be out here."

One of his legs brushed the back of hers. Beneath her striped stocking, her skin prickled. "I know, but I hear it's the only way to experience the sensation of flying." She could tell he was smiling without being able to see his handsome face. "It is magnificent, isn't it? Look, there's the Statue of Liberty."

It was magnificent, so much so that Finley couldn't find words to reply. Spread out before them—just beyond the ship's lanterns—was a blanket of lights. It looked like stars covered the ground, and set a short distance from it all was the largest lady she'd ever seen, the glow from her torch illuminating from her raised hand to just the top of her crowned head. The lights of the dirigible brought the rest of her into view.

"I asked the pilot to fly by her so we can have a better look," Griff said.

"Asked or told?" she teased. This was Griffin's private airship—the Helena, named after his mother. Someone else might fly it for him, but he was the one in charge.

He smiled. "Asked. What do you think of America so far?"

"It's grand." It came out a little more exuberant than she'd planned. She had never been outside England—never been outside London—so this was already the adventure of a lifetime for her. Never mind that only a fortnight ago, she'd been battling for the safety of all the world against a madman. That had been terrible and frightening and not really a proper adventure at all. But this—soaring above the vast Atlantic Ocean with the night wind in her hair and Griffin sitting behind her—was amazing.

She felt close to him, enough that it scared her a little. She didn't even know who she was inside, and he was a duke who could bring down buildings from the inside out by controlling the Aether. There could never be anything but friendship between them, but that didn't stop her from the occasional daydream. He made her feel like she could do anything she set her mind to—what girl wouldn't have a bit of a crush?

"Would you like to know how it really feels to fly?" he asked her.

Finley turned her head. Their perch was precarious at best.

One wrong move, and one, if not both, of them could tumble to their very death. Part of her was terrified at the thought and another part was thrilled by the danger. Recently, she'd started trying to reconcile the two very distinct halves of herself, and with Griffin's help she'd made incredible progress. But now she was left trying to ascertain just what sort of girl she was. Was she the sort of girl who truly wanted to know what it felt like to fly?


"Oy!" cried a strange voice from behind. "What in the blazes is you two up to? You're not allowed out there!"

"Caught." Griffin's voice held a trace of regret. "Let's go in before Emily and Sam come looking for us."

Finley waited until he'd slid away before inching along the polished wood. Griffin was waiting for her on the narrow expanse of deck to give her a hand up. Then he helped her through the window before easing his own body through.

A man in uniform stood on the glossy wood of the viewing gallery floor, a frown on his face. The man glared at her, then turned his attention to the young man beside her, who stood tall and lean in a dark gray suit, his reddish-brown hair mussed by the wind. A lopsided smile curved his lips as his stormy blue gaze settled on the officer. The man paled.

"Your Grace." His voice was hoarse.

Griffin's grin broadened. "Apologies, my good man. You were right to scold us. We'll give you no more worry." Then he turned to Finley. "Want to watch the landing?"

He offered her his arm, and she took it, allowing him to draw her toward the large glass window next to the one they'd just crawled through. It was so amazing that he owned all of this.

"You know, if you weren't a duke and this was a public ship, we'd be in a terrible spot of bother right now."

Griff made a scoffing noise. "If I weren't a duke and this were public, we wouldn't have been able to afford passage. Honestly, what they charge for a transatlantic voyage on these contraptions is akin to highway robbery."

"So you thought buying your own was the more economical choice?" She managed to keep a straight face but not the laughter out of her voice.

He shrugged, but she caught the smile he tried to hide. "They gave me a very good price. Besides, it was the only way I could make Sam fly. He has Emily check the mechanical parts before every voyage."

"Sam's a baby," she remarked, thinking the comparison fit. She didn't mean any insult—well, not much. Sam Morgan was Griff's best friend. He was also part machine, moody and the biggest lout she'd ever met. Still, he had a way of growing on a person, like mold on cheese.

She kind of liked knowing he was afraid of air travel. He was even harder to hurt than she was and wasn't afraid of much.

"Speak of the devil," Griff murmured, looking over the top of her head.

Finley turned and saw Sam and Emily walking toward them, both dressed for dinner. Sam looked uncomfortable in his black-and-white evening attire, though he looked decent enough with his long dark hair smoothed back. There seemed to be nothing that could be done for his perpetual frown. Emily, on the other hand, was like a ray of sunshine. Ropes of copper hair were wound into a loose bun on the back of her head, and her blue-green eyes were brightened by the russet-colored gown she wore. The four of them looked as though they were going to a ball rather than following a suspected murderer to a strange country.

