Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress

An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns–and the heroines who use them all

Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician's assistant. The three young women's lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.

It's up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder–and the crimes they believe may be connected to it–without calling too much attention to themselves.

Set in the past but with a modern irreverent flare, this Steampunk whodunit introduces three unforgettable and very ladylike–well, relatively ladylike–heroines poised for more dangerous adventures. (from GoodReads)

I don't read much steampunk (so far The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare and Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld), but it's certainly an interesting genre. For those who don't know, it's historical fiction (usually during the Victorian era) but includes technology that is anachronistic or sometimes totally made up. The Friday Society was steampunk and a good addition to the genre.

The steampunk aspect isn't too crazy in The Friday Society, as some of the inventions are things we have now (i.e. telephones, nuclear bombs). There is some new technology, such as flying boats and powerful weapons. But they weren't too outlandish, which made the story easier to understand.

The Friday Society follows three girls: Cora, Nellie, and Michiko. The girls are extremely different and all come from different backgrounds and bring different skills to their team. They randomly meet and then start investigating murders that have been occuring throughout London. I loved the girl-power aspect to the novel because it's great to read about strong female characters.

Things I disliked: the novel read very young, almost like MG. The characters are around seventeen, but the voice just seemed younger. I would have liked it to be more mature. Also, I thought Cora and Michiko were very well-rounded and developed characters, but Nellie not so much. Cora and Michiko had their own insecurities about being a woman in a man's line of work. Nellie's main issue was trying to fend off men because she's so beautiful. She's still a nice character but I would have like there to be more to it.

The mystery aspect was nice, but it wasn't anything too exciting. The book definitely leaves room for additional storytelling so I'm curious as to if this will be a series.

Rating: 7 out of 10.
Release Date: December 6, 2012
FTC: received from publisher.

2012/Dial/440 pages.

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