Laura's Reviews > Bluebeard's Machine

Bluebeard's Machine by Mari Fee
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's review
Oct 23, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: adult-modern-folk-tales-fairy-tales, ebook, steampunk, novellas

** spoiler alert ** After being mostly disappointed in the books I've read from Samhain so far, I was pleasantly surprised in this steampunk/fairy tale novella. Other than wishing for a longer, more fleshed-out story, I really enjoyed this Bluebeard-inspired tale.

First, Bluebeard is a creepy fairy tale, and the prologue of this book captured that creepiness perfectly. Annette finds the key to her husband's study. Determined to find out what occupies so much of her husband's time in there, she investigates, only to discover she's not who she thinks she is. Annette Parker died years ago and her husband has been trying to bring her back since through cloning. On a shelf she finds the skulls of her four predecessors. In her husband's diary she discovers that he considers her a failed experiment, and he plans to try again soon, which means he plans to get rid of her soon as well.

Determined to not share the same fate as the previous four "specimens," she leaves, intent on making her way to Australia, somewhere she believes her "husband" will never find her. However, she needs help, mostly money, to get there. She chooses the name Ada, poses as Annette Parker's cousin, and goes to Isaac Ward for help, a naturalist who once asked for Annette's hand in marriage.

Being a novella, the relationship between Isaac and Ada is a bit rushed for my taste, but I liked both of them, and I cared about whether they ended up together or not. (Which, of course, they do...but not until they defeat her "husband" who comes after Ada after she ran away).

Technical notes: I purchased this e-book from MyBookstoreAndMore and downloaded the .epub version on to my Nook. For some reason the font was super tiny, and I had to increase font size on my Nook to Extra Large in order to bring it up to a readable size. I'm not really sure why because Medium is my normal setting for all other e-books I read on there. Annoying, but not the end of the world since the Nook does let me resize fonts, but it was strange.

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