Sunday, 2 October 2011

Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

The Story
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. - From Goodreads

My Thoughts:
The Good:
-The whole concept of the organites was pretty creative, although I'm not sure how I feel about Griffin's parents journeying to the center of the earth and finding them;
- Finley's dual personalities had a lot of potential. I really wanted to see some of her bad side make it through the merging process though. I guess all my anti-hero musing has bled over into my reading :)
- Jack Dandy was a pretty fun character.
- I liked that Finley and Sam didn't get along. So often in YA books, the MC is mostly universally loved and I felt this aspect added an element of conflict even if Sam is as bright as a brick wall.
- The different POV's were a good way of getting insight into the motivations of each of the characters.

The Bad:
- Character descriptions in this book really bugged me. Yes, I get it, Emily is a redhead and her hair is ropey (whatever that means) and Sam is big.
- Two sets of love triangles. No. Just no.
- Griffin bored me to tears. I really thought he would be more charming but he just came across as very self righteous and seriously, if my gargantuan best friend backhanded me and then tried to kill the girl I was in love with, he wouldn't be walking away with just a slap in the wrist.

*Side note: If I weren't so lazy I would have written my own plot summary because the goodreads one is a bit misleading. I mean Emily's unrequited love for Sam??? Where did they get that from?

Anyway, on the whole, I didn't mind this book. It wasn't one I fell head over heels for but still a fun read and I think I good lead in book for my steampunk foray.

The Rating:


  1. I still dont really understand what 'steampunk' genre means. Ive been too lazy/busy to google and find out, LOL But thanks to this review, I think i have a pretty good idea now.

  2. Hey! I thought you said you didn't finish books you didn't really like. ;) Maybe I'm misinterpreting your review but it certainly sounds like it wasn't that great but you "liked" it anyway.

  3. Hmmm the more I read about this book, the more I realized I NEED to read it. Bravo for talking about your likes AND dislikes. Well-rounded review. :)

  4. Lani: I didn't get the steampunk thing for a while either. Now I think of it as Victorian Era with a lot of gadgets we don't even have now!

    Jenny: Believe it or not, I actually did like this book! LOL. But yes, you're right. It wasn't super great but I did like it anyway :)

    Molli: Thanks. It's an interesting read and worth it for the inventions alone. I hope you enjoy it.

  5. Ahhhh I knew I couldn't be the only one who noticed the overuse of "ropey red hair" ... !!! That bothered me so much!

    Great to hear you liked it overall, even though I didn't really (I was 50/50 on this book). Your cons are spot on, I think! And that *is* a really weird Goodreads description ... when did Emily have unrequited love for Sam?? Haha.

    And I can't help but notice in the comments discussion about steampunk! :P I think it's a hard to describe genre as well, but basically it's a genre that takes place in a time (real or fictional) that doesn't have electricity invented yet. So a lot of stuff are powered by steam instead. At least, that's what I was told.

  6. Wow, really, two love triangles? That's unfortunate. I really love the idea of this book otherwise. Great review!

  7. Ooh! I saw this around the other day and I thought it sounded so cool, especially to a girl who has been LOVING her steam punk lately! :) I'm glad it was fun to read!

    LOL I find that so many book summaries are misleading, too! I've read one before where it seemed like the synopsis was for a totally different book! x)

    Awesome review, Lan!

  8. I found the fun factor of this one was enough to outweigh my other issues - yes, I am fickle. Didn't like the love triangleS - I suspect they will drive me CRAZY in the next book - and I agree with the repetitive descriptions being a bit much, but the gadgetry, Very Villainly Villain, and other imaginative bits made it incredibly entertaining...I can overlook a lot if I'm sufficiently entertained. :)

  9. I think the only steampunk like book I've read is clockwork angel which I adored. Other than that I haven't read any.

  10. I love steam punk. And OH MY GOODNESS THAT IS A FABULOUS COVER. Wow.

  11. I have this book and am really looking forward to reading it. I loved the prequel ebook, so I have high hopes that I'll like the novel, too. Thanks for the honest review. I didn't know it had multiple POVs. A lot of books have that now, and sometimes it bugs me, but it can work sometimes, too.

    I love steampunk!

  12. Jinny: I don't mind that ropey was used as a description. My problem was the amount of times it was used. I just felt like every scene Emily was in, there had to be a mention of her hair...

    Fairypenguin: I can barely deal with one love triangle. Two is pushing it bigtime!

    Mimi: This is really a fun book with some great concepts. It was a great intro to steampunk for me.

    BJ: Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book. I just wasn't invested in the characters as much as I thought I would be. Especially not Griffin and I'm usually a sucker for at least one of the love interests.

    Ash: I need to try Clockwork Angel but I am a bit hesitant because TMI wasn't a series I could finish.

    Peggy: I completely agree. This is possibly the best cover art I have ever seen.

    Cathy: I haven't read the prequel ebook but I've heard the two stories are basically the same. I don't mind multiple POV's. The only prob with this one is that it mixed the POV's up a bit which was a bit weird. Other than that it was all cool.

  13. I've been wanting to read this book for totally shallow reasons: The cover is pretty and I love the title. The Girl in the Steel Corset seems the perfect steampunk title - maybe it's wasted on an imperfect book.

    Anyway, this book sounds OK and worth adding to my wishlist. A lot of YA reads are just good enough and you don't mind reading them, but they don't blow you away. I was having this discussion recently with a group of people who were complaining about some books being good but not great. I was the only one who was like "I don't want to be blown away by every book I read! Sometimes I just want something nice that passes the time."

  14. Great review! I really enjoyed the series as a whole, but some of the characters bugged me. I couldn't place it but something about them or the way they were described was off. But the plot overruled that for me. I think that I will enjoy the second book and maybe the characters will grow on me some more. lol

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and for reading the bookaholics interview. It was really fun haha.

  15. I have heard many bad reviews of this book, so i'm scared to read it.

  16. The concept of this book seemed really neat and I was excited to read it, but I'm getting really exhausted and bored by the romance in YA these days. Sounds like this would be the same except with a steampunk twist.

  17. An honest review. Sometimes I add books on Goodreads just by reading the blurb. But I agree a lot of times they mislead you.

  18. A steampunkery review of wonderful proportions!

    New Follower!!



I believe in comment karma. Comment and I shall return :)