Friday, July 1, 2011
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Whatever is inside her causes her problems, too. When the son of her employer attempts to take advantage of her and she beats him up, she must flee. She then meets Griffin King. Griffin heads up a small brigade of people with problems just as big as hers, and he can help her. Griffin has resources Finley could never dream of, monetary and supernatural. In return, Griffin says Finley must trust him completely and give him her word he can do the same with her. But Finley wonders, how can she expect him to trust her when she can't even trust herself?
At the same time, a mysterious villain known as The Machinist is committing random crimes throughout London. Griffin knows this has some connection to him, and he and his friends, including Finley, must stop the villain before he can do unimaginable damage.
To get it out of the way, The Girl in the Steel Corset is a steampunk novel. I love steampunk. I love the Victorian age, for one thing. It's always fascinated me, and if I could live in a different time, it'd definitely be in the top three. Some of you may not know exactly what steampunk is, and, truthfully, sometimes I feel like I don't, so... To learn more about it, visit Kady Cross' Links page. She has links to some interesting sites about steampunk, bands, even costumes!
I've also been on this fantastic streak of kick-butt female protagonists, which I am loving. I am not a feminist per se, but I can appreciate this trend, definitely. Finley may have some problems, but she's tough. It's recognized several times in the book that she doesn't need any help defending herself. Not a single one of the male characters treats her like they must protect her, rather they help her. It all makes for a happy Rachel.
Kady Cross has said she wanted to write a book that was "X-Men meets The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen", and I fully believe she achieved just that. The reader has that sense of historical fiction, with mentions of Queen Victoria and her diamond jubilee, but there's a twist. That's where the steampunk comes in, making the book also a good fantasy read.
And I know we're all quite tired of love triangles, but I must point this one out. It works. Because Finley has two sides to her, she is attracted to two different men. One is Griffin, who is trying to help her two sides become one. But then there's Jack Dandy. He's a notorious criminal in London, but also charming and handsome to boot. He's also very funny, and his appearances always make for good scenes. I'm hoping for much more of him in books to come.
Now, for a bit of negative: the plot is sometimes formulaic, though that's not always such a bad thing. Here it's not bad, but makes for a less exciting read. At the same time, there are some good, unpredictable twists that will keep you reading, I promise.
If I haven't sold you on the book here, Harlequin also has an excerpt from the first chapter for you to check out here. In addition, there is a short prequel novella you can download here, which gives you some good insight into Finley, should you be curious.
Risk a paper cut? The Girl in the Steel Corset is a bang of a novel. For fans of steampunk, historical fiction or fantasy, it's a must read. Wear a thimble if you don't want to cut your fingers.
To buy: Amazon
Barnes & Noble