Katie: And here we are… once again… into the breach. This time it was Heather who picked the book. Obviously this resulted in a rather sharp decline in the amount of extraneous wang in the story.
Heather: Sorry about that.
Katie: No, really it’s a good change. I was getting tired of wondering where multiple cocks the size of baseball bats would fit into the heroine’s anatomy, aside from her logically equally cavernous vagoo.
Katie: Anyway, this week’s review is for a book called “Girl in the Steel Corset” by Kady Cross. This one is set in a Steampunk universe. Now, bear in mind. For myself, I have not read any Steampunk aside from High School when Jules Verne was shoved into my reading schedule between Great Expectation and The Stranger (The existential book, not the masturbation technique…pervs).
Heather: now, I’ve read more steampunk than Katie, but less YA. YA has to be pretty good YA for me to be into it. (See: The Goddess Test, which I thoroughly enjoyed.) This was somewhere in between Goddess Test and Switched for me, which is to say…meh.
Katie: A position I fully understand as YA tends to be filled with a lot of lego bricks for characters and be devoid of anything resembling meaningful situations or dialog. A whole lot of yearning and not a lot of action or good role models.
Heather: it’s the ‘pants’ phenomenon. The series shall be unnamed, but you all KNOW what I’m talking about. Now, while I am meh on the book, I’ll give Kady Cross points for giving Finley Jayne, the heroine, a brain and a personality.
Katie: However, I must take ten points from Gryffindor or whatever the hell house Kady is in for coming up with a ‘mystery plot’ which anyone who has seen the great mouse detective could see coming a mile away.
(All rights of this image belong to Disney and only Disney. We are making no money from this at all. Please please please leave us alone Disney.. oh god… they are in my HOUSE…. ++++No Carrier++++)
Katie: The similarity to the plot of the great mouse detective was so close I’m worried if this was a case of unintentional infringement. Which intentional or not, Disney, if they see this novel, will not care. Unless the main thread of the plot is older than the Great Mouse Detective itself.
Heather: yes. I have some insight on Disney, and they have no sense of humor when it comes to infringement, whether it’s intentional or not.
Katie: It’s highly likely the author never saw the Great Mouse Detective and therefore this is an entirely original plot they dreamed up. So for those who wish to read a YA Steampunk novel and haven’t seen this Disney movie, do not see it before reading.
Katie: now that we have given away the plot for those in the know… and utterly confused anyone without an encyclopedic knowledge of 80’s animated movies…
Heather: now, to the actual book, and we’ll try to keep it spoiler-free.
Heather: Finley Jayne is down on her luck. I liked the heroine. She was definitely NOT TSTL, thank goodness.
Heather: Infodumps. We haz them.
Heather: When we meet Finley, she’d gone through a string of jobs and she is attacked. She defends herself with more strength and speed than a girl her age and size
Katie: The heroine meets the main character by having him nearly run over her on a steampunk speeder bike, a rather auspicious beginning that intrigues you. Griffin King is one of those high class, very rich yet down to earth and willing to get his hands dirty heroes we all would love to sweep in and take us with them on a life of adventure full of steel, steam and sorcery.
Katie: While listing his qualities here might sound cheesy. The author goes to good lengths to show us this. His wealth is as secondary to the story as it is to Griffin himself. Damn useful to be a Rich Duke to get what you want but he is only shown using it when the sweat from his abilities can’t accomplish it.
Katie: This was a long way of saying… Good job Author Lady!
Katie: Sam, his bff for life, is shown as the big bruiser and muscle of the mysterious group our heroine finds herself in. He’s muscle, but he’s unsure of his abilities to keep up with the minds of his BFF and that of Emily, the Gearhead of their society.
Katie: Griffin, Sam, Emily and Griffin’s Aunt Cordelia, the psychic, make up a group working in secret to keep bad guys from using steam punk technology of their day from doing VERY BAD THINGS (TM)
Heather: now, there are a fair amount of subplots and such - but we aren’t going to get into them here, because we don’t want to spoil.
Also, there is a charismatic baddie.
No, not him.
He’s a Dandy of a baddie, actually.
He’d like to seduce Finley to the Dark Side, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.
Katie: The book opens in a bit of a confusing way. Not only do you have the “Learn the author’s Steampunk” universe hurdle, but you also are dropped right into the middle of a story where something very big has already happened to the secret society and you weren’t there for it. It made it very difficult for me to get into because I felt like I had walked into a party where I knew absolutely no one, and everyone knew everyone else and was talking about how awesome it was they escaped death last week.
Katie: Don’t get us wrong. This book is enjoyable, but it would have been much more enjoyable if it wasn’t handed to us as a Stand Alone. If I had read the prequel and was more familiar with the characters from the get go, I’d be chomping at the bit for the next book since this one ends on a honey of a cliffhanger.
Heather: now I have to say that I didn’t finish the book…cause I got walking pneumonia. No offense to Ms. Cross, but when I’m that sick, I crave funny, light reading, like Shelly Laurenston’s Dragon Kin series.
Katie: And you were lucky if you could finish remembering to eat, let alone the complexities of this plot.
Katie: So what do you say Heather? Solid B-? Fun subplots, good world building, good Characters with sense, (except when one of the men went Too Stupid to Live, but hey, not everyone is brilliant all the time). However, the sensation of being dropped into the middle of something already happening and resultant learning curve prevent it from rising higher?
Heather: that about sums it up. And don’t watch the Great Mouse Detective before you read it.
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