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61 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2011
SPOILERS
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross is a paranormal steampunk novel where Finley has this "thing" inside of her, a sort of Dr Jekyll/Mr. Hyde problem. This "thing" has given her more than enough trouble with her employers, but has saved her from the most recent problem with Lord Felix. Running away from that problem, she runs right into Griffin King. Literally. He offers to help her control both sides of her and a place to stay in his place with his friends who are also gifted. All he asks is her trust. But things start to take a different turn when The Machinist appears and causes trouble for Griffin and his friends and their trust is tested.

When I heard about the plot of the story, I thought it would be pretty interesting. It's different, it's steampunk, it's Victorian times, it's not the same and it has a beautiful cover. But things aren't always as good as expected. Because it's still your stereotypical paranormal romance. Just back in time instead of modern day.

When the actual story started taking place, it didn't make any sense to me whatsoever. It was jumbled, a mess, and all over the place. Things didn't make sense, things were lost, nothing was explained... it was just bad. And honestly, it was more of a modern day/futuristic feel transported back to Victorian times. Think I'm making things up? They have "cell phones", "flashlights", "motorcycles", tattoo guns, and so much more. I almost wanted to scream that Kady should have just stuck with modern times if she's going to do all of that.

And Finley was practically bipolar, but that was probably because of the two personalities. She was either too dull, boring "nice" girl or she was the "bad" Finley who was much more entertaining. No matter which one she was, she was a Mary Sue. And depending on the POV it was in, depended on how she was portrayed. If it was in Finley's POV, it was boring. If it was Griffin, she wasn't bad. If it was someone else, well, she was something else entirely. None of her personalities were consistent.

Speaking of POVs, it switches from Sam to Finley to Griffin throughout the book. I would have loved to read Em's POV though. She seemed like a nice character. But the thing that pissed me off the most about the POVs was that Kady does NOT know how to write in them. She was still switching around too much within her POVs. If it was Finley's POV, she'd mention something in Sam's POV or Griffin's or Jack's or someone else's entirely. It was insane. The point of going into a couple different POVs is so that you DON'T do that.

If you love love triangles, you're going to love this because that's all there was. However, I hate them. With a passion. Even more when they're pointless and stupid. Em has Sam and Jasper in love with her. You never saw about Jasper, if he really cared for her or not, but you did a bit with Sam. I thought they were cute. Then, of course, Finley has to have a love triangle as well. Both Griffin and Jack are in lust with her and she lusts them as well. What's funny is that Finley sees how Em has both guys after her, yet she doesn't realize that both Jack and Griffin want her. I guess that's how the reader is as well because it's never shown. It's just told that Finley gets giddy, that Griffin is jealous or whatever else. Everything is told. Not shown.

That needs a point all by itself. A good writer knows that you show, don't tell. You don't use a lot of adverbs because they're the tool of a lazy writer and it's not showing the story. Kady goes insanely crazy with adverbs and TELLING the story when she SHOULD SHOW it.

Another tip for Kady, make sure you're consistent as well. Right away, she has Griffin and Finley and everyone else use their first names when at that time, you only use first names on a close relationship. Half way through the book, Kady realizes this and makes a mention of it but continues it. Then she mentions it later on that they shouldn't use their Christian names, but does it anyway. Too much back and forth of something that doesn't make sense. Stick to one and realize what should happen at that time and stick to it. If it's not done for someone to use a Christian name the first day they meet, don't do it.

What aggrevates me as well about this is that you have the rich Duke and the poor/rich criminal in love with Finley, who is a poor maid. (who also happens to like short skirts and high slits up to her thigh, but is embarrassed about showing her shoulder to Griffin) You know what's going to happen? The rich Duke is going to get the girl because he's rich and he "loves" her more and clearly, all a woman wants is to be with a rich Duke. -_- It's so clichéd and predictable.

Oddly enough, certain things and phrases were oddly enough repeated oddly enough amount of times. Including "oddly enough" and the fact that Em is Irish. Got it, she has red hair. You don't need to mention it EVERY CHAPTER. -_-

The only redeemable qualities of this book were Jack and Em. The minor characters. I loved Jack. Well, most of him, until it was clear he was only there to be a love interest for Finley. And Em, she was so cute, I wanted to read more of her and in her POV, but wasn't able to.

