The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross(Goodreads profile)
Source: Net Galley
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: May 24, 2011
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.
Minor spoilers possibly in this review. Nothing major, but consider yourself warned.
I really, really wanted to like this book. The premise sounds interesting, the cover is gorgeous and I know a lot of others that really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, The Girl in the Steel Corset just wasn't a book for me.
Let's start with the positive though. I very much liked the idea of the "Organites" which are basically thought to be a life source and the way that they played into the novel interested me. Actually, the steampunk aspects of the book were my favourites. It makes the historical time period a lot more interesting but I can't help but feel that it was a little convenient how so many things existed outside of their time in this novel, powered by steam.
I'm a little torn on whether or not I liked the main character, Finley. She has two very distinct personalities that fight for dominance inside of her, but I feel like both of them were a little extreme for me and I couldn't connect very well to either. However, as the novel went on, Finley's personalities start to merge together and I liked her newer self a lot more. If only I could have seen more of that Finley! As for the other characters... I feel kind of apathetic. Griffin was okay, but I think I may like him more for his "power" than his personality. The way he dealt with the spiritual realm, the Aether was fascinating. I thought Jack was kind of a random addition and Sam annoyed me more than should be considered healthy for a fictional character. Overall though, none of the characters stick out too much.
In a novel of this size (it clocks in at almost 500 pages) I expect the plot to be engaging. With this book though, I thought the plot dragged and I honestly struggled to keep reading. I feel like if certain scenes were cut out entirely (certain parts just seemed repetitive) it would have been a much better reading experience. Moreover, I guessed the villain the second they were introduced which is pretty disappointing since I was hoping this would give me a little more mystery and adventure.
So, the verdict on this novel is unfortunately going to have to be negative for me. As always though, I really do hope that you enjoy it as much as others seemed to have.
Cover Comments: I love it. The background and the dress (where can I get one of those?) and the font and aaaaaah. This should have been a book of pretty dresses. The only area it loses points on is the zipper on the back - almost wish someone hadn't pointed that out to me!
(What can I say? It's L-day. Later.)