The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross (Steampunk Chronicles, #1)
Genre: YA, Steampunk
Received: hardcover from Felicia’s July RIPI giveaway
Read: 8/8/2011 — 8/9/2011
In Six Words: Wasn’t bad, but wasn’t great either.
1. The Girl in the Steel Corset
2. The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (2012)
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.
Why I Read This Book and General Thoughts
I’m not really sure where I saw this book first. Maybe it was just one of those books I saw floating around the blogosphere and thought it sounded interesting enough to add to my wishlist. When Felicia had The Girl in the Steel Corset up for grabs on her RIPI giveaway (read it, then pass it), I put it my bid — and won! The only other steampunk that I have read was the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger, which is not exactly typical of the steampunk genre, so I was particularly interested in whether I would like The Girl in the Steel Corset or not. I did like it, and it was a good, solid book that I enjoyed, but it didn’t knock me over with awesomeness, either.
A More In-Depth Look
I liked The Girl in the Steel Corset and read it in two days, so it held my interest easily. But I also figured out what was going on and who was behind it long before the characters did. For me to be able to guess so easily and be right means that a) I wasn’t engaged enough in the book to be swept up so much that I forgot about making a guess and b) it was predictable. However, the plot did not hinge solely on this aspect, and luckily there were other aspects that kept me reading.
I am not sure whether I simply don’t have enough experience with the steampunk genre or if it was not explained well enough, but there were times that I was confused by the world, like I was missing out on information that I should have already had. I also felt like the characters were under-developed. And both girls had their own little love triangle? Yeah, no thanks. I hate love triangles, though I will admit that Finley’s attraction to Jack and Griffin was a nice reflection of her two sides and actually made the most sense. The ending gives a pretty good indication of what the next book might have in store, but I can’t say that I have a burning desire to know. Would I read it if the book is placed in front of me? Heck yes. Would I go out and buy it? Probably not.
You Might Enjoy This Book If…
If none of my complaints above bother you, and you’re a fan of steampunk and/or YA, you might enjoy The Girl with the Steel Corset.