Author, actor and director Adrienne Kress (Alex and the Ironic Gentleman, Timothy and the Dragon’s Gate) attacks her first young adult novel with cinematic verve. In her newest book, Kress delivers a high-spirited study of the nature of heroism at the hands of a trio of girls in a steampunk world.
The Friday Society (Dial) brings us lab assistant Cora, magician’s assistant Nellie and Michiko, the flight assistant: all three game girls who assist powerful men. They meet under mad circumstances and are united at the discovery of an unsolved murder that may have links to each of their lives. The book is period, but still entirely contemporary in tone, as one can see from the opening lines:
And then there was an explosion.
It was loud. It was bright. It was very explosion-y…
That was the technical term for it.
So there is a lightness to The Friday Society, but never a silliness, and Kerr maintains that balance with an almost perfect zen. Kress’ starring three are charming — competent, intelligent and anything but typical — but Kress’ secondary characters are almost as interesting. ◊
Sienna Powers is a transplanted Calgarian who lives and works in Vancouver, B.C. She is a writer and conceptual artist.