Legacy of the Clockwork Key (The Secret Order, #1)
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Legacy of the Clockwork Key (The Secret Order #1)

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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  722 ratings  ·  139 reviews
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.

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Hardcover, 409 pages
Published March 2013 by Simon Pulse
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Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
As a steampunk reader, I can be nitpicky and entirely too difficult to please and I know it. However, I don’t think I’m being unreasonable when I say that Legacy of the Clockwork Key fell short of what I had expected. For starters, it read more like Middle Grade than Young Adult and was, in many ways, far too naïve and oversimplified for my liking. In truth, I’m not sure it can even be classified as steampunk; it certainly started as one, and the author approached it very ambitiously, but the ex...more
Aa'Ishah
I hate writing negative reviews. And it pains me to say that for a book I was quite looking forward to, this was a major letdown. When I was thinking about what I wanted to include in this review, I struggled to come up with much that was positive. My experience with this book was pretty much: let's just get this over with.

Meg's life now is that of a maid, a complete contrast to the comfortable lifestyle she led before her parents died and Lord Rathford took her in. All she has left of her famil...more
Julie
Seriously guys, this book is awesome. Full of adventure and twists and just...add this to your wishlists!
Amelia, the pragmatic idealist
I KNEW IT! I knew steampunk was gonna be the 'next big thing'!
Regan
We are going to pretend that I finished this in March.

I enjoyed the beginning of this book, at first I thought the story was going to be very interesting and even creepy. I was wrong. This story was by no means bad, but it was very linear, characters go to point A, now B, ect. There was always the same villain, and there was no twists. I found myself speed reading the ending to quickly finish the book.

Not the worst book i have ever read, but by no means the best either.
Anatea Oroz
This review is also posted on my blog, Anatea's Bookshelf.

I am not really a steampunk reader and this is actually my first steampunk novel. And as I figured out I actually do like this genre, this novel failed to impress me. What I was expecting is a book full of thrilling and suprising clues, but insead I got a quite simple and predictable storyline.

It's not that I didn't like the story, I just couldn't get into it as much as I would have liked. I found myself whishing to be done with Legacy of...more
Christina
DNF at 180 pages.

I couldn't do it, I could not make myself finish this book - and that says a lot. Ask Taylor, Ellyce, Miccaeli, Nathalie, Kate and Caroline: I will read anything. Even if the plot isn't so great or the romance and worldbuilding are lackluster/forced/unbelievable, generally I've read myself into a place of guilty pleasures and I'll keep going just to satisfy my curiosity about what happens at the end.

Not so with The Legacy of the Clockwork Key. YA steampunk books are a rare bre...more
Zuleeza
Actual rating 2.5 stars

LOL.

Where is that special something I was looking for?

Where is it?

Yea, it reads like a steampunk book, it's good, the plot was nice, the prose okay. But guys, for a traditionally published book, this was just not good enough. If this was published three years ago, I'd go ballistic for it but at the current standard, this just didn't cut it.

You know, if this book was made into an epic-fantasy video game, I'd be happy to play it. But as a book, it lacks powerful characters a...more
Leann
When Meg’s home is destroyed by a fire and her parents are killed, her fortune and future are gone. She is left with only the tarnished pocket watch of her dad’s. She is offered a job as a housemaid in Lord Rathford’s mansion and this is really her only option. Strange things are always occurring there as each day she must get up and clean the house and place everything back exactly the way that it was the day before, the tea cup on it’s side on the table, the rug askew in the hall and it was Me...more
Emily
*A copy was provided by Simon & Schuster for review purposes*

Coming into this book, I was unbelievably excited. The summery looked absolutely amazing…but unfortunately the book wasn’t. And it’s such a shame because Bailey had such an awesome idea. I just felt like the story line was so see-through, the whole mystery aspect of the book was way too easy, and the staging was atrocious. I also didn’t enjoy the romance AT ALL! I think it was very badly written, and so cliché and done before. I li...more
Kristen
DNF
I am not rating this due to not finishing.

