Friday, February 8, 2013

The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress

Three young ladies are about to cross paths as their unique places in society bring them into contact with a secret villain and each other.  Cora is the street urchin who has risen above her station in life to become the assistant and trusted right hand of Lord White - she helps him with his inventing and experiments, and acts as a social secretary to keep him on the straight and narrow and in the right place at the right time.  Nellie is the magicians assistant, who has learned a few things over the year about how to escape from tight corners, and she has also learned how to distract men with her good looks and bubbly personality.  Michiko is the samurai in training who has left her native Japan for an adventure in England, only to find that her new home is not the place she though it would be, and that her master is a brutal stupid man who makes bad choices and takes them out on her. 

They have nothing in common, nothing to bring them together - until they stumble across a murder and a murderer after a ball.  There is a mystery for them to solve, one that will use all their skills and the tricks of the trade they have learnt over the years.  For Cora it is a chance to prove herself, a chance to test her mind with a puzzle that has deadly consequences if she fails to unravel all the clues.  For Nellie it is the chance to be more than a pretty face, a chance for her to show that she has brains as well as beauty, and to prove to herself that she can have courage.  For Michiko it is a chance to discover what kind of samurai she is going to be, a chance for her to live the life of a samurai rather than just train to be one among men and boys who treat her as something of a joke.  Together they are stronger than they know - especially if they can drop their doubts and just run with it.

The Friday Society is a steampunk adventure that has more focus on the adventure and the mystery rather than world building, which for me was rather nice as the last steampunk novel I read was dripping in minute detail that quite frankly bugged me no end.  The characters here are well developed and are strong enough to stand on their own, however they have an equally impressive supporting cast that rounds out the story and makes it more believable.  I really enjoyed the story, although at times it was a little distracting to have the story bouncing from one character to the other through short chapters - it works to give you a view of the characters world, but it was a little distracting when lots of action was happening in a short space of time and the view kept bouncing through short chapters.  It feels like this could be the beginning of a series, and hopefully there are more because Cora, Nellie, and Michiko are great characters to spend time with, and their world is well rounded enough without drowning in detail.

If you like this book then try:
  • The golden compass by Philip Pullman
  • Etiquette and espionage by Gail Carriger
  • The girl in the steel corset by Kady Cross
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  • Anna dressed in blood by Kendare Blake
  • Every other day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • Legend by Marie Lu

Reviewed by Brilla

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