Interesting premise but poor follow-through
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I wanted to like this book. I really, really did. It has strong, kick-butt female protagonists, an Edwardian London setting, and steampunk elements. But I just couldn't get past the ultra-modern language ("making out" or calling a girl "hot" are phrases I don't expect, or want to expect, in historical fiction) and the rather uninspired characterization. Cora, Nellie, and Michiko seem like Edwardian Charlie's Angels, only superficially strong and intelligent and lacking the sort of depth one finds in truly great YA fiction. Kress tries, I think, to make them interesting, but I didn't connect with any of the girls. The writing feels out of place in the historical setting. The plot isn't all that interesting, or at least the execution of it isn't. The reveal of the main villain is ludicrous - it's a three page information dump from the villain of how and why he/she did what he/she did. Overall, I suppose the book was an okay "mindless adventure" sort of read, but I don't think I'd read the sequel.