From Goodreads: 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 Rating: 4.5 hearts
Thoughts on the Novel: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross is the first book I’ve read that falls within the steampunk genre. I’ve always thought steampunk sounded fascinating, but The Girl in the Steel Corset confirmed this with its incorporation of modern day technology into a Victorian era in a way that seemed very realistic.
Right from the start, Cross managed to suck me into her story and kept me hooked. The Girl in the Steel Corset is told from the point-of-view of three characters: the Duke of Greythorne (aka Griffin), his best friend Sam (who I didn’t care for as much because he spent a large part of the story feeling betrayed by his friends and complaining to a stranger – there’s always a catch when strangers don’t seem to get bored of your whining, people!) and Finley (who I loved because she was independent and feisty). As a result, you get to know each of these characters’ stories and how they feel about each other and the others they’re living with.
There wasn’t a huge amount of romance in The Girl in the Steel Corset but there are already two love triangles in place. The first is the mini one between Sam, Emily – I love that Cross chose to make the most brilliant person in the book a girl who’s feminine and yet tinkers with machines – and Jasper.
The second love triangle is between Griffin, Finley and Jack. Though, sweet Griffin has the interesting ability to tap into the Aether, I normally tend to like the bad boys and this isn’t the exception in The Girl in the Steel Corset. Jack may not be as wealthy as Griffin or have mystical powers, but he is mysterious and does have a large influence among people. I loved the Cockney accent he adopts to pretend that he’s unrefined and poses no trouble even if others might find it annoying. What I really liked about both Griffin and Jack though was that they’re letting Finley choose who she wants to be with at a time when women had limited rights and freedom. Unfortunately, that just meant I was left craving a kiss or two. Hopefully, I’ll get that in the sequel.
A superb start to a brand new series I’m looking forward to, The Girl in the Steel Corset is released today by Harlequin Teen!
Comments About the Cover: I love the gorgeous cover! The dress is simply amazing and I love how the model – who I think looks a little old – seems like she’s going to climb the wall and show off her super-fast reflexes. The font and the background with faint gears also goes well with the foreground and reflects the genre.
In exchange for an honest review, this ARC was received from the publisher (Harlequin Teen) for free via NetGalley.