Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Steampunk
Also by this author: The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles, #1), The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (Steampunk Chronicles, #2)
Series: Steampunk Chronicles #0.5
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: My shelves
Finley Jayne knows she's not 'normal'. Normal girls don't lose time, or have something inside them that makes them capable of remarkably violent things. Her behavior has already cost her one job, so when she's offered the lofty position of companion to Phoebe, a debutante recently engaged to Lord Vincent, she accepts, despite having no experience. Lord Vincent is a man of science with his automatons and inventions, but Finley is suspicious of his motives where Phoebe is concerned. She will do anything to protect her new friend, but what she discovers is even more monstrous than anything she could have imagined.
This little novella was slipped in the front of my copy of The Girl in the Steel Corset and I didn’t even notice until I started writing this review. I typed in the number of pages – 473 – and thought, “No way!” because it didn’t take me that long to read. I read the description and realized half of those things didn’t happen. It wasn’t until I checked my e-copy and realized that I still had 76% of the e-copy to read that I saw I had made a mistake!
I’m reading this series to fulfill the steampunk requirement in the Romance Roundabout Reading Challenge, a year-long challenge I’ve set for myself to read 5 books from each of the given 13 romantic sub-genre’s, where steampunk is one of them. This challenge was hosted by Under the Covers Book Blog in the past, but they are now hosting a new challenge, which I am also participating in, called Romance-opoly. But I loved this challenge so much, I had to continue the tradition and continue to complete it for myself (see my progress here).
This book was truly, wickedly fun, and very quick. A bit of Frankenstein, a bit of Jekyll and Hyde, and all the best parts of the Steampunk genre combined, it was utterly amazing. There’s a popular YA series that it faintly reminds me of, but for the life of me I can’t figure out what it!
“You’re the very spawn of Satan and I’ll not have you
darken this door ever again.”
Basically, Finley Jayne is hired to be a companion to Phoebe, who is engaged to an older man. Finley was hired by Phoebe’s mother, who gets the creeps from this older gentleman. The agreement being what it is, however, the mother isn’t able to break the engagement unless Finley is able to prove that he’s up to no good. So she was basically hired as a bodyguard and private investigator.
It was such a fun adventure romp, really. Enough automatons and clockwork science are thrown in with Victorian society, that I got excited. The steampunk genre is one that I adore but is a tough one for me. I’m not an equal-opportunity-steampunk lover like I am for contemporary romance, so an author has to really hook me to get me to finish it out. This is only the third steampunk author to do so!
I loved how taut Ms. Cross’s writing was through this, and how she weaved witty banter with a seamless world-building that really had me fascinated. A lot was left vague, mysteries that I’m sure will be explored in the main books, but I’m hooked. Finley, too, I adored as the strong, self-sufficient, and self-assured heroine she was. She is not a normal girl and has some “gifts” that we got bare glimpses of, but I already know her life will be interesting, and I can’t wait to see how! Onto the next book… (See my Review of the first book)
Series Reading Order
What are you currently reading right now? Anything you recommend? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!