Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

August 24, 2013 Review 44 ★★★★½

Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 473
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.Screenshot_11

Rating Report
Overall: 4.6

44 Responses to “Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross”

  1. Tanja

    Ever since The Infernal Devices I’ve been looking for something similar but different at the same time. I really wanted to read steampunk novel which would be as good as TID. It seems like you just pointed it to me. I have heard of this series but this is the first review I’m reading and you have me. I’m really glad you enjoyed and I can’t wait to meet Finley. Great review :)
    Tanja recently posted…Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta

    • Alise

      I hear a lot of people wishing for a fourth book, I haven’t read that far yet so I can’t say how the ending of the third left me, but the more books, the better!

  2. Nara

    What a coinkidink! I actually just borrowed this from the library last week (still haven’t read it though). I’m so glad you enjoyed it, makes it more likely that I’ll enjoy it because we seem to have quite similar tastes in books :) The love triangle sounds a bit cliched though haha the classic criminal vs nobleman…
    Nara recently posted…ARC Review: Earth Star by Janet Edwards

    • Alise

      Yay :D I’ll be looking forward to your review. I thought that too but I guess it’s just something you have to read. Plus it helps it isn’t a FULL love triangle, so it’s not annoying xD

  3. Maida

    I have heard so much about this series, and nothing but great things. I love the concept and the characters sound great too. The only thing I am wary of is the romance. I really don’t like love triangles, but it seems both Jack and Griffin King are likeable characters. I’ll have to see what I think about them! I can’t wait to pick this up. I’m really glad you enjoyed this Alise! Great review! :D

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 
    Maida recently posted…Review: Real by Katy Evans

    • Alise

      I try to give love triangle the benefit of the doubt but I know many people are iffy about them. So far, this is a love triangle that isn’t really frustrating or annoying so I can recommend it but don’t know if it gets worse in the second book. Thanks :D

  4. Delaney


    Ehmm, this book i have finally see a good positive review of this! I read so many negative ones that have made me feel so conflicted on reading it, but seeing your glowing review of corsets and gorgeous set of boys and and delicious villains and the backdrop of the Victorian area oh ZOMG lets go drool over the cover as well. ;D
    Delaney recently posted…Manga: Makai Ouji Devils and Realists

    • Alise

      Yay! :D I’m sooooo glad you like it :D

      Really? I haven’t looked at many reviews but it’s sad to know there are so many negative ones :C Gorgeous boys… SO MANY gorgeous boys, seriously. Especially gorgeous villains :3

  5. Tiffany Ashmawy

    I wanted to read this one when it first came out, but I heard some not-so-great stuff about it from a close friend. I’ll have to give it a try though since you liked it a lot :)

    • Alise

      You guys are making me curious about all these negative comments. I’ll have to go look up some reviews on Goodreads! I hope you give it a chance!

  6. Stephanie (Hopeless Romantics)

    almost 500 pages- glad the pacing was good. Not sure about the love triangle though. Those can be tricky. I just don’t want to start liking the guy she doesn’t end up with. Maybe I’ll quick look at the last book first lol =)
    Stephanie (Hopeless Romantics) recently posted…GIF Survey

    • Alise

      Yeah, the pages really flew by. LOL, I hate that too. I always root for the bad guy and they rarely ever win :( ha. Right now the love triangle is 100% tolerable though :)

  7. Chiara @ Books For A Delicate Eternity

    Ah, I am so happy to learn that this book is really good :D I have been super keen to read it ever since I saw the title and cover of the most recent book in this series.
    I love steampunk, and I love Victorian London, so I obviously need to get my hands on a copy of this book ASAP.
    It’s also awesome that the characters were done well. I am always disappointed in a book when the characters aren’t really fleshed out very well, and I can’t relate, or connect with them. I am glad that is not the case with this book :D
    Great review ^.^

    • Alise

      Right? Characters are really important, I would prefer to have a character driven story than a plot driven one, I think. I love the setting in this one, I just hope I get to see more of it next book! :D Thanks :)

  8. Andreea

    Read and reviewed this one a few months ago and I also enjoyed it very much because the heroine was ‘bad ass’:)


    • Alise

      No worries, a lot of people don’t like TID series. This is much different, it’s just the steampunk element that is the same.

  9. Charlotte @ Gypsy Reviews

    I have heard of this series but it never peaked my interest but reading your review, I might have to check this one out :) I like the sound of the MC and it’s great that the two boys kept you entertained. Thank goodness the pacing is good too, getting through a nearly 500 page novel is no easy feat if it’s not keeping you interested haha so great to hear! Can’t wait to check this out, fantastic review Alise!
    Charlotte @ Gypsy Reviews recently posted…Review: The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand (#72)

    • Alise

      Yeah, I was really intimidated by the length and wasn’t sure if I wanted to read it, but it hooked me immediately! Thanks! :)

  10. Eve

    God, I really have to read this book! The protagonist sounds so interesting. And it seems like the romance doesn’t take over the book (which is always a minus with me, unless the book is strictly revolving around romance). If this one is similar to Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices, then I’ll have to get to it soon!
    Eve recently posted…Book Superlatives

    • Alise

      Yeah, I don’t like a romance focused book either, unless maybe it’s contemporary. And yeah, it’s similar in regards to steampunk and setting but otherwise is very unique :)

    • Alise

      I love when a long book doesn’t seem long! I’ve read much shorter books that were more tedious than this one. Thanks!


    I love your review of the Girl in Iron Corset. I have actually read the prequel or the short story The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross, and I liked it. And now after reading your thoughts on the steampunk bestseller, I am definitely reading the book, first thing in the morning. thanks! recently posted…Musing Mondays – September

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