Wednesday, October 5, 2011

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.

I read The Girl in the Steel Corset months ago. In fact, I read it as soon as it came out. That cover mesmerized me. I loved that metal glove on Finley's hand. I want one. I want that dress and a steel corset! And I really want a Griffin King after me! Or just subtly pursuing me. And I promise not to be as ignorant as she is of his interests. But that Finley Jane, she is so uniquely her own self, she defies category, definition even. I loved her character. Tough as nails when she felt her self preservation kick in, but ladylike when the case called for it. But what I loved most about Finley Jane and her personality was that she had this inner dialogue going on that never stopped, but was right on when it came to assessing a situation, a person, or a need. The only thing she never guessed right was everyone's regard for her and that was because she felt so beneath all of them and so bad about herself, she could never see what others truly felt about her. Except for the criminal element, Jack Dandy for whom she has an unnatural attraction. But then she thinks, she's common so why not? But Griff has other plans for her.

Sam was a character I never got around to liking. I know he'd had a hard time previous to the novel and he was part machine, part of what had almost killed him and he hated that. He hated Emily and Griff for saving him that way and he hated Finley. But Finley's only crime was that she was new to the group. He just needed a scapegoat. I really hated Sam throughout the book and that was hard, because Emily liked him and somewhere in all the hatred and anger, he liked Emily.

Emily was a sweetheart. I pictured her as a Pippi Longstocking kind of looking girl because she was always described with ropey braids. And she didn't seem to have time for fashion as she was always working on something in her laboratory. I liked her because she was the first to make Finley feel welcome at the house. She healed her wounds and Finley thought of her as her first real friend.

And then there was Griffin. Griffin the richest man in England. Richer than the Queen. An orphan at a young age, able to tap into the Aether, the spirit world, whenever he wanted or needed to see disturbances and try to track down the Machinist, the thing that had tried to kill Sam, had killed others and he suspected had something to do with the deaths of his parents. And he's met his match with Finley. She thinks her station so beneath him, that they are actually able to be friends. And his pursuit of her is taken very lightly by her. Because a man of his wealth and breeding could never be with a girl like her.

Oh these characters are so richly woven into the story with some additional side characters and the plot, to find the Machinist, is driven with the force of two very powerful beings, Sam with his anger and hatred and Finley with her strength and love to protect her new friends. The two clash on the battlefield and then find themselves up against a truly unbeatable force.

There is a cliffhanger ending on two counts and I cannot wait to read the next installment of the Steampunk Chronicles. Kady Cross weaves several different story lines together intricately never quite losing the thread of one for another so that they are all there being woven together loosely, but present. Her characters are full and colorful and some of my favorites in YA. Read it if you haven't! Even if you think you don't like Steampunk, there is no way you can't love this one!

Highly recommended!



  1. I so want that dress on the cover too. I would wear it everywhere just to get as much use out of it as possible. Grocery store? Wearing it. Walking the dogs? Wearing it. I'll be that crazy girl who wears her steel corset around all of Columbus:)

    I still have this one on my list, I'm looking forward to it! I really like the sound of Griffin:)

  2. Hey Heather - great to read you offering today - this is yet another book to add to my TBR list - which is ridiculously huge and you must take some of the blame! ;D Shah .X

  3. Jenny- If I looked that hot in that dress you can bet I'd be wearing it everywhere. Throwing dinner parties every weekend. I agree, walking the dog, yeah look at me, you know you want it! Hmm, maybe if I met with J. teachers in that dress they'd say, "Oh, so that's what's wrong with him." LOL

    Shah- Read Jenny's blog. Your TBR list will fill a notebook and more! But I loved this book!!


  4. I sooo love this book as well. I'm a big fan of Jack Dandy and all of the talk about the characters clothes. Swoon!! I started to read the prequel, but other books got in the way. I still have it on my list of "first non-review, non-Harry Potter, book to read". (Yes, there is a list.)

  5. I haven´t read The Girl in the Steel Corset, I must. Love the cover of The Girl in the Clockwork Collar.
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