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The Tinker King

(The Unnaturalists #2)

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  246 ratings  ·  41 reviews
After Vespa, Syrus and Bayne defeated the Grue and restored order to their world, they thought their future was secure. Empress Olivia, committed to peace and equality for humans and Elementals alike, was a fair and just ruler. And the Creeping Waste had vanished for good, giving them hope for the first time.

But rebellion is brewing in the far-off city of Scientia, and dar
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published February 11th 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  246 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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colleen the convivial curmudgeon

As with all my half-stars, I debated for awhile whether to bump it up to three or down to two. Ultimately, though, my overall feeling at the end of this book was one of disappointment, so I had to go down.

I think a lot of it was just the writing. Like the first book, this one alternated between first-person and third-person chapters; however, unlike the first book, the first-person chapters in this one followed Syrus instead of Vespa - and the voice just didn't work. It was choppy and just di
J.A. Ironside
Aug 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, steam-punk
3.5/4 stars. This just didn't quite do it for me like the first book. I like Syrus as a character but ultimately I preferred Vespa in first person and Syrus in third. I get why the author changed that around in this book - it was far more Syrus's journey than Vespa's but personal preference would have it the other way around.

I suppose I was looking for more of a rebuilding the world type scenario than another 'boss fight'. It is an awesome world and I'd have liked to have seen more of it. I'd ha
Libby Ames
I'm afraid my reaction to this book is tainted, because I was listening to Maggie Stiefvater's Scorpio Races at the same time. Stiefvater's writing is so lyrical and her description so perfect that I was more critical of this book than I otherwise might have been.

Tiffany Trent continues with interesting steampunk world building, but this second book focused on Syrus more than Vespa. I found the switching perspectives a little distracting. The chapters alternate between third person omniscient an
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
I wasn't in love with the last book and this one, unfortunately, didn't improve my mood about the series.

And I'm going to admit, the last book did not make a lasting impression on me. I remembered the basics, but not the specifics, so I spent a lot of time trying to remember some of the past book. Not all of it's important. In fact, you could probably read this one without reading the first and be fine. But that could also be because I didn't find either really interesting. So, I may not have b
Disappointing. A pet peeve of mine is characters not communicating, and here we have it in spades. No one thought to ask how Olivia came into being? Couldn't Bayne explain his newfound coldness as something else than a lame plot device?
Alternating voices were confusing - also with one voice always in a present tense and the other in the narrative past.
And - inconsistencies. We care so much about Elementals but they die in spades and oops, just kind of disappear, well, my bad. That never gets r
Elaine Carass
Feb 11, 2014 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It started roughly a year after the first book with Vespa, Bayne and Syrus trying to help rebuild New London without elementals been killed and used as mythgas.
With there been a long gap in this book from the first it took me a while to remember all that had happened but I was glad to get back in the story of all the characters I loved from the first book.
I did however find when the story was been told from Sryus's point of view the writing style seemed blocky, has
I really wanted to love this book. Asian male lead in a steampunk novel?! Love and love! So refreshing to have this protagonist, but unfortunately the book fell flat for me. It wasn't as engaging as book 1 and was terribly predictable. I felt like we the readers were waiting the entire time for the characters to catch on. It also felt underdeveloped at times. I loved the premise and the world created, but it just didn't do it for me. :(
Jan 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Edelweiss and Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for allowing me access to this title.

I had a somewhat hard time remembering what was going on and who all the characters were, but it slowly came back to me as I read farther along. I really liked how everything all worked out and who did what. I especially liked how Olivia and Syrus changed and were able to use their abilities and heritage to save their people.
Mar 10, 2014 rated it liked it
David Wilson
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
A nice sequel without the usual "#2" type of filler material. A good conclusion and wrap up from adventures found in #1, but you can easily tell that there will be another volume coming (hopefully soon).
This was a nice continual world development and tie-in between steampunk, fantasy, and the world today.
It was an easy read and fun adventure. IMHO, it fits in with other teen-centric fantasy books. I am looking forward to seeing what happens in the forthcoming volume(s).

P.S. This is NOT a stand-
Nov 22, 2018 rated it liked it
As I said in the 1st book, I don't like the author's way of writing. The book is still interesting or I would not have read it but the little romance between the characters were frustrating. The story also lacks elaboration and I can't seem to be able to form a connection between any of the characters. So I'm reading this book not like someone who is going through the adventures with the characters but rather like reading a book with recorded facts.
Oct 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Unfortunately, it was not as compelling as the first title in the series and I found myself putting it down too many times to finish. Others might not feel the same way so don't take my review as if this were a poorly written or thought out read. I am rather jaded and it just wasn't enough to keep me intrigued.
Tim Gray
May 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Being completely honest I bought this because it tipped me over to free delivery and it was cheaper than paying postage on the book I did want. That said, it's a decent enough steampunk style adventure, with some interesting characters and plot twists. It did get a little bogged down for me in the middle though.
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
A year has passed since the destruction of the Refineries which turned Elementals into fuel for the city of New London. Some things have changed for the better, at least for the Elementals, but most of New London is finding it hard to adjust to the lack of their accustomed luxuries. Olivia is pushing hard for peace, but the Queen of the Shadowspiders is rising to claim the city for her own . . .

This improved somewhat on the first book, although not by much. Someone realized Vespa was a mess of a
Dusty Wallace
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Update: It's not a trilogy! My bad. There is a ebook novella tie-in though.

A trilogy’s second book is often overlooked, sometimes cursed to be the disappointment in a series. Through some feat of elemental magic Tiffany Trent has managed not only to live up to the first book’s standards, but improve on them in some ways.