Their friend Jasper Renn had been accused of murder and taken from Griff's house by bounty hunters five days earlier. They would have followed immediately after him if they could have, but despite having his own airship, it took Griffin almost a day to make preparations and get everything ready.

"Been sucking lemons again, Sam?" Finley asked when the other couple joined them.

The big lad arched a dark eyebrow at her but didn't speak. Since she'd saved his life—after him trying to kill her—he had been almost nice to her, which made her try to bait him all the harder.

"We came to watch the landing," Emily told them in her Irish lilt. "We heard that there were a couple of idiots out on the prow. Did you see them?" A slow smile curved her lips.

Finley and Griff laughed in unison, which made Sam's scowl deepen. "Idiots indeed," he said drily.

Emily started to roll her eyes, but then her head whipped toward the window. "Oh! There's the Statue of Liberty! Isn't she grand?"

Her excitement was contagious, and the four of them went to the glass to watch the Helena glide by the statue that Griffin had pointed out to her earlier. It was so big. So beautiful. They would set down on the island of Manhattan, on the landing field in Central Park, and from there, on to their hotel. Tomorrow morning they'd begin looking for Jasper. Surely it wouldn't be difficult, given that he'd been brought back to face criminal charges.

Finley couldn't believe Jasper would kill anyone—not in cold blood. There had to be some kind of mistake. Griffin was convinced he could fix this, but this wasn't England, and Americans might not be so impressed by his title and his fortune. And though each of them had their own unique abilities—evolutions, Emily had taken to calling them—they weren't above the law.

What if they couldn't save Jasper?

As far as prisons went, this one wasn't so bad. Jasper had certainly seen worse—been held in worse.

There were bars on the windows, but his understanding was that those were normally employed to keep folks out rather than in, as the case may be. Still, the bed was big and comfortable—an old four-poster monstrosity—and the room was big enough that he could walk around a bit and exercise.

Dalton—the fella in whose house he was now a "guest"—was an old "friend." Jasper fell in with his gang almost two years ago, when he was too young and stupid to know better. Dalton was a couple of years older and had spouted the usual romantic nonsense about being an outlaw, which sounded good to penniless boys.

Obviously Dalton had done well for himself, if this house was any indication. It was nice—nicer than anything Jasper had seen during his time in the gang. Did Dalton think of himself as some kind of gentleman now? Was he rubbin' elbows with the same kind of people from whom he stole? The Bowery neighborhood was close enough to Five Points to give him an in with the criminal set, but removed just enough to have a little respectability.

Respectable, however, Dalton was not. And it was painfully apparent that his old boss hadn't forgiven him for running off. The tender bruises that covered Jasper from face to hip were proof of that. He had a perfect impression of the sole of someone's boot on his left side. Must've been Little Hank—he was the only varmint in Dalton's outfit with feet that big.

If he had some of Miss Emily's salve, he'd be set to rights; but he didn't, and so he had to heal the old-fashioned way instead of letting her "beasties" do it for him.

He thought of his new friends often since he'd been forcibly taken from Griffin's mansion by men claiming they were going to bring him to America to face murder charges.

Jasper went willingly, almost eager to face his past, maybe clear his name in the process. It wasn't until he was on the airship, without any chance of escape, that he discovered the men worked for Dalton.

Once they'd landed, he had tried to run. It had been stupid, but he had to try. They caught him, beat him, trussed him up and brought him here, where'd he'd been for more than twenty-four hours.

Finally there came the sound of a key in the lock. Jasper moved to the dresser, a heavy piece of furniture he could dive behind if someone started shooting.

It was Little Hank's huge form that filled the doorway. Over six and a half feet tall and as wide as a bull through the chest, Little Hank was Dalton's chief muscle. He was strong and surprisingly fast. Jasper's only advantage came in being faster, but he didn't want Dalton to know just how fast he had gotten.

Little Hank ducked his head into the room. "Boss wants to see you."

"Now's not a good time for me," Jasper replied, words as stiff as his jaw. "Come back later."

The behemoth hesitated, clearly uncertain of what to do. Jasper would have smiled if he thought it wouldn't hurt so much. Then a scowl settled over Hank's heavy-boned face and he glared at him. "Still a jackass."

