Author: Kate Cross
Publish Date: May 24, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Hardcover, 336 pages
Barnes and Noble
This was my first time reading Steampunk. I have picked up other Steampunk books in the past, but never had the inclination to read them. Not sure why. This one however, grabbed me and held on to me . . until it got stuck, on page 110 . . . and never left. I deleted, downloaded and redownloaded to no avail. I even emailed the publisher, but didn't hear back. I am not sure what happened to my ebook file, but I am bummed to not be able to continue reading the book. What I read was really good.
Update . . . the publishers kindly re-uploaded a new file, but my nook is still being a butt-head and will not enable the file. So.... the copies I ordered to sell at work finally came in, so I borrowed one of those. Once again, loving the perks of working at a bookstore. HELLO! Have you seen how CUTE the mini hardcover size is???!?!? I really hope they start producing more hardcovers in this size. It's perfect. (Thanks so much HarlequinTeen for going above and beyond to help me read this!)
I am a huge fan of the character Finley. I like that she has inner demons that take over and she has to learn to control them. (Don't we all?) She is scared because her dark side takes over and she can truly hurt people. As well as, she cannot remember what happens when she lets that side control her. Meanwhile she tries to coexist with the normal world without letting people in on her secret. She has a fun and entertaining outfit which I suppose is a reflection of the times, though I will be honest the picture in my head is entirely different from the cover art - who can kick butt in a dress like that one? It is a real blast to see her meet fear and badness head-on.\
Her friends she meets along the way are just as well described and developed. I was excited to see Griffin, the Duke, take her in and try to teach her how to wield her power. His goal is to mingle her dark side with her light side allowing her control over them both. He is sexy and refreshingly nice. The boxing match between Finley and Jasper, the friend of her friends, is hilarious! I felt for Sam being a bit of the outside because he was struggling with his special powers inwardly instead of reaching out and trusting his friends to help. The camaraderie Finley builds with Emily, the one gal in the story, develops into a sisterly friendship. Every time Emily called one of them lad or lass I then had a split picture of a bunch of teenagers running around, but had to remind myself the language with different. Jack, the man with the bad reputation, is fun and his accent is laughable, but in a very charming and sexy way. He calls Finley his "Treasure" which is romantic while a bit embarrassing at the same time. Again that controversy of does she go for the mysterious bad guy or the good, honest one???
I am truly in love with the vocabulary used throughout, for example:
"Snuck up behind me , the bounder did, and coshed me brainbox but good."
It's like the coolest parts of the future meet the most romantic parts of the past. There is a bit of battle mixed with romance while the machines coexist with the history. This has to be one of the most entertaining books I have read in quite some time. I was so surprised time and time again to pick it up only a few minutes later to be laughing and egging the story along. I truly enjoyed reading the entire book!! Hoping this will turn into some kind of a series because I can't wait to see what happens with these characters.
After reading this I will be keeping my eye out of a corset that I can wear over my tanks or tees because how cute would that be?!?! And that is how Finley wears her corsets, over her dresses! Huh, who knew. I love the outfits Cross describes Finley as wearing -
Embroidered silver-silk dress of Oriental design - one of the more sedate clothing selections in her closet. It was sleeveless and had knee-high slits on either side. Over it she wore a cherry-red corset with little silver dragons stitched on. The clothing felt appropriate-like armor for going into battle.I also am interested to see if any of the other Steampunk books are as good as this one felt.
Summary of the book -
In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the "thing" inside her.
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: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.
Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help—and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.
But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on—even if it seems no one believes her.