The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles Series)

The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles Series)

by Kady Cross


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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. And Finley thinks she might finally be a part of something, finally fit in-until a criminal mastermind known as the Machinist threatens to tear the group apart....

Included for the first time in print, meet Finley in her first adventure The Strange Case of Finley Jayne the novella prequel to The Girl in the Steel Corset!

The Steampunk Chronicles

"A darkly seductive, ingenious world...

I want more Kady Cross!"&

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780373210701
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 04/24/2012
Series: Steampunk Chronicles Series , #2
Edition description: Original
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 307,682
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Kady Cross, publishing under various names, is a USA TODAY bestselling author of more than twenty books, including Harlequin TEEN's Steampunk Chronicles. She is lucky enough to have a husband who shares her love for the slightly twisted and all things geek, and a houseful of cats with whom she shares her darkest secrets. Her love of books and makeup borders on addiction—of which she never, ever wants to be cured. Visit her on the web at or on Twitter: @AlterKates.

Read an Excerpt

London, 1897

The moment she saw the young man walking down the darkened hall toward her, twirling his walking stick, Finley Jayne knew she'd be unemployed before the sun rose. Her third dismissal in as many months.

She tensed and slowed her steps, but she did not stop. She kept her head down, but was smart enough not to take her gaze off him. Perhaps he would walk right by her, as though she were as invisible as servants were supposed to be.

Felix August-Raynes was the son of her employer. At one and twenty years of age, he was tall and lean with curly blond hair and bright blue eyes. Every woman who saw him called him an angel. Most who knew him thought him the very devil.

The other maids in service had warned her about Lord Felix her first day in the house. A mere fortnight ago. He belonged to a gang of privileged ruffians known for their facial piercings and lack of respect for anyone else, especially females. She had been hired to replace the previous girl hurt by the young lord. Rumor had it that the maid had required serious medical attention.

Finley didn't court trouble, but part of her—that part that was going to keep her safe, yet get her fired—hoped he'd try something. It was horribly delighted at the prospect of the violence to come.

The rest of her was terrified. Were it not for the steel boning of her leather work-corset, she fancied her heart might slam through her ribs it was pounding so hard.

Lord Felix smiled, teeth flashing in the dim light as he stopped just a few feet in front of her, blocking the only route to the servants' quarters where she slept. The tiny brass bar that bisected his left eyebrow—and proclaimed him a member of the Dandies—glinted. "Hello, my lovely. I had hoped to run into you."

Finley hesitated. Maybe he'd move out of her way and let her pass.

Or, a voice in her head whispered—her voice—you could kick his teeth in. She lowered her gaze, not wanting him to see the bloodlust there. Silently, she willed him to let her pass. For his own safety.

Instead, he closed the scant distance between them.

"You're new, aren't you?" he inquired, moving closer. He was already much too close for propriety and there was no one around to make sure he didn't overstep his bounds. The light on the wall above them flickered as though attuned to the fluttering in Finley's chest. This close, she could smell stale ale, cologne and the undeniable oily scent of mech-boxing on his fine suit. Lord Felix was a great patron of the sport.

Though why anyone would want to watch automatons pound the gears out of each other was beyond her.

"Please, my lord," she said softly, wincing at the pleading in her tone. Please don't make me hurt you. "I wish to retire. It's late."

It was after three in the morning, to be exact. She would have been in bed hours ago were it not for the fact that the darling debutante of the house had demanded her pink riding habit be laundered for the morning. As Lady Alyss's maid, it was Finley's job to take the ensemble down to the laundry where the air was thick with hot steam and the smell of overheated gears. She had washed the clothing and set it to dry. Right now her blouse and short skirts were damp, and her feet were sweating inside her high, thick-soled boots. She wanted nothing more than to unfasten the many buckles and take them off, along with her corset. She was going to be up early to collect the habit for Lady Alyss to wear.

And now this annoying twit stood in her way. Finley didn't like it. The thing inside her truly didn't like it. She used to think of it as an imp on her shoulder, urging her to be naughty, but lately she'd come to think of it as less mischievous and more dangerous.

Dangerous to whoever threatened her.

Lord Felix propped a palm against the plaster by her head, turning so that he pinned her against the wall with his own body. "What's the hurry?" he asked, beer breath hot on her face. "Don't you like me?"

Finley held her tongue. If she opened her mouth she'd tell him exactly what she thought of him, and she needed to keep this employment. She needed to get out of this situation without either of them getting hurt.

He slid his other hand behind her, down her back to her backside and squeezed. "Don't you want to make me happy? Smart little girls want to make me happy."

Finley turned her head as his face came down toward hers, and narrowly escaped being kissed. His wet mouth landed on her ear instead. She shuddered. "Please, my lord. Let me go." For your own sake.

