Summary: In a future land once known as Britain, nomad tribes are preparing to fight a terrifying enemy – the first-ever mobile city. Before London can launch itself, young engineer Fever Crumb must journey to the wastelands of the North. She seeks the ancient birthplace of the Scriven mutants.
- My least favorite of the prequels, because I had a hard time getting into the plot
- The fact that I read the Mortal Engines books recently got me really confused with my WoME timelines — oops, my fault
- Philip Reeve’s writing is still amazing and though this one isn’t my most favorite, you still shouldn’t be missing out on his work
I hate to say this, but for me, SCRIVENER’S MOON is the weakest out of the three Hungry City Prequels. I think it is the plot itself that didn’t reach out to me, but as usual the writing was phenomenal.
Maybe it is simply bad timing on my part. I had recently read the entire Mortal Engines books which exist far ahead into the future of Fever Crumb’s world. Initially reading SCRIVENER’S MOON, I was unfortunately so confused as to what was going on. I had to sort out my World of Mortal Engines timeline mentally and pick apart what hasn’t happened yet in Fever’s world and what came to be London in the WoME. This of course was all my fault. I should have known that skipping ahead to the Mortal Engines books would mess me up with this series, but I couldn’t resist because Philip Reeve’s writing? It’s fantastic!
After reading so many of his books, I honestly don’t know why his writing still amazes and impresses me. It’s just so clever. I probably have said it a million times, but I’m going to say it again: I love how the English (or in the book’s case, ‘Anglish’) has evolved throughout the years. Just little terms that we wouldn’t think twice about now have become entirely different things in Fever’s future. For example, the old junk that were used as kind of like vintage décor: eye-pods or the derogatory term bloggers (hah!). I love Reeve’s use of language. It becomes like a little puzzle that I have to figure out while I read along. Sometimes, I don’t even think twice on some of the words because they seem so foreign… until it just clicks and a light bulb goes off in my brain.
Summary: In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the “thing” inside her.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.
- Vibrant characters; I love the secondary characters more than Finley and Griffin!
- No passionate romance in this one, but there are two love triangles!
- Fantastic world-building
First of all, can you say cover love?! I absolutely love the cover for THE GIRL IN THE STEEL CORSET. It truly captures the feel of the book: great outfits, a kick-ass main character, and of course the steel corset.
In THE GIRL IN THE STEEL CORSET, the Machinist, an – of course – evil villain, has been committing random crimes throughout London. Main character Finley and gang are trying to uncover the mastermind while juggling control over their supernatural powers. Finley is struggling with her alter ego: a violent girl with brute strength. Cross describes this book as a mix between The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and X-Men. A mix of steampunk with a blend of superpowers, you get THE GIRL IN THE STEEL CORSET.
The plot was intriguing, but did not really captivate me while I read. To be honest, I did see where the plot was going and I guessed who the bad guy was way before the Finley and friends did. While this gets me bothered sometimes, I didn’t mind at all when I read STEEL CORSET because getting to the end was just so fun. Despite its predictability, Cross had me hooked with her fantastic characters and beautiful world-building.
STEEL CORSET is just so full of vibrant characters. While Finley has some charm to her, I have to admit that I absolutely love the secondary characters more than Finley and love interest, Griffin. Emily and Sam top my list of favorites. I love that Emily is the mastermind behind all the operations. She is the one who deals with the machines and comes up with the inventions. I love reading about such an intelligent and compassionate girl. She is so well-respected by the other characters because of her brains. On the other hand, I was immediately drawn to Sam when I heard about his predicament. I guess I’m just a sucker for tortured souls. I find myself constantly cheering for him, despite the fact that he’s full of self-hate.
The romance in the STEEL CORSET is unfortunately very subtle. It’s there, but it’s not the main focus. Well, there is an evil Machinist roaming through the streets of London so I guess it’s alright. If you’re looking for some passionate confessions of love, move on and come back to STEEL CORSET when you’re more in the mood for butt-kicking action. Despite the fact that romance takes the backseat in this novel, there are two love triangles going on! The first is between Finely, Griffin, and the notorious Jack Dandy, and the other is between Emily, Sam, and Jasper. While the book ends with the girl choosing one guy over the other, I’m curious to see how the character dynamics play out in the later novels.
Kady Cross is now one of my favorite world-builders because her version of Victorian England is just fantastic. I’ve read a handful of steampunks and I have to say that Cross’s version is just so much fun to read. She really takes the time to explain these gadgets and the science behind them. Not too much that they are boring, but enough that I get an understanding of how they work. The Organites, or the “wee beasties”, that play such a crucial role in this world are just fascinating.
Overall, THE GIRL IN THE STEEL CORSET is a fantastic YA debut from author Kady Cross. I am so looking forward to the next books in the series! If you are a fan of steampunk, definitely pick this one up. I look forward to reading more of Cross’s work, and I may even check out the adult novels she’s written.
Scrivener’s Moon by Philip Reeve
In a future land once known as Britain, nomad tribes are preparing to fight a terrifying enemy – the first-ever mobile city. Before London can launch itself, young engineer Fever Crumb must journey to the wastelands of the North. She seeks the ancient birthplace of the Scriven mutants. In the chaotic weeks before battle begins, Fever finds a mysterious black pyramid. The extraordinary secrets it contains will change her world forever. The seventh awe-inspiring adventure in the World of Mortal Engines series by a superb writer at the height of his powers.
Publication Date: April 4th 2011 by Scholastic UK
I wasn’t aware that the cover had been released until I saw it on Philip Reeve’s blog. This is one of my favorite sequels after reading it at internship and I am so so excited for this one to come out! For those new to the Hungry City Prequels/Fever Crumb series, this is the third book after A Web of Air, which unfortunately isn’t released in the US yet. But that’s what’s British relatives & also the Book Depository is for! I’m counting down the days for this one.