Monthly Archives: April 2012

Book Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset

With a name like ‘The Girl in the Steel Corset’, Kady Cross’ novel gives you very little idea what it’s all about. I mean, clearly there’s a girl. And she wears a steel corset. But that’s pretty much it.

Well, let me tell you that this is my new favourite series. Now, I warn you that this novel is not for everyone, but I’m a major fan of the Steampunk genre, so I loved it.

Steampunk, you say? What’s that?

Steampunk is a genre based in an alternate Victorian era. It’s a bit science-fictioney, a bit fantasy, a bit Wild West-ey and has a lot of emphasis on cool old school technology. Think movies like ‘Atlantis’, ‘The Golden Compass’ or ‘A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’.  It’s a feisty genre, with plenty of action and thrills, and just enough fantasy and mystery to keep it interesting. These pictures should give you a bit of idea what it’s all about.

But back to the novel. It’s 1897 England and Finley Jayne is convinced she’s a freak.  With her superhuman strength and terrible anger, she can’t keep a job as a maid. When a prominent young Lord tries to take advantage of her, Finley defends herself in a way that is natural to her – but devastating to her victims.  Taking refuge in the house of Griffen King and his mysterious band of mysfits, Finley finally finds a place where she belongs. But safety comes at a price – Finley finds herself an integral part of an elite team who work to avenge the wrongs of others.

If you think this novel sounds a bit X-Men, you’re right! If you think it sounds a little like Cassandra Clare’s ‘Clockwork Angel’ prequel series – right again! This is why I love Steampunk as a genre – it takes a little bit of everything and makes it new.  I loved Finley as a heroine; she gets around in corsets and kicks butt all over the place. Plus there’s the obligatory (but awesome) love triangle going on between Finley, Griff and Jack; a character with shades of Captain Jack Sparrow about him.  This novel is funny, heart-warming and thrilling, and I can’t wait for the sequel: ‘The Girl in the Clockwork Collar’.

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Book Review: Vixen

If you’ve read the ‘Luxe’ series, you might want to try the ‘Flapper’ Series, by Jillian Larkin.

The first book in the series is called ‘Vixen’.  Set in Chicago during the roaring twenties, the series begins with the story of Gloria Carmody, a girl who seemingly has it all – beauty, wealth and seriously good looking fiancé. But Gloria is only seventeen, and feels that her life is about to be over before it’s begun. Along with her best friend Lorraine and her cousin Clara, Gloria gets drawn into the world of the speakeasy; where the booze runs freely, the skirts are short, the music is intoxicating and the men are dangerous.

If you’re a bit over the vampire/supernatural/dystopian fiction thing, this might be the series for you. ‘Vixen’ is exciting and tantalising and gives the reader a real feeling for Chicago during the Prohibition era. The characters are colourful and are never as they seem, and I found myself really compelled by Gloria’s adventure into the seedy underbelly of the illegal bar scene.

Check out the website – it gives you more info on the books, as well as a look at the sequel, ‘Ingénue’.