Goodreads: "I liked it"
Premise: Finley Jayne knows she's not 'normal'. Normal girls don't lose time, or have something inside them that makes them capable of remarkably violent things. Her behavior has already cost her one job, so when she's offered the lofty position of companion to Phoebe, a debutante recently engaged to Lord Vincent, she accepts, despite having no experience. Lord Vincent is a man of science with his automatons and inventions, but Finley is suspicious of his motives where Phoebe is concerned. She will do anything to protect her new friend, but what she discovers is even more monstrous than anything she could have imagined…—Amazon.com product description
Cover: Not a lot of effort went into this cover. An image of gears takes one repeat to fill the space. Where the two pictures are joined at the center, the image is smudged and shows all the signs of a lazy photoshop gaussian blur.
First Thoughts: It was free, and therefore I’m predisposed to like it. This was a very short read which I finished in an hour. I really enjoyed Lady Morton and Pheobe as characters. The story came around full circle and tied up all loose ends which is great for anyone who wants to dive right into The Girl in the Steel Corset. As for the whole story, aside from the obvious references to Dr. Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, I’m strongly reminded of Soulless by Gail Carriger.
Setting: The setting was very easy to picture although I did struggle with visualizing the characters. Plenty of mechanical creations tossed in, but I think the story could have existed even if they were removed, which means I’m inclined to label this gaslamp fantasy rather than traditional steampunk.
Characters: Characters who seem evil, are evil, but that is not something I will hold against a teaser book. I found Finley to be likeable and loved her internal dialogue with the darkness inside her.
Plot: The story is very predictable. Things become more interesting and the pace picks up with the introduction of Lord Vincent.
Romance: I expect The Girl in the Steel Corset will have more interactions between Finley and the (handsome duke?) character. Phoebe's boyfriend seemed extraneous.
Random Thoughts: The pacing reminds me more of an adult novel than YA.
The “normal girls don't lose time” pitch confused me since the only reference I could think that fits with the theme is that Finnley recovers from injuries at an abnormally fast rate.
In England, an eggplant is called an aubergine.
Final Comments: This is everything I could hope to expect from a free prequel, digital download. I am definitely interested in reading The Girl in the Steel Corset now, which in the grand scheme of things, is the only real thing that counts.