To be honest, no, I didn't like it. I thought it would have been good and it did have potential, but Kady ruined it with her lack of writing knowledge. Will I recommend it? No. Will I read more? Eh, yeah, I think, because of Jack at least, but I'll get it from the library.
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36 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2011
The Girl in the Steel Corset is a novel brimming with potential. Steampunk YA is rare and exciting, and the technological/paranormal Victorian setting provided plenty of opportunities for rebellion and girls kicking butt. The Girl in the Steel Corset also presents a protagonist with a slight Jekyll/Hyde problem, which could be fascinating and thrilling in equal measure.

Unfortunately, The Girl in the Steel Corset is also a novel where nothing happens. Its plot and integral relationships all move along at a speedy pace, but the reader is always left feeling as though they're missing something, and anticipating excitement that never actually materializes. Every time it looked like we were finally about to reach an interesting interaction or an exciting twist, the narrative seemed to steal it from us at the last second. When Finley has to stay in the home of the charismatic but potentially dangerous badboy, Jack Dandy, I gripped my Kindle tighter in anticipation of at least one entertaining conversation between the two characters, but she leaves a few pages later without anything of note (even worthy of a side note, a footnote, a little star) occurring. When the protagonists simultaneously solve a major mystery and find themselves precisely where they shouldn't be, the resulting scene is skipped over and later summarized for the reader, leaving the impression that nothing interesting ever occurs.

Finley is a sweet but ultimately dull protagonist, at least when her "good" side is in control. Her "bad" side, on the other hand, had a wonderfully fun personality, but it is mostly lost once Finley learns to control her different sides.

This novel is also obsessed with love triangles. Every female character in the story has two guys competing over her, and the resulting love and jealousy drive most of the novel's action. Isn't there any other way a romantic relationship can have tension? It got old quickly. Finley must be particularly alluring (although it is difficult to see why), as not one but two highly influential men fall in love with her, practically on first sight, despite the fact that she doesn't belong in either of these men's worlds. They seemed to instantly love her simply because the novel required the drama and the romance, leading to very unsatisfying relationships.

However, one major redeeming factor was one of Finley's love interests, the roguish Jack Dandy. He had the vibe of a young Jack Sparrow, and he was immensely fun to read. The idea of a criminal with a heart of gold is hardly new, but it had promise here. Unfortunately, Jack Dandy is underused, appearing in a few scenes without anything particularly interesting to do. I kept hoping for more extensive interaction between him and Finley (especially as she instantly fell in love/lust with him), but little was forthcoming.

The end of the novel set up a sequel in a heavy-handed manner, so I hope that, when it does come, it expands on Jack's presence and actually allows action to occur. Jack Dandy intrigues me enough that I may pick it up when it is released, but otherwise, I was underwhelmed.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2011
After reading a whole slew of horrible reviews of "The Girl in the Steel Corset," I had mentally prepared myself for a train wreck. Well, I confess: the novel didn't turn out that badly for me. It wasn't exceptional, but it didn't enduce fits of hair-tearing frustration, mostly. Perhaps I've been desensitized by the unhealthy amount of mediocre YA I've been reading lately.

The characters here are pretty much your standard set of YA heroes, although Finley managed to annoy me quite a bit more than the average heroine. That girl, for the life of her, just doesn't seem to be able to make up her mind about anything. "Oooh, Griffin is so handsome. But wait, Jack is hot, too. I'll just blame my attraction on the two warring parts of my personality!" No. Just no. And guess what? In case one love triangle isn't enough, we've got two! Aren't you excited? Ugh, at least the two triangles don't overlap. Imagine what a mess that would make. A love hexagon?

The background of the novel comes across as completely random. There are beasties that have cool powers and are apparently harvested from the center of the earth and machines that do your chores or suddenly turn evil and just attack people. Add the Aether, a spiritual plane inhabited by the dead, to all that, and you've got an overload of fantastical elements that don't really coexist nicely with each other.

"The Girl in the Steel Corset" does not succeed in distinguishing itself from typical YA despite its steampunk flare and gorgeous cover. However, it is still a notch above a lot of YA out there simply because it presents the stereotype in a slightly altered package.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2011
A man, known only as The Machinist, has been committing a slew of rather unusual crimes around the city of London, and Griffin King, the Duke of Greythorne, is determined to discover his identity and unveil the plot behind this man's actions before these plans can come to fruition.

As he and his friends, Sam and Emily, work to solve the puzzle, Finley Jayne, a girl with a bit of a dark side, comes crashing into their lives and finds herself quickly entwined in this mystery.

When Griffin first lays eyes on Finley he knows that she is something different, something special, and he is intent on finding out what it is that sets her apart. But not everyone is as ready to accept Finley into the group, and her presence begins to drive a wedge into an already tenuous friendship.