This wasn't bad per se, but I just could not get absorbed in the characters. Something felt flat to me and though I kept at it I just never got invested in the story.
Lizzie the Sarcastic Blonde
I also read this book for free on Pulseit. This was the first book that I read that I was aware was steampunk. I've read Pullman's His Dark Materials series. And after reading this book, I became obsessed with steampunk. Since reading this book, I have read at least a dozen steampunk books and I am never looking back.

description

After Meg's mansion is set on fire, her family and the wealthy life she once had are gone. She has nothing left. With no money left to her name, she must become a servant. The house...more
Mara
Cover Blurb: Yes or No? I absolute love the cover art, with the wheels in the upper corners, and the clockwork bird, and the skyline of London. It's extremely attention-grabbing for a Reader like me, who loves Victorian mysteries. Unfortunately, the cover is a bit misleading.

Characters: The biggest problem was Meg Whitlock, the protagonist. Quick to take offense to the slightest tease or criticism, Meg spent the majority of the book angry at someone - usually Will MacDonald. Her foul temper caus...more
Jaiden
Originally posted at: Girls on YA Books

~Review:
The Legacy of the Clockwork Key is one of those other 2013 debuts that just rock your socks! I loved it to absolutely no end!! There have been about 4 books that have been released this year that have already made my top 5! This my friends, would be one of them. I absolutely love steampunk novels but I read them so rarely. So it’s one of those genres (and I am sure you have heard me mention this several different times on SEVERAL different occasion...more
Marianne (Boricuan Bookworms)
I'm sorry. I really couldn't finish this. I tried to, but I can't. Review soon.

EDIT:

So I felt so bad not finishing the book, that I finally decided to actually read the remaining 158 pages that were left.

This is the story of Meg, and how she, after being orphaned and forced to work for an extremely mysterious man. She's never actually seen the man, but everyone that works in the house is absolutely terrified of him. When Meg discovers a secret she may not have wanted to, she's fired from her...more
Van
Meg is orphaned after a fire killed both her parents, and with nowhere to go she takes a position of a housemaid in a big ol’ creepy mansion. Day in and day out she cleans room after room, keeping everything as is since the day the baroness of the house passed away. As for the Baron, she has never met him but all the servant says he watches over them and knows everything that goes on in the mansion. On one of Meg’s usual cleaning routine she stumbles upon a wall clock with the same three pedals...more
Esmeralda
Couldn't finish. I liked how the story began. But as the story continued it went down hill. The main character is annoy and silly. I can't understand why she does the things she does. One example she is following clues to know more about her family and the group she doesn't stop to think things through. Or stop to think period. It is like she is following breadcrumbs without stoping to look that they lead to a open and very hot oven, dragging people who are trying to help with her. Not to mentio...more
Kelly Hager
This is a promising beginning for a new trilogy. I will also admit that I am predisposed to like this as it deals with a dead parent and is extremely gothic in tone.

Meg is a fantastic heroine, one who is unapologetically smart but is also very relatable. While this book is very much steeped in class distinctions (Meg, especially, is very aware of how far she's fallen in London society), Meg isn't as concerned with her reputation as one might expect. Instead, her attention is focused on figuring...more
Jules Goud
I really only have one real complaint.

I was rolling my eyes at Meg's romance or as she would say "the love of her life". Seriously. She knows absolutely nothing about him. And she loves him. Really? I wouldn't say that it is love.

Anyways, steampunk seemed to be popping up so much lately that I decide to roll with it and pick up this book that my librarian picked out for me. Not a bad choice. It was quite good, I must say.

I have to admit that I loved the automatons. They were wicked cool and to t...more
Abigail
Meg has had quite a reversal of fortune when her family home burns down along with her loving family. She is forced to serve as maid in the home of a madman, and soon uncovers a plot shrouded in mystery involving a secret group of imaginative inventors called the Amusementists. With her newly made friends Meg must gather together the pieces of a special creation and stop a evil (or misguided) attempt to tear the fabric of time.
I liked that this was kind of a toned-down streampunk book- the inve...more
The Twins Read
This review can originally be found at The Twins Read.

