Author: Kady Cross
Published: May 24, 2011 by Harlequin Teen
Series: Steampunk Chronicles #1
Challenge: 2011 Debut Author Challenge
Source: e-ARC from NetGalley and Publisher
Summary: She thought there was something wrong with her. She was right.
Finley Jayne has known for quite some time that she isn’t ‘normal,’ but when she beats up the son of her employer and is forced to flee, she stumbles into a world where there are bigger freaks than her. They take her in, treat her like family and demand her trust. How can Finley trust them when she can’t trust herself? And why is she drawn to the powerful Griffin as well as the dangerous Jack? She has to get herself under control before she gets into trouble she can’t get out of.
Griffin King is one of the most powerful men in Britain but he couldn’t save his best friend from almost dying. He is determined to save Finley and help her become the person he knows she can be, but there’s evil afoot in London. Machines have attacked humans under the orders of a nefarious criminal called The Machinist. He has sworn to protect his country against such a threat, but he’s never faced any foe like this. However, when he discovers The Machinist’s connection to his past, Griffin vows to end the villain once and for all — but he’ll need the help of all his friends, including the beautiful Finley Jayne – the girl in the steel corset.
Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset really surprised me. At first it seemed a little too much like Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel, but after reading it for a while I realized it was quite different.
In The Girl in the Steel Corset the first half of the book is mainly focussed on finding out what's wrong with Finley and how she got the way she is. I liked how there were parallels to Dr. Jekell and Mr. Hyde; it added a bit of personality to the book as a whole. The second half focussed more on The Machinist and finding out who he was and what he was up to. I thought it was a bit obvious who he was, but it was still exciting to see the action play out. At first it seemed like the two halves of the book wouldn't go together, but Cross did a great job of the blending the different plot lines together.
I'm not the biggest fan of third person narration, but it worked really well in this book. It let me see what was happening wt the different characters and I connected with almost all of them (which is also usually a problem for me in third person narration).
One aspect of this book that I always like to see is that there was romance but it didn't dominate the story. You can see there's attraction between certain characters, but the romance takes a back seat to the rest of the story. I must say that I didn't see the attraction between Finley and Jack (maybe it's just because he wasn't in the story that much?) but I could definitely see it with Griffin.
I really only had two problems with The Girl in the Steel Corset. It seemed to drag a bit in the middle. The beginning and end were exciting and action-y and the middle wasn't boring it just didn't have the fast pace of the beginning and end. Also Griffin's nickname. For some reason the name Griff just irked me, but that seems a small price to pay for the greatness of the book overall.
The Girl in the Steel Corset was a wonderfully written debut that had action and characters you can connect with. Suffice to say I'm now eagerly awaiting the next in the series!