Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: May 24th, 2011
Series: Steampunk Chronicles #1
Genres: Paranormal, Steampunk, Young Adult
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.
THE GIRL IN THE STEEL CORSET was a pleasant surprise after all the mediocre books I had been reading lately. It seems like the books that I have the most hesitation over are the ones I tend to like the most. I should have trusted my co-blogger when she told me this series wasn’t one to miss.
Finley Jayne has never held a job down for long, her almost frightening split personality always
showed itself and got her in some uncomfortable situations. When she gets taken in by a group of people that have extraordinary abilities just like she does, Finley thinks it’s too good to be true. Especially when the leader of the group, the handsome Duke of Greythorne, takes her under his wing.
The plot of this one reminded me of The Infernal Devices, although they are in completely different categories. Both are about extraordinary girls in Victorian England in a setting with steampunk elements and a villain who has nefarious plans that involve robotic automatons.
Finley is a strong protagonist, literally and figuratively, and I love that while she is cautious and a bit afraid, she never hesitates to do what is right or protect the people she loves. My feelings about the two love interests are tied, both Jack Dandy, the mysterious and dangerous criminal and Griffin King, Duke of Greythorne are both excellent characters in different ways. I am always partial to a bad guy, but Griffin has definitely won me over so maybe I’m not so conflicted, after all.
The pacing was a major positive, especially since this book weighs in around near five hundred pages. I was never bored, and two boys always kept me entertained. The setting is one of my absolute favorites as I love historical books. There was a lot about the mannerisms and how people acted, but I would have loved to have read about the setting more.