The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: May 24, 2011
Source: Publisher - NetGalley
Age Level: Young Adult
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Buy: Amazon | IndieBound
In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one except the thing inside her. When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch. Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits. Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret. Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help and finally be a part of something, finally fit in. But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on, even if it seems no one believes her.This was my first steampunk novel, and I didn't really know what to expect going in... but I kept hearing great things about this debut! Really, this book is a mash-up of steampunk, paranormal, mystery, and romance. The mix of the Victorian era with modern (in their own fun steampunk way) technologies was both fascinating and charming -- great world building by Cross!
What I liked most about this book was the cast of characters. Finley... what can I say. She kicks some serious arse! She's a housemaid that struggles with her personality being split in a Jekyll/Hyde sort of way. Her dark side is inhumanly strong, capable of fighting back and doing serious damage. Griffin is gifted in his own way, sweet, and a Duke... The vast difference in social status keeps Finley and Griffin apart, a relationship would be "inappropriate" and looked down upon. The cast is rounded out by Sam, Emily, and Jasper. I have to say, I think my favorite character is Emily! She is insanely smart (think
Cross spends a lot of time describing the out-fits of the characters. It was fun learning about steampunk/Victorian fashions but by the time I was half way through the book I felt like the fashion descriptions stalled the story and I wanted to get to the action. Though I enjoyed escaping to the world Cross created... the pacing was a little slow, and the plot was a bit predictable and worked out a little too easily. I knew who the villain was as soon he was introduced to the reader. For these reasons, I found it easy to put this book down.
All in all, I found this to be an entertaining read. This was a great introduction to the steampunk world!
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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