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The Friday Society

The Friday Society

3.9 14
by Adrienne Kress

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An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns–and the heroines who use them all

Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician's assistant. The


An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns–and the heroines who use them all

Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician's assistant. The three young women's lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.

It's up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder–and the crimes they believe may be connected to it–without calling too much attention to themselves.

Set in the past but with a modern irreverent flare, this Steampunk whodunit introduces three unforgettable and very ladylike–well, relatively ladylike–heroines poised for more dangerous adventures.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this rowdy steampunk adventure, Kress (Alex and the Ironic Gentleman) introduces three dashing teenage heroines: Cora, brilliant lab assistant to inventor and politician Lord White; Nellie, beautiful stage assistant to a charismatic magician, the Great Raheem; and Michiko, talented martial artist and servant to the charlatan Sir Callum Fielding-Shaw. The three young women, meeting by accident, become fast friends; when murder is committed, and mysterious villains and monsters begin to stalk the streets of London, they team up to bring an end to the reign of terror. This mostly successful tale combines humor and menace in equal proportion, though the narrative voice flouts the language of Kress's Edwardian setting. Cora rescues her employer from a "skeevy" opium den and looks "smokin' " in a red dress; later, a surprised Michiko, who speaks little English, thinks, "Oh, for crying out loud." While these and many other linguistic anachronisms are distracting, they contribute to a lighthearted, freewheeling atmosphere. With odd inventions, beautifully described clothing, and skilled heroines, this alternate history offers much to enjoy. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jessica Regel, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. (Dec.)
From the Publisher
"With odd inventions, beautifully described clothing, and skilled heroines, this alternate history offers much to enjoy." — Publishers Weekly

"...an overall sense of frothy fun prevails, bolstered by winks at genre convention (much is made of the always-foggy London crime scenes) and by three kick-ass females with complementary strengths and distinctive personalities." — The Horn Book

"The Friday Society is an explosively entertaining concoction–a mystery and an adventure folded around complex themes, draped in rich historical settings, spiced with Steampunk cool and laced with sharp contemporary wit. It's a firecracker of a read, packed with a trio of feisty, fiery, fiercely intelligent heroines worth rooting for. More please!" — Lesley Livingston, author of the internationally bestselling Wondrous Strange series

VOYA - Christina Fairman
This entertaining blend of Edwardian detective fiction and steampunk is set in 1900 London, an anachronistic city where floating steam cab taxis and airships hover around Dickensian scenes of urban life. The central characters are three feisty young women, Michiko, Nellie and Cora, each of whom has her own unique talent. Michiko is an amazing martial artist, Nellie is a skilled magician's assistant, and Cora is the talented assistant to a brilliant inventor. The catalyst for their friendship is a series of grisly murders, all somehow connected to an ominous presence they simply call "the Fog." True to the model of much teen fiction, these three heroines set out into the dark city to take on the killer themselves because they are the only ones who truly grasp the seriousness of the situation. This well-written book will appeal to fans of science fiction as well as detective stories. Dyed-in-the-wool science fiction readers, for example, will recognize a reference to H. G. Wells's The First Men in the Moon (1899) when the characters discuss the significance of a newly unearthed element called "cavorite." The story is especially effective with its accurate pacing; the story unfolds so smoothly that at the climax readers will be surprised at how efficiently the plot expanded into an intriguing web of power struggles and menacing evil-doers. The use of expletives is mild and overall rare. Squeamish readers should be advised that the murder scenes, though not gratuitous, are grisly enough to warrant a gentle warning. Overall, teens will enjoy this eccentric London murder mystery. Reviewer: Christina Fairman
School Library Journal
Gr 7–9—Three young women make a pact to step out of their circumscribed lives and use their brains and talents to rescue Edwardian London from possible destruction. Cora, Nellie, and Michiko, working for a well-connected inventor, a famous magician, and an inept samurai fight master, respectively, spend their days doing work that furthers their masters' reputations in exchange for food, clothing, and safe housing (although Michiko must endure her employer's mistreatment). As circumstance would have it, their lives collide-literally, on occasion-and they discover that there is a plot afoot to blow up the city. Taking on their alter egos as Hyde, Lady Sparkle, and Silver Heart, they disguise and arm themselves to foil the insidious plan, only to find that it has been engineered by The Fog, a woman who has been repeatedly denied admission into the all-male Society of Heroes. A battle of wits ensues: the trio succeeds, the wicked are punished/destroyed, and the girls form The Friday Society, pledging to rescue women in distress. Intense and fast paced, the plot incorporates murder, mistaken identities, and misunderstandings of characters' intentions. Fans of superheroes and action films will relate to the fantastic powers, miraculous weapons, and just-in-time moves of this Charlie's Angels-like threesome. However, the characterization is rather flat-in the case of The Fog, almost cartoonish-with generally predictable behavior. Also, despite the Edwardian trappings, some of the language is out of place, using modern expressions such as "Hi," "Damn straight I am," and "If you'd like to glam it up a bit…." More television claptrap than well-developed novel, this trio's adventures don't merit one of the coveted places on library shelves.—Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, formerly at LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
Kirkus Reviews
Steampunk meets Charlie's Angels in Kress' first full-length outing for teens. Ignore the Buffy-styled language ("It was very explosion-y"). Ignore the anachronistic attitudes about sexuality, the girl trained as a samurai, the thousand insults to historical fiction. Because this is not about history. It's a little bit about steam. Mostly it's about girl power with glitter and goggles, lit by gaslight and spiced by murder mystery. Cora (commoner assistant to a mad, noble inventor with a secret basement lair), Nellie (beautiful assistant to a mysterious, all-knowing magician, a great character diminished by stereotypical exotic Othering) and Michiko (Japanese assistant to a drunken sword-fighting instructor, with more stereotyped behavior on both parts) unexpectedly find themselves caught up in mystery and danger when a secret society starts killing people off. Derring-do, midnight fights, a few kisses with various fellows, some adolescent drinking and crime solving ensue. The final lines set up the girls for additional adventures and presumably more volumes, too. Frothy, sparkly fun with no substance, but sometimes that's exactly what you need. (Steampunk. 12-16)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.88(w) x 8.48(h) x 1.38(d)
HL710L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"With odd inventions, beautifully described clothing, and skilled heroines, this alternate history offers much to enjoy." — Publishers Weekly

