My Rating: 1 star
A girl with a clockwork heart must make every second count.
When Penny Farthing nearly dies, brilliant surgeon Calvin Warwick manages to implant a brass “Ticker” in her chest, transforming her into the first of the Augmented. But soon it’s discovered that Warwick killed dozens of people as he strove to perfect another improved Ticker for Penny, and he’s put on trial for mass murder.
On the last day of Warwick’s trial, the Farthings’ factory is bombed, Penny’s parents disappear, and Penny and her brother, Nic, receive a ransom note demanding all of their Augmentation research if they want to see their parents again. Is someone trying to destroy the Farthings...or is the motive more sinister?
Desperate to reunite their family and rescue their research, Penny and her brother recruit fiery baker Violet Nesselrode, gentleman-about-town Sebastian Stirling, and Marcus Kingsley, a young army general who has his own reasons for wanting to lift the veil between this world and the next. Wagers are placed, friends are lost, romance stages an ambush, and time is running out for the girl with the clockwork heart.
This book was not good.
I usually don’t cut to the chase like that, but I had to make an exception with this one because it was pretty bad.
I feel like this author woke up on day and said “I am going to write a young adult steampunk novel.” And instead of thinking of interesting characters or a unique plotline, she just wrote a “perfect steampunk” checklist and tried to fill it out.
1. Steam-engine era setting
2. Advanced steam technology
3. Flying airships
4. Mechanical body parts
5. Mechanical creatures
6. Lots of gears and mechanisms being used
7. Everything is made out of copper or brass
8. Lots of corsets and billowing skirts
9. Evil genius villain with a backstory
This author just took all of those things—bypassing everything that makes a good book a good book—and crammed them down my throat. By the end of it, I was retching up cogs and gears and chunks of technology all over the place.
It was all just too much. This could have been a good book had there been character development or maybe even a little more world building other than brass doors with unnecessary mechanical locks and weird personal telegraph things that are NEVER EXPLAINED.
This book really got my knickers in a twist because, yes, even the girl’s knickers were explained in detail. For spending so much time explaining the tech-overload and dresses, I could never picture any of it or understand what it was all for.
I occasionally enjoyed a chapter or so of this, but mainly found it to be dull. If you love excessive machinery and fashion details that did nothing but exhaust me, then this book is for you.
If that is not your cup of machinery-brewed strong tea served to you by your half-mechanical house maid, then I would just leave it on the copper tray where it belongs.