BLOG TOUR: Legacy of the Clockwork Key by Kristin Bailey

Welcome to our stop on the blog tour for Legacy of the Clockwork Key by Kristin Bailey, hosted by Shane at Itching for Books. You can follow the blog tour here and there is a Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post to win a copy of this book!

Title: Legacy of the Clockwork Key 
Series: The Secret Order #1
Author: Kristin Bailey
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Pages: 403, Hardcover

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.

"Everything I had thought I'd known, I now doubted."

Ok so this book starts off REALLY REALLY well. Seriously, my interest was piqued and my hope for this book soared. Meg was orphaned at the age of 16 after her parents died in a fire. She was taken in as a house maid by one mysterious Lord Rathford, who was an acquaintance of her parents before their death. But her task - and this is the interesting part - is to make sure his house stays frozen in time - for a reason only speculated about. Each day, her and the other servants, will make food that no one will eat, leave shards of a broken vase undisturbed at the bottom of the stair, and spill a cup of tea as it had been spilled that fateful day. It was so bizarre but I had to know more.

“On the table near the window, a cup rested on its side, the spilled contents drying on the marble top. I cleaned the mess, carefully polishing the cup before setting it on the saucer and filling it only one third with the piping hot tea. Then I reached over and tipped the cup, carefully spilling the tea on the table, making sure the handle rested to the left as always. Only then could I dust the room no one would ever sit in.”

Suffice it to say, I was intrigued. But unfortunately, this doesn't have much to do with the plot which really starts when Meg discovers that the family locket she wears around her neck is actually a key. This key first opens a secret room in Rathford's house, in which she finds a letter form her believed to be deceased grandfather claiming to be alive, in hiding, and a member of a secret order of Amusementists. 

There is a machine that the Amusementists were sanctioned to build by Rathford, that her grandfather believed to be very dangerous. He had all the parts hidden, locked and guarded by dangerous Amusements so that Rathford could never use his invention. Then someone starts murdering members of the secret order, whether to find the machine or keep it hidden forever, no one knows.

But Meg gets it in her head that she must uncover this machine, destroy it forever and in the process, possibly find her grandfather. Thus begins the journey of following the clues, surviving the Amusements, and unlocking the pieces to the machine. But naturally, whoever is murdering Amusementists is now after Meg.

I really liked the plot. It was fun and full of action and discovery. The Amusements were inventive and exciting and the ending was conclusive but set up a new mystery for the next book. The whole adventure was a page turner. BUT...

 "I reached into the secret compartment and my fingers closed around the plate. A part of me couldn’t believe it had been that simple, but then, it wouldn’t have been a simple task for anyone else. It would have been impossible.”

“This was all my fault. If I had never opened the key, none of this would have ever happened. Rathford’s machine would have remained buried forever. What had I done?”

I couldn't understand why the hell the machine just couldn't stay hidden! It was like a gaping hole in the logic of the book that was staring me in the face the whole time. If only Meg can unlock the pieces of the machine - not just with her key but with a distinct song taught to her by her grandfather - why not just let the pieces stay buried? Especially with a murderer hot on your trail - why do all the work for him - this just screams bad guy getting the prize at the end! I wish there was a better justification.

And a few other things had me repeatedly sighing in exasperation. Primarily the fact that this story is full of angst.

“I was hardly one to command the attention of a man, especially sitting next to the gilded beauty Lucinda possessed. Will couldn’t possibly fancy me, so why did he watch me so intently.”

“I needed to know if something was wrong between us, or if it was only my insecurities plaguing me.”


“Unfortunately, sense had nothing to do with how I felt.”

Truer words have never been said. Meg was so smart solving clues and beating the Amusements, but then so incredibly whiny and dense when it came to Will. 

And while I am being picky - I felt like there were some cop outs:

“In my haste, I stubbed my toe on a root and fell forward, my hands landing hard against the trunk. Clunk! Something very untreelike echoed from within.”

“’There’s a cottage.’ I pointed out the window. Will lifted his hand to his eyes as he peered to the west. ‘It looks abandoned.’”

How convenient! You LITERALLY stumbled upon the clue. ;)

But to end on a good note - there was  a little bit of humor:

“Good luck. Honestly? That’s all he had to say? ‘Go right ahead, Meg, sail the ship. Oh, and don’t drown us,’ I muttered.”

“’What’s the harm in curiosity?’ … ‘Other than an overabundance of dead cats?’”

Anyway. I did actually like this book.  While Meg wasn't my favorite, I didn't dislike her and I liked the others. But above all else, the story and amusements were unique and exciting and I was interested until the end.

Kristin BaileyAbout the Author 
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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. The concept of this book sounds very interesting. I love the idea of the mystery around the locket and the secret order. I also really like the time setting, but it's a shame that there is a little gap in the plot. Meg sounds okay. I'm not so keen on whiny characters, but she is also smart and that is one thing I do like. Nice review Nicole! :)

  2. Legacy of the Clockwork Key sounds like such an interesting book. Thanks for the chance to win! :)

  3. I honestly am not sure I even can think of anything to say about this book. I loved your honest review though! This book sounds maybe a little too weird for me. I'm not sure how I feel exactly. At first I was intrigued, but now I'm just confused about if I may or may not enjoy it. Therefore I have just decided that if I ever stumble upon it I will give it a try, but I probably won't go out of my way to get it, especially with the crazy amount of books on my TBR pile as it is. Thanks again for the review!

  4. I haven't heard a whole lot about this one, but your review made it sound interesting. Like the commenter above, I have a crazy TBR list, but hey, one more book on it can't hurt, right? Thanks for your review!


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