His lips fastened on her neck instead. Nausea rolled through her stomach and then suddenly stopped as she felt his palm against the striped stockings that covered her thigh. He wasn't going to cease. He wasn't going to let her go. He was going to take what he wanted, because that's what rich young men did to girls under their control.

But she wasn't under anybody's control. Not even her own. She could feel it fracturing as something deep inside fought to get out.

Finley brought both hands up and pushed hard against his chest. He flew backward, hitting the opposite wall with enough force to crack the plaster.

Lord Felix stared at her, in both shock and outrage. "You nasty tart," he snarled as he brushed dust from his sleeves. "Like a bit of the rough, do you?"

"You've no idea," Finley heard herself reply coolly. "But make no mistake, my lord, I do not like you, so keep those damn hands of yours to yourself."

The young man's face reddened and his eyes shone with anger. "Bitch. No guttersnipe servant talks to me that way." He straightened and took a step toward her, shrugging out of his purple velvet frock-coat. "Someone needs to teach you a lesson."

She didn't see the blow coming, but she certainly felt it when it hit. Her head jolted back under the force of his fist, striking the wall. Lights danced in the darkness of her eyes as pain shot through her skull. But she did not pass out.

It would have been so much better for Lord Felix if she had.

She could feel blood trickling from her mouth and she wiped at it with the back of her hand. Vision finally clear, she saw that Lord Felix had also removed his waistcoat and was now rolling up his sleeves. The excited glint in his eye told Finley exactly what kind of lesson he intended her to "learn."

Something inside her stretched and pulled—still fighting to get out. There was no point in denying it anymore. She had been raised in a loving home with her mother and stepfather—a kind and honest man who doted on them both. He would never dream of such violence—no good man would.

But Lord Felix August-Raynes was not a good man. And it was time someone taught him a lesson.

The warm rush of familiar power brought a slight smile to her battered lips. She gave up all attempts to keep it reined in. It was the only way she'd survive this night with her virtue and bones intact. It was as though she was watching herself from a perch on the ceiling—all she could do was observe as her other self took over. Her boots shifted on the bare floor, right foot forward, left foot back and pointed out. She raised her fists.

"Coming back for more, eh?" Felix grinned at her. "I like a little fight in my girls."

She grinned at him, causing blood to dribble down her chin. "Then you're going to love me." The voice was hers, but deeper and throatier than she'd ever heard before. It was a dangerous voice, and even Felix paused at the sound of it.

Finley, however, did not pause. She drove her fist right into her attacker's throat. He staggered backward, eyes wide with shock as he coughed and choked and struggled for breath.

She bounced on her feet, waiting for him to recover. She should run and hide. She should be gasping in fear, lungs constrained by the tight lacing of her corset. But she wasn't afraid anymore and she wasn't about to run. She was going to…

But first, a little fun. She hadn't hit the bully as hard as she could have. She was going to let him think he stood a chance first.

When Felix recovered enough to come at her again, she was ready for him. He swung and she ducked, landing another punch to his kidneys. When he doubled over, she grabbed his head and brought her knee up fast. Unfortunately, the layers of skirts she wore softened the blow. He struck her in the stomach, knocking the breath from her, and then hit her in the face again. She fell to the floor, rolling just in time to avoid being kicked by one of his boots.

She'd never been struck before—not like this. She'd never felt as though someone meant to kill her—or didn't care if they did. She gasped for breath against the polished wood floor, rolling again when he struck out with his foot once more. She moved faster than she should have, the pain from his blows already easing.

He called her all kinds of horrible names—guttural and nasty sounding. But instead of making her feel awful or frightening her, they only made her want to hit him all the harder.

She pulled herself to her feet. Her stomach and face ached, but not like it should have. It never hurt like it should.

Her hands grabbed Lord Felix by the front of his shirt. She pulled him toward her, hard, and smashed her forehead against the bridge of his nose. There was a snapping sound just before he screamed. Finley thrust him backward, satisfaction tickling her when she saw the blood coursing down his face.

He was good and mad now. He raised a hand to his nose, and when he saw the blood on his fingers, he made a growling sound in his throat. She'd ruined his pretty face and now he was going to make her pay for it. She smiled. Or rather, he was going to try to make her pay for it.

He came at her again, like a bull. Finley didn't think, she simply reacted and took two quick steps forward. With that slight momentum, she lifted her right boot to the wall and pushed up, grabbing the scrolled brass of the wall sconce for support and whipped her left leg out.

She kicked him in the face.

He keeled over like a milk bottle knocked off a step, hitting the floor with a solid thump. He lay there, motionless, an imprint of the heel of her boot smack in the middle of his forehead, blood trickling from his already swelling nose.

She hopped down from the wall and went to stand over him, victorious and self-satisfied. Adrenaline rushed through her veins, making her practically dance in her boots. Lord Felix had promised to teach her a lesson, but he was the one who had been schooled. He'd think twice before laying a hand on another girl.

