Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Clarion Books
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Rating: 4/5 stars
Previous to reading this book I had read Cornwell’s book Tides, which I thought was okay. What really grabbed my attention on this book was the blending of steampunk and fairy tale elements; two things I absolutely adore. This ended up being a very cute and fun read; it’s not a complex story but there were a lot of elements to the story I really enjoyed.
If you know the story of Cinderella then you know the basis for this story because it follows the Cinderella outline fairly closely. Nicolette’s mother was a genius inventor but after her death, Nicolette’s father remarried. Nicolette’s new stepmother and stepsisters are not at all inviting. After the death of Nicolette’s father Nicolette ends up as a servant.
On her sixteenth birthday Nicolette finds a mysterious letter with some clues leading her to her mother’s old workshop. From there Nicolette is determined to make her own path and starts to invite things of her own. She hopes to invent something spectacular for the Expo and hook herself an investor to help fund her inventions…eventually she hopes to buy back her family home from the stepmother and stepsisters who despise her.
This was a very cute and fun read and is basically a steampunk Cinderella retelling. The story is pretty straight-forward and predictable; however I did like some of the twists the author added in.
There are some neat steampunk inventions in here. I also liked the interesting politics between the fae realm and the human realm. I enjoyed Nicolette’s do for herself attitude and loved that she had a plan and wasn’t waiting for anyone to save her. This also isn’t your typical romancy YA book; Nicolette (aka Mechanica) does have a crush of sorts throughout the story but it’s not really much of a romance. She is way too busy trying to plan for her future and will not put that aside for some silly boy.
My main complaint is that the main plot was very simple. There were some very interesting aspects to the story and some of the surrounding world-building was very intriguing. However, none of this was expanded on much and I wanted so badly to explore this world more. I think this book actually would have been better as a duology or trilogy; then the reader could have explored this interesting world of fae magic and technology in more depth and the story could have been more complex.
Overall I enjoyed this book and thought it was a fun read. The story was engaging, the characters were likable, and the world was intriguing. My main complaint is that a lot of the interesting aspects to this world weren’t expanded on enough and this made the story somewhat simple. I really felt like the author could have dug a bit deeper into this intriguing world and would love to see future books set in this world. I would recommend to those who enjoy fairy tale retellings and/or books full of steampunky goodness.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge
– Mount TBR Reading Challenge
– Pick Your Genre (Steampunk) Reading Challenge
– Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge