Emily May's Reviews > Mechanica

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell
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it was ok
bookshelves: arc, steampunk, young-adult, 2015, coverly-love

Never has a poor execution of a brilliant concept ever hit me so hard. Because this book had the potential to be amazing. It's the most feminist Cinderella retelling I've ever read and the message behind it was PERFECT. Too bad it was so painfully dull.

Let's get it out of the way: despite the similar premise, this book is absolutely nothing like Cinder. It is not about a cyborg Cinderella, it's more of a steampunk Fey book about a genius female mechanic. The writing, the setting and the circumstances do not even remotely resemble Meyer's book.

The story is about Nicolette who, like other Cinderellas before her, is an orphan at the mercy of her cruel Stepmother and Stepsisters. They treat her as a servant and demand that she do all the household chores. What they don't know is that Nicolette has a talent for engineering and keeps her inventions locked away in her mother's old workroom. She intends to sell her machines at market and make enough money to get away.

As a basic concept, this is fantastic. She doesn't want to go to a ball and be rescued by a prince; nope, Nicolette wants to save herself, be self-sufficient, get away by her own efforts. This book is not a romance and the author puts emphasis on the importance of female friendship. You see why I so wanted it to be good?

But there's no climax. It is literally the story of a mechanics business - a girl builds machines, goes to market, gets money for them and... that's basically the plot. So many lengthy descriptions of machines and making other things:

I could produce a basic knitting machine, start to finish, in only an hour now. The beadwork went quickly too, and I began experimenting with finer glass craft: more intricate boxes and bowls, covers for my machines, and floral pendants.

I'm sorry to say it, but - who cares???

You know those books where you like the idea and keep waiting and waiting to be hooked into it, thinking just around the corner the story will pick up and make you fall in love? Those books where you wait and wait and suddenly the book's over and you're left feeling like "That's it?!" This is one of those books. Nothing exciting happens.

I can't recommend this boring book, but the ending is worth knowing even if you don't plan to read it. In other reviews I've read, everyone seems to hate the ending - and I understand why - but I honestly thought it was wonderful. So here it is, spoiler-tagged for you:

(view spoiler)

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Reading Progress

April 16, 2015 – Shelved
May 25, 2015 – Started Reading
May 28, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-24 of 24 (24 new)

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BookOwl BookOwl I'm still going to read it cause I'm a cover whore. Lol


Emily May Karona wrote: "I'm still going to read it cause I'm a cover whore. Lol"

LOL, I sympathize. That cover is gorgeous :)


Luxx Nooo! I've been waiting for this one. :/


message 4: by Stacey (new)

Stacey Yes! The cover is beautiful.


BookOwl BookOwl Thank God it's nothing like Cinder, I was worried for a bit it might be.


message 6: by C.J. (new)

C.J. Mugleston I'm reading the Knife of never letting go right now based on one of your reviews. Its incredible and innovative!


message 7: by Fari (new)

Fari OHMYGOSH!! I THINK I WOULD LOVE THAT ENDING!! (view spoiler)


Nasty Lady MJ Hmm, I think I'm going to pass. I like the ideas, but if the book is what you said it was it would drive me crazy. At least I'll bump this down to a library read since the ending does look interesting. One question though, is this part of a series? Because if it is, it could totally ruin the ending which is the one thing about this one I could actually go for in an odd way.


message 9: by Brandi (new)

Brandi Great review! I was reading through and hoping you would include the ending, and then you did!! I feel like I want to read this book now, just for that ending.


message 10: by Katerina (new)

Katerina Kondrenko It's not the ending bothers me, it's the pacing. Is it really that boring?! =(


message 11: by Mónica (new)

Mónica BQ This was a great review. Thank you for it. I might read it just for the ending, even if the execution of plot was not good.


Emily May C.J. wrote: "I'm reading the Knife of never letting go right now based on one of your reviews. Its incredible and innovative!"

So glad you like it! I think the sequels are excellent too.


Emily May Howdy YAL wrote: "Hmm, I think I'm going to pass. I like the ideas, but if the book is what you said it was it would drive me crazy. At least I'll bump this down to a library read since the ending does look intere..."

I don't think so. But like most YA fantasy these days, it wouldn't be hard for the author to extend it into one.


Emily May Katerina wrote: "It's not the ending bothers me, it's the pacing. Is it really that boring?! =("

I personally think so. That's why even the amazing ending couldn't save it for me - it was so so dull :(


Emily May Mónica wrote: "This was a great review. Thank you for it. I might read it just for the ending, even if the execution of plot was not good."

Thank you :)


message 16: by The Winter Rose (new)

The Winter Rose What a shame the execution didn't match the awesome concept :(


message 17: by Katerina (new)

Katerina Kondrenko Emily May wrote: I personally think so. That's why even the amazing ending couldn't save it for me - it was so so dull :(

You saved my time! I really thank you)


message 18: by Vanessa (new) - added it

Vanessa J. I read the spoiler, and while what you said about the pace and the plot makes me doubt, I'm still going to read it. (view spoiler) Great review!


message 19: by Claudia Victoria (new)

Claudia Victoria *sees two stars*

NOOOOOOOOO

I want to love this book! But now I'm not so sure...


Emily May Vane wrote: "I read the spoiler, and while what you said about the pace and the plot makes me doubt, I'm still going to read it. [spoilers removed] Great review!"

Maybe having some warning will make the pacing easier to bear :)


message 21: by Venice (new) - added it

Venice praise the lord for independent women


Richard Lyons Mechanica is a wonderful adventure. It's a roller- coaster ride as Nicolette faces peril on all sides not to mention her emotional travails, which are heart-breaking. To go with her on this journey and root for her and yet have her make her own choices which agree with her ideals was an absolute pleasure. I will be re-reading this book for my whole life. I rate Mechanica 5 stars. It's a beautiful story and a beautiful book.


message 23: by Marilyn (new) - added it

Marilyn I, personally, really liked it! I hope people will read it and judge for themselves :)


message 24: by Jenny (new) - added it

Jenny Sipe Hi Emily May, 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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