But Finley's satisfaction was short-lived. In fact, it was over at almost the precise moment when she looked at Lord Felix's face. He was so still, so pale except for the blood. What if he was dead? All the fight whooshed out of her, leaving her trembling and cold in its wake.

"What have I done?" she whispered.

What you had to.

She felt his neck for a pulse, relief engulfing her as she found it. She hadn't killed him. At least she wouldn't hang. But she had still attacked the son of a peer of the realm and there would be consequences.

Three jobs in three months and they'd all ended with an experience like this one, although this was by far the worst.

She'd been let go from each position because of her behavior, something that had released this thing inside her. Urges to act in a way that was far from civilized, far beyond what she as a young woman should be capable of.

They'd bring the law down on her for this. They'd lock her up. Or worse, use her for scientific experiments in New Bethlehem Asylum—Bedlam. And they would experiment on her once they realized she was abnormal.

Run, the voice inside her whispered. Run away.

Listening to the voice had gotten her into this mess, perhaps this time it would get her out. There was no way Lord Felix wouldn't exact retribution upon her for harming him—either by finishing what he'd started or by bringing the authorities down upon her. There was no way she was going to let him do what he wanted to her. No way she'd risk having her brain dissected for giving him less than what he really deserved.

So Finley listened to the voice and ran.

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The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles Series) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 289 reviews.
Laurab68 More than 1 year ago
Finley Jayne is a bit of an enigma. When angered she becomes this fighting machine and can take down just about any bloody bugger she wants. Watching her fight is cool too. But for Finley, she can't control it and it's getting worse. A bit like Jekyll & Hyde, this story is amazing. I'm very stingy with my 5 parasol ratings. But this story totally deserves it and more. It's brilliantly written. Amazingly executed, this is the type of story that I love to read. It's Steampunk, It's romantic, It's got a gothic feel to it. There is danger lurking around every corner. Griffin King is special as well. He can access the dead when necessary. So when Finley literally bumps into him and his friend Sam. He feels a connection to this girl and decides to bring her into his house. But you see, Griff is not what he seems. He is the Duke of Greythorne and is probably one of the wealthiest and most eligible bachelors in all of England. (Commence the swooning, Griff rocked my socks off!) Griff's best friend, Sam is highly skeptical of this girl who is utterly dangerous living under the same roof. But he's got a reason to be skeptical. See Sam was fatally injured by an android-type thing and Emily (brilliant Em who lives with Griff and Sam and Sam is a bit sweet on) patched him together with the same material that tried to destroy him. Sam is not thinking well. There were a few storylines here that tied up neatly and like I said it was all executed so well. Like a finely spun spiderweb. Griffin is still reeling from the deaths of his beloved mother and father and wants to find the killer at all cost. His attraction to Finley causes everyone to question his motives in keeping her around. But he seems to be the only one who can calm her two selves into one calm being. I absolutely adored this story and would love to read more like this. This is Kady Cross' debut YA novel and highly recommend it.
CarolineBarnett More than 1 year ago
I came across the Girl in the Steeel Corset when happening across the website in a web scavenger hunt. It was fun and I tried a lot of promising books, this being one of them. Read one chapter. ONE! and I was hooked. *This review will have NO SPOILERS!* I encourage reading. The gist of a non spoiler intake on the book is that Finley is no ordinary girl. Most girls can't knock a man flat in one punch (although that'd be SO cool) and as she tries to find yet another place she happens across Rich boy *ahem* Griffin and his "gang" of people all with their own abilities. What kind? Well, here;s an idea..READ THE BOOK!! it's really, quite good. ANYWAY! Just when Finley had a sliver of being excepted her world is turned up side down. Thrown together in the mix is a love triangle, a robot, here and there, and a strange corset that seems to be made out of metal (thus the title) Anyway I love it and I think that you will too. Enjoy and kudos to Kady Cross for a wonderful book. Two thumbs up!
epicrat More than 1 year ago
I have to say that most of my steampunk experience involves zombies and werewolves and other delightful bumps in the night. While The Girl In The Steel Corset lacks in this domain, it tackles steampunk in its most basic of essences and gives us a fantastic world where Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, and artificial intelligence battle for supremacy. The world that Kady Cross imagined is magnificent and well-done in its intricacies. Machines have been integrated into society, but not quite at the peak where they can think for themselves. Aether seems to hold endless possibilities - out-of-body traveling, dual personalities, ghostly visitations, impressive strength, fast healing times, and most likely even more to discover. It was awesome, and the best part is that the characters were also exploring the world that they live in so I didn't feel like the only one in the dark. I enjoyed all the characters, most particularly Jack Dandy, but I wished we had spent a little more time with them! Each had their own spotlight, but it seemed to last a moment too short before rushing off to the next character, the next piece of the puzzle. I wanted a little more insight on what made Griffin tick. Orphaned, bred as a duke but not really elbow-deep in society and marriage prospects, full of mystery and emotions unknown, Griffin still seemed too stiff for me to root for. If Finley's heart boils down to Griffin and Jack, count me in as Team Jack! The Girl In The Steel Corset reminds me of Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers trilogy without the paranormal aspect, but with similar group of characters who have powers unimaginable but also uncontrollable. This first installment has not quite dazzled me, but I look forward to seeing if the sequel will continue to expand this world and give these characters more edge now that the introductory stuff is done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For anyone else who was confused with the order of the main book series, here you go: 1. The Girl in the Steel Corset 2. The Girl in the Clockwork Collar 3. The Girl with the Iron Touch 4. The Girl with the Windup Heart
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are very few books that a hardcore steampunk writer like me will nerd out this much to. It has gotten to the point that i am curling up in my bed and squealing at every thoroughly steampunky or romancy thing that happens. I have not been so bloody nerdy since i read Phillip Pullman's notorious steampunk trilogy, His Dark Materials, for the first time. The writing style is fantastic and bloody intriguing, and the plotline is fast paced and keeps even someone like me with ADHD interested for hours. Even for a book geek such as myself, who can outline nearly any plot just by reading a short summary that doesn't give away many vital details (forgive me, I read so much that very little surprises me in books now), I am having a hard time predicting much of the book's events. This book is well worth the read (worth it even to a book snob). :D
Icecream18 More than 1 year ago
This is part of a new genre, Steampunk. The reader's first impression of the novel will be...that not much is different from, say, fantasy or just plain young adult. This novel was interesting in that the author seemed to know a fair amount about machines; however, it was very confusing in some parts. The main character, Finley, is a ballsy character in some portions of the novel, and, at random, it will seem as if her courage peters out...for instance, there is a fight with her and another character that just seemed very unwarranted and silly. The secondary characters are interesting to meet, but not necessarily fun characters to read about...Jasper was amusing though. The plot was different, the reader kind of has to figure out the plot though...he/she will probably catch on in the middle of the book. The ending was a little disappointing too, it doesn't always have to be HEA (happily ever after), but it was a little of a non sequitur. This book was overall ok, but it probably won't make the reader "awed" by this new genre.