Jasper shrugged. "Sometimes a fella has to live up to expectations." He moved stiffly toward the door. Dread twisted in his belly, but he refused to let it show.

Little Hank seized him by the back of the neck, practically dragged him out of the room, along the hall and down the scuffed staircase. From there they took a right turn and ended up in a parlor, where Jasper was finally released. He might not exactly like Griff's friend Sam Morgan, but he wished the large fellow was there at the moment. He'd teach Little Hank a lesson in manners.

Then again, Morgan was just as likely to sit back and smile while Jasper was pounded senseless. Miss Finley, then. She'd knock Hank on his gigantic backside. Jasper would have no problem letting a girl rescue him, but Finley was in London. They thought he'd been taken in by the law and had no idea that it was just the opposite.

Reno Dalton stood at the window, puffing on a cigarillo. He was a little shorter than Jasper's height of six feet. Leaner, too. He was what in a woman might be called pretty, with longish dark brown hair and ice-blue eyes. He wore a perfectly tailored gray suit that made him appear a gentleman.

In truth he was more like a sleeping rattlesnake. There was just as much chance that Dalton would leave you alone as there was that he'd kill you—and with very little thought to, either.

"Ah, Jasper." A cold smile curved Dalton's lips. He was around twenty, but lines fanned out from his eyes—a sign of time spent out of doors. "Looking none the worse for wear, see."

If Jasper had been wearing his hat he would have tipped it. "I look good in black and blue."

Dalton waved a negligent hand. "The ladies will be back to swooning over you soon enough. Have a seat."

"I'd rather stand."

The smile vanished. Finally the rattler revealed himself.


Little Hank shoved him into a nearby chair before Jasper could reply. It was spindly and felt as though it might split apart if he sneezed. He jerked free of Hank's hand—flinching at the pain that followed—and fixed his gaze on the man before him.

"All right, I'm sitting."

Dalton was back to looking pleasant. "Good." His voice had a slight Southern accent. Years of living in San Francisco had almost erased all traces of the poor kid from Virginia Territory. "We have business to discuss, you and I."

Cold—heavy and menacing—settled in Jasper's stomach. He ignored it. "'Fraid I don't know what you're talking about."

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Surprising, vivid and cohesive-the work of a pro." — Kirkus Review*Starred* review

"Teens will enjoy the fast-paced action ." — VOYA

Meet the Author

Kady Cross, publishing under various names, is a USA TODAY bestselling author of more than twenty books, including Harlequin TEEN's Steampunk Chronicles. She is lucky enough to have a husband who shares her love for the slightly twisted and all things geek, and a houseful of cats with whom she shares her darkest secrets. Her love of books and makeup borders on addiction—of which she never, ever wants to be cured. Visit her on the web at www.alterkate.com or on Twitter: @AlterKates.

