TITLE: The Girl in The Steel Corset
AUTHOR: Kady Cross
SERIES: Steampunk Chronicles #1
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Teen
PAGES: 473 (Hardcover)
This book had such great potential, steampunk crossed with Clockwork Prince crossed with X men? For. The. Win. And whilst it was good, acceptable, even, I just don’t think it lived up to everything it could be. I loved the cover, and the title, but behind it all I could think was ‘yeah, it’s okay’.
The whole book is told in third person, switching perspectives between the main characters. I really am not a fan of this, the only books where I don’t mind it are classics and The Mortal Instruments series. So that kind of put me in a bad place in the first few words. I like being able to get into the characters head, to be them, and in this book I felt disconnected, like I was just floating around above their heads.
Finley Jayne had the ability to be a great character. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story with another Jekyll/Hyde component and her conflicting personalities were interesting. I liked how she was the strong one, the one who saved the guys and kicked some automaton ass. She isn’t the most amazingly formed of characters, but I did develop a liking for her over the course of the book and I admired her strength. I loved Emily, she was so adorable, but I had a major hate-on thing going for Sam until he stopped being such an ass. And, of course, who couldn’t like Jasper?
Griffin King, The Duke of Greythorne, is of course your perfect hero. Handsome, intelligent, mature, with a great power that should rip him apart but somehow he miraculously manages to control it. In saying that though, yes, he was a little too perfect, but I liked how he actually let slip his feelings for Finley and his jealousy over her and Jack, being memorable in the fact that he actually didn’t act like a jerk before declaring undying love for the girl. Blah blah blah. One thing that did irk me was the discovery of a (if weirdly formed) love triangle. Yeah, Kady Cross sooo went there. I couldn’t even tell if there was something between Finley and Jack, he seemed interested, sure, but she just seemed to use him as her scapegoat and last resort, doing a lot more taking and hardly any giving.
Though, I did like the romance between Finley and Griffin, how it was kind of shy and shared in stolen glances, and there wasn’t even a kiss! (Wait, why am I happy about that? Maybe because they’re going to take it SLOW, like normal people?) Griffin was honourable, unlike some other leading guys I can think of *cough cough* and though the whole Jack-Finley thing didn’t really happen, I’m anticipating something in the next book.
The theory of the Aether and Organites was pretty cool, and Cross managed to create a good steam punk world, filled with futuristic technology and gleaming automatons. The start of the book begins well, with instant action and a quick introduction to Finley and her dark side. After that, though, the pace gets decidedly slower, mainly filled with distrust, strange clues, and some angsty stuff. I was disappointed when I had an epiphany half way through and understood everything, so having to sort through 150+ pages whilst our characters slowly pieced it together was frustrating. However, the ending cleared everything up nicely with a small cliff hanger that’ll probably drag me back for the second book.
The Girl in the Steel Corset has some serious flaws, and I do agree with most of my fellow reviewers that I don’t think Cross fully develop the story into the awesomeness I know it could be. I think the next book could be a real winner with some major character and plot development, but i suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.