The Girl With the Iron TouchThe Girl With the Iron Touch by The Novel Strumpet
Published by Harlequin on May 28, 2013
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon

From the author’s website:

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, 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 of triumph, she must summon a strength even she doesn’t know she has….


Opening a book with a woman trying to escape an attack from a giant kraken while trapped in a submersible lets you know you’re in for an adventure.  Not that it’s unexpected coming from this series, trouble will always find our intrepid misfits.

I like that the relationships between the characters are finally getting solidified, and that they’re all coming to accept themselves and their abilities.  Not that there isn’t a bit of angst still, but they’re growing into themselves.  It’s great that even though a book may focus on one character or another, they all have a stake in the problem and resolution.  They’ve formed a family and each one is willing to stick their neck out for the others.

I’m at a loss as to why these are labeled teen books.  The characters may be a bit younger, but they don’t read like teen books, it throws me off.  I’m not saying they’re too adult for older teens/early twenties but they don’t read like teen books.  I think they could definitely go in adult sci-fi/fantasy/romance.  Whether that’s a good thing or bad thing I don’t know.

As always, the author gives us an exciting and dangerous problem, and this one really made my skin crawl.  I tried to be sympathetic to the “monster”, but the thought of flesh literally growing over metal to create a human being is really creepy.  It’s not like replacing a damaged limb, etc. this is a full on automaton gaining human consciousness.  There’s a lot of philosophical debates that could go into that one.

Not to mention the other clockwork creatures (really there’s no other way to describe them) that Emily is up against.

The increased aether attacks against Griffin are rather disturbing and the other case Jasper goes off on for a small bit of the book really piqued by curiosity.  I’m still not a huge fan of Finley, don’t think I ever will be.  I don’t hate her, but I don’t look forward to being in ‘her shoes’ so to speak.  I guess she’s good for Griffin, though, and she does – literally – put her life on the line for him.  Must be a personality issue.

And this attraction the living automaton develops for Jack is going to make for some very interesting moments in the future…which is great for me because I really like Jack and want more of his story.

These books get better and better and I can’t wait for the next one.