I’ve never read Steampunk before, but now that I’ve just finished The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl I don’t want to stop. Leigh Statham’s story takes place in a fanciful version of seventeenth century France where cogwork inventions are part of every day life, and a lady maid named Outil is part robot, part badass.
Lord Vadnay has his daughter Marguerite’s life all planed out. After her opulent coming out ball she’ll choose a suitable (rich) suitor and take her place as a proper aristocrat in society. Lady Marguerite has other ideas, especially when she discovers her best friend Claude has joined the army and moved to New France.
The laws of polite society say Marguerite and Claude have no business being together because Claude is a humble smithy. But in New France the rules are changing. When Marguerite sees King Louis’s proclamation inviting young women of good character to move to Montreal as “Daughters of the King —Filles du Roi” she seizes the opportunity. But there’s no way Marguerite (or the reader) could predict what happens next.
The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl is fun, fun, FUN and is the type of book you want to start and finish in one sitting. It’s also “clean” enough for a younger audience, making it a great pick for middle school readers on up.
Without giving away any spoilers, I love the way Statham incorporated a real life historical fact like the King’s Daughters into a twisted up Steampunk fantasy world. This is a fresh, clever plot that lives up to the beautiful cover.