Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Girl in the Steel Corset- Review

Title:  The Girl in the Steel Corset
Author:  Kady Cross
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Reviewed for netGalley

Goodreads Summary:

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 thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book! The beginning of the book got my attention right away! I have to be honest. if the beginning would not have been so riveting, I probably would not have stuck with this book.  I know this sounds strange, since I just said I really liked this book.  But the book was very long, nearly 500 pages, and a lot of the middle was rather slow. But by that point I was already hooked, and needed to find out the end.  And the end, I feel, delivered.

The author stated in the end of the novel that she wanted to write a book that was League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets X-Men teen.  I feel that she did this, with a little Batman thrown in as well.  I did expect the book to have more steampunk elements than it did; I am a huge steampunk fan, although I have not read too many steampunk books yet.  It is something I am going to delve more into this winter.  This was more like a historical romance novel with some elements of steampunk, where I thought it was going to be the other way around. The gang of good guys, the Victorian era Scooby gang, consisted of Griffin the Duke, and his friends, Finley, Emily, Sam, and Jasper, the cowboy. They all live together in Griffin's mansion, and all have special powers of some sort and flavor. Also making an appearance was Griffin's aunt, Cordelia. There is the anti-hero, Jack Dandy, to add a spicy love triangle between Finley and Griffin.  She can't quite decide if she likes the good Duke or the slightly shady Jack.  (If I had a choice, I would have chosen Jasper.) The bad guy is really obvious to figure out, but for me, did not detract from the story at all.   The main heroine, Finley, has a dual personality, a good side and bad side that war with each other.  Her father, a scientist, had the same affliction.  I liked this until Cross decided that Finley's father was the inspiration for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  I felt that really cheesed it up a bit, sadly.  The book ends on a cliffhanger, with the gang headed off to the United States to help Jasper out of a jam.  I have to admit, I am looking forward to the next book!

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