It will take everyone's trust in order for them to work together to defeat this madman. But Finley isn't the only one who lives with darkness, and the secrets they are keeping from one another may just cost them everything.

When the pieces slowly begin to come together about The Machinist's intentions, and the part each of them play in this man's madness, will they have enough time to stop him before it's too late? Or will the dissension amongst them allow The Machinist's plans to succeed?

***

The Girl in the Steel Corset is an elegantly written and entrancing mystery set in Victorian London in a world that incorporates futuristic technological inventions and scientific advancements into everyday life. The story has a wonderful flow and a dialogue that works in harmony with the characters and the era.

The story is told from the different characters' perspectives, giving readers a broader look at their actions and motivations, which serves to both cast suspicion and to help unravel this mystery. Each character has a very distinct personality and brings something different to this story, with a role to play that is absolutely necessary to the plot.

In The Girl in the Steel Corset, the author incorporates the steampunk aspect seamlessly. The terminology she has created for the various devices that the characters use fits perfectly into the Victorian Age even if the gadgets themselves are not the norm.

Author Kady Cross has created a story in this sub-genre that is immensely entertaining, with beautifully written passages and dialogue, and characters that are utterly intriguing. Finley Jayne is a tough but likable heroine with two very different personalities, both sides of which are appealing in their own way not only to the reader, but to Griffin and Jack, as well.

The young Duke, Griffin King, has the strength and nobility of a leader, but does not come across as overly pompous or entitled, and his mysterious abilities add to his magnetism. And Jack Dandy, with his roguish charm, and the current of danger and unpredictability that runs just under the surface, makes him the ideal competition for Finley's affections.

The secondary characters of Emily, Sam and Jasper all enhance this story's already richly developed world. And the incredibly creative, but slightly creepy, scientific discoveries and futuristic inventions really make this story stand out.

The Girl in the Steel Corset is an exciting new series to watch for, and one that will appeal not only to fans of steampunk, but readers who enjoy characters with enhanced abilities, a female main character with a feisty personality and the strength to back it up, a story that has action and mystery and some seriously creepy inventions, and not just one, but two love triangles.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2011
I have to say that most of my steampunk experience involves zombies and werewolves and other delightful bumps in the night. While The Girl In The Steel Corset lacks in this domain, it tackles steampunk in its most basic of essences and gives us a fantastic world where Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, and artificial intelligence battle for supremacy.

The world that Kady Cross imagined is magnificent and well-done in its intricacies. Machines have been integrated into society, but not quite at the peak where they can think for themselves. Aether seems to hold endless possibilities - out-of-body traveling, dual personalities, ghostly visitations, impressive strength, fast healing times, and most likely even more to discover. It was awesome, and the best part is that the characters were also exploring the world that they live in so I didn't feel like the only one in the dark.

I enjoyed all the characters, most particularly Jack Dandy, but I wished we had spent a little more time with them! Each had their own spotlight, but it seemed to last a moment too short before rushing off to the next character, the next piece of the puzzle. I wanted a little more insight on what made Griffin tick. Orphaned, bred as a duke but not really elbow-deep in society and marriage prospects, full of mystery and emotions unknown, Griffin still seemed too stiff for me to root for. If Finley's heart boils down to Griffin and Jack, count me in as Team Jack!

The Girl In The Steel Corset reminds me of Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers trilogy without the paranormal aspect, but with similar group of characters who have powers unimaginable but also uncontrollable. This first installment has not quite dazzled me, but I look forward to seeing if the sequel will continue to expand this world and give these characters more edge now that the introductory stuff is done.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2011
I gave this book 3.5/5 (I liked it!) when I reviewed it for my website, but am giving it 4/5 here for lack of that option.

The Setting:

So I'll start with the things I did like, because I hate to start on a negative note. The steampunk elements of this book were very, very good. Kady Cross clearly has a great grasp on what steampunk should be, and what it should not. Her "technology" was believable and fantastic all at once. I loved the veolcycles, the aether engine, the handheld telegraph machines. I particularly loved Emily's cat. The steampunk elements blended perfectly with the setting and were effortless. Rather than being distracting, they were a perfect fit. These things made this book a perfect steampunk setting. Very well done. Also, the supernatural elements of this story were quite good. The Aether and Organites were somewhat like magic, which made a good match and juxtaposition with the steampunk technological elements. Cross does a good job blending the two into a setting that works so well it's almost too good to be true. Very fulfilling setting.

