In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the "thing" inside her.First Line: "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."
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.
Great first line. And yes, I gave you second as well because they made the paragraph. But just from the first-- intrigue.
Beefs: There was one line that broke me from the novel, otherwise I was in it and dedicated to the story; and the line reminded me of the Scooby Doo episodes when the bad guy would say "I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for those meddling kids!" Not so much a beef as I had to share my moment of hysterical laughter before diving back in to our band of misfits.
Brownie Points: go to the Steampunk elements. Wonderfully done. Painted the world really well, something that was both familiar and foreign. Plus I love a little Steampunk mixed with paranormal.
Recommendation: If you've never read Steampunk before, this is an excellent one to start with. If you love Scott Westerfeld's Steampunk series, you'll love this as well. If you just want a good YA read, read it.
Would I represent it? Uh, yeah. I totally would. And I am looking for YA steampunk (more along the lines of Cross or Westerfeld's steampunk series rather than Cherie Priest's series).