So, after reading The Girl in the Steel Corset, I whipped through the rest of the Steampunk Chronicles series (written by Kady Cross). As a whole, I liked the books (clearly, or I wouldn’t have purchased the entire set – which reminds me, Kady’s publisher, the books should be sold as a package). To start, I would say one of my biggest issues was, by the fourth (last) book, how I actually wanted to read a lot more about the C/D story line than the A characters. It wasn’t that Finley and Griffin weren’t interesting, it was more the repetition of their dynamic left me wanting more (and a defined/resolved romantic story line is something that can be done well).
While I liked how there was a clearly defined ‘big bad,’ I’m not sure the antagonist had the momentum to go through all 4 books. While reading, I of course made comparisons to my own work in progress. As my bad guy will only be revealed in Book #2, I think this will keep things interesting for the reader, rather than just have an antagonist who is so purely evil that of course the good guys are going to triumph in the end.
I did like the romance – even the implied
clutch my pearls sex (especially in a YA book). In my own work, I don’t think I’ll be able to get much more than some make out scenes, mostly because in the suspension of disbelief for Victorian England, it seems unlikely everyone would be falling into bed with each other (this is of course in direct conflict with my beloved Regency Romances, but whatever).
Also, there were a few words that really stuck out to me as being far too modern – the repeated use of the word ‘pissed’ (and not meaning intoxicated) struck me as odd. While I have to battle a lot of protocol of how characters address my character (who just so happens to be The Queen of England), in the next edit, I want to make sure nothing comes across as awkward.
And finally, while I did appreciate the ‘steampunk’ elements, I have seen better world building and incorporation of these details. Simply coming up with inventions for everything is nice (especially when one of your supporting cast is a genius with these sort of things, to the point that she can ‘speak’ to metal), but I again make comparisons to Ms. Carriger’s world – where technology is present, but not overbearing. Technological elements may serve some importance, but are not a crutch. I know I have the furthest to go on this point, so I think I’m especially focused on this part of my manuscript.
Overall, I would recommend the series. While the books don’t reach the levels of my beloved Gail Carriger, they still present a relatively diverse cast and some strong female leads.