Book Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset

Posted April 26, 2011 by Kara in book review, Kara / 4 Comments

Book Review: The Girl in the Steel CorsetThe Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Series: Steampunk Chronicles #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on May 24th 2011
Genres: science fiction, young adult
Pages: 473
Buy on Amazon

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.

So. The Girl in the Steel Corset. Let me start off by saying that I don’t think this will be a book for everyone. I don’t know how I know this, but I just know. It’s already gotten a few negative reviews, which I guess I can understand, even if I don’t agree. It could be seen as boring to some if you aren’t interested in Victorian times, automatons (creepy), and Steampunk fashions. I didn’t find it boring at all. In fact, I quite liked learning about the world of Steampunk and all the details. Yes, nearly every outfit worn by a character was described in complete detail, as also were the Steampunk inventions. But I really enjoyed it. You see, this was my first Steampunk read and I didn’t know what to expect going in. I thought maybe I wouldn’t like it even though the synopsis interested me. So I kept my expectations low and I was pleasantly surprised. I really loved this book.

I want to talk about characters for a second. I loved most of them and thought they were all well written, even Sam, who I couldn’t stand. Even when he redeemed himself, I still absolutely despised him. It’s really hard to become a likeable character after all the things he did and I don’t really see my mind changing. I know this is a series and I will go into the next book hating Sam as well. He’s just a weepy, whiny, jerk. He treated everyone like crap and he really didn’t have a justifiable reason. The rest of the characters, Finley, Griffin, Emily, Cordelia, Jack Dandy, and the rest I really liked. I thought the characters were done well and they all had distinctive personalities. Once again, I loved the fact that we had a strong female protagonist here. And so was Emily. She was a genius and a strong female, even if she was tiny.

Let’s be clear. The summary makes the book sound like it is a romance. And while there is some flirting, this is not a romantic book. It’s a super fun read though. And I think the author may continue developing the romance in future books. There is a lot of room for that to grow. And it didn’t really matter to me, because I enjoyed the interactions between the characters and loved the snarky attitudes.

I found The Girl in the Steal Corset to be an extremely memorable read. I didn’t want to put the book down, and for the most part I found the pacing perfect. I also found the plot highly interesting. The villain was more than just a bad guy. He had a personality, a motive, and was a huge part of the story. I put this book in my favorites because I really enjoyed reading it and also because it was my first foray into Steampunk and it was a remarkably memorable experience. I hope you guys pick this one up. But if you don’t because it doesn’t sound like the book is for you, that’s okay too. Because I really don’t think it deserves some of the negative reviews it has gotten. At all.

View all my reviews

And the funny thing is, based on the title, you’d think the steel corset would be a large part of the book. It was in the book twice. I think the title was more of a metaphor for Finley’s dark side.

Book Trailer for The Girl in the Steel Corset:


4 responses to “Book Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset

  1. I really want to read this book. It was the cover that got me mainly hooked but I always like to broaden my horizons and I’ve only read one steampunk-ish novel and only a few set in the Victorian Era outside of the classics.

    I’m glad to hear that the characters are well-developed and that it is a fun read. I really need to spend a week hiding from Twitter so I can get ahead on all my reading.

    Love this review!

  2. Ha, I did read this review before 🙂 I’m definitely going to buy a copy as the cover is so beautiful. I’ll just need to find out where I can get it signed!

    And the book is really unputdownable so far. I’m glad it’s a series.

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