Legacy of the Clockwork Key
by Kristin Bailey
Hardcover, 403 pages
Published March 5th 2013
by Simon Pulse
Book Source: publisher
Summary from Goodreads: A teen girl unravels the mysteries of a secret society and their most dangerous invention in this adventure-swept romance set in Victorian London.When a fire consumes Meg’s home, killing her parents and destroying both her fortune and her future, all she has left is the tarnished pocket watch she rescued from the ashes. But this is no ordinary timepiece. The clock turns out to be a mechanical key—a key that only Meg can use—that unlocks a series of deadly secrets and intricate clues that Meg is compelled to follow. Meg has uncovered evidence of an elite secret society and a dangerous invention that some will stop at nothing to protect—and that Meg alone can destroy. Together with the handsome stable hand she barely knows but hopes she can trust, Meg is swept into a hidden world of deception, betrayal, and revenge. The clockwork key has unlocked her destiny in this captivating start to a trilogy.
Heather’s review: There were several things that really drew me to this title from Simon Pulse when it first came in the mail. The first was the cover, which is different form the final shown above. Mine shoes main characters Will and Meg holding the clockwork bird. You can tell Will is a handsome Scottish lad just by the dark hair and brooding face. The setting is obviously Victorian and steam punk.
All of this rolled into a perfect read for me since I am currently tracing my family history in the Victorian era with Scottish roots. The Victorian period records I have been looking at have numerous watch makers and clock shops which you just don’t see much of in our day and time. So I was pulled in to the idea of tinkers, inventors and clock work trinkets. I was also fascinated by the idea Will being a Scottish Tinker or traveller. And after learning that he was left an orphan by the side of the road next to his parent’s wagon and taken in as a stable hand I was so curious.You’ll have to look up the history of the tinkers after or before reading. It makes Will’s personality so much more understandable–his pride in his work and worries about social station.
Meg, the main female heroine, is headstrong and somewhat impulsive–a house maid who is forced into the service of a hidden mysterious man who must keep his home in the same state as the night his wife died. Her prized possession is a clockwork necklace which is all that was left of her parents home the night they both died in a fire and left her without status or means to provide in Victorian society. What she finds out is that the necklace she wears around her neck is much more than it seems, and she holds the key to oh so many secrets!
I thoroughly enjoyed Legacy of the Clockwork Key with its historical base as well as the steampunky creations of the Order of the Musical Amusemantists. The setting and world building were fascinating, the various contraptions fun to visualize. I also loved the other hero of the book Oliver with his night vision goggles and unruly hair, as well as his love interest Lydia who has a tragic past of her own.
The content is suited for 16 and up only because Meg keeps losing pieces of her clothing in “accidents” along the way, but overall the romance is appropriate for the time and refreshingly so. There is one swear word which seems misplaced. The only other little thing I wished was that Will would have kept his thick Scottish voice in his inner and outer dialogue through out the entire story.
Would I recommend this one? Definitely! It is adventurous, historically spot on steampunky goodness. Thanks to Simon Pulse for the ARC.
Kristin Bailey grew up in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley in California. As a kid she enjoyed visiting the beach, camping and skiing with her two brothers.
Now she is a military wife and mother of two young children. She is also terrible about spoiling her pets. She has one fluffy mutt, two cats who think they own the world, and a fish tank with a quartet of fat fish, and two secretive striped ninja-assassin snails.
In the course of her adventures, she has worked as a zookeeper, balloon artist, and substitute teacher. Now she enjoys writing books for teens who enjoy mystery and adventure as much as she does.
The Giveaway: We have one ARC of Legacy of the Clockwork Key to give away to our readers at Fire and Ice. To enter to win tell us in the comments something you know about Scotland, tinkers, Victorian London, or let us know a clockwork invention you’d like to see made.
Open internationally to 16 and older. Ends March 24, 2013.