Title: The Girl in the Steel Corset
Author: Kady Cross
Series: Steampunk Chronicles #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Steampunk, Strong women
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
5th sentence, 74th page: He smiled ever so slightly.
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 ever steampunk novel. I decided to find one for the Popsugar reading challenge, and I’m so glad that I did. My life (and my personal library) have been changed forever. I’ve always had an interest and love for the steampunk subculture, but it’s always just been a passing interest. Now that I’ve read this book, it’s more than a passing interest, it may grow into a full blown obsession to be quite frank. The mentions of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Journey to the Centre of the earth have also further increased my To Be Read pile.
Cross’ characterisation throughout The Girl in the Steel Corset was fantastic. The characters were real, multi-dimensional and fascinating. Each ‘misfit’ has some amazing powers. But these are tempered by their personal flaws, insecurities and problems. It isn’t about a series of characters that are perfect and we’d all aspire to be, they are young adults that are trying to find their way in life, and just happen to have some incredible powers instead. Which was then further supported by a great style and technique of writing. It was humourous, enjoyable and accessible. Yet, there was a sense of purpose and seriousness that helped to draw you into their battle. It made the book almost impossible to put down and an absolute pleasure to sink my literary teeth into.
Most stories have a good love interest. After all, it tends to raise the stakes and cause extra conflict for the characters – both internal and external. And creating a love triangle just helps to heighten this experience. The fact that Cross includes two fantastic triangles that both explore two sides of each woman certainly helps to build that suspense. The competition throughout is fierce, and although there seems to be a little equilibrium reached towards the end of the story, the incredible open-ended conclusion shows that there’s still a few battles to fight. Both inside and out.
|<- The Strange Case of Finley Jayne Review||The Girl in the Clockwork Collar Review ->|