The Girl with the Iron Touch (The Steampunk Chronicles #3)
(YA steampunk, historical fantasy)
This is the third book in a series, and it’s one of those series that I HIGHLY recommend starting at book one. It’s not the type that I think can easily be picked up part-way through. Not that the author does a poor job of summarizing past events, but because there’s so much more detail that you miss out when you get a summary. And in this series, those details can be very important to character development.
I also think it’s a series well worth picking up. I highly enjoy the characters and the plotline alike. The world is nicely developed too, with a good combination of realism and fantasy. It seems that the steampunk elements all have a purpose, and that purpose is more than “to look cool”. (I have some friends who complain about steampunk things whose only purpose is to look cool… I need to make sure they are aware of this series.)
This particular book does suffer one aspect of multi-book-series-syndrome: although it does resolve itself up at the end, there are still many things that are left unanswered and it’s painfully obvious that there will be at least one more book. The good thing, though, is it isn’t left on a cliffhanger. So while it’s something that I make note of, it isn’t anything that I ding the book (or series) for.
This series has a core group of characters, and each book in this series focuses more on one of the girls than the rest of the group. (You can tell which one by the title.) The girl focused on in this particular book, Emily, is probably the one I connect with the most. She’s the most “normal,” relying mostly on her brains to get her along instead of any special powers. (Granted, all of the main characters in this series have their normal abilities enhanced a bit by what is essentially magic, but the others seem to have more enhancements than Emily.) It’s really nice to see how she handles the situation she ends up in, because up to now she’s been mostly a background character. It’s also great to see more details about each character’s relationship with her.