BOOK REVIEW: The Girl In The Steel Corset (The Steampunk Chronicles, #1), by Kady Cross

Posted 14 May, 2012 by Kristilyn in Historical, Series, Steampunk, Young Adult Fiction / 8 Comments

Released: May 24, 2011 (Harlequin Teen)
Series: The Steampunk Chronicles, #1
Source: Purchased

Buy Now From: Amazon

In 1897 England, 16-year-old Finley Jayne is convinced she’s a freak. 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 . . . that she’s one of “them.”

My Thoughts 

I’m still quite a newbie when it comes to steampunk in literature — the newest craze, it seems. In fact, I’m still not entirely sure what it is myself, so when people ask me, I say that it’s in Victorian times, but there are machines.

Clearly, I know what I’m talking about.

When I cracked open Kady Cross’s The Girl In The Steel Corset, I was expecting something similar to Cassandra Clare’s The Clockwork Angel, but it was something different entirely. While Clare’s work has an elegance and grace to it, Cross’s is quite … fun. I mean, there’s fighting and crazy machines, and a little bit of X-Men going on. 

The story is about Finley Jayne, who is just trying to be normal, but every so often a darkness erupts from her … in the form of physical strength. She knows she’s different and eventually winds up at the door of Griffin King who knows exactly what being “different” feels like.

This was definitely a fun novel. I really enjoyed Finley’s character and how she discovered more about herself and her relationships as the story goes on. I loved her and Griffin’s relationship, as well as her and Emily’s relationship. The characters were very well written and I loved the addition of the machines and various un-Victorian era “things.” That being said, I also really liked the history of it all and how easy it was to see the setting in my head as I read.

My only problem with this novel was that it seemed a little predictable. From early on, it was easy to see what was happening and who was behind it. It didn’t stop me from reading the book, but I wish that there had been a few more twists and turns that weren’t so obvious to the reader. The other issue that I had was with Sam. He seemed to have such problems with Finley and they were just so persistent, even after she was proving herself to be a worthy character, that it was irritating.

The big selling point for me in this book was the cover — the gorgeous red dress that completely takes over the cover and what looks like a steel corset peeking out from underneath? LOVE IT. The font is gorgeous and so well-balanced, and I love the incorporation of the gears grinding on the well — they’re subtle but it’s a nice hint to the steampunk nature of the book.

Even though I had some hesitations while reading, I do really look forward to reading the next story in this series, The Girl in the Clockwork Collar. The characters can only get better as the story continues.

Read More Reviews of This Book

Savannah’s review –> Books With Bite
Kiona’s review –> YA Reads
Anna’s review –> Anna Reads

Read More of My Kady Cross Reviews

© 2012, Reading In Winter. All rights reserved.


About Kristilyn

Kristilyn is a Canadian book blogger, music listener & creator, proud mama, and general lover of life. Her necessities include fuzzy socks, a library full of good books, a fully charged Kindle, copious amounts of tea, and chocolate. Swoon-worthy book boys are also welcome.


8 Responses to “BOOK REVIEW: The Girl In The Steel Corset (The Steampunk Chronicles, #1), by Kady Cross”

  1. I’m reading The Girl in the Clockwork Collar now, it’s good so far. I also really like Finley’s character and Sam’s problems with her ticked me off, because she hadn’t really done anything wrong, but he still hated her. And I also looove the cover! It’s so pretty and appropriate.

    I’m having a hard time understanding what Steampunk is as well, other than Victorian era with machines. I love historical fiction though, so I like it!

    Great review!

  2. The cover is gorgeous!

    I’ve been seeing a lot of ‘steampunk’ literature around and, like you, I wasn’t sure what it was. It sounds interesting, but I am not sure if it is my style. I guess I will see when/if I pick up a steampunk book, huh?

    Great review!

    • Exactly! I had a bit of a taste reading the Cassandra Clare books … at least, I’m pretty sure the Infernal Devices books are part steampunk?

      I’m not sure if I totally like it, yet, but I had to give it a whirl!

  3. This has been on my TBR list for awhile. I’m glad that you liked and and are getting into steampunk. I’m with you on how to describe it. I’ve think I’ve used the exact phrasing before.

    A steampunk title that I recently enjoyed was The Peculiars by Maureen McQuerry. It was very different and I didn’t think that it was predicable at all. It’s a bit steampunk, kind of sci-fi and there are flying machines.

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