(Reviews posted at The Book Pushers)
This is the second steampunk novel I’ve read and I’m not sure this genre is for me. So, please keep that in mind while reading this review. This also is the first novel I’ve read by Kate Cross even though this story is the second in her Clockwork Agents series. I think Cross does a thorough job of clueing in new readers to the series (more on that later) and it worked as a standalone read for me.
There were some interesting aspects to the world-building with competing spy agencies and medical advances enabling the augmentation of the human body. This story seemed much more about Claire and her mission of revenge than it focused on any specific political intrigues between The Company and the Wardens. Perhaps that’s what made it an okay stand-alone read. Most of the contraptions described were simply steampunk versions of technology we already have today and this ultimately is why I think I’m struggling with the genre as a whole. None of the contraptions were that innovative. There were some minor inconsistencies with the technology as well (like how could hotel servants come and go through a door that Alastair had alarmed to prevent Claire from escaping?). However, compared to the previous steampunk book I read by another author, Cross does a much better job at integrating the steampunk elements into the narrative with her descriptions of the machines, how they worked and the sounds they made. I could hear the click-clack noises and purring whirs of the gears and mechanisms coming to life...
Read the full review as posted on November 29, 2012 at The Book Pushers: http://thebookpushers.com/2012/11/29/review-touch-of-steel-clockwork-agents-2-by-kate-cross/