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Friday, May 10, 2013

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

473 pages, YA Steampunk
The Steampunk Chronicles #1
My Rating: 4 stars


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.

My 2 cents

I have to mention that my copy included the short story prequel called "The Strange Case of Finely Jayne," and I would recommend reading this before you start Steel Corset. It gives some back story on Finley, and really set up the series well.

This is a steampunk book, which means there are a lot of gizmos and gadgets, and the setting takes place in Victorian London. Finley is not your average girl--she has a darker self that she doesn't have control over, who has super human strength and is pretty dark. She manages to escape a near rape attempt, and ends up in the hands of Griffin and his gang of oddities.

There is a central case to be solved in the story, but most of the story is actually back story, and I feel like we got plunked down in the middle of an even bigger story. I really wanted to know more about most of the characters, and I'm hoping we get to in the next few books!

This are hints of romance in the story, but most of it concerns the group's abilities. Finley is easily my favorite character. She just came alive on the page for me, and had the most character development. Griffin was right behind on her that, as well as Sam, whom I didn't like nearly as much, for reasons obvious after you've read the story! I really want to know more about Jasper and Jack Dandy!

I did love the group camaraderie, and how all of these characters were willing to lay it all down on the line for each other. The actual plot and story line were not that believable, but that's not unusual in steampunk!

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