Saturday 3 December 2011

Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset - Kady Cross

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 gas lit 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.

The Steampunk Chronicles:
The Strange Case of Finely Jayne (Novella)
The Girl in the Steel Corset
The Girl in the Clockwork Collar
The Dark Discovery of Jack Dandy (Novella)
The Girl with the Iron Touch
The Wild Adventure of Jasper Renn (Novella)
The Girl with the Windup Heart

Visit Kady Cross' website for more information

I've become a big fan of steampunk stories over the last few months so as soon as I heard about The Girl in the Steel Corset I knew I wanted to read it. Seeing the cover only confirmed it - you have to admit that is one beautiful cover! While I did have a few issues with this one it is still a promising debut and I'm looking forward to continuing the series.

To start with the positives I absolutely loved Finley, she is strong and independent and takes an active role in protecting both herself and others. I really liked the Jekyll and Hyde aspect of her personality and the way she gradually starts to bring the two sides of herself together as the story progresses. The world Kady Cross has created is interesting and has been described wonderfully, I was transported to Victorian England while reading but a very different one to what you'll read about in the history books. It's a world full of automatons, organites and other fun technology that I'm looking forward to exploring more. Griff was a likeable character but I found him a little too perfect and was frustrated that the romance didn't seem to go anywhere, I do have hopes for future books though. I actually liked Jack much better (but I do have a tendency to go for the bad boys!), I loved his accent and you could hear his cockney drawl as you were reading. I'm hoping we'll see a lot more of him and find out more about his past in the next instalment.

There are also some interesting side characters I want to see more of. Emily was a particular favourite and it was nice to see an intelligent woman who was able to out think most of the male characters. My slight niggle with her was that I kept hearing her voice with a Scottish accent when we had been told she was Irish and it irritated me that even though she was only 16 she called the boys "lad" all the time, I felt that was something that would have been said by a much older character not by someone her age but that's probably just me. I found myself getting completely irritated by Sam but he does redeem himself somewhat towards the ends so I have hopes for him in the future. I also really liked Jasper the American cowboy and was excited to find out that the next book is set in the US and will tell us more about his past.

The plot was interesting but a little slow to get started and I did feel that the author gave too many hints about the mystery meaning I had worked out all of the twists long before the characters did. Considering how smart Emily was she should really have put things together much faster than she did! Although the twists were clever the fact that I'd seen them coming so far in advance meant I was hoping that I was going to be wrong in my guesses but unfortunately that wasn't the case.

Although the book isn't perfect it is still a welcome addition to the steampunk genre and I'll definitely be picking up the next instalment as soon as it is available. I think this series will just get stronger with each new instalment.

Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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