Title: The Friday Society
Author: Adrienne Kress
Trigger Warnings: Death, mild sexual harassment
Set in London at the turn of the last century, the novel follows the stories of three intelligent and very talented young women, all of whom are assistants to very powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, combat instruction assistant; and Nellie, a 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.
Told with Adrienne Kress’s sharp wit and a great deal of irreverence, this Steampunk whodunit introduces three unforgettable and very ladylike – well, relatively ladylike – heroines poised for more dangerous adventures.
Read to: Page 115
I grabbed this from the library mainly because steampunk, but also because of the badass girl trio. I wasn’t too enthused with the romance angle, but I hoped it would be overlook-able.
I honestly put it down because it was just plain boring.
The story alternates perspectives between the three girls, and the only girl I was really interested in was Michiko. She had a really cool backstory, and I think I would have enjoyed a book just about her. Cora and Nellie were practically interchangeable, their main difference being the skills they obtained by working for different men. And when the three girls got together, Michiko didn’t speak much English, so it was basically Cora and Nellie with a background Michiko.
(The irony to me here is that the back cover described the characters as “unforgettable,” and even after spending 115 pages with these girls, I still had to look up their names to write this review.)
I honesty could have forgiven all of that if the steampunk world was good. And honestly, the way the book is written, it seems to be trying to put quite a bit of emphasis on the world. But there wasn’t a world to speak of. It was set in London, and there were steam-powered carriages that didn’t need horses – and that’s all we get. When it’s set, or even that it’s steampunk at all, is completely left to the imagination, which is not what I want when I pick up a steampunk book.
I can’t even really comment on the plot, because I couldn’t find one. By page 115, there were two dead bodies, and instead of even really being bothered by this, the girls are in Nellie’s bedroom playing truth or dare.
This book was very disappointing. There was no plot, no world to speak of, and two-thirds of the main characters were flat (and even Michiko wasn’t the most well-rounded character in the world). In short, The Friday Society was unfortunately bland and boring.