DanceBree17 More than 1 year ago
First off..this was a new genre for me, but I was introduced to it thru the Harlequin Teen site and I think I am hooked. I loved the scene being Victorian London, with the modern age just staring and the idea of steam powered vehicles and things. The fashions that Finley Jayne gets to wear are so amazing and each scene I wanted to slip into the same corsets and clothes and walk the gritty streets of London. Kady Cross does a great job of bringing steampunk and amazing characters together in a book that will have you pulled in before you know it. The character of Finley Jayne is a very strong female character that from the beginning scene is someone you don't mess with. She may look all petite and feminine, but she has two aura's. She comes by it naturally, her father was the original Jekyll and Hyde and seems she has the same affliction. But after a chance run in(quite literally) with the Earl of Greythorne, she lets him help her control the darker side of her life, and she in turn helps him defeat a bad guy bent on destroying everything with automatons that are more lifelike than can be believed. The story is very believable and while the steampunk side is very fantasy based, you really believe after a few chapters that it could happen in this alternate world. The romance that buds with the Earl Greythorn and Finley is nice and I also love the naughty romance between her and Jack Dandy, the head of a London gang. The ending is in a perfect cliffhanger and I know I will be ready to get my hands on the second book as soon as it hits the shelf.
cubicleblindnessKM More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book wasn't exactly what I was expecting but I was by no means disappointed. This book is both technical and emotional. The characters are never dull and almost all of them are multi-sided. The action scenes are well described as are the machines throughout the book. There is a love triangle but it's less annoying than in most teen novels, she doesn't even consider romance for a huge portion of it. Over all I loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why are the two book cheaper then the one book?
WIA More than 1 year ago
Worth the read........:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book a lot more than I expected. I felt the ending left me there a sequel? I'm ready for the next one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an immensely interesting book. In it there are so many unique twists that you wouldn't see coming. The main character Finley Jayne is not the typical helpless girl that you would usually see in the late 1800's. This book makes you fall in love with the character's. I highly recommend it especially if you like to read the out of the ordinary type of books. Timber Creek High School Student Class of 2012
shakebag More than 1 year ago
The Girl in the Steel Corset is inventive, and enjoyable action adventure set in an alternate Victorian London of 1897 where automatons, robots, steam and clockwork technology are a normal part of everyday life. We are introduced to Finley Jayne, the 16-year-old heroine, as she is confronted by unwanted sexual advances of her employer's son. When she refuses, he tries to beat her. But Finley is no ordinary servant girl. She has something inside her that she can't control -a dark, violent, vengeful side to her that has tremendous strength, agility and cunning. You do not want to get her angry. The young man of the house, who is known for his advances and violence to other servants, gets his come-uppance in the form of a brutal ass-kicking of his own served to him with the fists and boots of none other than this unprepossessing little servant girl. After fleeing the scene, she quite literally runs into the the Duke of Greythorne, Griffin King, who takes her in to his little band of misfits. He can see, control, and become one with the Aether, the universal energy that is everywhere, inside and all around us. Sam is part robot, after being almost killed in a horrible battle with a rogue automaton. Emily is a scientific genius and inventor and expert in medicine. Jasper is an American cowboy with a questionable past. Together, they are investigating a series of automaton attacks masterminded by a criminal called The Machinist. She soon finds out that Griffin's and her own parents have a shared past that include the discovery of the life-giving Organites - tiny little creatures that attach themselves to human tissue and copy the bodies own cellular composition. When applied to wounds they can rebuild flesh and heal injuries. Finley also discovers that her father conducted experiments on himself by ingesting concoctions that included Organites when she was conceived, and that he was also the man who was the inspiration for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This novel is perfect introduction to steampunk genre for a teen audience. There is romance, mystery, action, adventure, cool gadgets and inventions as well as a kick-ass heroine who is learning to control and join both the light and dark parts of her psyche. The struggle inside Finley Jayne is universal. We all have dark and violent thoughts, but she gets to explore and act on those impulses, kicking some serious butt and speaking her mind in a repressed Victorian society, full of manners and proper social etiquette. I would love to live in this world! The novel has the group dynamic of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, in a good way. In the end, the climax was resolved a little too easy for my taste, but with such a talented group of misfits, what possible crises could they not overcome? We will know eventually, because this is the first in a series. I am looking forward to the next book in The Steampunk Chronicles by Kady Cross. If you can't wait for the next book in the series, why not download the 78-page prequel novella starring Finley Jayne for free on your NOOK. Search for the eBook titled The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross.
Steel_knickers More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I was smitten with the book from the first 10 minutes of reading it. I could not put it down. I believe it says on the cover something like...But no normal girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a grown man with one punch. As soon as I read that I knew this was the book for me. The girl in the steel corset was a book that I can see myself reading over and over again. I loved the main character, Finley. Actually, I enjoyed all of the characters. I am very excited that this is going to be a series of books. I cannot wait for the next one to come out.
blueyedirishgrl More than 1 year ago