"...an overall sense of frothy fun prevails, bolstered by winks at genre convention (much is made of the always-foggy London crime scenes) and by three kick-ass females with complementary strengths and distinctive personalities." — The Horn Book

"The Friday Society is an explosively entertaining concoction–a mystery and an adventure folded around complex themes, draped in rich historical settings, spiced with Steampunk cool and laced with sharp contemporary wit. It's a firecracker of a read, packed with a trio of feisty, fiery, fiercely intelligent heroines worth rooting for. More please!" — Lesley Livingston, author of the internationally bestselling Wondrous Strange series

Meet the Author

Adrienne Kress studied at the University of Toronto, and at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. Her time in the UK served as inspiration for her middle-grade books, Alex and the Ironic Gentleman and Timothy and the Dragon's Gate. Adrienne has since returned to Toronto, where she acts, directs, produces, and writes.

Customer Reviews

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The Friday Society 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Shirley_Holmes More than 1 year ago
Fun and spunky! Cover Talk: Steampunk!!!! *flails* I don’t think any of you realize how much I wish I could walk around in steampunk clothing all of the time. My life would be epic. First Line: “And then there was an explosion.” Why I Read It: My former English teacher sent me a message one day on Facebook with this book and said that this book just screams my name.  Truer words have never been spoke. Characters: Cora is my favorite! Brilliant inventor, witty, spunky, and full of passion for everything she does, it is no wonder I love her. Nellie is the fun one of the group. She is the Great Raheem’s young, beautiful, blonde assistant. She loves sparkly things, glittery distractions, and talking to Cora and Michiko. Michiko is a young Japanese samurai. I absolutely love her. Her katana is beautiful and Michiko’s fight scenes are some of the best I’ve ever read in a YA novel. Plot/World-building: This book is not just steampunk with a twist, but also a mystery. Someone is killing members of a secret society and Cora, Nellie, and Michiko end up getting pushed together to solve it. Cora uses her connections with Lord White, Nellie uses her popularity among her fans, and Michiko uses her training as a samurai. The steampunk of this novel is a little light. I wish there would have been more, but the mystery and relationships between the three girls made me not mind as much. Writing Style: The best thing about this book, also the oddest thing, is that Kress uses a mixture of modern and and Victorian language. At first, it bothered me, but as I got more involved with the characters and what was going on, I found it to be brilliant. Final Thoughts: I adored this book and cannot wait to read more of Adrienne Kress’s works. I don’t know if there will be a sequel to this or not, but if so, I will definitely read it!
Phaeal More than 1 year ago
A Rollicking Frolic with Heart Somebody "borrowed" this book from me when I was halfway through. I blame it on the superb cover that screams steam punk grrl power and is therefore irresistible to certain light-fingered types. However, I eventually retrieved my copy and was rollicked through to the end. I'm the more impressed by the author's ability to create compelling and amusing characters since I found the plot relatively pedestrian, reminiscent of all those overwrought and over-the-top super hero movies which are also saved by compelling and amusing characters. Yes, Iron Man, I'm looking at you. Love the red and gold detailing, by the way. I like all three protagonists: Cora for her brainy prickliness and determination; Nellie for her sparkly physicality and canniness; Michiko, well, for everything. Among the supporting cast, I've developed a fondness for the mysterious Magician; the cunning parrot Scherazade; Officer Murphy; and Hayao, the boy with a talent for running (up walls and over rooftops as well as on the ground. I hate Michiko's employer, Callum, but that's okay, because I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to. Jury's still out on Cora's boss, Lord White. I don't quite trust him, but again, that's okay. A little uncertainty about an (ongoing?) character isn't a bad thing. Scenes that particularly worked for me were those between Michiko and Hayao, Nellie and the Magician, and Cora and her old playmate, now a flower girl. I also had a squeamish fascination for the scene in the pub, when Cora stands up to Andrew and his nasty coterie of Eton chums. In all these scenes, I sensed the coming together of theme, of the proper relationships between master and assistant, teacher and student, richer and poorer, stronger and weaker, friend and friend, even lover and lover. The proper bond, I read here, is one of mutual respect, and the result? Well, beating the bad guys, for one thing. Another tribute to the author's