Review: The Girl with the Iron Touch by Katy Cross

Title: The Girl with the Iron Touch
Steampunk Chronicles #3
Author: Katy Cross
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publish Date: May 28, 2013
Ebook, 384 pages

Barnes and Noble

I really enjoy Katy Cross' steampunk series. It was the first dose I had experience when it came to the steampunk era. It opened my eyes to more strong female characters who could kick butt and take names. But it also incorporates history and machinery, all of which adds to the wonderful world of fantasy.

The first two books in this series, I couldn't put down. They were worth of calling in sick for work, if that actually happened. Then the third book had a few moments of awe and surprise, but ended up being a bit of a letdown and as I guessed a lot of the plot.

This book was a good read, like spending the day with an old friend. Finley, the main female character in the book was just as wonderfully spriteful as always. She has a good romance going with Griffin. Emily and Sam are also in a good point of their newly found romance. The new character introduced, the girl with the iron touch Mila was a solid and sweet character. The machinery from the bad guys was intricate and a valid adversary, but honestly the book though left me a bit sad as I never got truly pulled in.

I will continue to read Katy Cross' books because they are good reads, but this book left me wanting more to imagine, more to reach for and more to uncover. As they say in the movie business (do they say this?), this is one I would recommend renting rather than seeing in the theaters.

Summary -
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 at triumphing, she must summon a strength even she doesn't know she has....

My first ever drunken running event

A friend of mine and I have been running together on and off for a few months now. A few weeks ago she invited me to her group running Halfway to Halloween hash run. It cost $5, we would be running about the same length as we have been, I'd be out with new people, hopefully making friends and having a good time. Who knew? It wasn't like I'd be held down and tortured. At least I didn't think that would be in the cards. I mean it's possible as we would be running through the forest. But I did want to get out and meet new people. Even scary people who torture.

They did promise beer.

More than a few times I almost bailed on her. I had so many wonderful excuses to use.
  • I have a huge knot in my shoulder blade which is killing me (this was true)
  • I didn't sleep well the night before
  • I had to go to yoga
  • Oops I forgot
I don't know. I just seemed to want to go and check it out.

That morning, I went ahead and met her at her house. We were carpooling as we had to meet downtown. We go there early. Apparently runners who drink say, "We'll meet at Noon" which means anytime between 12 and 1pm.

We all had a beer before we started. Then they went over the rules. Ugh, rules and drinking. Seriously who thought of this?! Then we sang some weird intro song where I faked the lyrics. And off we went.

We followed these really impressive white chalky (read: flour) symbols around town, stopping to decipher the cool symbols like drink a beer, switch up a piece of clothing, smack and ass (really?). My favorite was the symbol for you went the wrong way. MEAN! Turn around and run back the other way looking for the correct or "true trail" symbol. We finally all got tired after we jogged through the school playground (against the law, anyone?) and popped a squat on the downed tree in the forest and drank a few beers each. This was actually fun as we got the time to rest, talk bs and then start another smaller game where whenever someone burped we had to say a color and the last one to say it had to make a vulgar comment, tell a sex joke or something else (really, who remembers?). PS: I lost this game so many times I just started cussing when it occurred to me I lost.

All in all, it was a blast. I had to eat a full pizza, drank glass after glass of water and then later, a couple pieces of toast to soak up the last of the beer resting in my system, but it was worth it. It is definitely harder to recover from a Saturday mid day drinking run in your 30's than 20's.

P.P.S.: Please let me know if you know why they call it a "hash" as there was none of that there. I am still hoping to hear the history to this group the next time I run with them. 

Crossing my fingers for my grandmother's caste iron skillet when she dies

I am not proud of that title, but in all honesty my grandparents called us to ask what we would want should they die. I really only want them to live forever, but alas, that is not real life, as they continue to tell me. Little do they know that most of the teen fantasy and adventure books I read tell about people living forever!

The one thing that came to mind was as I was growing up one of my favorite times with my grandparents was being in their kitchen learning and relearning the process of making homemade tortillas. We would mix the ingredients together and then let it rise. Later I would lean over the wooden cutting board, rolling out tortillas with the small wooden rolling pin. I would make sure to poke a hole in the middle for air to escape. My grandmother would be beside me laying my beautiful creations in the hot oil in the caste iron skillet. After they came out of the skillet, they would be laid on a towel resting on a round plate which would be covered with another towel.

As my grandmother's health came and went, my grandfather would take her place in the kitchen to mind the hot oil. They were always so patient with me and so kind. Hard as I try, there is not one memory of anything but love in that kitchen.