book review

Book Thoughts: Mechanica

I have to say, this week has been the worst I’ve had since I got mono last year. I’ve just been straight up sick and uncomfortable. Consequently I’m running a little bit behind on everything…including the blog post I’ve been meaning to write (no spoilers) about my latest book obsession: Mechanica.

I first heard about Mechanica over at Book Sp(l)ot Reviews, and then saw it getting reviews elsewhere. Even the reviews that weren’t stellar still made it sound like a good book that was right up my alley. In case you guys haven’t figured it out yet, I’m bonkers for fairytales. Cameron Dorkey wrote Golden, and that hooked me back in 2006. It’s been a downhill slide into addiction since then.

Betsy Cornwell has written another book prior to this; I haven’t read Tides, but I’m definitely going to now. She bills her newest book as “a feminist steampunk fairytale,” and I’d say that’s fairly accurate. This is one of those books that is blending and blurring the line between fantasy and science-fiction. The concepts and premise are rooted in science, but the setting and some of the explanation falls back into the firmly fantastical. The combination is intriguing, and by the end of the story it was what was still tickling my mind the most. The story felt fully formed and happily finished for the characters, even though the higher-level conflicts were far from resolved in their surrounding world. I’m definitely hoping for a sequel, but I admire her ability to wrap up the story in a way that still feels conclusive.

I don’t usually read books that bill themselves as “feminist” for the same reason that I don’t read books that bill themselves as “political.” I’m an escapism fantasy lover because I like to get away from the real world issues that make this world so…worth escaping. However, Betsy put all the issues she dealt with in such a fantastic environment, it really worked well within the story. The Fey world was a neat thought-experiment of a civilization that illuminated a lot, but kept it pretty light, whimsical, and enjoyable.

My favorite character was bubbly Caro, and the step-family was perfectly executed (You hate the step-sisters from the moment you learn their names are Piety and Chastity.) All the minor characters were the exceptional bursts of color that any supporting cast should be, and Fitz especially delighted me for the strange way he viewed and treated poor Mechanica. The story reminded me of a lot of the more complicated relationships I had in high school. The characters were very real in the way they felt for each other. There were complicated emotions, and they way they resolved their feelings just made sense. Some of it was predictable, but Mechanica herself acknowledged that in the narration, which made it work. You’ll guess where it’s going…but you won’t know where it will end!

I highly recommend this book to any YA reader. It’ll tickle your brain like mechanical dragonflies a long time after you put it down 🙂

6 thoughts on “Book Thoughts: Mechanica

  1. I’m so glad you liked Mechanica! I think I wrote Caro because I wish I could be more like her–I’m often shy and reserved and awkward while Caro is warm and friendly and open. 🙂 Thanks so much for the lovely review! ❤

    1. Thank you so much for the lovely book! It was nice to see Caro’s bubbly friendship next to Nicolette’s more reserved, but loving heart. They weren’t polar opposites, but you could see the contrast between their emotional outputs, and trace that back to their family and home situations. It sounds like Caro was as fun a character write as she was to read 🙂

    1. I loved how the book used the Fey society as a foil for Nicolette’s world…I feel like the ending was thematically foreshadowed. It wasn’t just that the book ended on that note…throughout the story it championed the idea of friendship over romance. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Brittany!

  2. So great to see how much you enjoyed this book! I started reading it but didn’t get far because it was too hard to read on my laptop (there wasn’t a Kindle version) so I shall have to wait and buy myself a hardcopy of it and continue.

    Lovely review! <33

    1. It’s such a beautiful book, the hardcover is really a gem for the bookshelf anyway 🙂 Thanks for dropping by my blog, Melanie! As much as I enjoy yours, it is really neat to know you took the time to stop by!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s