"Who do you think keeps this country safe so you can sleep at night?”
“I don’t sleep most nights. And to be honest, Your Grace, I don’t feel all that safe.”
- The Girl in the Steel Corset, Kady Cross
The Girl in the Steel Corset isn't my typical read. I picked it up at the library when a friend suggested it and started reading it when I got bored. I got hooked. This book is a steam punk twist on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Set in the the late eighteen hundreds its a creative, unique read that is worth every line.
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 gas lit 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.
I was really surprised when I enjoyed this book. It didn't sound that promising but the further I got into the book the more I enjoyed it. With fight scenes, balls, the queen of England, and a man determined to take over the world with robots the story is fast paced and full of dark twists that keep you on your toes.
One the things that really made me love the story was the characters. I loved every single one of them. Finley Jane and her struggle with both sides of her. Griffin the orphan Duke who just wants to help others like him. Emily and her quiet way of helping everyone. Sam and his struggle with the robot parts inside of him. Not to mention Jasper, and Jack Dandy.
Kady Cross creates a world that is both dark and hopeful. Her descriptions are so detailed that you feel like you are a part of the story with Finley Jane and the Machinist. The dresses that Finley wears! One of my favorite things about the Selection series by Kira Cass were the dress descriptions and that's true for this story as well. Silks, satin, lace, corsets, gloves, and little gadgets that went with Finley's everyday outfit made the book seem just a little bit more real.
Steam punk is really not my thing but this book was an exception. The robots were cool but I was mainly excited about the whole "steel corset" thing. Finley's darker self can lift heavy objects and take down a grown man but shes still able to be injured and when Emily created the corset for her I was genuinely excited.
The plot and story line were great. It was really a very different book. I've never read anything like it. The whole automatons thing was a bit strange to me and when the master plan of the machinists was revealed all I could think of was The Great Mouse Detective. Seriously it made me laugh but it was a bit more mature and scary then the cartoon I promise.
This book was amazing and I definitely plan on reading the rest of the series.