steampunk book and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked it. There are many reasons this particular book was good though and the genre was only one of them. Let me start at the beginning... Finley is your average Victorian-era housemaid living in England, except she has a dangerous, darker side that she can barely control. When her employer, Lord Felix August-Raynes, tries to force himself upon her, Finley lets her other side take over and easily overpowers the lord to quickly escape into the night. Then luck, or perhaps even fate, leads her to cross paths with a quirky band of characters that decide to take her in. Surprisingly, they might know more about Finley's darker side than she does herself and they promise to help her gain control and achieve balance. They all happen to have their own secret talents or abilities too and soon Finley will begin to understand more about how they're all connected. She tries to make herself at home and struggles to open up since she's never had a true friend before, but Finley is lucky to find some amazing people in this group of mysterious new allies. Emily is Irish, smart as a whip and able to use organites or what she likes to call her "little beasties" to help her friends heal faster. Griff is handsome, kind and also a very rich and important figure in royal circles. Jasper is a cowboy from America who is bold and loyal. And Sam is a little wary of Finley, but his recent past has caused him to to doubt his friends' judgement he's concerned what new trouble Finley might bring. Finley is a little worried about the trouble she might bring too though, because her other half has started taking complete control of her and she doesn't even remember what happens during those times. She's got to learn to trust her new friends, and quickly too, because they're her only hope to gain control and to be a complete person with both good and bad, just like everyone else. I would recommend The Girl in the Steel Corset to any fans of steampunk, technology-based fantasy, romance, action, fight scenes, strong female characters, stories of friendship or just anyone looking for something new and fresh to read.
Favorite things: the similarities to both the old Final Fantasy games and one of my recent favorite books called Wither, by Lauren DeStefano, the exciting action scenes, Finley's incredible strength that allows her to be completely capable in a fight against anyone, the descriptions of the finery Griff is able to provide including amazing dresses and strange technology, Emily (whose intelligence made her a very endearing character to me), the connections and friendships that developed between the characters, the gorgeous cover, the cool steampunk technology, the mistakes and decisions each character make that lead to interesting conflicts and the overall atmosphere of the book which was dark and intriguing.
Criticisms: the long periods of calm made this a hard book to stay interested in at times, the sequel was set up too abruptly, some of the characters weren't flushed out enough - which left me wanting more and the love triangle wasn't realistic enough for me due to the encouraging behavior from both guys.
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars! After reading this, I actually like Wither less *gasp*, because The Girl in the Steel Corset gave me the same atmosphere and juxtaposition of wealth against a backdrop of darkness and it went a step further giving me more characters to love and the fun element of steampunk technology too. I'm looking forward to the sequel.
Note: I was able to read this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I did not pay for this book, however that did not affect my opinion or review in any way.