Patrícia's Reviews > The Girl in the Steel Corset

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
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Sep 25, 11

bookshelves: 2011-reads, in-english, historical-fiction, young-adult, sci-fi-and-stuff
Read from September 20 to 22, 2011 — I own a copy

RATING: 2.5 stars.

The Girl in the Steel Corset. You look at the title and it makes you interested; if you're easily swayed by a cover (like I am) you'll be impressed with the beautiful red dress and the hint of the aforementioned steel corset. Then you read the synopsis... and you think "well, this definitely sounds good". I know that is what I thought. The neat packaging, the steampunk world and the fact that our main character is a strong female in Victorian times, a character that has a "Jekyll and Hyde" feel to her... all of it sounds intriguing.

Unfortunately the actual book isn't as good as it promises. The best word to describe it is... "average". Maybe even "dull". Or if you want to enter the realm of comparison, then it's "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen". No, really.

Cardboard story, cardboard characters and cardboard world. Cardboard defines The Girl in the Steel Corset. The story is boring, reads like a badly written sci-fi/steampunk movie and/or like an (even worse) YA version of... "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen". Everything correlates: The group of heroes with the special powers; the mysterious, technically savyy villain, the service to "Her Majesty, Queen Victoria"... everything. The plot was just so thin and predictable I was surprised the characters took so long to figure out the evil guy's plans. I mean I kind of knew from almost the beginning.

The characters aren't much better. The author managed to make them perfect YA stereotypes, even though this novel takes place in the 19th century. There's even twice the unrealistic love stories and twice the love triangles!!! As for Finley Jayne, the female protagonist, I'm not sure how Cross accomplished the feat of making her the most boring, dull and characterless girl to grace a YA book since Bella Swan. Even Finley's "dark side" is annoyingly... dull.
And don't even get me started on Griffin King! I mean, first of all he has the most ridiculous name! Griffin King? My mind zeroed on Spider Man and the Kingpin every time I read his name. Worst. Name. Ever. Really. And it's probably the most improbable (lol) name for a member of the 19th century British aristocracy too. Of course he is also a cliche.

Last but not least: the world. Steampunk is supposed to be interesting. Except it seemed like the author had a "list of things that exist in a Steampunk world" and ticked it off one by one as she was writing the book. So it's basically generic Steampunk, if that even exists. I didn't feel like there was any trace of originality in the world-building; it didn't feel like the author made an effort to develop her own ideas. It was just... automatons and steam powered machines.

So, overall, The Girl in the Steel Corset (and I'm wondering why it's even called that, the steel corset is, at best, a very minor character) was a pretty 'bland' read. The book didn't display any originality in terms of story, characters or world. I guess it was written in an interesting manner, but I thought the author could have done a lot more with it if only Finley had been more interesting or if the focus of the plot had been different or even if Cross decided not to include the "love story" (if unrealistic, insta-romance can be considered that). I was disappointed with this book, I expected more action and a more lively heroine.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

Wendy Darling Totally agree. "Bland" is just about right.

The freebie prequel was better, btw...but still nothing to get that excited over.


message 2: by Adeselna (new)

Adeselna Gave up on this book after page 30... And yes it is dull and not Steampunk at all.


Patrícia Yes, it's not very steampunk-ish. Plus the heroine is dull. How can that be, if she has superpowerz!? :/


message 4: by Bec (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bec Couldn't agree more! The book had all the signs of an excellent read and then just sucked :(


message 5: by Avox (new) - added it

Avox Don't forget corny.


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