Book Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
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 very first thing that stood out to me while reading was that this book changes point of views between characters. I did think that when I picked it up that the story would be told only from Finley's perspective, but was very pleasantly surprised to see that it does jump around.
Why I say pleasantly surprised is because I actually liked Griffin's perspective the best. I liked Finley just fine, she was not my favorite character, but I just thoroughly enjoyed all the parts told from Griffin. He sees Finley different than she sees herself and I liked the way he thought. There are a handful of characters that join together in this one and I favored Griffin and Emily the most. But everybody always has their favorites. I was just surprised at the way the author handled telling the story in different ways and perspectives.
I did have a love hate relationship with Finley though. In the beginning of the book I saw a strong kick ass character who was definitely going to change some minds about how women should act. But then later in the book she seemed to me to become very unsure of things and question herself often. There was a very specific scene when Sam attacks her, a very understandable situation, but she really does not fight back until he has really beat the crap out of her. I expected her to fight back immediately, but her hesitation or confusion just made me very frustrated with her in general.
I really enjoyed the plot twists and the exchange between the characters. What I liked most about the book is that it keeps a really even pace throughout. You get constant movement and when you get the high and low moments it is presented so well that the flow of events was a very pleasant reading experience overall.