Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Girl in the Steel Corset
Kady Cross

Rating: B-

Synopsis from goodreads.com:
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 thoughts on the book:
I read this book quite awhile back, but it stuck with me. I really enjoyed this novel, and I can't wait for the next book in the series. I know that a lot of people have had problems with the fact that there was a ton of technology that shouldn't have been available to people yet being used in this novel, but I was able to have a willing suspension of disbelief where that was concerned. I think it would have been more believable, though, if Finley had at least seemed genuinely shocked by some of this technology. However, it's fiction, and if I can believe that she has some kind of weirdo split personality when she gets angry, then I can believe that they have showers and such. Also, the first scooter/motorcycle type deal was actually invented in England in 1897, so that part was believable for me. Griffin had a lot of money, and with money comes power. It's not TOO far-fetched that someone with his amount of money could have strange technological gadgets. Anyway, I digress. Cross has built a wonderful steampunk world that I can't wait to return to. The characters are well-developed, there is plenty of action, and the plot is intriguing. 

I really enjoyed the characters and the Free Indirect Discourse POV that Cross used. She's obviously read her Jane Austen novels to be able to pull that off. She did it differently than Austen, but she was able to slip seamlessly into different characters at different times. That's not an easy task, and she did it very well. There was a bit more obvious separation between the characters than there is in Austen novels, but I'm actually glad of that. Sometimes trying to figure out who is insulting whom in an Austen novel can give you a headache. 

The characters in The Girl in the Steel Corset were all unique and well-developed, in my opinion. My favorites were Finley, Griffin, Jasper, Emily, and Jack Dandy. Of course I couldn't really stand Sam. He got on my nerves, but I think he was supposed to. Finley was a pretty strong heroine, though sometimes she did second guess herself. That's only natural, though, and since she felt like she had a freaking demon growing inside of her, I can understand her random hesitation. Griffin was terrific. I liked that he was a Duke, but he didn't really adhere to the social conventions. He did what he liked, and I respected him for that. Emily was super smart, and I think that an intelligent female is always a great addition to any novel. Jasper was fun, and I just really liked him. Jack Dandy was the most complex character, and while I enjoyed his and Finley's interactions, I'm still team Griffin all the way. 

I thought there was a good amount of action in this book, but I feel that sometimes it went too long in between the action scenes and the plot dragged a little then. I didn't finish this book all in one sitting, but I did finish it relatively quickly. I wish that Cross had cut out some of the slower moving parts and made this a shorter and more intense read, though. Maybe she will do that in the sequel. However, I do understand this was the first book in a series and she had to establish the characters, world, and plot that will keep the series going for the next however many books. First books in series are almost always my least favorite because they tend to move slower than the following books. 

The plot was intriguing and it kept me guessing throughout most of the book. I couldn't always keep up with what was going on, and I felt confused at times. I feel that Cross could have made things a bit more clear in the plot department. Nevertheless, overall, I could follow the plot just fine. You will be kept guessing from the first page until the last, and that is what held my interest when things seemed to drag a little bit. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys steampunk/sci-fi books. Cross has created a rich and unique world, and this series is sure to get better and better with each novel. You don't want to miss out!

Want to buy Girl in the Steel Corset?


  1. What a great way to grab interest. I love books that are in a series when the series gains power in the preceding books.
    Please review the book on my blog, http://www.fawnsfall.com/ Thanks.

  2. Sounds pretty cool!
    I haven't read this yet, but I feel in love with the cover so it's good to know that the content is just as good. And I haven't read any steampunk yet, so this might be the one I should start with.


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