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The Girl in the Clockwork Collar 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
iheartyabooks More than 1 year ago
When I read Kady Cross’s first novel in her Steampunk Chronicles The Girl in the Steel Corset I wasn’t impressed, simply because I felt the Steampunk elements far outweighed the romance. And I wanted more romance to balance out the heavy plot. But I did love the six characters in the Steampunk Chronicles. Now with that said, I really enjoyed Kady Cross' sequel The Girl in the Clockwork Collar . So I would like to give Kady Cross praise on this second novel. I love the Steampunk storyline, her talent as a writing, and some much loved, swoon-worthy moments. Finley is off to America with Griffin and the rest of Griffin's crew to rescue Jasper from the bounty hunters that came to England to arrest him for a murder that they claim he did back in America. When Finley and Griffin arrive in New York, they find out what Jasper was hiding from them in England, and murder is the least of Jasper's problems. Jasper, who I loved so much in the first book, with his fun attitude, he's hilarious sense of humor was the comic relief. But this time, he brought me tears instead of laughs. Mei is the girl Jasper left behind in America when he went to hide out in England. He thought this would protect Mei from his criminal past that he was running away from. Jasper is going to find out love is blind and even when you see the truth you can't tell your heart to stop loving. Jack Dandy was the only character not in this sequel novel. I really missed Jack. He's the cool bad/good guy. I hope he will be in the next novel. The rest are all here: Finley, Griffin, Sam, Emily and Jasper. Even though this was Jasper’s story, Finley and Griffin finally did acknowledge their feelings for each other and I would love to see their romance go deeper in the next novel. If you enjoy Steampunk, you will not want to miss out on The Girl in the Clockwork Collar. I recommend as fantastic Steampunk read.
booksonmynook More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. very well written. It has a story I couldn't put down.
trulynightwing More than 1 year ago
I was hesitant to read Kady Cross' latest book in her Steampunk Chronicles series, The Girl In the Clockwork Collar. Her first one, The Girl In the Steel Corset, was so well written and engaging that I did not think she could do it again. I was wrong. This one is even better. From the first paragraph, the reader is swept into the world of the “strange band of Mysfits” as they take over a New York that did not actually exist in 1897, but should have. Those who have read the first book are already familiar with Finley Jayne and her compatriots, a crew of people with talents most people don't suspect even exist. Those who are new to the series are in for a treat as they meet the group for the first time. In either case, set some time aside and stock up on snacks, because you're not going to put this book down until the oh-my-goodness-how-did-that-happen ending. The surface plot revolves around proving the innocence of one of their team, Jasper Renn. To do so, first they must rescue him from the men who abducted him while he was visiting them in England. Along the way, Finley falls in love, or does she, with a rogue named Dalton, leading Griffin King, the leader of the group, to outlandish feats of bravery, or perhaps he would have done them anyway, to show his love for Finley, a love he cannot confess anymore than she can confess that she loves him. Then there's the tumultuous relationship between Emily, who can communicate with machines, and Sam, who she turned into a part-machine. And, just for spice, add a touch of lying female assassin and help from Tesla himself. This is all melded seamlessly into a tale that will leaving you regretfully turning the last page, hoping for more. And yes, this book *can* stand on its own, you don't need to have already read The Girl In the Steel Corset. But, if you have not read the first book yet, you are very lucky. You will have something to occupy your time while the rest of us are whining and begging for the next book in the series. Though, now I think on it, mayhaps a re-reading of both books would be an admirable idea while waiting for Kady Cross' next masterpiece in the Steampunk Chronicles series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Every time book, every time I toss between 4.5 to 5 stars with you. Now with the sequel, its 5 stars baby. And I'm just gushing about this series. Two books in and I love it even more. The characters make the story for me as the writing and can't over well paced the series is. It really helps when I keep thinking, okay just one more chapter. Then I found myself reading like, hmmm, reading 3 more chapters than I realized. Okay enough fangirling. So, this one concerns Griffin and co going to New York to help their cowboy friend Jasper. And let's say from there, it goes deeper than they thought. Boy was this quite the sequel. New characters introduced, good and bad so that was a nice balance. Moments where I couldn't help but smile, moments where I was like, would you man up already and moments where I was like, don't do this to me book. To me that's a good book where you're rooting for the main characters, going along for the ride as they set for their next adventure. Severely absent however was Jack Dandy. Miss that guy. Oh and Emily, was awesome in this. Also Dalton, so reminded me of Fassbender for some reason. Mei, all I can say...wow. And love that the sequel explored Finley's different side, well, dark side if you will. Even Jasper. Thank you for the character development. Much appreciative. Uh, alrighty then. Near the end, got to say I was like, oh that's a bad miss then that's not a pretty picture. But at the end, end, I was like freaking finally! Looking forward to the next book, obviously.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series; it is seriously amazing! I recently read the first bool about a week ago, and I looked everywhere and it never said there was a sequel, let alone two! So when I just found out by looking on my Nook for the first time in a couple weeks that it was here, I automatically bought it! Amazing.
Lady_Lizbeth More than 1 year ago
I can appreciate a good YA book when one hits the shelves, especially when a series hits the shelves that doesn't revolve around sparkling vampires. I found this series to be an especially quick read, but I found myself engaged with it throughout the duration. I think that there are some moments of plot holes and some things seem to happen without much explaining but overall I loved the steampunk theme and the focus on a mature, self-reliant woman trying to battle enemies and her first love. Great read for young adults, and those interested in a victorian era steampunk adventure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Answer please
gloomcookie613 More than 1 year ago
You'll probably enjoy this one. We pick up where we left off at the end of the Girl in the Steel Corset and find ourselves winging away to New York where Finley and her motley crew go in search of their missing comrade, Jasper. While the story itself is a bit predictable in parts it's an overall fun read. It has a similar feel and flow as the first book and if you enjoyed it The Girl in the Clockwork Collar is more of the same steampunk romp. It's a fun series and I suggest that anyone interested grab a sample and see for yourself.
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Awesome second book....! Kady Cross its one of the best new writter out there now!