The plotting here is swift and tight. It helps that, after reading the first book, there’s not much world-building to be done. Not that w
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Tinker King

By Tiffany Trent

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

February 11, 2014

The Tinker King is the sequel to The Unnaturalists. The novel begins during the cleanup after the destruction of the Grue. The point of view switches between Vespa and Syrus. We are reunited with Vespa, Syrus and Bayne as they take on another big bad in this second novel, each having a darker mind-set after losing innocence, gaining experience and growing a little from the first novel. Piskel and Truffler
Jan 11, 2016 rated it liked it
2.5 stars

I still really like Trent's ideas, but there are quite a few things that bothered me in terms of execution.

As another reviewer said, there was a frustrating lack of communication between characters! I really don't like it when the plot of a book relies on misunderstandings to create tension and pacing. So many things could have been resolved if the main characters just talked through what was going on.
I suppose that's personal preference though, since some people like that style of plot
Feb 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
The worldbuilding that Trent does is utterly brilliant. This novel gives us insight into the time before, and I hope there are more stories coming from that time.
The "baddie" here is so delicious that I cringe even now thinking about it. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time this particular creature has shown up in fiction (I may be wrong about that, but I certainly haven't heard of it happening...and I'm pretty sure I would have).
The Olivia plot is really interesting. That last c
Angela Kidd Shinozaki
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Becoming a huge fan with this sequel to The Unnaturalists. It's steampunk with a twist. This one is easier to follow than the first, maybe because you already know the characters. Expect several surprise appearances. I will say it reminds me a bit of Philip Reeve's Larklight (because of the spiders) and his Mortal Engines series (because of the belief in science and the automatons). It also has hints of Howl's Moving Castle with the creeping Waste. But the rich character development and the fine ...more
Mary Kyle
Oct 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a great sequel to The Unnaturalists! Vespa, Syrus, and Bayne back and they must be prepared to defend Empress Olivia and the kingdom from the Shadowspiders. Syrus will discover more about who and what he is. There is more to Empress Olivia than meets the eye. Yes, there is much here to keep you turning pages.

I really enjoyed the first book and this one didn't disappoint. It is a well built world and has all the fun elements of Steampunk with magic and mythological creatures too. Ms Trent i
The Tinker King felt a lot more toned down in terms of action, compared to other YA books I've read so far. The scenes felt like they didn't really flow at times, and the story just wasn't very engaging. One major problem I had was the POV for each of the chapters. It would switch between first and third person, and was very confusing for me. Each chapter felt disconnected from the other, and there was no indication before each chapter of who was talking. The romance also felt very rushed. Syrus ...more
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
At first I was a little skeptical, but then it got really, really good. It's a very different sort of book. I would label it as steam-punk, historical, futuristic fiction, if that makes any sense. It would if you would just read the book. Well, actually read the first one first. Anyway, I really liked the characters, and there were some extremely cool plot twists, and unexpected things that happened. I really, really liked it.
May 28, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bosler, fantasy, ya
Rereading the first one before reading this would probably have helped. It was ok, and I still like the characters, but there's so much we're not told, and so much undercurrent of what wants to be ecological-scientific lecture/lesson (can't remember the word I want because I just woke up), but we're not told enough it to be really clear... I guess I'd read a third one, if there is one, but I'm not sure I'd have to be the first on my block.
Sequel to the Unnaturalists.
Although all the new empress Olivia wants is peace in her kingdom, that is impossible as an old enemy is re-awakened and poses a serious threat to all that has just been established.
For a second book in a series, it was quite good and although a bit slow in a few spots, it kept me turning pages to see what would happen. A few unexpected plot twists also added to my enjoyment.
Cecilia Rodriguez
Aug 15, 2015 rated it liked it
In the follow-up to The Unnaturalist, Syrus Reed becomes the narrator.
The action picks up shortly after the Elementals have been freed.
This poses a problem, when Vespa and Syrus learn that Ximu has returned.
This plot has a firmer hold on Steampunk. Trent also seems to have been inspired by the ancient Chinese Terracotta warriors.
A fun action packed story.
Ramona Wray
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk
Although I preferred the first book, I thought The Tinker King was a good read. There was continuity and there was expansion, both character- and world-wise. The ending was just a little bit too 'polished', in my opinion. Recommended to genre lovers.
Sera Lewis
This book suffered horribly from second book syndrome; multiplied for me because I didn't realize it was the second of three and hadn't read the first. Perhaps, if I had, the world and its people would have had more cohesion.
Cecilia Rodriguez
In the follow-up to The Unnaturalist, Syrus Reed narrates the events shortly after the conclusion of the first story.
Part of the plot seems inspired by the Chinese Terracotta warriors.
This story is more firmly rooted in Steampunk than the first.
Shawna Lee
May 22, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I couldn't get into this book. :/ The switching between POV's confused me, and the writing seemed off to me. Maybe it would be better for a middle grader and I thought I would enjoy it since I read the first book. But oh wells. The steampunk feel of it was alright, but most of it was confusing.
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it
steampunk, magic elementals and humans, second in series, does not stand alone

interesting, but needs first volume
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Tiffany Trent is the award-winning creator and author of the young adult dark fantasy series, HALLOWMERE, and THE UNNATURALISTS and THE TINKER KING. Her short stories have been published in MAGIC AND THE MIRRORSTONE, CORSETS AND CLOCKWORK, SUBTERRANEAN, and WILFUL IMPROPRIETY. When not writing or reading, she can be found playing with bees.

-Green Earth Book Award Honor 2013

Other books in the series

The Unnaturalists (2 books)
  • The Unnaturalists (The Unnaturalists, #1)