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.Okay, should we first discuss this cover? I have to admit I do love it, but the description of the steel corset is what I would have loved to have seen. It was set with small gears and was actually designed to not only be protection but also movement! That I would have LOVED to have seen though an artist eyes. But... I get ahead of myself... *clears throat*
This YA steampunk world is wonderfully dark and even though it is set in the 1890s, it would be a place I would have loved to visit because of all the technology. Even though I obviously loved and was fascinated by this world, it did not take away from the characters in this book. Developed from other characters like Jekyll and Hyde and a dash of the League of Extraordinary Men, you find yourself interested and compelled to know them more. Actually, I felt she improved on the character of Jekyll and Hyde since I never could buy that one side could be wholly evil/good and I can't fathom such a black and white vision of humanity... of a human. I even enjoyed the character of the Machinist who is a true villan. In fact at one point in the book Griffin is warned that a man who believes in the righteousness of their acts and beliefs can be more dangerous than one who is just insane. I agree.
Ah, but I couldn't do this book justice without mentioning Jack Dandy. In a way he is a side character I believe we will see more of in the series. I just loved him. He was the most mysterious of all and the most charismatic. Is he good? Is he bad? Just what IS this man hiding? Oh what a delicious character. I just enjoyed him so!
However, with all these accolades, I must say the one part that I didn't like was the wrap up of the mystery. It all came together way to easy and it was just too convient. The action was fine, but I would have preferred the identity to have been more of a surprise or perhaps the ending itself to be harder won. In either case, this did not detract too much from the whole of the book.
I give this book 4 stars. It is a wonderful steampunk YA novel and I think adults will enjoy it as well.
I received this eARC from Harlequin Teen and NetGalley and no compensation was given.
Giveaway has ended.