The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Release Date: May 24th 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Add it: Goodreads
I've never read anything of the Steampunk genre before and I had to wiki it in order to get a rough idea of what I should expect. When I read the blurb on Goodreads I didn't know what to think. I mean, robots and American cowboys in Victorian England? It sounded sort of strange to me, but I went into this with my head high thinking, "Maybe it's not so weird as it seems". Well, it took a bit to get my head around having robots in the late 19th century, but I eventually learned to enjoy it.
This book revolves around a woman named Finley Jayne, she has both a dark side and a good side which exist completely seperately within her. When Finley's darker side emerges, she has heightened senses and super human strength - I loved this. I thought she was sooo freaking awesome simply because of the fact she can rip off the heads of robots and seriously injure or kill somebody if she really wanted to! We see Finley struggling to gain control over her dark side and after nearly killing somebody, she runs head first into the Duke of Greythorne, Griffin King. He basically takes her in, realises they may not be so different, and then tries to help her control her dark side.
Griffin's friends live with him and they all have their own special abilities, just as Finley and Griffin do. They are trying to find and capture a villian who calls himself 'The Machinist' and find out what his (oooohhh) diabolical plans are! Whilst I loved the switching points of view between Finley, Griffin and Sam, I figured out who the Machinist was the minute he was introduced, which is a shame because if it hadn't have been so easy to figure out, it would have made the ending that much better.
Due to the different points of view, Ms Cross gives us rounded characters and gives them all a personality! Apart from the villian. But yeah.
I did enjoy this novel, although I preffered the first half to the second half, it was all amazing action and drama and then boom! Love triangle. Although, it was a pretty poor excuse of a love triangle if you ask me - you could tell there was one, but it wasn't overly dramatised like Twilight. This whole love triangle pissed me off a little, only because the book was so awesome, I finally got used to the whole machine/robot thing, then the love triangle happens and my face sort of looked like this.
In this love triangle, if I had to pick a "team", I'm Team Griffin, I thought he was strong but sweet and really respected Finley and wanted to help her. The only thing that annoyed me was this line. "Just relax, Finley. I'll be done soon, and if you're a good girl, I shall give you a biscuit." to which she replies, "Shortbread?". This annoyed me not only because it made her sound like a dog, but she accepted this and degraded herself. I guess this is how it was in the 19th century, but still. Ugh. That conversation took place in a tattooing scene which I found completely unneccessary, so the runes or whatever that Griffin is tattooing onto her are meant to help her two sides, but we don't get any evidence that this helped her further on in the book, it's not mentioned at all. Another part that irked me was the guy at the beginning getting killed (sorry, I don't really think this is a spoiler), Finley finds out she didn't kill him, then it's not mentioned again at all nor do we find out who actually killed him. This subplot was one of several that pissed me off a bit. Also, on a final note, I get why the book is titled so, but Finley wears her steel corset twice, and it is not mentioned to have helped her in any way, shape or form. So honestly, WTF was the point of it?
As an introduction to the Steampunk genre, it did well, as it didn't turn me off, however it didn't make me love it either. I will be reading the sequel to this book and more books of the Steampunk genre, just to further satisfy my curiosity :)