ability? I didn't put the book down in the first pages, when it became painfully clear that anachronistic slang was to be one order of the day. This is a pet peeve of mine, and I think the book would have been gained much integrity by avoiding it. However, obviously, other attractions got me over the peeve – a very rare occurrence! Other nits: I could have done without the Andrew-Cora subplot, though its denouement is interesting. Maybe if this subplot had lost the insta-lust and make-out sessions, which struck me as out of character for Cora and the historical period, Andrew's "progressive" egotism notwithstanding. The principal villain had some interesting parallels to our heroines but failed to totally convince me – ditto the villainous secret society. It might have been the monologuing and the (for me) over-the-top nature of the final threat. The climax was fun, with some very nice details, but felt slightly rushed. Ditto an earlier action sequence at the Tower of London. Overall, however, a strong start to what could be a fine series. Certainly, the close of the novel opens up all sorts of possibilities for the further adventures of Cora, Nellie and Michiko. Oh, and you know what would be cool? A graphic novel version of the story! Just saying….
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
Finally! A Steampunk novel that I actually enjoyed reading! I remember putting a status on goodreads that read that I have given up on steampunk novels for good because I've had multiple failed attempts with very popular and highly rated steampunks. I am so happy that I picked up The Friday Society because it was kick butt and so freaking empowering! Of course, the team work between three unlikely different girls to solve a london mystery was a bonus, and the addition of all the technology in medieval london has finally worked for me. I think what made The Friday Society a great read for me was the characters, which is why they will be the highlight of this review. The novel is told from three POVs, Cora the scientist, Nellie the magician, and Michiko the samurai. All of these three girls are assistants but want more from their life. Cora and Nellie are happy under fair and great bosses but Michiko's boss needed a punch or two in the face because of how rude and horrible he was. The three girls meet up under horrific conditions, which is witnessing a crime scene. I have to say, Adrienne didn't rush the whole teaming up and fighting crimes plot. I often find it difficult to take some novels seriously when an ordinary girl would have something happen to her one minute and the next she figures out her destiny and true calling and is so confident in what she will do for the rest of her life. For The Friday Society, each girl had her doubt in pursuing investigating the mystery, one was scared of her boss finding out, the other was scared for the reputation for her boss, and the third was honestly fearless and wanted to finally do something by herself without being bossed around. Each had very plausible and complex reasons that added to their depth as characters.  The conversations between the girls was hilarious, Nellie is the girly girl type and Cora is more serious and a natural leader, while Michiko could barely speak english. So imagine how they communicated together huh? I loved every single one of these girls. They were interesting, funny, independent, and a need for girlfriends to hang with. As for the plot, it was incredible. Adrienne Kress didn't only focus on the mysterious deaths, but each girl had her own side story. Wether it was a romantic one, in the case of Nellie and Cora, or a teacher-pupil one for Michiko. I did feel at times that the plot moved a bit slow but I was never bored. I loved how the girls stayed true to themselves even with the obstacles they faced and that they didn't become super women just because they took up the mission of unraveling the mystery. They were ordinary (as ordinary as can be) girls who needed each other's help to get each other through locked places, Nellie's profession, out of near death situations, and help each other realize that their true calling isn't to just be an assistant of some man, but to take matters in their own hands and help the people of london fight crime and bring justice to them.
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
