In this book, Griffin, Finley and co. travel to America on a rescue/reconnaissance mission that started at the end of the first novel of the series. Finley Jayne flirts with her dark side as she infiltrates an American criminal’s New York-based gang to hopefully rescue a friend of Griffin’s team, Jasper. Meanwhile, Jasper’s being held against his will and forced to recover pieces of an unknown machine he stole earlier thanks to the threat of death to his once-love, Mei Xing. Griffin worries about Finley, Finley worries about Griffin, Sam is protective over Emily, Emily is gushy over Sam, and Jasper wants to save Mei. It's a skip through Victorian period New York, including encounters with Irish gangs (there’s a really cool female gang leader with cat fangs!), theater trips, fighting matches, high class parties and a few meetings with genius Nikola Tesla. As they race to save Jasper and stop the villain, Dalton, from carrying out his plan, loyalties are called into question and deep fuzzy feelings are explored.
While I still liked ‘The Girl in the Clockwork Collar,’ I didn’t love it as much as I did ‘The Girl in the Steel Corset.’ Again, I was sort of irritated by Emily’s prowess in the area of inventions. The little Irish redhead is one of my favorite characters in the book personality-wise, but I still don’t like how she can practically create or fix anything mechanical. She's over-powered in this area. In this book, my pet peeve was mainly with her mechani-cat thing. This time, it’s not only a big mechanical cat, but it can also carry Emily plus a passenger, fly and run incredibly fast. Okay...not such a fun of the mechani-cat.
Also, this might sound a little morbid or mean of me, but I wanted the characters who got hurt to stay hurt just a little longer. They all seem invulnerable since they can seemingly bounce back from almost any injury. It takes away a lot of the anxiety and belief that the character is in actual peril if you’re pretty darn sure they can recover from any injury. I mean, I think Sam even mentions that he could probably get shot in the head and recover nicely as long as the bullet didn’t hit anything really imperative. I might be a little strange, but I like it when heroes are at least a little vulnerable.
Overall, ‘The Girl in the Clockwork Collar’ is a good book but not as great and engaging as the first one in the series.