Hello my fantastic comrades. Hope this week is going well for ya. Got a book/novella review so lets away!
Let me preface by saying I decided to combine these two in one review because of how short TSCOFY is. Plus it basically leads right into TGITSC, so yeah.
The Strange Case of Finley Jayne and The Girl in the Steel Corset are by Kady Cross. They are the start of the Steampunk Chronicles.
TSCOFJ starts with Finley Jayne getting kicked out of her job because of this "thing" inside her. It makes her capable of punching her elders with a single blow. She immediately gets another job with an aristocrat, being paid to be a companion for her daughter Chloe. As Finley gets to know her employer and befriend Chloe, she gets a bad feeling about Chloe's fiance, a Erlking who is twice her age. How far will Finley go to protect her new friend?
I quite liked this novella. It had enough to keep you going in nice short chapters and 78 pages. I liked it's flow, it's world building, and the characters.
Finley was great. I loved her lines and how she thought, and how much she struggled with her darker side. She is a kickass character. Chloe was cool too. Too timid, but she seemed loyal. Is it sad I don't remember the names of the other characters? That just means they were forgettable, which is ok for me, since this was so short.
I'll save the writing style for later in the review.
Now onto The Girl in the Steel Corset.
The Girl in the Steel Corset continues Finley's story. After knocking out the lecherous son of her new employer, Finley is scared for her life, as well as scared of herself. She runs away for fear of being fired. Out on the streets, she meets Griffin King, a young orphaned duke who lives with his best friends, and they all have strange abilities of their own. He sees something special in Finley, and takes her in. Finley must continue to struggle with her inner turmoil, while adapting to her new surroundings as well as her new friends. She also learns that her new friends are pseudo crime fighters, keeping London safe from devious criminals. She gets swept up in their latest mission: To stop The Machinist, a criminal mastermind with an eye on the throne.
I have to be honest, for about the first quarter/half of this novel, I despised this book. I hated how Cross revealed what I thought was a major plot twist so early (as in on page 78 of 289 or so early). I mean as I read on I realized how integral that twist was, and how important it was to reveal it so early, but still. I still hate that part. Also I don't like how modern London was, even though this is a steampunk novel. The characters had almost every single modern convenience, and it really angered me. Again, I know this is a steampunk novel, but the inventions were just too much, and too many. But after I got past that beginning, I was blown away by this book. I stayed up until 6 in the morning to finish it. The whole novel (including the bad part) flowed well, and you were sucked in, wanting to know what happens and to keep turning the pages. Plus that ending just utterly blew my mind. Holy crap, was that an amazingly brilliant ending. Plus it cliffhangered well, making you want to read the next installment, when it comes out.
Finley still kicked ass. You really get in depth into her internal struggle between her and her other self. She's still kick-ass, and just an all around enjoyable character. Griffin was great, amazing. Quite sexy and smart. Although at times, I felt like he should have just went in for the kill on romancing Finley, damn the consequences! Their chemistry was great, and a joy to read. Then there is Jack Dandy, the third part of the love triangle. Dark and mysterious, with a soft side, especially for Finley. I don't know who I love more, Jack or Griff. Jack is just deliciously wonderful. I hope he is more prominent in the second book. Emily was great, and I wish she was real so we could be friends. She's a great friend to Finley, while holding her own as a character. She is funny, loyal, and kick-butt in her own right. Sam, I'll admit, is an ass. Sorry, but for most of the book, he is just rude, suspicious, and nasty. I know he has his reasons, blah blah blah. That still doesn't excuse his behavior. Plus his role in the end angered me even more. I hope he redeems himself in the next book. In essence, all the side characters were great. Well developed, not shoved aside, all around enjoyable, except for Sam. Hell even the villain was cool, especially scary.
I liked Cross' style. It was cool, the descriptions were fantastic. Despite my issues with her version of steampunk, I quite enjoyed her world building.
If you like steampunk novels, pick this up.
I'll next be reviewing Die for Me by Amy Plum
Until next time comrades, viva la literature!