Jasper Renn – the American with super speed. He is who Wildcat goes to when she arrives in London because she needs help.
Wildcat Maguire – another character with unique abilities. She resembles a cat, has claws, and can di very cat-like things. She was also a big name in Five Points where she earned the nickname Wildcat. She was a thief and gang leader. She is of mixed race and trusts no one as a result of that and the times she lives in. She is looking for her sister.
Sparrow – Wildcat’s sister. She too has a unique ability, but hers is that she can sort of fly. Not exactly, but almost.
Lord Blackhurst – we only see him briefly when Cat and Jasper get to the circus and rescue Sparrow from him. He gets his own line here in case he ends up important in the next full length book.
Main Premise: Wildcat is after her sister, she wants to bring her home. She goes to Jasper for help since she doesn’t know where to start. Jasper takes her to a bar where they find out she is likely with the Picadilly Circus. They go tot he circus and stop Lord Blackhurst from attacking her. Sparrow wants to stay because she feels at home in the circus. Wildcat agrees to also stay because she and Jasper are in love.
Other important things to remember for later: If you read these in order and read this before Iron Touch, you need to know that the events in this book take place during the beginning of Iron Touch and this is why Cat is in London to help rescue Emily and Sam. Jasper also saw some automatons while out looking for Sparrow.
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!