The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets Charlie’s Angels in Adrienne Kress’s steampunk adventure The Friday Society.
Cora works for Lord White, a genius inventor who relies on her to keep both his life and his laboratory running smoothly. He lets Cora handle most of the lab work and she likes it that way.
Michiko ran away from home and now she’s stuck halfway around the world assisting a weapons “expert” who wouldn’t recognize a real katana if Michiko stabbed him with it.
As the Great Raheem’s lovely assistant, Nellie has learned some nifty tricks along the way and knows how to dazzle an audience with more than just her smile.
Seemingly random events bring Cora, Michiko, and Nellie together. An inventor is murdered shortly after Lord White is commissioned to build a mysterious device. Nellie opens the door only to have a stranger drop dead at her feet. A masked swordsman, whose skills rival Michiko’s, haunts the London fog.
Friendship develops between the three girls as their paths cross, and they see a correlation between the events. The authorities, however, only see three excitable girls and refuse to take them seriously. Cora, Nellie, and Michiko realize it’s up to them to find the mastermind behind a plot to destroy London. Together, they’ll save the city. They’ll become The Friday Society.
The Friday Society is fun, girl-powered steampunk (complete with a slumber party), but the characters do more than just have fun. They learn along the way, which prevents the girly aspect of the story from taking over. Each girl comes to value herself as an individual while still recognizing that friendship and teamwork are what make them a formidable force. Author Adrienne Kress recreates turn-of-the-century London with plenty of detail, and she also gives us a good feel for Victorian society’s fascination with science and the macabre.
The Friday Society probably won’t have you pondering the meaning of life, but it will definitely keep you entertained.
©2013 Kim Vandel