Goodreads Book Blurb: Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician’s assistant. The three young women’s lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.
It’s up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder–and the crimes they believe may be connected to it–without calling too much attention to themselves.
My Opinion: I really wanted to like this book. I wanted to like this book a lot! It has all sorts of elements that I love. Steampunk, girl power, mystery. But the execution, alas, was lacking.
The writing, technically, was fine. The writer had a certain cheekiness that I liked. But in the dialogue, there was no regard for the backstory she had given each of her characters, except for Michiko. I was very happy that there was a language barrier with Michiko, and yet it seemed like she was one character that could have been cut completely and wouldn’t have been missed.
The story was really light, probably geared towards the younger end of the young adult spectrum. But there was no build-up to the ending, and I found myself not wanting to finish the book at times. Thankfully it was a shorter book, so it didn’t matter overmuch that I was not all that enthralled.
On the front of it being a “girl power” book, it isn’t. The girls are well spoken, and they solve a mystery, sure. But they are all at the mercy of the men with whom they apprentice. The only saving grace is that in most cases, said men are not jerks. The characters, though well spoken, lack individuality. They all have the same attitudes, the same flaws, and they are all Mary Sues.
If you are looking for a steampunk book, look elsewhere. The steampunk almost seems like it was added as an afterthought, and aside from a few minor mentions, it plays no part in the book.
Bottom Line: A young young adult book that masquerades as rich in girl power, steampunk and action – yet fails to deliver on all three fronts.