Series: Steampunk Chronicles #1
Genre: Paranormal YA, Steampunk
Published by: Harlequin Teen on May 1. 2012
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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.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
A sexy, young female Jekyll & Hyde!
Finley Jayne is a young, sixteen year old girl trying to find her place in Victorian Steampunk England. Although she seems like any ordinary girl her age, Finley has a dark side that she keeps hidden deep inside, only unleashed when angered or provoked. While fleeing from the advances of her employer, Finley accidentally runs into Griffin King, someone just as unusual as her and who surprisingly has a calming effect on her dark side. Griffin is fascinated by Finley and offers her refuge in the home he shares with his friends: Sam, Emily and Jasper, who each have abilities just as unique as hers. She agrees and soon finds herself fitting in among Griffin and his friends, for the first time in her life she isn’t an outsider.
When the monarchy of Queen Victoria is threatened by a notorious criminal known as the Machinist, Griffin and his gang must do everything in their power to stop this madman who almost took Sam’s life in an attack not long ago. This journey will not only spark an attraction between Finley and Griffin, it will reveal a deeper connection that is linked to their past. The story cannot be complete without a second possible love interest for Finley who comes in the form of the dashing and mysterious Mr. Jack Dandy. He calls to her darker side, while Griffin soothes it and soon Finley is torn between giving into that dark side or containing it.
This was an original story with exciting characters that I feel lacked a quicker paced plot. I feel a lot of the book was spent giving the reader intricate details of clothing or places that might be beneficial to a reader new to the steampunk genre, but that I just found miscellaneous. After reading the prequel, The Strange Case of Finley Jayne, I was expecting less detail and more action in this book.
That being said, I did have a strong connection to all of the characters, one in particular, the sexy and mysterious Jack Dandy. He keeps you guessing what side he’s really on and steals every scene with his snarky comments and flirtatious behavior. I wanted to know more about him and hope this isn’t the last we see of him.
This story is a very tame romance with some action, mystery and great steampunk ingredients. The character and world building is exceptional and there’s even a love triangle for those who like a little spice in their romance! Although a little lengthy for my taste, the storyline is enough to earn my praise. Young adult, historical romance and steampunk readers will all be equally delighted by THE GIRL IN THE STEEL CORSET!