Title: The Girl in the Steel Corset
Author: Kady Cross
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Released: May 34, 2011
Page #: 473
Source: My public library
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 moment she saw the young man walking down the darkened hall toward her, twirling his walking stick, Finley Jayne knew she'd be unemployed before the sun rose. Her third dismissal in as many months."
There are times that I really want to get more into steampunk books... but there is some part of me that has a hard time re-learning history with machines/robots in it. I've had this problem before, so I'll try not to let it color my view of this book.
We have a girl - Finley - who is abnormally strong and sometimes forgets herself. Meaning, she has a whole other side. Think Jekyll and Hyde (in fact, that is referenced in the book as well). Her two sides like two different boys - both powerful in their own worlds. She falls into the lives of Griffin and his friends, who are figuring out what is making people so different. And there's someone who is using their power for evil. So there's mystery, intrigue, lurve, robots, and historical characters. Well, one really... Queen Victoria. Which was an interesting thing to throw in.
Honestly, I picked up this book because of its cover. How pretty is it?! And it speaks of a strong woman, I think. And strong, she is - stronger than most men in any age. But that's all physical strength - her mind is a bit of a mess at first. But you also have another strong woman character in this story, Emily. She's basically a robot genius and comes up with things no one could imagine. She really makes this story interesting for me and I wish we could have more about her. There's a lot more going on with her and you only get a taste of it.
Speaking of which, there's a lot going on in this one book. You've got characters trying to figure out who they even are and where they came from. You have characters that are just now joining the group and you learn very little about their backgrounds (see: Jasper and Finley). There's a villain who you only see enough of to hate him. There is the beginning of a love triangle that is only touched on. And a lot more...
The whole book starts about Finley and her affliction (if that's what you want to call it) - one that makes her lose herself. And you hear a lot about her struggle and how her life has been and what she's dealt with. You also get the feeling that this is something she has a really hard time with. I mean, who wouldn't - if your other half started taking over large chunks of your life. But about halfway through the book, it's like things are magically cured. Ta da! No more problems! Now you're just strong and awesome. I think it was a little abrupt for me. And if she was cured so suddenly, I wished for some more talk of adjustment to her new life. I dunno, I just missed Finley in the last half of the book - when we were fighting villains instead (and learning of other romance triangles that never resolve).
Of course, this book is left open-ended, and it's called part of the steampunk chronicles. The author's website says the next book will be out in summer '12. I hope there is even more development of these characters and their strange relationships. I look forward to reading this one, for sure. I'm crossing my fingers that this second book will be fantastic.
Other Blog Reviews:
A Fangirl's View
The Small Town Book Blog
On a Book Bender