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Made Things

(Made Things #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,061 ratings  ·  144 reviews
She was good at making friends.

Coppelia is a street thief, a trickster, a low-level con artist. But she has something other thieves don’t… tiny puppet-like friends: some made of wood, some of metal. They don’t entirely trust her, and she doesn’t entirely understand them, but their partnership mostly works.

After a surprising discovery shakes their world to the core, Coppeli
Paperback, 192 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by
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Dom Mooney The story is self-contained - it's not the start of a trilogy. It could, however, easily have a sequel. "Precious Little Things" is also available, wh…moreThe story is self-contained - it's not the start of a trilogy. It could, however, easily have a sequel. "Precious Little Things" is also available, which is effectively a prequel, but there are no character cross-overs.(less)

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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  1,061 ratings  ·  144 reviews

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Full review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Adrian Tchaikovsky is an unusually versatile author. I never know what to expect from him — insect and shapeshifter fantasy, Iron Man-inspired science fiction, and Regency/Napoleonic historical fantasy are just a few examples — but I know it’s going to be imaginative and intelligently written. The last work I read by him, Walking to Aldebaran, was science fictional horror with an unusual literary streak. In a nearly 180 degree turn, Tchaikovsky now
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5000-2020
This was a short, entertaining book featuring some very likeable, living puppets. Not keen on the cover though - my imagination drew much better looking ones in my head!

This author is one of my favourites and he has the most enormous range. I never know what to expect when I pick up one of his books although for me his sci fi are his masterpieces. Made Things was very imaginative. The characters were interesting as was the magic world they lived in.

I enjoyed it but it will not live on in my mem
K.J. Charles
A delightful fantasy novella set in a city of magic and thieves. Ophaned puppeteer Coppelia is trying to make a dishonest living and also to build bodies for a race of tiny magical homunculi who reproduce by imbuing made bodies (of wax, paper, metal, wood etc) with magic. Things go south in a suitably dramatic way.

Beautifully written, well plotted, great characters, and a masterpiece of world building in a small space. Hugely enjoyable.
Jan 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Puppets Have Come to Town

Move over Pinocchio and Gepeto. There’s a new game in town. Yes, there’s a puppeteer, but she’s also a thief, an orphan, and the best friend the little people (the homunculus) ever had. The little people, you ask. Why yes, they are only six inches tall and are made of wood, metal, and paper and they’ve been brought to life by magic. This is a quieter fantasy about a city ruled mercilessly by great magi and those who would have influence battling and maneuvering for a
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a great, well considered idea! And so darn cute!

I bumped this novel up my TBR list after I read the short story prequel "Precious Little Things" a few days ago in the short fiction Fall edition and was hooked.

Tchaikovsky's homunculi are a bit like Toy Story for adults, with more thoughtfulness and inventive worldbuilding. As with all his works he again succeeds in creating three-dimensional absolutely likeable characters, giving them distinctive voices and seasoning his storytelling
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adrian Tchaikovsky is a versatile author. Whether he's writing about a far future, spiders, artificial intelligences, or any number of other things in his stories, I'm happy to check them out. This novella is a fantasy in a world with mages, homunculi and thieves.
The main character Coppelia is a thief and puppeteer, working for other, more successful criminals, and stealing little bits and bobs of magicked items to augment her slight magic so she can enhance her puppets. She has some help from t
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Is there no limit to Adrian Tchaikovsky's creativity? This is my first fantasy work by him, but it does not disappoint. Beautifully written and wonderfully entertaining. I only wish there were more stories written in this fascinating world!
Michelle F
Oct 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Made Things is fun; the sort of story that made you wish there was more to it, but clipped along so nicely that you are ultimately glad there wasn't.

There is something notably admirable in the way we are handed, essentially, a cut-scene from what could have been a fairly epic saga, if you ignore the ending. We land in the middle of the quest of the titular 'Made Things', magically imbued (and wonderfully inventive) little automata who simply want to find a way to survive and ideally even thrive.
The Captain
Jun 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Ahoy there mateys!  This author's work is fairly new to me but I am really enjoying it so far.  It seems that the author writes in a variety of styles with a variety of subjects.  The first sci-fi novella was walking to aldebaran which was definitely unusual but made me laugh.  The second, a novel called dogs of war, took some time to track down but I ended up finding that one interesting too.  Strange sci-fi about bioforms but good.  So I was looking forward to reading this fantasy that involve ...more
Dec 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
You know Pinocchio, right? This is not his story. Here the Made Things or rather the homunculi come across as a separate world of clans and types with their own society and ecosystem. They connect with the world of humans via the help of the Moppet, aka our main character Coppelia.

This is a fantasy heist story. Not my favourite trope, it‘s usually too formulaic for my taste. Which this is, to some extent.

The story didn‘t do a thing for me. I actually considered to DNF this, but it probably does
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: A delightfully rough and dangerous story with magical, animated creatures who captured my heart.

“What’s the world coming to?” the big human said. “I remember when this was simple. And now there’s little doll people threatening me with a shave. Fuck me.”

This is my first Adrian Tchaikovsky book, but it certa
Théo M. (bookswiththeo)
I feel like this was right up my alley, but I couldn’t really follow it for some reason. And because of this I quickly bored.
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Full review at The Quill to Live:

I have a fear of dolls. Or maybe not a fear, so much as I find them intensely off putting. Their miniature faces are creepy, and any horror story that involves dolls coming to life and murdering people deeply upsets me. So, when the lovely people at sent me Made Things, a novella by Adrian Tchaikovsky about a dollmaker who brings her creations to life, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, Tchaikovsky is one of th
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A writer strives to give their characters the spark of life, as does the puppeteer. It can’t be done. The cold, hard, truth is, it would require magic, and there’s no such thing as magic. And yet, if there’s one thing in this entire universe that a perfectly reasonable person might be forgiven for thinking of as magical, wouldn’t it be life?

