The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I'm nearly done reading, thank goodness. I've invested enough time that I will finish it but there's no way I'll be looking for the sequel. It had potential! The concept was interesting but the execution was a let-down. It would have been a 1-star but the writing was just decent enough (though there was a lot of show-don't-tell, awkward transitions and speech, and a thin plot). The steel corset of the title makes an appearance as armour, but is not a pivotal plot point. I think it's just there to sound cool.
I love the name Finley. I hate that she was so easily swayed by Griffin. When he came to collect her at Dandy's I wanted to slap her for being so cooperative.
Two other major plot points that have annoyed me (SPOILERS):
Duh, if someone steals a waxwork of Queen Victoria and later you find the figure's clothing and glass eyes missing, and calliper marks in the wax face, not to mention the Queen's hairbrush was stolen... Meanwhile there's a guy called The Machinist who makes automatons... did you not think earlier that he might be making a Queen automaton that looks exactly like her?
OK so I didn't guess that The Machinist would be able to create a sentient being, but I guessed the hair had to have something to do with it. Really, the sentient automaton that reacts to its surroundings and changes to suit its attackers is JUST TOO MUCH. (PS: Finley saw the wax figure before she met the Queen in person, but she was still surprised by Victoria's lack of height!?)
Griffin is supposedly rich and powerful and intelligent. Yet he hasn't previously investigated Leonardo Garibaldi? (Unless I missed something while I was slogging through this book.) Griff knew that Garibaldi had disagreed with the Queen's command to keep the Organites a secret. (side note: the overuse and frequent mention of Organites become more annoying than steles and runes in Clare's Mortal Instruments series.) Even if he hadn't put two and two together that Garibaldi was the Machinist, he could have investigated whether he was a suspect in the murder of Griffin's parents. Instead of using his influence to investigate, he uses the Aether. *facepalm*
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