- The writing style. From the first page, the writing style reminded me of Kiersten White's Paranormalcy, which I really love. The characters even reminded me a little of Evie in their own ways.
- The strong female leads. All three of the main characters are strong, independent women from different walks of life. They've all overcome their own obstacles to get where they are today, making them fantastic role models.
- The Japanese culture tidbits. When reading Michiko's part of the story, we get a peek into Japanese customs and traditions. But these tidbits aren't just tossed into the story, they're used to help understand the reasons behind Michiko's actions and what keeps her moving forward. She was by far the most interesting part of the book in my opinion.
- Officer Murphy. Officer Murphy, while not a huge presence in the book, was one of my other favorite characters. I love the image of a clumsy, shy London cop just starting out his career. He gets stepped on and pushed around but it is his sincerity and integrity that will ultimately give him the big break he needs to make it to the top.
- Nellie and Cora too similar. Nellie and Cora's backgrounds are different, but when reading it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between the two of them. This made the constant switching between 3rd person limited point of views very confusing.
- The chapter names. I am personally not a huge fan of chapter names to begin with, but this book's naming wasn't even helpful or informative most of the time. Here are some of my favorite chapter names: "...", "And then...", "Meanwhile...". These are not titles for chapters, they are transitions. Chapter titles should at least give a clue as to what the chapter is about.
- The lack of urgency. There is a man at large terrorizing the city, and the girls feel it is up to them to stop him. This would, I think, give the book a sense of urgency and suspense and excitement, but it doesn't. I loved learning about the lives of the three main characters, but the plot itself is thin and flimsily constructed, making the solving of the mystery itself feel like of secondary importance.
- The confusing action scenes. There didn't seem to be enough information at times when reading the action scenes. This made it really confusing for the reader trying to figure out who was where and what they were doing.
- The villain. When the villain is finally revealed, I was so unimpressed. The reasoning behind the violence was particularly disappointing, mostly because it didn't make sense to me or seem to justify the huge number of casualties.
"For even legends must be told for a first time. By someone. Somewhere."Overall
The characters in this book were wonderfully constructed, even if I did feel Nellie and Cora were a little too similar. The plot itself, however, felt like a flimsily constructed afterthought compared to the character development. If you like steampunk mysteries and stories about spunky, independent, determined young girls you will love this one.