The Girl In The Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles #1)
By Kady Cross
Average Rating: 3.83
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.
Look at me, broadening my horizons with yet another book set in the past! Not to mention that this is a new genre that I’ve never read before! I’ve always had a liking for Science Fiction but I’ve never read anything to do with Steampunk. I didn’t even know what it was until now. Let me say, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and the rest of the series, which each book will have their own review written up very soon.
There are many characters introduced in the book, and I quickly grew accustomed to each different personality and voice. We have Sam, a big ole brute who is very strong, stronger than most humans but has a kind heart. He’s a mandroid, part man, part machine, because he almost died being attacked by automatons. (Lots of lingo to learn, more on that later) Miss Emily saved his life, and she is a genius. She’s Irish and can be thought of as your modern day female mechanic. There’s a twist, she can speak to technology. Then, we have the Duke of Greythorne, Griffin King, who became a Duke at the age of 15 due to the impromptu deaths of his parents. He has power to control the Aether which is an energy that is in everything and is everywhere. He is very powerful and oozes with money, confidence and kindness.
Lastly, our heroine, Finley Jayne has two personalities battling for the control of her body. One is more kind and calm, the other, reckless and violent. With the help of Griffin King, she must join her two selves together while also uncovering the mysteries of her family. I loved how this book emphasized on how women can be badass even in corsets. Finley and Emily had strong personalities and were infuriatingly stubborn and stood up for what they believed in. I don’t know if Cross meant for her female characters to give a message saying that girls can take care of themselves and ultimately don’t need a man in their lives to be amazing but she did, and I love it so much.
There are more characters in the series but you’ll see more of them in the later novels. That being said, with many characters means lots of overlapping plot lines. The main plots in this book are Finley’s merge of her two personas, the conflict dealing with The Machinist and the introduction of these new characters and their relationships with each other.
Finley meets Sam, Emily, and Griffin through events I’d like to call fate. Everything’s linked together, and like every book every little detail was written for a reason. The first pages reeled me into Finley’s story with such a interesting hook. The plot was fast paced and there was plenty of romance and action to keep me satisfied. Out of the four books in the Steampunk Chronicles, The Girl in The Steel Corset is my fav.
Romance. Loved the romance in The Girl in The Steel Corset. The main relationship in Book 1 are Griffin, Jack and Finley, and Sam and Emily. Between Griffin, Jack and Finley there were hints of a love triangle that I didn’t appreciate but the author sorted out that problem and I knew who would ultimately end up with who. Sam and Emily’s love story is so sweet and honest. Sam being big and Emily being short and tiny created a sense of balance and unity. I just thought it was adorable! 😀
The book is written in third person omniscient. That being said, it wasn’t confusing as I thought it would be because later, more perspectives are being introduced. Each character had a unique voice and Kady Cross wrote in a way that you always knew who had the reins during the story. And if I was confused, I would quickly realize who was speaking.
I find it’s so hard to review books of a series individually because ultimately they are a whole. You have separate each book and its’ development and try not to connect the books together. This novel’s purpose was to establish the characters, the setting and the major conflicts. There are loads of information I had to learn about Finley’s world and with the lack of the right words, I’m just going to say you have to read it for yourself. 😛 I found this story extremely original because of the different twists and turns about the Aether and the automatons.
There are lots of lingo I had to catch on. Words like “mech”, “automatons” and “Aether” were foreign and I had to figure out what they meant. I’ve explained Aether but mech is like tech, (I think) and automatons are like robots. Because this book is set in 1897, lots of devices had weird names to it, like they called a cellphone a “personal telegraph machine” which I thought was funny yet cool at the same time. Cross did her research to have the appropriate vocabulary and technology for the time and place, making for a realistic read.
(I can already tell those who are reading this are super duper confused. I don’t blame them. 😛 With that being said, this should convince readers to read this book!! )
The Girl in The Steel Corset is a hidden gem that needs to be discovered by more people. There’s lots of action, romance and mystery with a touch of magic that will keep readers on their toes solving the mysteries along with the characters.
I recommend this to fans of The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare as these books are definitely up that alley.
Keep calm and read on!