Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies's Reviews > Mechanica

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell
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it was ok

This passage from the book ironically explains the pacing.
I never expected much of anything to happen, and nothing much did. I was in a constant state of waiting for things to begin.
There are some good things about this book.

1. Strong female character
2. Highly feminist book
3. Beautiful depiction of friendship

And honestly, for me, those are some of the best selling points for any book. But then we come to the bad.


Look, I'm sorry. The book could have the best, most wonderful non-Mary Sue character ever, but I read books to be entertained. A boring book just doesn't cut it. I need excitement. I need an actual plot. Particularly when a book is a retelling of a classic, a book needs to have twists and turns that one would not expect, in order for the book to distinguish itself from a generic retelling. It has to keep the reader wanting more, to keep reading on for an ending that's pretty much 100% predictable anyway. This book doesn't cut it. Why would I read about a wonderful character in a book where pretty much nothing happens? I might as well be reading about my own life *preens* ;3

It's a steampunk/fantasy. I can't compare it to Cinder because I haven't read it. It feels like half of the book was spent building up the world and what happened in the past, leaving insufficient room for a plot.
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Reading Progress

October 28, 2014 – Shelved
October 28, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
Started Reading
September 2, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-25 of 25 (25 new)

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message 1: by Ai Haibara (new)

Ai Haibara Good or bad reminder?

message 2: by Jana (new)

Jana Cornwell insists that she wrote this before Cinder was published, but I have to admit it's a pretty unfortunate similarity.

message 3: by Mindy (new) - added it

Mindy I liked Cinder, but I'm looking forward to this even more... especially since I really liked this author's other novel.

Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies Considering how long ago Cinder was published...that's a hard claim to make.

message 5: by Jana (new)

Jana Khanh (Clowns, Nightmares, and Bunnies) wrote: "Considering how long ago Cinder was published...that's a hard claim to make."

Exactly. It may turn out that they aren't much alike at all, but it's a tough thing to ignore.

message 6: by Marilyn (new) - added it

Marilyn Publishing can take a long time with all the editing and whatnot. Mechanica was actually supposed to come out last year but the press delayed it because they thought they could do better with publicity. Anyway, maybe wait and read it before criticizing?

Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies As someone who didn't know the story behind it, what was I supposed to think?

message 8: by Jana (new)

Jana Thus far, I haven't seen any criticisms of Mechanica against Cinder in this comment thread. We've simply made some speculation as to potential similarities between the two works.

message 9: by Marilyn (new) - added it

Marilyn Khanh (Clowns, Nightmares, and Bunnies) wrote: "As someone who didn't know the story behind it, what was I supposed to think?"

I hear ya. Just clearing it up! Betsy's a friend of mine from college, and one honest chick, tbh.

message 11: by Mi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mi I read the arc and beyond the mechanical and inspiration in Cinderella, this doesn't have much in common with Cinder. Incidentally, in my opinion is the most innovative adaptation of a fairy tale released in a boof for a long time.

Auggie I've also read the ARC and personally feel that there are very few similarities outside of there being machines involved in some capacity (though definitely not the same capacity).

message 13: by Denisse (new)

Denisse Oh, Khanh. You are so damn right!

A strong female character, a feminist book and a well developed friendship are just great details, and great details, for me at least, turn a good book into an awesome one. But you need to be a good book first. So sad, I really wanted to read this one but...not sure anymore :(

message 14: by TL (new) - rated it 4 stars

TL Great review, this seems the type of book where you'll either love it or hate it... still curious about it but wait and see for xmas perhaps

message 15: by Tamara (new) - added it

Tamara I hope you eventually read Cinder and enjoy it as much as I did Khanh!! I was really interested in this book but it's getting so many bad reviews from people I really trust :(

message 16: by ♣Tessa♣ (new) - added it

♣Tessa♣ I forgot this book was coming out until I came on here and saw your review. I guess I'll wait on it if it's that boring. Bummer

message 17: by Jilly (new)

Jilly Yeah, I never have considered reading this because it sounds like a poor version of Cinder. Thanks for the review, Khanh!

message 18: by DMS (new) - rated it 3 stars

DMS Yes. I decided to pretend it was intended for an 8 year old as that was the only way I could avoid massive disappointment.

message 19: by Skylar (new)

Skylar ahhh read Queen of Shadows! I was so sick of tstl heroines and weak plots.... LEMME JUST TELL YOU RIGHT NOW THAT QUEEN OF SHADOWS SLAYED ME

message 20: by mith (new) - rated it 2 stars

mith i felt the same way about this book! question: would you ever read cinder, or are you never going to pick it up?

message 21: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten I feel l Cinderella retellings are so hard to execute. There are certain elements that need to be in there (the step family, the makeover, the ball). It is hard to get those all in there and still have the book seem new and fresh. I read an older retelling earlier this year called Before Midnight by Cameron Dokey. It had an interesting idea but I don't think it had enough pages to pull off the plot. It could have been really good. Oh well.

message 22: by Kay Dee (last edited Jan 09, 2018 10:39AM) (new) - added it

Kay Dee well we are all excited here at work for this book. a steampunk Cinderella sounds awesome. now i'll wait for the other gals at work to read it first.

message 23: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Damn.. What a shame. :( I was so excited for this book!

message 24: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura I read the entire series of the Lunar Chronicles, and this book is nothing compared to the Cinder series. I agree wholly that this book was a good 300ish pages of nothing. Sorry, but if anyone wants a good retelling of 'Cinderella', I highly recommend putting this book down and picking up Cinder.

message 25: by Jenny (new) - added it

Jenny Sipe Hi, I know you already read this book. ahmm can I ask something? What is the important line of the Mechanica and what page is it. ? Please because this is my SSR Project in Englsih.. I hope you will notice me.

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