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Customer Review

3.0 out of 5 stars Girl with iron touch, 8 Jun. 2013
This review is from: The Girl with the Iron Touch (Harlequin Teen) (Hardcover)
This young adult steampunk book starts in 1897 with a submersible under the river Thames being attacked by a Kraken. The tentacled creature smashes the vessel and tries to eat the crew, but Griffin manages to produce an aether bubble to capture it until the Royal Society can arrive. Emily, captain of the submersible, is none too pleased, but she's alive. Familiar with automaton horses and machines, the watchers are convinced that Griffin's ability to produce the aether bubble is mechanical in origin, when it is produced by mental control.

Girls properly wear corsets in this intriguing tale, where characters from America, Ireland and the English aristocracy mingle with Cockneys from Whitechapel. An automaton girl is made, human and metal, and young Emily is kidnapped because of her talents with metal. Previously, we are told, a character called the Machinist created an automaton of Queen Victoria. What skullduggery is under way?

I liked the contrast between Mayfair, where well-dressed residents drive steam-carriages down the clean streets, and Whitechapel, grey and smoky, where residents wear dark colours and drive thin horses and carts to carry fruit they cannot afford to eat. The word 'robot' having been introduced later from a Czech word meaning worker, mechanical beings are referred to generally as 'metals'. The young people have to balance not only their own abilities and their enemies' plots, but also their attractions to each other. I felt that this was something of a 'Fantastic Four' set in a steampunk era, because of the mingling of paranormal abilities.
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