September 27, 2012

Latest Read: The Steampunk Chronicles

Here are the basics ...
Books: The Girl in the Steel Corset (#1), The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (#2)
Author: Kady Cross
Site: http://www.kadycross.com/
Category: Young Adult - Steampunk - Fantasy

Summary: 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. (Adapted from amazon.com

[Note: Second book c/o BEA and already available!]

My thoughts…
I decided to give this series a try because I got the second book, The Girl in the Clockwork Collar, at BEA (I even got it signed!).  I haven't read that many steampunk books -- the only other one being the Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare -- and I have to admit, I found this series to be somewhat lacking. The setting was interesting but hard to visualize at times.  It's set in the Victorian age but not much description is given.  Actually, not much is explained in general.  There are all these characters and they make references to steam carriages, motorcycle-like vehicles, instant photos and robots one minute and then ghosts, the "aether" and special powers the next.  It was all a little jarring.  And as much as I love diving into the action of a book, taking the time to build a world and give the audience some history goes a long way.  But since that wasn't happening, I chose to focus on the characters instead.

Finley Jayne is definitely a tough heroine.  Tough as in she'll totally kick your ass if you mess with her. Which I, of course, loved.  But she's also someone looking for friendship, love and people she can belong with.  She finds this in the form of Griffin, Emily, Sam and Jas.  I really enjoy books that take a motley group of characters and then develops these strong relationships between them. Finley and Emily, Griffin and Sam, Sam and Emily, Jas and Finley, Griffin and Jas. We get glimpses of each, some longer than others, but all contributing to the story in some way. Of course, the relationship with the most focus was Finley and Griffin. You can see this one coming a mile away (even from the synopsis) but it is an achingly slow burn. It's a little too slow at times but I liked their characters enough to keep rooting and hoping that they'd get together.

Plot-wise, I think both books had fairly good story lines going but I preferred the second. It might be because at that point, I knew what to expect and all the different aspects felt more cohesive.  The Girl in the Steel Corset focused more on figuring who (or what) Finley was and where she belonged while solving the mystery at hand.  The Girl in the Clockwork Collar was a little less Finley-centric and brought characters like Griffin and Jas to the forefront a little more and this time, the mystery/twist wasn't as obvious (in the first one, I called it almost immediately).

Do I recommend?:  It's not my favorite series and if I didn't already own the second book, I probably would've stopped at the first.  I think there are a lot of interesting ideas in the book but something was just missing.  But if you really love steampunk and the Victorian era, it might be worth giving a shot!

Happy reading!

1 comment:

  1. Seriously, these books do sound quite fascinating to me! I'm curious, but I'm not too enamored based on what you told me the other day ;)

    ReplyDelete