First Lines: The moment she saw the young man walking down the darkened hall toward her, twirling his walking stick, Finley Jayne knew she’d be unemployed before the sun rose. Her third dismissal in as many months.
One of my good friends has been on my case about reading this for quite some time now. She finally loaned me a copy of it (and the sequel) to read. And when I actually had time to read, I managed to knock this out in…a week and a half.
Set in 1897 London, Finley lives in a world where machines are as present as the class system. Finley is different from most girls in that she fights back against young lords who want to take advantage of her…and she wins. Her dark side makes it possible for her to take down a grown man with one punch. Griffin King sees how Finley is special, like him and his friends: Emily, the inventor; Sam, the part robot man; and Jasper, the American cowboy. Griffin is investigating a criminal named The Machinist, who Griffin believes is responsible for a number of new crimes. Finley finally feels like she might fit in. But it isn’t long before The Machinist sets his sights on a new target…one much closer to the group of misfits than Griffin would like…
Like I said, it took me a week and a half to get through this. I had a lot going on, so I admit I’m having a hard time piecing everything together in my head from start to finish.
I’m really interested in steampunk as a genre. It’s really interesting to see how all this technology would fit in with the Victorian era. I find it fascinating. But at the same time, I get really sick of the word “automaton” by the time I’m done with the novel. It’s a weird thing to be critical of, I know, but it really feels overused.
I liked the characters, especially Finley and Griffin. I liked reading the story from their perspectives. They are clever and insightful about so much. I didn’t so much like it when the perspective switched to Sam, but it could be because I found him to be really moody and impulsive most of the time. It was a way of foreshadowing key points in the story, which I pieced together very quickly and spoiled the later chapters.
The action was fast-paced, which made it easy for me to keep up with the story when I only had about 10 minutes at a time to try to read it.
All in all, I liked the book but I won’t say I was over impressed with it. It was entertaining, but not completely enthralling.