Steampunk (for those who don’t know) is a genre that imagines a world that mimics the Victorian age, except for marvelous machines powered by steam, coal and the mysterious force known as the Aether. The internal combustion engine doesn’t exist, but airships, clockwork automatons (think robots), Ada Babbage’s mechanical computer and all kinds of strange and wonderful items do. If you want to see a sample of a steampunk world, just Google Steampunk Images and check out the inventive ways modern users have adapted current-day items like computers.
But back to our book review. Finley Jayne is a girl with deeply divided good and bad sides. She’s also unusually strong for a young girl. When we first meet her she is working as a maid in the household of Lord Felix August Raynes, and he’s about to “have his way” with her. Her bad side comes to her rescue and breaks his nose. She then runs into the street and is almost run over by a velocycle (sort of a motorcycle) driven by Lord Greythorne. Griffin King, Lord G., comes to her rescue and brings her into his household which consists of the insanely strong Sam and the inventive and intelligent Emily, the brain behind all the marvelous inventions they use. Griffin senses something special about Finlay and he hopes to help her bring both aspects of herself into one integrated personality
Their protagonist is the anonymous villain known only as the Machinist. An earlier encounter with one of the villain’s creations had left Sam for dead and only Emily’s skill and her invention of a mechanical heart had brought him back. Griffin also believes the Machinist is responsible for his parents’ death.
A foul plot against Queen Victoria on the eve of her Diamond Jubilee provides the group with their greatest challenge yet. There are mysterious connections between Sam’s and Finlay’s strengths as well as Griffin’s mastery of the aetherial plane and it all comes to a cliff-hanger of an ending.
The next book in the series is The Girl in the Clockwork Collar and it’s already on my Kindle. If you enjoy Steampunk or alternate universes, give The Girl in the Steel Corset a try. It's a YA (Young Adult) book but this senior citizen couldn't put it down.