The Girl in the Steel Corset

the-girl-in-the-steel-corset

The Girl in the Steel Corset was written by Kady Cross and first published in 2011. It’s a science fiction fantasy story, focusing on super-powered individuals protecting Victorian London. The novel forms the first part of The Steampunk Chronicles and is followed by The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (2012), The Girl with the Iron Touch (2013) and The Girl with the Windup Heart (2014), as well as three short novellas that fill in the gaps between them. The version of the first novel that I’m reading from also contains its prequel novella, The Strange Case of Finley Jayne (2011).

It’s 1897 and London is preparing for Queen Victoria’s jubilee. However, Finley Jayne is not in the mood for celebration. Her employer has just tried to force himself upon her, believing her to be as demure as the other maids. Unbeknown to him, Finley hides a dark secret. She has a violent split personality, and her other side is more than powerful enough to beat the man senseless.

While on the run, she’s struck down by a velocycle. The driver turns out to be Griffin King, the wealthiest man in England, who is relieved to find that Finley is unconscious but unharmed. He takes her back to his home to recover, much to the annoyance of his two live-in friends, Sam and Emily. You see, each of them also hides a secret. They all possess strange abilities and realise that the introduction of an outsider to their household could spell danger for them all.

Griffin and his friends form a small secret society in the service of the Queen. They protect the secret of the Organites – microscopic entities with the power to heal any wound – as they know that they will be dangerous in the wrong hands. With a criminal known as the Machinist striking random locations all over London, Griffin knows that they’ll need all the help that they can get. Finley’s strength, speed and heightened senses would make her a valuable addition to the team. If only he could find a way to get her dark half under control…

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