Talk about a misleading title. Even the title to this post needs help. This wasn’t so much a wild adventure as it was the chase by Wildcat of her sister, Sparrow. Sparrow’s Flight might have been a better title. Or Wildcat’s Chase. Or almost anything that involved the ladies and not Jasper. And it certainly wasn’t a wild adventure. If helping Cat visit 2 places to find her sister is a wild adventure, then I lead a much more interesting life than I thought.
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy this little adventure. I did. I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was a cute little insight into a character I didn’t think we got enough of in the full length features – Wildcat. But if Ms. Cross thinks this little teaser is a wild adventure for Jasper than I feel sorry for Jasper because he must not have much a a future in store.
The crux of this story is that Wildcat hops on a ship for London, in search of her sister, Sparrow, who has left with a man for London. Wildcat ends up asking Jasper for help, and they set out to find Sparrow. We get a little background of the relationship between Jasper and Wildcat, and they admit their feelings for one another. Meanwhile, this is what is going on during the events of The Girl with the Iron Touch.
Let’s start with this fundamental fact: I love the Steampunk Chronicles. I have loved it ever since reading the Finley prequel. I even thought she beats out Cassandra Clare in the sub-genre (seehttps://seriestracker.wordpress.com/ya/magic/steampunk-chronicles/the-strange-case-of-finley-jayne/). And I was totally bummed when I thought that the last might be the end of the road for this series. So, despite my stated hatred for ebook only mini-novels, I was still looking forward to reading this.
So the other shoe that needs to drop? The title is such a misnomer. It wasn’t really a wild adventure and it wasn’t really about Jasper. And if you disagree because you think that Jasper admitting he loves Wildcat is the adventure, then don’t talk to me. I refuse to believe that is what the author was contemplating when writing the title to this short story. I am not sure Wildcat’s crossing of the pond should be considered a wild adventure. Maybe her shopping spree was, considering her personality, but certainly not the trip to London or her search for her sister. And the later isn’t really such a wild adventure since it was solved in such short order (the potential to turn it into a wild adventure with Jasper probably would have required a full length book, which would have been ok with this reader). Even Jasper’s role here wasn’t so great that I would have titled this book based on him. We see so little of him or his abilities (although I love what we do see – even if it is fleeting or too fast… 😉 ) But I guess that Wildcat, even after Clockwork Collar where we see a fair amount of her, is too collateral a character to base the title on. But I would have picked it up just the same, as long as I knew it belonged to this series.
There is awesome in this little story. And a good deal of it. We get to see Jasper and Wildcat in action, we see their mutations. Jasper is a character I really wish we knew better and we see some of him. Wildcat is an awesome addition and her sister Sparrow would be a welcome addition as a series regular as well. I am starting to really enjoy these stories that occur simultaneously but are separate books (or in this case, min-books) because it lets me adore the characters and story line even more. I will note that reading this without the benefit of the other stories might leave some readers a little lost as there is clearly the presumption that folks are familiar with this world and its workings (do you know what a velocycle is?)
There is a ton of atmosphere – I can read a sentence and have a scene, in great detail, pictured in my mind. This is an extension of the wonderful world that the author has built. It was a great little refresher and reminder of why I love this series. Don’t get me wrong, I still have issues with the need for these little stories in the first place, but the fact that this was really an “extra” with out key plot points for the other books that came after, was wonderful. I can’t wait to finish the next. And I see that there is another full installment coming – The Girl with the Windup Heart. I assume that this is about Mila, the girl that Dandy delivers to the big baddies in Steampunk Chronicles #3 (and I am now also seeing in the Dandy-half book that I am reading). This was a great tie in to S.C.3 because we saw Jasper and Cat run off in that, but we didn’t know why. Now we do.
As always with this book, there is great imagery, captivating prose and lovable characters. I am glad that I can dive right into The Dark Discovery of Jack Dandy, and that I won’t have to wait too long for Girl with the Windup Heart. Love the Steampunk Chronicles! I guess they weren’t loosing steam after all (https://seriestracker.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/steampunk-loosing-steam/) – and I am happy that my assessment was so wrong!
p.s. updated the series page and added one for this little short.