The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress

Goodreads: The Friday Society
Source: ARC

Summary:  In Edwardian London, three young women find themselves inexplicably drawn to solving the same mysterious murders.  Together, Cora (a lab assistant), Michiko (a samurai), and Nellie (a magician’s assistant) will employ their unusual talents to track down the criminal who has eluded all the experts.

ReviewThe Friday Society is the perfect book for any reader looking for an adventure full of girl power.  Cora, Michiko, and Nellie are fantastic protagonists with great personalities and a wide variety of unusual skills.  Alone, each one of them is talented, capable, and uniquely charming: Cora is an intelligent lab assistance, Michiko is a deadly warrior, and Nellie is a glamorous magician’s assistant/escape artist.  Together, the three form a perfectly balanced team, bound by their sense of justice and desire to break the boundaries placed on women and make a difference in their world.

And their world is quite interesting, as well.  The Friday Society is steampunk, but though there are some very cool weapons and inventions featuring cavorite, a newly discovered glowing material that defies gravity, the story remains character-driven.  The inventions and alternate history provide a colorful backdrop for the story, but never overpower it.  Kress also very skillfully creates a world where it is believable a few women like Cora, Michiko, and Nellie might be in fairly influential positions, but where women in general are still looked down upon by men.  The protagonists, then, stand out as independent and bold, without coming across as complete anomalies.

The story itself is an exciting mixture of mystery, action, adventure, history, and romance.  Essentially, this book has everything in just about the right proportions.  Kress writes it all in a straightforward style reminiscent of her protagonists’ energetic personalities, and also includes some wonderfully humorous references about what would happen…if all this were in a book.  It turns out that this book is not always what one would expect.

It is a book that deserves to be read!  With spunky characters, creepy villains, and a ton of crazy scenarios that only Cora, Michiko, and Nellie could possibly find themselves in, it offers a lot of entertainment, as well as a lot of heart.

Publication Date: December 6, 2012

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