This books starts with a great deal of promise, but about midway through, quickly takes a turn for the worse. The premise of the book is interesting and in the beginning the dialogue and story grabs you, but that does not last. The writing becomes too wordy, the characters seem ridiculously childish & immature, there is too much repetitive descriptors (ropey was used to describe Emily's hair oh, about a zillion times), the "love triangle" never develops at all, the "action" is about as anticlimatic as you can get. If you figure a book as a line, there should be many peaks and valleys in that line. This books was about as straight a line as you can get. The only high point to the book was Jack Dandy (one third of the supposed love triangle). He is intriquing and mysterious and we don't learn much about him and I definitely would've liked to know more, for example...why is his speech so mangled when he can speak flawlessly at times? What is he hiding? There seems to be a great deal of depth to him, but we don't learn anything and as bad as this book ended, I won't be reading the sequel if there is one. I had to force myself to finish this book & skipped over many passages and only read the sentences that were actually dialogue. I was sorely disappointed in this book, which was even more disappointing since the beginning seemed to have so much potential.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Loved the book the plot and the characters
ladycato on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The author's note at the end mentions that she wanted to write League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets teen X-men. That's an apt comparison for this young adult book.Finley has a Jekyll and Hyde personality disorder, and the inspiring work by that name is also mentioned within Steel Corset. The others in the team also have extraordinary powers, all because of their exposure to Organites that Griffin's parents accessed in the center of the Earth. The Organites come across as almost magical in how they work--causing rapid healing and other mutations--but are hidden from society at large because Queen Victoria was concerned about their abuse and how they supported the theory of evolution. There is also the Aether, a sort of spiritual other-world that can be accessed through Organites or specialized machinery.Sam is the part-machine thug of the party, whereas Em is the girl-genius mechanist. Em easily steals the show with her Irish accent and quick wit. She reminded me a lot of Lucca from the game Chrono Trigger. Jasper is just kind of... there in this book, though he promises to have a greater role in the second.The book gets off to a quick start as Finley's "monster" is unleashed as she defends herself from rape. Finley as a character felt uneven to me; she bounces a lot between both halves of her personality, but there wasn't real depth to who she is. Instead, it focused on the developing love triangle between her, Griffin, and a third, rascally character. This and other plot elements felt rather contrived and cliche, especially the identity of the villain (obvious at first appearance) and Sam's issues.Another annoyance was bouncing points of view. Within the same scene, the POV would switch without breaks, making transitions extremely confusing.Despite these issues, the book was a quick read and did present a few nice twists and turns. It does utilize steampunk elements well: the advanced technology, the whimsy, the extraordinary clothes. However, I probably wouldn't continue with the series except that the publisher has provided me a gratis copy of the second book. Therefore, I'll be reading on and hoping for a second, stronger volume.
seescootread on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After losing her last two jobs Finley Jayne just wants to keep her head down and stay employed. Nevertheless, when forced into a bad situation she defends herself in the only way she can and has to run. Griffin is a young Duke who is determined to solve a brewing mystery and protect his friends and his country. Their worlds collide ¿ literally ¿ and they quickly become tangled up in solving a mystery that has them in over their heads. They, along with their companions, will have to use all of their resources and special abilities to stop The Machinist in a race against time. I loved this book! The story pulled me in from the first page and didn¿t let go. It starts off racing and never stops. I loved the steampunk elements! I always find the blending of historical and machinery elements fascinating. Finley was a strong lead and I enjoyed watching her develop and change over the book. However, she wasn¿t the only strong lead character ¿ each one (Griffin, Emily, Sam, Jack Dandy, Jasper, etc...) had depth and were well developed. I think each character could lead their own novel and to mix them all in here together makes for a great read. I really liked getting to know each character and their unique histories. It was easy to connect emotionally with them and that enhanced the already intriguing plot. The story was told through multiple perspectives that flowed well and didn¿t feel disjointed. I liked reading the story in alternate points of view. The subplots didn¿t detract from the story, but added to the overall mysteries of The Machinist and of what exactly was wrong with Finley. The romance elements felt real, weren¿t rushed, and weren¿t the main plot points. It was a steampunk adventure with romance on the side ¿ perfect! I was happy with how the overall story ended but it definitely left me wanting more! I can¿t wait to pick up the next novel. The Girl in the Steel Corset is a great blend of mystery, adventure, steampunkery and romance that I highly recommend picking up!
Emily_Moore on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was pretty good but i thought it could be longer. It is everything i like and i can keep reading it and reading it over and over and never get tired of it
danijohns on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Girl in the Steel Corset has solidified my love for the steampunk genre. Before this book, I had only read a few books that could be classified as Steampunk and I really loved them, but it might have been just because of the authors. But this book proved to me how AWESOME, steampunk really is.I have to say that this book was one of the books I read instead of studying for finals. I couldn¿t put it down once I started it. I really loved how the steampunk element of the book wasn¿t overbearing, like it sometimes can be. Instead, the use of machines and science gave the book a bit of a paranormal air, but it still felt realistic.The characters in this book were pretty awesome. Lets start with Finley for example. She can kick some serious butt, but the butt kicking brings out her dark side, a huge problem for Finley. I also want to say the English major nerd in me loved the comparison of Finely to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and love how she and her father might have been the inspiration for that story in the book. One of my favorite characters though has to be Jack Dandy. He is a mystery and a bit of a bad boy. I cannot wait to find out more about him in the next book in the series. The band of characters in this book really made me think of a Victorian type of X-Men. Each character had some unique quality that made them different from normal people. They have banned together to try to figure out who the Machinist is. Each character had their own powers and their own flaws, which I really liked.I do have to say, I felt a bit confused by the plot at times. It kind of felt like we were in the middle of a series instead the first book of the series, because sometimes I thought I was missing things. But as the book went on, I became more settled into the plot. I did really enjoy reading this book though and wanted to find out what happened next. My one wish for this book was that their was more romance! There were inklings of it but not enough for my taste. I really would have liked more on that front, but it is the first in a series, so hopefully a lot more will come.This book was a great mixture of Victorian England, adventure, mystery, suspense and action. This book is also gorgeous! I love that cover!! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and cannot wait to read the next book to see what happens next.
