Time for a little steampunk, and a visit to Victorian England. Read on for guest reviewer Shesha Blair’s take on The Girl in the Steel Corset, first in a new series by Kady Cross. And, of course, check out the contest at the end of the post!
ABOUT THE BOOK: 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 year is 1897, Victorian England. Sixteen year old Finley Jayne is about to lose yet another job. It isn’t all her fault. Something terrible is taking over Finley. A dark monster inside her grows stronger with each passing day, causing the usually well-mannered girl to lash out in fits of uncontrollable rage. Finley knows that if she soon cannot get her aggression under control she will find herself in prison, an asylum, or worse—dead.
Enter Griffin King, the orphaned Duke who rescues her from the streets. Griffin can see the power within Finley, a darkness which also comes with great strength and perception. Finley, he senses, is one of his own—a group of friends, who like Griffin, have their own variety of super powers. But Griffin and his friends are naturally suspicious of Finley, especially after she forms and alliance with the shadowy Jack Dandy.
Something terrible is happening in England. Someone—or something—known as The Machinist is committing crimes of an escalating nature, and reigning Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebration may be in danger, as is the well-being of Victorian Britain. As Griffin, Finley, and his gang try to solve the mystery that is The Machinist, they realize The Machinist may be a lot closer to home than they realize. Their search for answers will bring them closer to the truth of Finley’s dark powers, the mysterious death of Griffin’s parents, and the special connection Finley and Griffin share. But danger lurks in every corner and trust is hard to come by, especially for Griffin’s best friend Sam, who recently feels betrayed by his good friends and will put the entire gang in jeopardy.
THE GIRL IN THE STEEL CORSET is an exhilarating ride through the secret societies of the 1890’s Victorian London. The plot is cutting edge Steampunk, and the characters are razor sharp. Not only do we see these teens for the well-tuned super heroes that they are, but also their more vulnerable, hidden sides as well, making them completely rounded and believable. They’ll have you rooting for them from beginning to the end. This book serves to both fascinate and satisfy the reader at the same time. Its precision writing makes me beg the author for a sequel. There a few minor flaws. These characters blush a lot—and I mean–A LOT! It’s actually quite amusing. There is also a bit of repetition with some others character descriptions. Overall, the positives of this story far outweigh any negatives.
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