The Girl in the Steel Corset by 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 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. (From Amazon.ca)
This one kept me page turning at a very quick pace. I loved the writing, loved the characters, and loved the story. The really nice looking cover is also a bonus. I’d have to say it’s really Finley who was the most interesting and delightful read. She’s got quite a personality that is unforgettable, and added to that is other ‘dark’ side which not only is exciting and fun to read but the consequences can get rather drastic. (It’s fun when she loses her temper) (Or where she fights with Sam bwahaha). She’s certainly a tough one and that makes her one of the most likable heroines I have seen and read.
The story is told in different points of view so it keeps the plot going and more interesting. I liked Finley’s point of view the best, of course. Griffin’s is interesting as it dabbles into the paranormal side of things. I liked the balance of paranormal and technological aspects of the story. It’s an interesting mix, but it sure works well, especially with a Victorian London setting.
There’s quite a bit of descriptions in this book, but it helps visualize everything and it’s not over done. (Finlay’s dress for example. Wow, that was superb!). The action in this book was well done and the plot was easy to follow, and it flows through. The characters in the book are memorable enough and likable. Although Sam rather got on my nerves as he complained and whined too much, needed a good beating (which was entertaining), and eventually as he smartened up he wasn’t so bad. Jasper was a charmer and you couldn’t help but like him, and Jack Dandy had his charming moments as well although he can be rather slimy and swarmy (depending on how you see him).
Steampunk readers will enjoy this book. YA lovers who are new to the Steampunk genre will enjoy this one as it has all the YA characteristics and more. I fully enjoyed this book and am looking forward to its’ sequel!
I give it a 9/10