Quickie Review: The Strange Case of Finley Jayne

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross is the prequel novella to The Girl in the Steel Corset. It was released in eBook format on May 1, 2011 in the U.S. and is currently available as a free download from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The eBook is published by Harlequin TEEN.

The Girl in the Steel Corset is the young adult debut for this best-selling author.

Goodreads description:

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…


The Strange Case of Finley Jayne is the delightful, engaging and slightly creepy prequel novella to The Girl in the Steel Corset. This short story, which reads like a standalone tale, introduces readers to Finley Jayne, the main character in the full-length novel.

In this story, which takes place just before the full-length novel begins, readers follow along with Finley as she takes a job as the companion to Phoebe, who is engaged to the much older, wealthy and slightly eccentric inventor, Lord Vincent. As her companion, Finley grows to care for and befriend Phoebe and begins to worry about Lord Vincent’s true intentions.

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne offers up a few surprises about the main character and takes a few twists and turns as readers learn about just what Lord Vincent is up to.

Author Kady Cross does a remarkable job in setting up this world filled with automatons and a wide assortment of steampunk inventions. Readers will get a feel for her characters and writing style, as she gradually reveals tidbits about Finley over the course of this story.

The writing is elegant and has a great flow, and the author casually but so cleverly manages to drop in each new piece of the puzzle about Finley, while still teasing readers for the soon-to-be-released novel.

This prequel novella is a great introduction to the author and The Girl in the Steel Corset and it is recommended to be read prior to reading the novel.

Reviewer gives this book [rating=4]

On a personal note:

I just loved this short story. This was my first taste of steampunk and I have to say I’m really intrigued and completely excited about starting The Girl in the Steel Corset. I can’t wait to know more about steampunk and delve deeper into Finley’s world.

I was completely surprised the first time the author mentioned one of the inventions, as I was so caught up in the story that I forgot that there even was this aspect to it.

And I absolutely loved that as time went on there were these casual mentions about Finley’s unique attributes that really made me wonder what more there is to know.

All I can say about Lord Vincent is, “Ew, creepy!”

I hope to see more about a certain character only briefly talked about, and although I’m sure things won’t get easier for Finley, I hope things end up okay in the end.

I really got to like Finley over the course of this short story. She has a practical but caring nature and has both a good side and a bad side which appear depending on the situation. She is definitely a heroine I really want to know more about over the course of this new series.

The Girl in the Steel Corset will be released in the U.S. on May 24, 2011.

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