ShelleyJax on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rating: 3.0 StarsGenre: YA Steampunk*Review* The Girl in the Steel Corset, by Kady Cross, takes place during the Victorian era of merry old England and focuses on Finley Jayne, Griffin King, Sam Morgan, Emily O'Brien, and American Jasper Renn. Each character is unique in their abilities and talents after being exposed to Organites either with by being born with it, or having been exposed to it over a long period of time.Finley Jayne is the daughter of Thomas Shepard, the scientist behind Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. She has a split personality and her anger issues often lead to her being fired from her job after lasting out both verbally, and with her hands. She is working on her third job in just three months when the book picks up and she finds herself saved by two mysterious men, Griffin and Sam after getting into a conflict with a womanizer. If you have read the Novella, The Strange Case of Finley Jayne, then you know that she doesn't care much for being touched, or bothered in anyway. She also has enhanced sight as well as hearing and the strength of several men along with a very short temper. Griffin King is 18 years of age, became Duke of Greythorne at the age 15. Griffin¿s grandfather traveled to the center of the earth to discover the Cradle of Life, the place where creation began. It also lead to the discovery of Organites. His parents Helena and Edward King were killed in a steam-carriage incident, which later became obvious that they were in fact, murdered. King is able to speak to the dead, as sort of a medium, and as access to the Aether. He is also the de facto leader of the group.The Aether is the thread that binds everything ¿humanity, the world, and the cosmos ¿ together. It is energy and King is a conduit. It is also for the dead, and each time a human accesses it, they lose a part of themselves in the process.Sam Morgan was attacked by an automation, and left for dead. Emily, see next, was the one who brought Sam back to life. Sam is preternaturally strong and grew up with Griffin after he saved his father from being crushed. Sam¿s right arm is mechanized, along with the left side of his skull, most of his ribs, his left shin, right femur, and right clavicle, as well as his heart. They have all been replaced by the Organites. Just call him Sam the Manroid, half man, half machine. Sam has some serious anger issues towards Finley since she arrived. He doesn't really trust her or her other side and does some really stupid things without really thinking about the consequences of his actions.Emily O¿Brien, 16, is the inventor of the group who uses Organites, or beasties, to help repair damage to the human skin. She also has a stockpile of Listerine that she uses to disinfect things with. She has in IQ that is at genius level, and was chosen by Griffin over her brothers to work with him. A really good choice when it comes to reading about all her new inventions, including a 3 foot mechanical cat. Emily later discovers that long term exposure to the Organites, have allowed her to ¿speak¿ the automations. Some have questioned Emily¿s abilities as being over the top. Of course, let¿s ignore actual real geniuses that graduated from high school at 13 years of age, and went on to change the world.Jasper Renn, the American, is extremely fast with guns. He is also an expert at Jujitsu and Kung-Fu, and ends up training Finley in order to protect herself from the villians. He has a secret that doesn't really get explained in this story, only that he is wanted back in the States for murder. He is crushing on Emily, but Emily also has her eyes on Sam. Our villain is Leonardo Garibaldi aka the Machinist. He creates and uses automations to do his dirty work. The Mechanist has one real goal and that is the removal of Queen Victoria. The Mechanist wants the world to know about the Organites, since he was one of the original team members who discovered it along with Griffin and Finley¿s fathers. When he first came into the story with
alana_leigh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Within the acknowledgments at the end of her book, Kady Cross describes her original desire was to write The Girl in the Steel Corset as "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets teen X-Men." There's really no better way to describe this novel than that -- for Kady Cross did obviously want to write that novel. Her talent seems to rest in creating an interesting world and atmosphere where those kinds of elements can come together. The problem, though, is that a great number of other things seemed to fall by the wayside in order to craft such a world, including a clear narrative, character investment, and a large amount of tension within the story arc.Steampunk and packed with adventure, The Girl in the Steel Corset opens upon a young serving maid named Finley Jayne who believes she's struggling with a darker side within, a side that unleashes when she's frightened or angry. Incidentally, we're treated to a display of this when the master's son decides he'd like to take advantage of the new serving girl, and he winds up beaten unconscious. As Finley is aware that she'll be lucky if she only winds up dismissed from her position and not arrested, the voice in her head offers some solid advice -- flee before either can happen. Dashing into the street as she escapes, Finley is nearly run down -- conveniently, by the only young man in all of London who can truly help her. Within his circle of friends, she finds even more frightening prospects than dealing with her own internal struggles -- the possibility of understanding, a useful place, and true friends.The Girl in the Steel Corset gets major points based on cover and book design alone -- I loved the dips and curls of the script combined with the cogs on chapter pages and the lush cover is quite vibrant. My experience with steampunk literature is rather limited (aka Gordon Dahlquist and Gail Carriger), so perhaps staunch supporters of the genre