52 Books 2014: Week 16

I read these two short ebooks a few weeks ago, but never reviewed them. It felt wrong to review a novelette as a book, so I didn’t. And then I realized that there were two of them, so I could review them together. So here you go — joint reviews for the two recent short entries in Kady Cross’s Steampunk Chronicles.

The Dark Discovery of Jack Dandy (The Steampunk Chronicles #2.5)
Kady Cross
(YA, steampunk, historical fantasy)

It must be said, first off, that Jack Dandy was never one of my favorite characters. But, given his own entry in the series, I like him a lot better. This story really fleshes him out and gives more depth to his personality. I think that’s a lot of why I didn’t like him much before: he seemed shallow in comparison with the other characters, perhaps because he’s a secondary character and not a main character.

In addition to seeing more depth to Dandy and some of how he conducts business (since he doesn’t show that side of himself to Finley), it was nice to see someone get to him. It was great seeing how affected he was by the girl who was the “dark discovery” in question.

Is this something you can read without reading the rest of the series first? Possibly, but I really don’t recommend it. At the VERY least, you’ll want to have read the first book in the series in order to figure out who Jack Dandy is. But I would suggest reading it either just before or just after THE GIRL WITH THE IRON TOUCH. I read it just after, because that’s when I found out about it. But I think it would work well as a lead-in to the book instead of serving merely as additional information about it (as it was for me).

The Wild Adventure of Jasper Renn (The Steampunk Chronicles #3.5)
Kady Cross
(YA, steampunk, historical fantasy)

Jasper Renn has always been a character who amused me, partly because it seemed that he was merely toying with Sam when he’d flirt with Emily. (That is essentially confirmed in this story.) And watching him play with fire was something I enjoyed. He had a much bigger part in the second book in the series, though, THE GIRL IN THE CLOCKWORK COLLAR. I didn’t like him as much in that book, or in book 3. He was less fun-loving in those two books, due to the events in book 2. But in this story, he gets some of that fun back.

THE WILD ADVENTURE takes place at the same time as THE GIRL WITH THE IRON TOUCH, but it focuses on Jasper instead of the main group. As with Dandy, Jasper is a secondary character, but he’s always seemed more fleshed out to me. And this story only enhances his character and reinforces the things I like about him. This is almost more of a stand-alone story than Jack Dandy’s. The events in this story aren’t influenced by a lot of the main novels’ events, though it does include spoilers for all three books. It doesn’t depend on you to already know those events, though.

I also enjoyed getting to know more about Cat. She’s also a fun character, though up to now there was very little we knew about her. I hope we get to see more – a lot more. I want her to be the focus of a main-series book, and not just the .5 ebooks between the novels.

So both of these novelettes are great additions to the series, and would make great ebook purchases. They’re only $1.99 on Amazon, too, so it’s not a huge investment for the entertainment value. I’m very glad I picked them up.

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