The Characters:

I liked Finley, particularly because of her strength. The whole good girl/bad girl thing was well done, and Finley was well portrayed and believable. I adored Griffin King, the Duke of Greythorne. He has to go on my ever growing list of adored male leads (may just have to make a list, now that I think about it!) for his charming wit and good nature, and he's not too bad to "look at" either. Emily and Sam were both very believable, very lovable characters. Jasper was okay, but I was bothered by the somewhat cliché aspect of Jasper being an American cowboy in London. That said, Jasper was a good, solid character who did his best to defy his place as a cliché.

Finally, Jack Dandy, so bad he's good. I can see why Finley's attracted to him and his nick name for her ("Treasure") is perfect! I loved everything about him, including his Cockney accent, which in his case is less a cliché, than Jasper being a cowboy. Between Griffin and Jack, I can see Finley's issue. They're each a representation of one side of her. I love them both, but wonder what will happen when she evolves as a character and grows into herself... will she still like either of them? I think so, but we'll see.

The Classics:

I love, love the classical story references in this book. It alludes to Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein, and Jane Eyre directly. There is also reference to the Gothic, which was quite popular (even amongst women) during the time this book was set. It makes a rather short references to the "horrid novels," but one that made an impression on me. For those who may not know, the horrid novels are stories recommended for Gothic readers by the Goth-crazed Isabella Thorpe, the protagonist of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. This really made this book for me, particularly because I love the Classic Gothic tales.

The Plot:

This is where things start to get a little bit fuzzy for me. Overall, I liked the plot okay, but I felt like it was a little bit too obvious. There was never a moment when this book surprised me, in any way. As a matter of fact, there were moments when the characters were missing things they shouldn't have been and I was yelling at them to see what was so clear to me. It wasn't as though these are things I could see, but the characters wouldn't, they should have been able to deduce what was happening from the clues, but they weren't. It was quite maddening, to be honest with you.

Also, there were many places when the plots forward momentum relied on too concidental incidents. I won't say what they are because that would constitute spoilers, but there're several places where things happen that are too coincidental. The plot couldn't have proceeded without them, or at least not in any way I could have seen, but it looked very much like the author was in the same boat. Like she had written herself into a corner she couldn't escape without making things too easy for Finley, Griffin, and crew.

The Verdict:

All in all, I liked this book okay. Not nearly as much as I thought I would, but enough that I would recommend it to steampunk and YA fans. Also, as the first book of a series, I liked it enough to read the second book and the short novella, too--I find I'm actually looking forward to the next book! It wasn't the kind of book that stick with you, or makes you feel deeply, but it was fun reading and I enjoyed my time reading it. It was good steampunk and anyone who appreciates the genre would appreciate it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2011
I really enjoyed this book, and the thing is, I didn't expect to. But Cross does a great job blending well-known stories and concepts into her narrative and making them her own. I didn't expect to like Finley, her main character, but Cross balances her strength and vulnerability really well; although Finley can kick butt and take names, she's still only a sixteen year-old-girl. Overall, I found the book to be lighthearted fun, and the characters to be realistic and relatable.

A few issues I did have with the book: the plot seems a bit formulaic and easy to decipher. I guessed the villain's identity and his intent long before it was revealed. Plus, some events seem to occur out of nowhere and could have used a bit more foreshadowing to blend the narrative together. Overall, though, it didn't detract from my enjoyment; it just seemed a bit awkward sometimes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2012
As a mother who screens everything her 13-year-old daughter reads - or tries to anymore - I admit to a personal soft spot for Harlequin Historicals. Far from being merely quick reads written for busy romance-starve housewives by equally romance-starved housewives and / or their husbands, I find the Historicals to be unexpectedly well-researched and written. So, when I discovered "The Steampunk Chronicles" series by Kady Cross, my first thought was, Harlequin publishes for *teens*?! I definitely have to check this out!

Unfortunately, I was not terribly impressed. This review is for "The Girl in the Steel Corset", the first book in the series. It is prequelled by "The Strange Case of Finley Jayne" - which I would pass on completely, because it does nothing to add to the series at all. "The Girl in the Steel Corset" is followed by "The Girl in the Clockwork Collar." Don't get me wrong: I actually zipped through all three books very quickly, and I found that the books got substantially more bite as I read along. However, I thought that, while the research done for the era was adequate, the voices of the characters were way, way, out of time. "No worries" is a phrase Australians use these days, not heard of in the late 19th century. The best authors get a sense of how people of a certain time talk by reading other works written during that time. Novels as fast-paced as this rely on the dialogue of their characters to move the story along. It was easier to believe in the steel corsets than in the characters themselves based on how they spoke.

