The Strange Case of Finley Jayne (review)

I will freely admit that I downloaded this book by Kady Cross for two reasons:

1) It was free on Amazon’s Kindle store…and it was a complete tale

2) The cover was spooky and the contained the word “Steampunk”

I am glad I did.

I am normally rather tepid when venturing into new territory with an author I am not familiar with, this one got good reviews, promised to be a complete tale and was short. All good things. If it sucked, I only wasted an hour or so of my time. Luckily, this tale did not disappoint.

This tale takes place in an alternate reality Victorian England where steam powers everything (minus a quick mention of some new ‘battery’ that people use to power their homes). There are steam powered horses, carriages, automons that serve as butlers and servants, and many allusions to a great many other things out there that can be classified as “Steampunk” elements. But this story is not really about them, it is about a girl named Finley Jayne, a girl that is unique in that she heals faster than normal, is much stronger than she should be, and almost seems to have a ‘dark side’ personality that kind of takes over when the shit hits the fan.

I will say this books dances happily on the edge of typical steampunk and a mystery adventure. It also feels like it has the underpinnings of typical young adult fiction these days (young teenagers in love), at times I was a little worried that the author was going to sharply turn into teen romance, but the author wisely never took this direction. This story is straight up a steampunk mystery with a few dashes of old fashioned horror thrown in. The main baddie, and his plans, are exceptionally vile and the end result is an excellent way to end this tale.

The book is a great introduction to this world and insight into who, or what, Finley Jayne really is. I would certainly recommend this book.

This is a prequel or sorts to an upcoming book that takes place in the same world. I am a little hesitant to buy this upcoming book (I have too many too read on my iPad as it is), but reading the synopsis of the upcoming book has me really worried the book is high on ‘young girl finding love, but the guy she loves is a _______(insert vampire/werewolf/ghost)” thing that is far too common in the young adult fiction these days. I will probably hold off and read some of the reviews before I drop some greens on it. That said, certainly pick up this one and give it a read, cannot beat free, especially if it is this good!

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