Monday, January 6, 2014

Review: THE FRIDAY SOCIETY

Basic information about the book I shall review for you fine people today. 

The Friday Society

Author: Adrienne Kress


Publisher: Dial Books
Pages: 440
ISBN: 0803737610

Goodreads' summary:

An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns –and the heroines who use them all.  
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. 
Set in the past but with a modern irreverent flare, this Steampunk whodunit introduces three unforgettable and very ladylike–well, relatively ladylike–heroines poised for more dangerous adventures.

Full disclosure: I read this book in a deer stand in 45 degree weather. I sat in that stand, cramping up, freezing, hoping a deer would find its way into my patch so I could actually leave the stand before dark fell, but as luck would have it, I spent those 4 hours reading The Friday Society and I'm actually glad I didn't get to shoot anything.

Because guys, this book was awesome. Normally I don't automatically pick up "steampunk" type novels. But lately I've taken to them like a labrador to tennis balls. I can't get enough. It started with Gail Carriger's YA Finishing School series (Etiquette & Espionage and Curtsies & Conspiracies). Then I had to buy her Parasol Protectorate series just because I enjoyed her writing OH SO MUCH. (Haven't read this series yet, but it's sitting pretty in my Kindle app.)

As you folks no doubt can guess and might already know, I have a book purchasing problem, which is where I return to the topic of this post and a recent impulse buy on an "innocent" trip through BAM!: The Friday Society.

The intertwined tale(s) of Cora, Michiko, and Nellie in an alternate version of London, where anything is possible when ingenuity is involved. These girls start off unknown to one another, but as the story progresses, they are inextricably brought together in order to solve crime and save London from nefarious ne'er-do-wells.

Kress writes strong female characters but does not create a world in which their actions do not have consequences. I always find it hard to believe when everything in a novel goes perfectly; I expect consequences. And in The Friday Society, there are just enough to make the antics of the girls believable without overwhelming the humor that Kress weaves into the story.

While I'm fairly new to the steampunk reviewing world, I have come to expect that books of this type must naturally contain a peculiar, wry humor, which infiltrates the dialogue and actions of the characters. I like it. It's witty. And I love witty. Therefore, if you, like me, like witty characters with pithy and quippy dialogue sequences, then you shall like The Friday Society as much, maybe even more than (though I doubt it), I do.

Final thoughts: The Friday Society is a smashingly excellent example of a book. And if the ending is any indication, I hope to see a sequel pop up sometime in the near future. That would just be delightful.