That said, I have no major objections to the series as a mid-afternoon distraction for said daughter. The research was fairly well-done, and the premise interesting. I'd put it in the library between Holly Black's "Modern Tale of Faerie" series and Melissa Marr's "Wicked Lovely" series. "The Steampunk Chronicles" may translate better as a TV series, but I'm not really holding my breath for a movie. Said daughter's review (more generous than my own) follows:

"'The Girl in the Steel Corset' by Kady Cross was an awesome, Dr. Jekyll/Mr Hyde-meets-Victorian-mystery romance novel.

"It's 1897 England and sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne is running away. Again. It wasn't *completely* her fault - young lords always seem to like her a little more than necessary. But then again, that doesn't mean she should have almost landed him in a coma.

"Finley's always been different. With her acute hearing and sight, not to mention her super-strength and fast-healing ability, she's just plain *scary*. And *that's* not even including her alter ego who enjoys fighting and is *extremely* sarcastic. Wonderful.

"Then, the young Duke of Greythorne, Griffin King, finds her, takes care of her and makes her feel ... safe. For once in her life, she has friends - and answers. Finley's father, the one she never knew about, is the one who made her into a monster. And Griffin is the one who is helping her become human.

"So, when a mysterious man, who seems to know a lot about Finley, Griffin, Emily, Sam and Jasper, is found to be the brains behind a spate of crimes involving automatons, will Finley join in the group's fight against him? Or will she run away as usual??

"My favorite character was definitely Emily. She was soo sweet and wonderful - Sam totally doesn't deserve her. I also like Finley and Jasper, mostly because Finley is so strong and brave, and Jasper is really funny. Plus, he knows martial arts. :-)

"I would definitely give the book four stars: two stars for the plot, and two stars for the characters. However, as I don't really enjoy science fiction/monster type books, I won't give it five stars."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Publishers Publicity Promo:

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.

The Girl in the Steel Corset has a lot going for it. The cover is beautiful. The idea is high concept. It is touted as a Young/Adult version of "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" meets teen "X-Men," which sounds intriguing, visually beautiful, glossy, fun, and entertaining.

It was beautiful and glossy, however somewhere along the way, the "The Girl in the Steel Corset" is much like its character Sam's missing human heart, which has been replaced by a cold mechanical one. It still works, but something intangible is missing.

The premise is good. Six teenagers work together all from varying socieo-economic status in Victorian England. Some with supernatural abilities, some with just street smart and savvy. They try to stop a criminal called the Machinist, who is building automaton's that have Artificial Intelligence, using a substance Griffin's parents discovered called "organites." These Organites can make you heal extremely fast, and have all kinds of other side effects, some of which worried Queen Victoria so much, she refused to allow the knowledge of them be released to the public. Somehow, Griffin's family kept a batch they didn't tell the Queen about, and Griffin, Emily and Sam have no reluctance at dipping into the stuff to heal each other, but the Machinist has stolen a batch with nefarious intentions.

Finley is a maid who is working for a rich lord, whose son attacks her, which ends in him getting his ass kicked. Finley has a dark side that takes over when she feels threatened, and evidently this is the third job she has lost for getting violent at abuse done by those in power to those who are powerless. At this point, I'm loving the book and rooting for the girl.

Finley lands in the lap of a Duke in his late teens, Griffin King who rescues her. He takes her to his house where he lives with his two best friends Sam and Emily. Sam is a giant of a lad whose father worked for Griffin's and the boys grew up together. As for Emily, if we were told how she happens to be living in the mansion or knows the boys, I missed it. There is an Aunt who shows up periodically to try to tell everyone what to do. If they don't listen, she reads their minds to find out what they've been up to. Finley, quite naturally takes offense to this, but it is the Aunt who discovers that Griffin and Finley have a historical (and classical fiction) connection. Their father's worked together on scientific experiments which account for Griffin's and Finley's extraordinary abilities.

As Griffin grow closer Finley, Sam feels more and more alienated, and makes dangerous new alliances. His resentment and distrust of Finley is so great it becomes an obsession. This strains his relationships with Emily and Griffin. Griffin is under stress to stop the evil Machinist, and try to keep his friends happy and his Aunt off his back.

