Title: The Girl in the Steel Corset
Author: Kady Cross
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Historical Fiction/Fantasy/Steampunk
In short: A book which is a little good and a little bad
I have some very mixed feelings about this book. Meaning it has two sides, kind of like Mr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The good. The bad. I think that’s a good way to write a review, so let’s do it.
Mr Jekyll – the good
Firstly, I loved the genre of this book. It’s a little bit steampunk, a little historical, a little romantic – with a dash of fantasy. It reminded me of Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices.
I also loved the premise: a young girl with an ‘untamed’ darkness within her who becomes part of a group of interesting individuals (the book does have a feel to it which is not unalike The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen).
The mix of fantasy type elements and steampunk technology also worked well. At first I was a little worried about how these fit in together but in the end I thought it worked out okay.
Mr Hyde – the bad
There is too much happening in this book. The main character is dealing with a darkness inside her while another main character is running around trying to catch this villain called ‘the machinist’. All the while all of this romance is trying to happen and it just ends up feeling like this is two stories meshed into one.
The result? This book had me feeling completely lost most of the time. I wasn’t sure what the story was really about.
The villain is terrible. The most cliched villain ever. Boring and, kind of pointless. At no point in the story did this villain feel like a real threat to any of the main characters.
There is also an utterly pointless love triangle. Seriously, one of the love interests feels like he was created just for making a love triangle. I mean, I get it the dark side loves one and the good side likes the other. But it felt so anticlimactic. The guys didn’t even seem to care all that much that she liked them both.
The title is a little misleading too-The Girl in the Steel Corset. I mean there is a girl and a steel corset – but there are a whole lot of other characters that are also really important in this story – so much so that it stops being about her and becomes more so about all of them.
This book pretty much has me sitting on the fence at the end. I loved the ideas. But thought they were poorly executed.
Therefore I’m giving it a sitting on the fence rating of two and a half stars.