Posted 26 May, 2011 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 8 Comments

YA Steampunk
336 pages
Available now
Review copy provided by publisher via NetGalley
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 wish there were more steampunk books out there like this one because I really enjoyed THE GIRL IN THE STEEL CORSET! There’s something about the steampunk genre that I really like though I’m not sure if it’s the fussy little mechanicals or the steam-powered vehicles (Steam horses FTW!) or the hint of a supernatural element that threads its way through the genre. Probably a combination of all these things.

This novel has all those things plus a naughty villain with plans to take over the world, a two-sided/dual-natured heroine, and a little clan of crime-fighting teens all set in a steampunk version of Victorian England. Awesome! I really liked Finley, who just jumped off the page with her bad-arsed fighting skillz and fear about her “darker side” making its appearance.

Of course, there’s a love triangle between Finley, the duke, and the bad boy, something that seems to have become a YA romance staple (not a fan myself, usually. Every once in a while, sure. 99% of the time, not so much. Anyway…) but, despite the author being a romance writer (under a different name) as well as a debut YA author, it doesn’t dominate the entire story. Instead, our intrepid heroine and her new partners have to figure out who The Machinist is and what he was doing — then save England from animatronic domination (ooh, doesn’t that sound awesome? Fun to say, too!).

Despite having this book in ebook form, I pre-ordered it so I could have it in physical book form, too, and I have to say–it’s such a cute little book! It’s a hardback but it’s the size of a paperback. I don’t know if this is a nod to the author’s romance paperback roots or what but I kind of like it for a change from the trade paperbacks dominating my shelves. 

I’m really looking forward to Kady Cross’s next book in her Steampunk Chronicles!

About Mary @ TheBookSwarm

8 Responses to “THE GIRL IN THE STEEL CORSET by Kady Cross”

  1. This looks really cute, I don’t think I’ve ever read any steampunk though, until recently I wasn’t even sure what it was!

    Still, this cover is gorgeous and I loved your review! It sounds like just the kind of thing I would love to watch if it was an anime.

  2. So glad to hear that you like this book! I read it over the weekend and LOVED it as well! I still haven’t made it out to pick up a copy, but I’m hoping to soon. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your review!