The Girl in the Steel Corset Review: Pros and cons of evolving supernatural powers

January 10, 2022 by Bec | 3 stars, Books, Reviews

The Girl in the Steel Corset Review: Pros and cons of evolving supernatural powersThe Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Series: Steampunk Chronicles #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on May 24th, 2011
Source: Purchased
Genres: Historical, Steampunk, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Booktopia
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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.

The Good Things

  • This is such a fun YA historical fantasy series and a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde retelling (or at least a story inspired by it)
  • It’s actually a reread for me! I first read The Girl in the Steel Corset back in 2011 when it was released. I’m rereading so I can finally read the fourth book (I only got my hands on it a few months ago).
  • There is so much steampunk with a nice side dose of the supernatural and some classic sci-fi and historical themes/ sub-plots too.
  • I completely forgot how much I loved this entire cast of characters. There’s plenty of found family vibes and complicated relationships. Not everyone gets along. Plus they all have fascinating superpowers/ mutations.
  • Sam and Emily may be my favourite couple in the book. They’re cute as they awkwardly dance around each other.


The Not-So-Good Things

  • There are some angsty love triangles (yes, that’s a plural). Well, kind of. They didn’t seem to last too long, but they’re still there and I wasn’t much of a fan.
  • We didn’t get as much time with some of my favourite characters as I thought we did. Specifically, Jack Dandy (the dark and mysterious criminal overlord) and Jasper (the American sharpshooter). Especially Jasper.
  •  I would have loved to learn more about Cordelia’s work as a spy. Or even just had an entire book series from her POV.


I knew I really enjoyed this series, but I completely forgot just how much. As much as the love triangles annoyed me, I loved the entire cast and all the steampunk in this world. I can’t wait to reread the next two books and finally see how book four wraps everything up

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Bec is an Aussie blogger and reader who loves all types of novels. Fantasy, sci fi, and historical are my usual go-to genres. If I’m not binge reading, I’m usually gaming, trying to take decent photos for bookstagram, or freaking out about silly things.

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