|read an excerpt|
A steel corset -- thin, shiny bands with embossed flowers and leaves. held together with tiny hinges to allow ease of movement. Little gears and other decorative pieces of steel were soldered over some of the larger gaps between bands, The garment looked like an industrial metal flower garden.Once again I had the pleasure of spending a day with Finley Jane and man, that girl is addictive!
The first book in Kady Cross' Steampunk Chronicles is explosive and exciting as one would hope and expect it to be. After The Strange Case of Finley Jane (novella) I knew I have to follow the series and I'm glad that KCross managed to maintain the steam she started with her novella (which is still free in Amazon!).
Set in Victorian England, Finley finds herself yet with another employer but this time an abusive one. After a near disastrous encounter, she finds herself once again destitute until the orphaned duke, Griffin King, found and took her in. Finley found herself among equals and people of more or less the same kind of uniqueness that she possess. Little does she know that Griffin will open the doors to her past and help her merge her warring selves.
Merge her warring selves... because Finley's affliction is like the classic story written by Robert Louis Stevenson Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Her special gifts, super strength and extra sensory powers, was due to her father's experiments. Finley either needs to control it or merge her "personalities" before her dark self takes over and makes her into this monster.
The world of Finley Jane is better than The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen that KCross reference to. Finley is a very conflicted character and her development as the story moves forward is very interesting. In between her adventures with Griffin King, her hand will be forced to face her demons, dole out forgiveness, accept her "gift" and move forward with her life. As the book ends, Finley found a niche in these special and somewhat privileged group of people and hopefully in Griffin King's heart as well.
Because Griffin King is dreamy! I'm a grown woman and yet I found myself crushing on this teenage Duke of Greythorne who's the total package! Compassionate, rich, smart, humble, and the list of his finer qualities goes on. However if you're into the bad boy/tortured type, you'll love Griffin's bestie, Sam Morgan, who is part automaton. Sam was transformed into this human/hybrid machine to extend his life and since then he has been resentful about it much to the dismay of Emily O'Brien, resident technogeek who is secretly in love with him.
Kady Cross tied some lose ends at the end of the first novel in her series but opened up something exciting for book 2, The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (May 22, 2012). In May, Ms. Cross will take us to Wild West as Finley and friends come to the aid of their American cowboy friend Jasper.