The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross is nothing short of amazing. This stimulating read tells the tale of Finley Jayne, a young woman in Victorian England. Finley is unlike most; she has two different personalities battling within her. Her “good” side allows her to make rational choices when she feels safe and calm, but her “dark” side comes out whenever she feels threatened. Finley has no control over her dark side, and can only sit back and watch as it releases its inhuman strength. But with great strength comes great violence, and Finley can’t even trust herself. So when she begins falling in love with a handsome young duke, Finley doesn’t know herself well enough to know whether her love is real or just a figment of her imagination.
Reading the elaborate plot of The Girl in the Steel Corset is like riding a whimsical rollercoaster. The plot twists and turns with such ferocity that the story is far from predictable. The heart-racing scenes of combat and adventure are perfectly timed between the fragile moments that delve into the characters’ minds.
The six main characters, all misfits with peculiar abilities, each have different motives and personalities. They all have their strengths and their weak points, and some are so frustrating that I wanted to jump into the story and slap them. The author skips between different points of view, which means that the reader is mostly able to see the big picture. Finley’s two love interests are as different as the sun and the moon, yet each is enticingly perplexing. Finley herself is a combination of distinct personalities that surge up during different parts of the story. It was these moments of pure joy, anger, or sadness that kept me reading.
The Girl in the Steel Corset is set in Victorian London. But, as suitable for this roller-coaster story, there is a twist. As hinted by the name, this novel is in the Steampunk genre. That means that instead of horse-drawn carriages there are steam carriages; instead of servants there are robots. This definitely adds an edge to the novel, as well as gives the author the freedom to create the world of The Girl in the Steel Corset without the confines of historical accuracy. And who knows, maybe there really were secret underground labs where scientists created mindboggling machines, and no one ever knew.
The Girl in the Steel Corset opened my eyes to the world of Steampunk, and now I am hooked. If not for this exciting read, I would have been without so many spine-tingling experiences and hair-raising adventures. If you are like me and have never read Steampunk before, than I strongly encourage you pick up this book and immerse yourself in the futuristic Victorian age. And if you are already a Steampunk fan, then this is a novel that you will most likely want to read.
Morgan Smith is a 13 year old living with her family and cat, Holly, in a small house in Pennsylvania. She loves pretty much every genre of books, from cheesy romance novels to dry nonfiction stories, but her favorite books are historical fiction. She has loved to write and read for as long as she can remember, and she also loves to swim, sew, cook, and so much more.