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Made Things

(Made Things #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  215 ratings  ·  35 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,
Paperback, 192 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  215 ratings  ·  35 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
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
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 certainly won’t be
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
S. Naomi Scott
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, 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
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 “
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
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
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.
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2019, 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.
Liz (Quirky Cat)
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
Made Things is the latest novel from the mind of Adrian Tchaikovsky. It’s a dark yet whimsical world, full of magic, half-mages, and animated puppets. Yes, you read that last part correctly. And it makes for a delightful read.
Coppelia, aka Moppet, is a girl with many talents. She’s an okay thief, a decent liar, a solid con-artist, and an even better puppet maker. Orphaned at a young age, this half-mage has learned what she needed to in order to keep herself free and safe. Well, mostly safe.
CS Peterson
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sff
We marvel at technology, the magic of a made thing. The uncanny robot, the wind-up toy, the clever automaton—all are sources of endless fascination. We indulge the tricks of a puppet sideshow with a knowing smile, but a vague feeling of horror lingers beneath our certainty that it’s nothing more than sleight of hand. Adrian Tchaikovsky has taken this mix of emotions and given them a fine edge in Made Things, a rollicking novella with some dark twists that will keep you turning the pages late ...more
John Rennie
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I've liked all of Tchaikovsky's recent books, so of course I was going to read this as soon as I could. And I liked it, though it isn't going to be for everybody. I use this review to explain what I mean and hopefully try and give you some idea of whether you will like it enough to make it worth buying.

I get the impression that Tchaikovsky writes what he enjoys writing, and damn the critics (quite right too!). So sometimes he writes deep and thoughtful books like Children of Time, and sometimes
Mark Redman
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is a fascinating short novella featuring magic embued puppets.

Coppelia is a street thief, trickster and low-level con artist, both wise and smart. Coppelia has one advantage over the other thieves. She’s created tiny, puppet-like companions, made of wood and metal and embued them with magic.

This new relationship takes Coppelia, Tef and Arc on a surprising discovery which changes everything they thought they knew about their world and city.

A good part of this story is Coppelia
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The Value of a Star: Ratings Explained

Having a name like Tchaikovsky--that's a lot to live up to. If Made Things is any indication, Adrian Tchaikovsky is holding up pretty good.

I think the most talented writers are ones who can build a whole world in less that 200 pages, and that's what's happened here.

This is a clever story about magic, thievery, and what happens when you mix the two. It's a bit fantasy and a bit steam punk. Living puppets, unlikely
Matt Braymiller
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best_reads_2019
Adrian Tchaikovsky is one of my favorite authors. His Shadows of the Apt series is one of the best fantasy series I have ever read, with tremendous character development and a deep, rich story. Children of Time was one of my best reads for 2017 with its very good depiction of an alien intelligence.

This book is short by his standards. The story within is very engaging. The heroine is a poor, orphan girl who has a talent for puppetry. At the end of the book, she is not the object of epic
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
Rick Brose
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will keep pushing novellas, as long as they keep releasing a wide range of stories with cool concepts, worlds, and characters. Made Things features a thief and her magic puppet friends trying to survive in a city ruled by powerful mages. The world is fleshed out. There is a sense of deep history in the city and the people that inhabit it. The story has stakes and the characters make sense. I had a slight issue with the tense and sentence structure at points, but nothing that was ...more
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
An easy enough read but there's little that's remarkable about this story.
The reader is presented with an unjust world ripe for overthrowing, an interesting system of magic and magical beings whose impact about the society of the book could easily be explored at length. From all of this potential we get a standard fantasy heist and an ending that (view spoiler)
Jamie Rich
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Made Things (Kindle Edition) by Adrian Tchaikovsky

A very fun read with quite adept characters!

I don't read a lot of Fantasy, but this was well worth the time! Lots of quirky characters, a dismal setting, and a very flawed, yet endearing heroine, all make this a terrific read!
There is back story, and world building, and plot lines within plot lines. All told in a very organic manner, which makes for a fun romp!
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.
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: home-library
To me a successful novella, as a reader, is one that leaves me wanting more but not necessarily needing it. In that regard, Made Things was incredibly successful. This world of thieves, magic, and made things was wonderful and I read it in one afternoon. I tried to savor the moment, draw the book out a little longer but I was so drawn to it that I couldn't put it down.
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story. More please.

What a nifty and fascinating world this story is set in. I loved the small homunculi and the way they attained life, and I would very much like to know more about them. Does the material of which they are made determine their abilities? I was quite fond of Coppelia and would also love to read more of her story.
Hugo N. Saravia
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Made thieving!

Although the action takes place in a world built to suit the author's story telling, the made things in the plot I happen to find them a lot like The Puppet Master's characters in the films, although with a different twists and turns.
Paul Sparks
Good not great

That is just my opinion, I am sure many of you will think otherwise, I have found that I particularly enjoy this authors books when they are more science and less fantasy (apart from Spiderlight which I loved)
Joseph Vanucchi
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great author

I've been loving the author's work since stumbling upon the huge and wonderful Apt series. Every new thing he's attempted has IMO been great. This was no exception I love the premise and hope he tries a few more like this. Needed the escape thanks Adrian
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This author does it again- wonderfully realized world and great characters- totally different than his other stories. And fun too! The story stands on its own but I'd love more adventures it this universe.
Anthony McFarlane
More Apt Than The Apt series

Creative, wonderful, Pinocchio goes dark! Loved the concept, loved the characters, loved the world they inhabit, I just need a whole lot more!
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-paper
Review up soon.
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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)
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