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The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress

The Friday Society: A Steampunk Giggle
The Friday Society is a steampunk novel by Adrienne Kress, centered on three girls; Cora, the lab assistant, Nellie, the Magician’s assistant, and Michiko, the self-defense training assistant. After the three separately attend the same ball a murder is committed, throwing the three very different girls together. “Last night was fun!” she announced to the both of them, “Well, except for the whole decapitated head thing. And Michiko being attacked. And the dead body in the other room. And the footman at the party. Oh, and the feeling of being hungover now.” (129)
The book is written with the chapters bouncing back and forth between each of the trio of heroines. I must confess, usually when this happens I skip over the chapters not centered on the characters I like, but in this case, it was executed smoothly and without the normal confusion.

The Friday Society was an amusing blend of action and mystery, as the girls dash around London in a mad attempt to do their day-jobs and discreetly solve the increasing number of murders. The suspense is, admittedly, more humorous than tense, but it fit the overall tone of the rest of the book quite nicely, “Callum sighed hard, and Mrs. Carter stormed over to her. “What are you doing in my husband’s room?” The good thing about not being able to speak the language: You don’t have to answer questions. “No understand.”” (253)
I personally hate it when characters are demi-gods instead of human beings. If they aren’t actually demi-gods, let them be normal! The girls are, thankfully, normal teens who doubt themselves, instead of being super-heroic beings or love-sick puppies. This is becoming increasingly rare in fantasy genres and it was wonderful to see that realistic characters still exist. “I know we can do it,” said Cora. “We can.” Michiko joined them, and Cora had to admit that it was nice to know that the girl with the really sharp sword agreed with her assessment.” (363)
Adrienne Kress’s debut young-adult novel is a great novel for those of us sick of never ending elves and vampires, and is a must read for steam-punk fans. I do not think it good enough to get into my bookcase, but I highly recommend that you read it just the same.

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