would be able to really enjoy the detail that Cross goes in to. The world that Cross paints has the benefit of luxury (as one of the main characters and leader of the group, Griffin King, is a wealthy young Duke) being contrasted with the gritty world outside. There are still all kinds of crazy mechanical contraptions (including a whole lot of robots) and fashions that work in a good deal of body piercings. Introducing a unique element (or at least making it something *I* haven't yet seen before), Cross features a new form of ore that seems to function as a blended mechanical/organic composite -- and keeping this substance away from those who would use its powers for evil will obviously occupy a lot of time in the series... well, that and trying to figure out just how it works and how it has affected those who come in contact with it. Oh, and there's also this thing called the aether, which seems to encompass all living livings -- and dead ones, as it seems spirits exist in the aether. Are you smirking yet? I'll admit, I smirked quite often, and yet I think steampunk enthusiasts are willing to accept a lot of crazy things for the sake of fun, even if this seemed more sci-fi at times.I would try to explain the plotline in greater detail, but truth be told, I still haven't managed to shake the feeling that I was tossed into a series midway through, and so I find it hard to summarize in anything vaguely resembling a linear trajectory. Even when you know the book says "Steampunk Chronicles #1," I still felt the compulsive need to do some internet research and see if there weren't, perhaps, other series somehow linked to this one... and even when I came up with nothing under this same author name, I still remain somewhat unconvinced that there isn't a manuscript floating around out there with earlier story installments for these characters. Without proof of that, though, my only explanation is that Cross seeks to put the reader on par with Finley, who is entering a group of friends rather late
hrose2931 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read The Girl in the Steel Corset months ago. In fact, I read it as soon as it came out. That cover mesmerized me. I loved that metal glove on Finley's hand. I want one. I want that dress and a steel corset! And I really want a Griffin King after me! Or just subtly pursuing me. And I promise not to be as ignorant as she is of his interests. But that Finley Jane, she is so uniquely her own self, she defies category, definition even. I loved her character. Tough as nails when she felt her self preservation kick in, but ladylike when the case called for it. But what I loved most about Finley Jane and her personality was that she had this inner dialogue going on that never stopped, but was right on when it came to assessing a situation, a person, or a need. The only thing she never guessed right was everyone's regard for her and that was because she felt so beneath all of them and so bad about herself, she could never see what others truly felt about her. Except for the criminal element, Jack Dandy for whom she has an unnatural attraction. But then she thinks, she's common so why not? But Griff has other plans for her.Sam was a character I never got around to liking. I know he'd had a hard time previous to the novel and he was part machine, part of what had almost killed him and he hated that. He hated Emily and Griff for saving him that way and he hated Finley. But Finley's only crime was that she was new to the group. He just needed a scapegoat. I really hated Sam throughout the book and that was hard, because Emily liked him and somewhere in all the hatred and anger, he liked Emily.Emily was a sweetheart. I pictured her as a Pippi Longstocking kind of looking girl because she was always described with ropey braids. And she didn't seem to have time for fashion as she was always working on something in her laboratory. I liked her because she was the first to make Finley feel welcome at the house. She healed her wounds and Finley thought of her as her first real friend.And then there was Griffin. Griffin the richest man in England. Richer than the Queen. An orphan at a young age, able to tap into the Aether, the spirit world, whenever he wanted or needed to see disturbances and try to track down the Machinist, the thing that had tried to kill Sam, had killed others and he suspected had something to do with the deaths of his parents. And he's met his match with Finley. She thinks her station so beneath him, that they are actually able to be friends. And his pursuit of her is taken very lightly by her. Because a man of his wealth and breeding could never be with a girl like her.Oh these characters are so richly woven into the story with some additional side characters and the plot, to find the Machinist, is driven with the force of two very powerful beings, Sam with his anger and hatred and Finley with her strength and love to protect her new friends. The two clash on the battlefield and then find themselves up against a truly unbeatable force.There is a cliffhanger ending on two counts and I cannot wait to read the next installment of the Steampunk Chronicles. Kady Cross weaves several different story lines together intricately never quite losing the thread of one for another so that they are all there being woven together loosely, but present. Her characters are full and colorful and some of my favorites in YA. Read it if you haven't! Even if you think you don't like Steampunk, there is no way you can't love this one! Highly recommended!
thehistorychic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bought for myself(Read for BBA July Group Pick)Overall Rating 3.50Character Rating 3.50Story Rating 3.50NOTE: This is only the 2nd steampunk novel I have read and I am not sure it is the genre for me. PLEASE take my rating and raise it by at least one if you are a YA Steampunk fan :)What I Loved: I thought Finley was a great main character. Griffin, Emily, and Sam were also fantastic supporting characters. JD made me laugh! The Jekyll/Hyde thing that Finley had going on really helped me accept the love triangle which I normally hate (though to be honest it wasn't really a love triangle very much at all). Finley was tough, quick, self-sufficient, and had loving parents (score for Kady Cross for not making elders absent or unloving--YEAH)! In fact, how Finley was written in relation to her family and how that shaped who she is was just all around fantastic!What I Liked: Honestly, the history geek in me loved that the author appeared to have done a ton of research on the era. She wove her world into that period very well. I am always a fan of well researched historical material.Why Steampunk isn't for me and you should keep it in mind when looking at my rating: I can't get into the story with so many descriptive terms about what people are wearing, what gadgets they have, and what automatons are being used.Why I gave it a 3.5: I really enjoyed the characters and the story! I will probably even pick up book 2 when it comes out because I want to see what Griffin, Finley, Emily, and Sam are up too!