Review of The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross (Steampunk Chronicles – Prequel) (2011)

Posted by on Mar 18, 2012

Bottom line: This novella is a wonderful introduction not only to the Steampunk Chronicles series, but to the steampunk genre itself. If you’ve been wanting to try out steampunk, wondered what it was, or just want a fun, well written book to read, give this one a shot. Also, it’s free!

Update 7/1/2013: Not currently a free book.

Rating: Strongly Recommended


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…


I downloaded this novella because it was free, and when I finished, I immediately went and bought the next book (first book? this one is a prequel – can I call it book zero?) in the series (book one review forthcoming). I would have bought the next one, too, but it won’t be out until June 2012.

I was impressed for a lot of reasons. For one thing, I often find that short stories/novellas feel incomplete – you are barely introduced to some characters, a plot is thrown together, and then it’s over. That was certainly not the case with this book. There is a good balance of time spent developing the characters and the world, and while the plot moves quickly, it doesn’t feel rushed. The heroine is a well written, strong female character, who’s struggling to come to terms with her unique capabilities and whether they are a blessing or a curse.

This is definitely in the steampunk genre – the setting is a late 1800s London with steam powered devices, automaton servants and interesting gadgets. All these things are mentioned and discussed a bit, but not harped on – thank goodness. I tend to get a bit glassy eyed over too many intricate details.

Available: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes.

More Info: Check out the author’s website here.

What did you think? Did you like the book?

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  1. Review of The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles – Book 1) « Lector's Books
    March 23, 2012

    […] a few complaints about the writing, but the story was very entertaining. I’d recommend reading The Strange Case of Finley Jayne first (although you don’t need it for The Girl in the Steel Corset to make sense) because it’s […]

  2. Review of The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross (2011) (The Steampunk Chronicles – Book 1) | Lector's Books
    July 1, 2013

    […] the saga of Finley Jayne (introduced in the novella The Strange Case of Finley Jayne, review here), a girl with supernatural abilities. I found myself caught up in the plot and enjoying the […]