Title: The Friday Society
Author: Adrienne Kress
Genre: Historical/Mystery/Science Fiction
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.
I didn’t really know what to expect with this book. I had read a favourable review of it and decided to give it a shot even though it didn’t quite sound like something I would normally read and I am so glad that I gave it a chance because I loved this book. It was a historical adventure but seemed very modern at times. Some people might have a problem with some historical inaccuracies (the language is the main thing that seemed historically inaccurate, although I’m not an expert in history, so there could be even more), but in a way these inaccuracies actually seemed to amuse me even more.
It was a little confusing switching between the three girls at first, but I quickly settled into the switching. My favorite girl has got to be Nellie – she was the most entertaining of the bunch. Cora was a bit too high and mighty while Michiko was very serious due to her background, not to mention the language barrier, which was a little frustrating at first but was much more realistic than lots of other young adult books would probably do.
I read a review of this book (probably the review that got me to read this book, actually) that mentioned being glad that this book began with the words “And then there was an explosion” or something along those lines, but there was still plenty of girliness. Girls often need to act like guys in order to be tough and badass – liking dresses and pink and glitter and such means that you have a tiny IQ and a huge obsession with boys (not girls, because lesbians obviously can’t be girly – that’s sarcasm, in case it wasn’t clear), which is what a lot of young adults and other forms of media seem to want us to believe. Well, these girls, especially my favorite Nellie, love dressing up in outfits and being girls, but they are also extreme badasses, which has nothing to do with their gender or their upbringing or anything. They’re badasses, period.
When I finished this book, I decided to give it a four star rating, but just a couple of weeks later all I can remember are the great things I loved about this book rather than the minor issues. So, my main warning is that there were some minor issues for me, but they obviously didn’t annoy me enough to be memorable a couple of weeks later. That’s a good sign in my book.
I found the mysteries of this book interesting as well, which is always a good combination with fascinating characters. I didn’t see the culprit(s – don’t want to spoil, so I won’t specify singular or plural) coming, which is also always a plus in books. This is a fairly large book, but I sped through it quite quickly because I just had to know what was going to happen. This book ended great, but there’s still a part of me that wishes this becomes a series and that I can reunite with these great characters.