My first initial thought when I saw the Friday Society by author Adrienne Kress had nothing to do with the plot or the characters. It was all about the cover. The first thing that came to my mind was this: “Dude, that looks just like the Birds of Prey: Trouble in Mind cover but steampunk.” And it totally did (minus the fiery red headed Poison Ivy), which of course, made me want to read the novel and after reading the brief synopsis/description on the back of the book, I was dying to get started! The Friday Society is the story of three young girls living in a steampunk London, England. Each girl trying to find a specific purpose in their lives to keep from being defined as a simple assistant, so enter a murder mystery straight out of Sherlock Holmes and you have three very different girls working together to solve the case! But things aren’t as bright and sunny as they seem, whoever has been murdering the good citizens of London is having a serious case of the I-wanna-kill-you blues and has left a throng of corpses in their wake. It’s up to Michiko, Nellie and Cora to stop them and prove to themselves that they are more than defenseless, assisting girls. I personally found that the first thing I loved about the Friday Society was the author’s playful tone in the novel, it didn’t make the story feel as serious as the plot was and I enjoyed that because during the more darker scenes, I didn’t have my stomach rolling in knots and actually found myself chuckling at the narration. The humorous writing style made me feel lighthearted when reading the novel and actually had me wanting to continue reading more so than if the novel was strictly serious 24/7. But don’t get me wrong, the novel does have its more serious moments and it doesn’t hold back at all. The Friday Society is a total girl power novel, especially considering that each of the female main characters holds empowering traits that makes a girl readers (like myself) feel really good about… well… being a girl! Considering that this is happening in a steampunk universe and how the cover made me felt, I’ll admit I was hoping for something vigilante/superheroish to go down. Holy, hold my socks, Batman! The Friday Society gives readers three girls who (after most of the plot goes down) decide that “Hey! It’d be pretty cool if we just became vigilantes to solve this crime.” Yes. Just. Yes. My ultimate favorite character from the plot, hands down, was Michiko. The other girls and I just didn’t mix, while Cora definitely holds some sass that most teenage girls can relate to, and Nellie definitely held a girlie ethic that other girls can relate to—Michiko was the only one who was trained in one thing: How to kick butt! Slowing it down, I want to be the ninja that Michiko is. I don’t care about gadgets or magic like the other girls (however, my all-time favorite movie is the Prestige and did give me an edge for illusions), I care about how to finish a fight if I ever get in one and with her katana sword Michiko definitely acted like the DCU character on the Trouble in Mind cover: Katana (and I’m talking about the character, not Michiko’s sword). So all in all, a really fun read! I would recommend The Friday Society to readers who want a steampunk with a twist, girls who want something to help them feel proud of being a female and those of us who want main characters who aren’t afraid to tell their significant other to shut right on up when they absolutely need to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not find myself particularly impressed with The Friday Society. Perhaps I came into it with too high of hopes for what is most definitely a teeny-bopper novel at heart. The action and gadgets remain true to its adult Steampunk counterparts, but the language is incredibly geared toward today's teens rather than remaining true to the Victorian Era. The subplots are subpar and easy to forget... and yet all of them somehow knot into the ending without any real explanation. The girls spend just as much time worrying about their appearances as they do worrying about their investigations. The villains are somewhat poorly conceived and juvenile in nature and far too abruptly and easily defeated. If there is a second book, I hope it matures the series considerably. I also hope this book will lead its readers to much finer Steampunk pastures.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hate Andrew BTW
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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FireStarBooks More than 1 year ago
When I first got introduced to the book I was like Charlie's Angels? And since I rarely read steampunk (even though I love the genre), I decided to give this one a try. Did it work out for me? Let's find out. Characters Cora - cute, but still boy-ish and loves explosions. Haha, really reminded me of some of my friends. :) She grew up on the streets so she was born tough with this flare of sneaky-ness. She kind of reminds me of a cute fox. She can be beautiful, cute, and cunning. She also is confident in a demanding way. It is not in a bad way, it is like in a leader type way: the loud, strong, determine. You can also describe her as the motherly type (the interaction between Lord White and her tells it all...more on this later). I enjoyed reading about her. Nellie - Gorgeous! Super cute, seems like the romantic type to me. She can be girly, fun, and just adorable. Michiko - Badass! She was from an established family and ran away...