In 1897 England, 16-year-old Finley Jayne is convinced she’s a freak. 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 . . . that she’s one of “them.”
My life was so much easier before I started reviewing. I used to be able to give books stars based on what I felt at that moment without any justification and without thinking how other people would use them. I could read a book that I loved simply because the main character was named Ginny and she had the magic power of pantsing people who were mean to her and give it 5 stars knowing no one else would love it. Now I have to not only think of it I liked it, but I also have to take into consideration what other people might think. The time I struggle with this the most is steam punk and distopian novels.
I didn’t really know what to expect from “The Girl in the Steel Corset.” For some reason, the cover made me uneasy. It was almost too pretty, and I didn’t trust it. So before I signed myself up for an ARC of the sequel I read a bit about it. A steam punk young adult romance mystery with not one but TWO love triangles?
Go away, I’m reading. *makes a shooing gesture*
In the first chapter you witness the badassness that is Finley Jayne. Mild mannered serving girl by day, blood thirsty, animalistic warrior woman by… well whenever she’s threatened actually. You probably guessed, but she feels threatened in that very first chapter. I cannot tell you what my reaction was like when I realized my steam punk novel had a female ass kicker. Probably because no string of letters would adequately describe the awkward chair dance/squeal combo.
And then you meet everyone else. Yeah, that’s right, Kady Cross gave you Finley and then said “no, that’s not enough.” Griffin is the dreamy aristocrat with mysterious powers. Emily is the Irish inventor with all the smarts. Jasper is the American cowboy who knows kung fu. Oh, and there’s Sam…
Originally when Sam was introduced I thought he was going to be the token strong stoic character. Boy was I wrong. He ended up being the too stupid to live character. You know, the one who you’re shocked manages to remember to first breathe in, and then breathe out. I wanted to like him. If he was just slightly less “durr” than he would’ve been awesome, but… well… he went full retard, and you never go full retard.
This leads right into the next complaint. The mystery… yeah it’s not really a mystery. It’s more like a “HEY LOOK THIS IS A CLUE WINK WINK” type of mystery. Seriously, episodes of Scooby Doo have more suspense built into them.
The novel went a little too in depth at points. For example, there were times where something awesome would happen, and instead of hearing more about the awesomeness, you’d get to catalog every last gear and cog in Emily’s workshop. Right down to every last freaking tine. There is such a thing as too much detail, and I did find myself skimming a couple of times to get back to the good stuff.
All those flaws seem relatively minor though, especially when you compare then to Jack Dandy.
Oh, did I not mention Jack Dandy? How silly of me. He’s the other man competing for Finley’s attentions. That’s basically his only roll in the novel. I mean, he’s also a minor crime boss, and he does get some information for the non-mystery, but really he’s just there so there’s some strife. Delicious, delicious strife. Even with the horrible fake Cockney accent. Love Jack Dandy.
I gave “The Girl in the Steel Corset” 3.5 stars. Remember that first paragraph that didn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the review, well here’s where it ties in. The only thing keeping it from that 4th star is the fact that I know not everyone loves steam punk and/or young adult. Now I had a ton of fun reading this book, but would I have been able to overlook the flaws if I didn’t love bad boys who are kind of good, good boys who are a little bad, steam punk, and looks at the duality of human nature? Possibly not.
Thankfully I do, and I did, and you probably should too.
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