The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles #1)
Author: Kady Cross
Publication: June 1st, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: eBook, 480 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Steampunk, Historical Fiction
Read: February 2016
Kady Cross — Goodreads
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….
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 against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a 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 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 no one believes her.
Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
It had a really slow start but it had an impact anyway. It was really intricate and there were a lot of different things going on at the same time. There was action and science and mystery. I really enjoyed the paranormal aspects as well as the steampunk gadgets and contraptions which were interesting but not overly complicated. My one problem is that it was predictable, I figured at the villain really quickly.
Writing Style – 3 out of 5 stars
This is kind of the let down of the book for me. It was really dense and verbose and while I liked that it fit the time period of the book, it made the plot feel dragged and slow and it took me longer to finish reading it than I would’ve liked. It was very detailed and intricate. There were a few POV’s as well with no real rhyme or reason but they were all interesting though.
Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I really enjoyed the majority of the characters. They were all different and special in their own way, in their abilities and in their part of the group they worn, a little itty bitty tiny bit like the X-Men but I felt like they could’ve been explored more than they were. The entire cast are main characters but the focus in this particular book is Finley who is very peculiar. She has very distinct sides to her personality. There’s moment when she’s really shy and sweet, more like a proper young lady of her time would be. And then there are other times when she is kick ass and fiesty and sometimes even a little bit dangerous. I found that really interesting and intriguing, the huge contrast in her personality was something unique to me. But I wish it could’ve been developed and explored a lot more before we saw a change in that aspect. As is usual in Young Adult books there are two main love interests for the main character. And they could not be more different when compared to each other. One of them is sweet and protective and very prim and proper. He’s your perpetual good guy who just wants the best for you but with a little spice in the form of a jealous streak which I found refreshing to his character trope. The other is the complete opposite, the kind of guy you go to when you want something illegal done. He’s mysterious and dark and dangerous but at the same time, protective and sweet to the main character. While he’s considered the bad guy in this situation, he does have redeeming qualities that I was intrigued by. This is probably one of the only books where I would have been okay with a long, drawn out love triangle but the author didn’t take advantage of that potential.
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