The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross has been sitting unread on my Kindle for a while. Steampunk is a whole new thing to me- the last one I read was only okay. There’s a short story at the start of this one and I figured I’ll read that and then move onto something else and come back to the book proper when I feel like it.
Well, the good thing about the short story? I figured I’d read the first chapter of the book and I was pretty much hooked. It moves fast and I knew getting into it that it’s another series so the ending while not a huge cliffhanger didn’t bother me too much. Too me this book seemed like proper Steampunk. Automatons, men who are part machines, top secret sciences experiments, the ability to commune with the dead and steal souls… Ass-kicking women who are both smart and funny and can really do this without the men. Even an appearance by the Queen herself.
Finley has a way of walking into trouble. She definitely has a dark side and one night after kicking the hind quarters of her would be rapist she runs into Griff and Sam and we become involved with their live (which of course is connected to Finley) to Queen Victoria and to this catch all substance that can change a person at the DNA level and make living automatons. Yeah, it’s a little out there for the time period and what I’m used to. The Steel Corset is a beautiful made corset with moving parts to protect Finley.
The main story moves fast and I liked Finley well enough. I especially liked her relationship with Emily- the brilliant young girl who does all the science for Griff and Sam. It was nice to see them become friends and to really appreciate the other for what they were. Finley admired Emily’s brains and Emily Finley’s strength but both recognized the other had the same thing in return.
There were some downsides the characters all sound so bloody old I kept forgetting they’re supposed to be teenagers! It’s pretty obvious what Sam’s mysterious friend is up to from the beginning. Okay, it kind of bugged me that Finley on the cover looks a little bit like Megan Fox. But all in all those things were secondary. I liked the story. I liked the treatment of the female characters. I’ll go forward with the series eventually. I’d recommend this one if you’re into the Steampunk weirdness the author herself describes it as X-Men in Victorian times. So if that’s your thing you’re going to love this book.