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The Girl in the Steel Corset

by Kady Cross

genre: steampunk, YA

I had been hunting for a steampunk novel I’d fall in love with, but this is not it. Find out why I gave it 2 out of 5 stars!


(Taken from Goodreads)

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.


Gah! I wanted to like this. I really did. I wanted to love it. I’ve been hunting for a great steampunk book because I’m thinking of setting my new solo novel (separate from Ermilia) in a steampunk universe. But no, this was not the book to inspire.

I would only suggest it if you like “YA” whereby the plot and character relationships are predictable, the characters personalities and interactions are unrealistic, and shallow. It felt very much like a hollywood movie, I’d skip. There was the good boy and the bad boy that of course, Finlay was choosing between. I didn’t even understand how the bad boy really fit into the whole story (I had forced myself to read half), and I never understood his appeal (but then again I have never understood the bad boy thing, usually abusive boy allure in most romance novels). The steampunk theme was really only part of the story for the sake of fashion and gadgets. The bizzarre superhuman abilities most of them didn’t fit (in my opinion) with the theme. But it seems that by the quick look at steampunk books I’ve had, they seem to be just books with a mash of genres that didn’t fit anywhere else. They simply slapped some gadgets and Victorian fashion and called it “steampunk”.

It had a very cool concept. If this was written with a more “adult” feel then I think it could’ve been legendary. I gave it a 2 instead of a 1 because for those who like this kind of YA would adore it. If any of you have a good steampunk novel to suggest, please do.

2 out of 5 stars

This book is for you if:

  • Love mindless, generic YA.
  • Enjoy reading about teenagers who somehow try and “save the world” in steampunk attire.

This book is not for you if:

  • Need a more realistic plot and characters.
  • Hate the romantic bad/good boy battle.

Ermisenda Alvarez

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