When later they go to corral Finley's mother and stepfather (her Father died) about the coincidence of their father's working together it, you realize her folks aren't poverty ridden, which given the fact that their daughter has been forced to seek work as a maid in various unhappy and unsafe environments you would expect. They are lovely, middle class book-sellers. Yet, poor Finley, who has by all accounts a perfectly happy relationship with her parents, is out on the streets after being nearly raped, and shacking up at the Dukes house because she has nowhere else to go. There is very little mentioned about the ramifications this would have on her reputation. Both she and Emily are living in a house with two young men, with little to no chaperones. I understand that Steampunk breaks most of the rules but some semblance of historical accuracy needs to be maintained or it throws you out of the willingness to believe the fantasy.

When she isn't living at the mansion with Griffin, she is spending nights at the Nefarious but gorgeous Jack Dandy's house, who she looks up one night when her dark side takes over, and flirts with outrageously, and then proceeds to walk all over. To clarify if you are wondering if the book is appropriate for a teen reader, there is no sex in either relationship, just flirting.

Jack Dandy, whose cockney accent keeps appearing and disappearing as much as Kevin Costner's English accent in Robin Hood, we are told is a dangerous, well...crimelord, but we are never shown anything crime lordy that he does. It is possible that he killed the would-be rapist, after her visit, but he denies it and we're not given anything one way or the other further.

He has the hots for her but behaves like a gentleman. He tells her not to play him off against the Duke romantically or else, then lets Finley and the Duke both walk all over him. He never puts up a fight as she treats his house like...well...it was her personal clubhouse when she gets in a fight with Griffin's A-hole friend Sam (and he really is unlikeable), or when the team gets too beat up to make it home after a fight with an automaton. She doesn't show much appreciation for Jack Dandy, despite all he is doing for her. There is so much that could be plumbed for emotional intensity and passion in this book, that gets caught up in the gears.

This is one of those books where I want to love it so bad. I loved League of Extraordinary gentlemen, so I am totally on board with the gothic Steampunk mentality. Like anyone who isn't a cretin, I really hate women being victimized, in both life and in fiction so I loved the idea of Finley's abilities and especially loved the secret reveal of how she came by them. I think, however if the book focused a little less on descriptions, and gadgets, and fashion, and imagery, and just a little bit more on the human condition and emotional connections, it could be so much more. There are so many missed opportunities for intense relationships between all the players. The Girl in the Steel Corset is going to have a sequel and
I have hopes it will focus on creating a book whose heart beats blood, to go along with the beautiful steam punk body it is housed in.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2012
The First Line: "The moment she saw the young man walking down the darkened hall toward her, twirling his walking stick, Finley Jayne knew she'd be unemployed before the sun rose."

The Story: First off, let me just say for the hundreth time that this is the first steampunk novel I have ever read. Now, after having said this, I will tell you what I thought of this novel.

It was brilliant! After reading this book I will DEFINITELY be reading more steampunk novels. The plot was amazing! It was like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, except in YA form! There was action, romance, mystery and even thrill!

As far as I am concerned, this is probably going to make the top 5 best books I read in 2012. This book kept me on the edge of my seat. I mean it's a 473 page book and I read it in one day. I stayed up all the way until 11:30 reading because I couldn't wait until the next day to find out what happened!

The Characters: The characters in this book are phenomenal! Finley was such a great main character. I loved how she was so sweet but when her "Hyde" surfaced she was a complete and total b***h. I found her intriguing and didn't even dream that her seperate personalities (*spoiler*) were in fact Jekyll and Hyde.

On the other side, there was Griffin. Strong, handsome, quiet and caring. His special ability was a strange power that he could control with his eyes. He could basically see into the realm of the dead with those eyes. He was a great important part of the book and he complimented Finley well. I really hope they get together next book!

Then there was Sam, Griffins best friend. You can't help but not like him for most of the book because he's a big grump who treats Finley bad. I wanted to reach into the pages and strangle him sometimes xD But in the end hes ok. His special ability was super strength, and before the book started he was attacked by a rogue robot and died but Emily fixed him and made him tough as metal. Literally.

Emily, you may be wondering, is the only other girl in this league. She has a knack with robots and can fix, invent and even talk to them! She's like a total genius and is pretty funny at times.

And lastly, there was Jasper and Jack. Jasper had super human speed and sort of joined the story in the middle. Jack on the other hand was a deep dark shadow who was enticed by Finley's dark side. And in comes the love triangle!

The Cover: The dress of the girl on the cover is beautiful! It's one of my favorite covers yet this year :)

Would I Recommend? Yes ! Yes! Yes! Read this book. Now!
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