Release Date: May 24, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Series: Steampunk Chronicles #1
Review Source: Netgalley
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
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.
This book contains a little bit of everything, yet it didn't seem too busy. I really enjoyed all the characters (except Sam) -- I liked how you got to know a bit about each character and see from their perspective a bit. I loved the steampunk element of it... all the technology really fascinated me, and I just found the adventure/action part of it to be really fun and interesting.
The "mystery" part of the novel was really easy to figure out, but I was okay with that. The book, for me, was more about Finley and her abilities, about the characters themselves and the adventure element of catching the bad guy. A downside of the novel is the love triangle. Or should I say triangles. Yes, there are two of them. Both of the main girl characters have 2 guys vying for their attention. Blergh. That aspect was pretty lame and unnecessary, but it's not like it ruined the book for me. And even with each of the guys fitting into a certain stereotypical romance archetype (we've got the handsome nice guy, the dangerously sexy criminal, a COWBOY for goodness sakes, and the pining best friend), I still found them interesting enough.
This book made me want to read more steampunk and alternate history stories, which I think is always a compliment to a book, if it makes you want to delve into similar books. In some ways I can see why others just found this book to be so-so, but I was in the perfect mood to read it when I did, and I was just swept away in the fun adventure aspect of the story. I'll definitely read the next Steampunk Chronicles book when it's released.
Find The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.ca