Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Book Review: Girl in the Steel Corset

Title: Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Release Date: May 24, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 473 pages
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating: 3.5 stars
Source: ARC from Publisher through NetGalley
Goodreads Summary: 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
The Girl in the Steel Corset is my first steampunk novel and I am happy to say it will not be my last! The combination of the historical setting and technology is fascinating. There is so much going on in this story, there really is no time to get bored. It is action packed and fast paced.
While I was intrigued to find out the mystery behind Finley’s dark side (and it’s really interesting), I found the Machinist’s secret identity a bit too easy to figure out. I had a few other issues with this book including 16-year-old Emily’s brilliance at engineering and surgery (where did she get her training, did she just figure it out?); the two love triangles; and I am still not clear on the what the exact nature of the Aether, this spirit realm where Griffin goes, and Griffin’s power.
I am a very character driven reader and I did not love these characters as much as I hoped to except for Jack Dandy. To be clear, I am not Team Jack. Like I said before, I did not care for the love triangle with Finley, Griffin and Jack but I loved Jack’s personality and wanted to read more about him.
Regardless of my issues, I liked this book and am now excited to read the sequel and more books like it. Additionally, the cover is gorgeous, one of the best I have seen this year!
Content: Kissing and violence. A man tries to rape a girl but she beats him up. We find out he has raped other girls and got at least one of them pregnant.


Ivy said...

Great review! I love Finley's dark side too! I'm hoping to read a next book! :)

Read my review: http://ivyreads.info/2011/05/the-girl-in-the-steel-corset-arc-by-kady-cross/

Read.Breathe.Relax. said...

NC- I definitely agree with you on some of the points you've brought up! Although I did love the characters- Finley was so sweet and kind- I agree that the Aether was a bit confusing. Also, Emily with her crazy talents just seemed waaaaay beyond her time.

This was one of my first steampunk books too- and I hope all of them are this good! :D

Shelagh said...

I'm glad to see that there is more going for this novel than against it in your opinion - good review. This book is slowly inching its way up my wishlist. I haven't read much steampunk, but I know enough of the style to suspect that I'll love it.

The Word Fiend

Kathy said...

I haven't read this yet, but it's been on my to be read list for awhile. Great review, and I liked that you balance what you did like with what you didn't. It helped give an over all view of the novel.

Anti-Drug Reads said...

I've only heard good things about this. I need to get my hands on it! Great review, thorough and honest :D

Don't be a stranger; stop by my blog and say hi! I'm not quite sure if we're fellow followers, but I follow you!

Looking forward to hearing back from you,
Cory @ Anti-Drug Reads

Christy @TheReaderBee said...

Glad you enjoyed this! I really did as well, and am looking forward to the next book in the series!

Anonymous said...

Reading twin!!

I read the prequel, The Strange Case of Finley Jayne, and I wasn't overly in love with the characters in that myself but I LOOOOVED the gadgetry and other steampunk elements (except for all of Finley's myriad plum colored dresses).

If you enjoy the steampunk genre, I suggest reading The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge! It is an awesome steampunk-dystopian alternate history.


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