Actual rating: 2.5/5

After a fire ravages Meg's home and kills her parents, she's forced to work as a maid in Lord Rathford's home - she takes that opportunity because it's certainly better than being tossed out onto the streets. Meg takes her grandfather's pocket watch with her only to find out that the pocket watch is actually a key. A key that will unlock truths and lead Meg into the secret society of the Amusementists - brilliant men who...more
Chelsey
Have you ever wondered how great books often slide by you? Yes, well that happened to me with this particular title. Apparently this book was the debut for the author back in 2013 and I just completely missed the memo! However, I am so glad that I found out about it now. This book is full of so much imagination and steampunk that I might explode with excitement before I finish typing this review. Meg’s life has been swept out from under her as we begin the story. Her home has burned, killing her...more
Jessica Cheung
This is just going to be a very short review because I'm not going to write about the content (spoilers) but I just want to let everyone know how I feel about this book.

'Legacy of the Clockwork Key' is amazing. It captivated me right from the very start; right from the first word. The author used such detail in her writing and I think this book is a true success. I savoured every word in this book and I love to read and re-read it over and over again. It's under my 'currently reading' list at th...more
Melbourne on my mind
Somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars, which is code for "it's a cute story but it's pretty fluffy". Or something. I don't even know. It read more like a middle grade novel somehow, though it was very definitely YA. Something about the way it was written and the tone of things made it feel younger than it should have, and I can't put my finger on why.

It's a steampunk-y story, filled with mysterious inventions and a secret society. But there wasn't really any world-building. Which on the one hand ma...more
Alisha
I'm not all that familiar with the steampunk genre but I really enjoyed this book and I think it is a good beginning for a promising series. I do think this a good book for readers looking to get into this genre. It is not too technical with mechanical details for the reader to get lost in.

The Cons:
~One problem I had with the story,was that there were some inventions that did just not seem possible using steam and clockwork technology. A couple of the 'amusements' were like modern technology. S...more
Angelica
STEAM PUNK IS SO COOL!!! That being said, the romance in Legacy of the Clockwork Key is a tad...artificial. Meg is spunky and determined when it comes to her adventures, but she becomes clumsy and helpless around her love interest. Lame. And then of course the guy is all, "I love you, but we can't be together," and it's like, really? Tell me a new story. Bailey repeats a word several times in one paragraph in several places throughout the book. With a bit more editing, I think this annoyance cou...more
Jen
Mar 27, 2013 Jen marked it as incomplete
DNF at 25%
The plot is literally going nowhere, and the romance is uncomfortable. Meg, the main character, seems confused a lot. Her need to find out about her family's past is too dull and uninteresting. I'm sorry, but I really just can't read for another 75% about Meg's grandfather.

Not writing a full review for this, since I didn't actually finish this.
Stephanie (IncientricBooks)
FINALLY!! I finished it! This was so long! It felt like an eternity reading this. I truly give this a 3.4. I won't lie that there was some really boring parts in this book, but there was some parts that just wanted me to know more (those where really good, but very rare). Anyway, I won't make a full review about it, but this was not my favorite book. I liked it because I recently came back from my trip to London and there was some elements in the book that I could relate to. I thought that the w...more
Suzanne
I'm not sure why the average review on this book is so low, it was far better than the last 3 or 4 books I've read. Great story, interesting characters, excellent pace, and awesome creations.
Maggie's parents die in a fire, an old family friend takes her in and provides her a home, an odd home, albeit, but it's better than living on the street. When Maggie discovers the only item she has left from her grandfather, a pocket watch, no longer works she seeks out Will, the stablehand. Her benefactor,...more
Mere
Premise: Excellent (Semi-secret society of amusementists)
Plot: Pretty good (basically just a little treasure hunt)

Characters: NOT good
Meg and Will might as well be Bella and Edward. But worse???

Meg spends half the book worrying that Will doesn't like her or that she did something to upset him when in reality he's just a moody *******. And she's the stupid girl constantly apologizing while trying to please him. LAME. Maybe this is realistic for SOME dumb as **** high school couples, but for chara...more
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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...more
More about Kristin Bailey...
Rise of the Arcane Fire (The Secret Order, #2) Shadow of the War Machine (The Secret Order #3)

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“He could sit in the dust and dark of the carriage house and rot for the rest of his life. Clearly that's what he wished to do. It was not my place to get in the way of so profound a destiny.” 7 likes
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