The Clockwork Ghost by Laura Ruby
Release date: May 14, 2019
An ARC was provided by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: It was only a few weeks ago that the Biedermann twins, Tess and Theo, along with their friend Jaime Cruz, followed the secrets of the Morningstarrs’ cipher further anyone had in its century-and-a-half history—and destroyed their beloved home in the process. But the Old York Cipher still isn’t solved. The demolition of 354 W. 73rd Street only revealed the next clue in the greatest mystery of the modern world, and if Tess, Theo, and Jaime want to discover what lies at the end of the puzzle laid into the buildings of New York by its brilliant, enigmatic architects, they will need to press on.
But doing so could prove even more dangerous than they know. It is clear that the Morningstarr twins marshaled all the strange technology they had spent their lives creating in the construction of the Cipher, and that technology has its own plans for those who pursue it. It is also clear that Tess, Theo, and Jaime are not the only ones on the trail of the treasure. As enemies both known and unknown close in on them from all sides and the very foundations of the city seem to crumble around them, they will have to ask themselves how far they will go to change the unchangeable—and whether the price of knowing the secrets of the Morningstarrs is one they are willing to pay.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The York series is like The Mysterious Benedict Society for a modern audience, but I love it way more than I ever liked TMBS.
With their apartment building demolished, the lead trio are separated by the entire island of Manhattan (the twins live in Queens now, and Jaime in New Jersey) but they're determined to spend time together and continue to solve the cipher.
There are themes of trying to find your spot in a new place and standing up for what's right and not remaking everything. There are multiple plot threads to follow, but none of them get too confusing. I will say that the pacing is a little off for most of the book but that can be looked past.
Also there are fun references to and appearances by real historical figures.
I think a little disbelief has to be suspended with the stuff the trio do, especially without an adult present (reading middle grade books makes me feel so old sometimes), but most of it is par for the course for adventure stories.
Content warnings: some tense moments in a graveyard, threats of violence
The Verdict: A fun continuation of the series.
Will I be adding this book to my library?: Yup.