That magical spark is at the heart of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s short novel “Made Things,” where petty thief and master puppet-maker/puppeteer Coppelia (AKA “Mopp
actual rating: 2.5

This should have been right up my alley but unfortunately I just couldn't get into it. I might have just not been in the right mood, but I felt like none of the characters really stood out and it made the book fall a little bit flat to me. Definitely a good concept but I wish the character had been as original as the setting.
S. Naomi Scott
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It’s fair to say that Adrian Tchaikovsky is one of my favourite contemporary authors. I’ve only read a handful of his works to date but every one of them has been excellent in its own way and the more I read the more eager I become for his next book. Made Things is no exception.

It’s an absolutely delightful novella that follows the trials and tribulations of puppeteer Coppelia as she finds herself getting pulled into the machinations of the local thieves guild and their ongoing struggles against
Dawn C
Oct 17, 2020 rated it liked it
A cute story, though hardly anything new. The plot is the same as in his Dogs of War; an artificial group of lives become sentient and wish for autonomy. I’m a big fan of Tchaikovsky’s SF, so perhaps I was more into that mindset and therefore felt I missed the setup of this. Perhaps it would have been better as a full fletched novel and time given to each character, or maybe a narrower character focus, for such a short story.

Regardless, the writing is pleasant and comfortable, and you won’t be h
Feb 01, 2020 marked it as xx-dnf-skim-reference
Even in paper I just couldn't get into it. I'm in a bad book slump due to family crises, but still, this reads like a resurrected early work, pronouns w/out antecedents & other awkwardnesses that seem to be artifacts of attempts to give a certain kind of fantasy tone. Oh well; I guess I don't need another orphan & magi & puppets story. ...more
Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
An imaginative little story about a small people trying to get a foot in in a gigantic world of humans and magic and about a girl that makes puppets.

Tchaikovsky has easily become a sure way to find an interesting read for me.
Not even 200 pages and still a picture painted of a world with many varied characters and their fates.
Nov 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Enjoyable reading. Just didnt have the scope of his other works. These TOR novellas just dont have enough pages
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Not sure why I didn't like this more. I think it was that I needed more depth of character from Moppet. But I sure hope I get to read more about this world.
Geonn Cannon
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Dear heart, this is a city of magic, haven't you heard? Anything is possible."

I don't like the phrase "short book." That implies less-than in a way that's unfair. This book is small but perfectly formed, just like Coppelia's tiny accomplices. This book moves fast, it reveals its incredibly unique world at a brisk pace, and leaves you wanting more in the most satisfying way possible. Well worth the time you spend with it, and the length means you'll be able to reread it again and again.
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Happy book birthday, MADE THINGS!

I'll be the first to admit I have only skimmed the surface of Tchaikovsky's body of work, having read and purchased the sequel to CHILDREN OF TIME and having snagged a beautiful hard copy of IRONCLADS and having made a serious attempt at trying his Echoes of the Fall series (and being foiled, as I often am, as many others are, by the limitations of both the library network and pocketbook). There are, suffice it to say, many other books by Tchaikovsky I have yet t
Tim Hicks
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
[thinks] Gosh, I like those steampunk/automaton books, and I like magic, and I really liked Pratchett's Wee Free Men. I wonder if I could squish them all into a novella?

Answer: yes.

Add the usual unfair, oppressive, corrupt society, and the obligatory Plucky Girl With Talent, but also add some quite engaging characters among the Good Guys, and a dash of dry humour.

Stir, roll out, and cut until it's no bigger than a novella should be.

The result is a tasty treat that makes a nice meal for one.

3,0 stars. As always, I’ll start off by saying I only give 1-3 stars to novellas, mainly because of their length. While I might love everything about one, I still can’t help comparing it with a full length novel. That being said, I really enjoyed this one and continue to be surprised at how diversely Adrian Tchaikovsky can write. The fact that he narrated this one himself made the story even better for me. As for the plot, I won’t go into any details - go and pick it up and read it for yourself. ...more
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, fantasy, e-book
As expected, Tchaikovsky's world-building and characterization skills are on point, but this novella lacked the punch that his other works have had. That's a shame, because any book about marionettes and magic should be awesome by default.
I think I just expected this to be...more. It’s a nice novella, (as all of the tor novella I have read are, the quality is truly amazing) but it didn’t give me much of what I had hoped.
LAPL Reads
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Coppelia is not quite a thief and not quite a con-artist. What she is, or could be if she were living a different life, is an artist. A builder who could create function and beauty from raw materials, but only in a different life. A life where her parents hadn’t been taken to a workhouse, leaving Coppelia to be sent to an orphanage. A life where she hadn’t fled that orphanage with only the clothes on her back, left to scrape out a living on the streets of the Barrio in Fountains Parish. But livi ...more
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A short book bursting with creative world-building. I wish I had read this as a kid.
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
A short but interesting story. Good characters and decent plot.
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ADRIAN TCHAIKOVSKY was born in Lincolnshire and studied zoology and psychology at Reading, before practising law in Leeds. He is a keen live role-player and occasional amateur actor and is trained in stage-fighting. His literary influences include Gene Wolfe, Mervyn Peake, China Miéville, Mary Gently, Steven Erikson, Naomi Novak, Scott Lynch and Alan Campbell.

Other books in the series

Made Things (2 books)
  • Precious Little Things

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