<-- Toph much? I love that she is foreign so she doesn't understand English well. It is adorable. Her almost cluelessness brings out this charm and cuteness to her. Even though the cover had her in it, I couldn't help but picture her as Sui Fong, And Adrienne must have done a good amount of research on Japan, Japanese culture to develop Michiko. I giggled when Michiko said Callum-kun (and yes, my sister glared at me for doing so). I really enjoyed Michiko's character; I felt her anger, sadness, and joy. She was my favourite out of the three girls. She was mature but not to the extend of over doing it. And ohhhhhh Andrew Harris. I was in love with him the instant he spoke. He is my man! I was picturing Eddie Redmayne. Oh sweet baby Jesus! *drools* I adore the relationship between Lord White and Cora. When Lord White first appeared, I thought of him as some kid-ish guy that Cora have to take care of, kind of reminds me of Ran and Kogoro. The magician Raheem seemed mysterious but also kind. I enjoyed most Nellie and Raheem's interaction. I didn't like Callum at all. *insert ugly angry face* He was so mean to Michiko, no! no! no! I do not allow it! Plot and other stuff Not sure the world building is the best. Okay, what I mean is that the world wasn't steampunk as I hope. I actually pictured most of the city in just an olden time not a steampunk-gadgety time. The story didn't immediately grab my attention. And just as I thought the story was about to pick up (around page 50-ish), the story died down. Lord, I was bored. I mean I know Adrienne have to develop 3 characters in 3 somewhat different settings but it is very boring to read. Adrienne literally took 100+ pages to develop the girls, somewhat the setting and the time frame. Yeah, so basically start at Part Two: The Beginning if you want to see when the girls grouped together. And really, the story really really get interesting for me until I am 1/3 or so in. I was really wishing for a quicker start and more mystery but this story felt short on that. So I must give this book a maximum of 3/5. Ashley's Random Bits and Pieces Don't like how the cover shows the girls' faces. I like to imagine my characters. Ms Philips reminds me of Ms Hudson from Sherlock.
Paperback_Princess More than 1 year ago
I found that this story was really cute, but not a favorite. If you remember, we did a Waiting on Wednesday on this book back in October, and I was able to get a copy of it when I went to New York Comic Con. I was excited to check out a book about three kick ass ladies who solve crime. The reason that I did not love this book was because a lot of the language and terms used were ones not from the early 1900s, and as a historian, well, I got irked. For starters, the Nellie and Cora kept referring to themselves as "so hot"which is not a term that was used that way in the early 1900's. The other offending term was "Wow. Deep." I felt that a lot of what they were saying were colloquialisms unique to our time. I loved Michiko and felt that she was the only character that managed to grow within the book. She went from being this girl in a foreign land, who was bullied by her "master" into this strong samurai. I did feel that it was a little difficult to incorporate her because she had a language barrier. I loved learning a little bit more about the art of the samurai. Cora started out as my favorite, she was strong and independent, but as the book went on, she just bothered me. Her whole dalliance with a gentleman in the book felt so rushed but not in an insta-love way, just a this feels weird way. Nellie was another one that I didn't like from the beginning just because she seemed so superficial and fake. I will admit that I love her use of glitter as self defense. If I look past the characters and the other difficulties, I liked the plot line. At times it felt a little all over the place. I loved the titles of the chapters and how they all tied together. I also liked how the steampunk tied in with Cora's inventions. There were a lot of fun themes through this book, that make it worth checking out, I have friends that totally loved it, so maybe its the book for.
KaribbeanIsland1 More than 1 year ago
**2.5 Stars** MY OVERVIEW: I was disappointed with this book. I was expecting a steampunk Charlies’ Angels, but got three girls running around each trying to solve a mystery then coming together to solve it.  PROS: OMG! I want Lord White’s library! It was so beautifully described and I would just spend hours upon hours in there. I do like how Cora and Nellie came from nothing to where they are. It gave them more of a reason as to why they are looking into the murders. CONS: The writing seemed very childish. On the first page there are words like explosion-y, pouting, and kablooey. It does get better throughout the book, but it still seemed like a middle-grade book trying to be a young adult. I also didn’t feel like any of the girls were that well written. Just when you thought you knew one, they would do something so out of character.  MY FINAL THOUGHTS: I really wish I liked it. I had high hopes for it. I think it is a good gateway book from middle-grade to young adult. So, if you are looking to transition over, this is a good book for you.