Sh3lly (GrumpyBookGrrrl.com)'s Reviews > Mechanica

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell
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Update August 9, 2018: $1.99 on US Amazon. I loved this book!

August 17, 2017: $2.99 on US Amazon. I loved this book!

Previous post:
I really don't get all the low ratings for this. I devoured Mechanica in 24 hours! I've read that people thought it was boring or that the pacing was slow. I just didn't have that experience (and I am someone who can't stand boring, slow-paced books). I guess it's just one of those things.

So, this is NOTHING like Cinder whatsoever, for those wondering. Cinder has a more sci-fi vibe to it. I adored Cinder and gave it 5 stars also (see my review here if you want). This book is more steampunk fantasy with fae/fey magic.

Nicolette's story starts in a pretty typical Cinderella manner. The adored mother dies and the father re-marries to a monster of a step-mother with two equally horrendous daughters. The father also dies and the "Steps" take over Nicolette's home and make her the servant.

What I ADORED about this re-telling is that the mother was a genius mechanic who used fey magic to infuse animal creations, so that rather than just have gears and clocks and belts and glass bodies that run on coal, they actually have a spark of life in them. (Jules is one of the best animal supporting characters ever).

Nicolette ends up discovering her mother's work and becoming a brilliant mechanic herself. Instead of a ball being the most important event in this re-telling, it's an exposition, where citizens can showcase their talents and innovative ideas. There's a bit of romance, but it's a minor element. Nicolette is a very strong female character. This does not have your typical romantic HEA and in fact does not have one at all. The HEA is Nick becoming her own person, able to stand on her own.

Friendship is also a main theme. I enjoyed the friendship between Fin and Caro and Nick. I was put off by Caro's attitude in regards to finding out someone was in love with her. But I appreciated the unconventional ending, so am not going to deduct a star even though it was a pretty big deal to me. It made her seem flippant and not as sympathetic.

Part of what made me feel such a resonance with this, I think, is that it has an air of wistfulness and melancholy that gave me lots of feels. So even though it might not have been action-packed, I was very much into what Nick was doing and going through and how her friendships grew.

I LOVED the way the fey were described and their magic. We never actually meet any full-blooded fey, but their magic is a main backdrop throughout.

I had no expectations with this and ended up loving it.

Thank you Netgalley and publisher for providing a digital copy of this to read and review. This was a joy to read.

First reaction:

BAM. 5 stars. Loved it. RTC.

Original post:

Netgalley approved me!

I'm all about steampunk Cinderellas. "Tiny magical metal horse?" Sold.


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Reading Progress

July 9, 2015 – Shelved
September 19, 2015 – Started Reading
September 19, 2015 –
14.0% "I'm liking this. Nothing like Cinder, for those wondering.\n "
September 19, 2015 –
25.0% "I can tell I'm going to devour this. I can't stop reading. \n "
September 20, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-18 of 18 (18 new)

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message 1: by Casey (new) - added it

Casey This is one I've been looking forward to for months but I've read a lot of mixed responses so I can't wait to get your take on it.
I've never read Cinder but Mechanica's apparent similarity to it seems to be one of the biggest problems for some people. You will have read both so you will pretty much be my determining factor on which I read first or at all.
No pressure ;)


Sh3lly (GrumpyBookGrrrl.com) I loved Cinder, but I also heard this is nothing like that? So I won't expect anything similiar. Hopefully, I'll get to this soon because it does look good. :) I highly recommend Cinder, though.


message 3: by Vanessa (new) - added it

Vanessa J. I second what Casey said. Is this similar in any way to Cinder? It's because I hated Cinder, so I don't really want another book like that (sorry if you liked it) :/ Anyway, I can't wait for your review. :)


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin I'm so glad you loved this book too :)


Sh3lly (GrumpyBookGrrrl.com) Vane wrote: "I second what Casey said. Is this similar in any way to Cinder? It's because I hated Cinder, so I don't really want another book like that (sorry if you liked it) :/ Anyway, I can't wait for your r..."

Vane, it's not similiar at all. Totally different vibe and no sci-fi elements. Very different. But I liked both a lot.

:)


Sh3lly (GrumpyBookGrrrl.com) Melissa wrote: "I'm so glad you loved this book too :)"

Yes! I saw your review too. I devoured this - was totally unexpected. :)


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin I know! I don't know why a lot of people didn't like it. I thought it was so interesting and definitely different. Yay for us :)


Liz* Fashionably Late I'm not sure if I've read steampunk before but I'm curious about this unconventional ending, Shelly. Hope to read it soon!


 Simply Sam ツ I have found that reading reviews totally influences my reading experience so I'm not reading your review just yet. I'm just happy to see that you 5 star loved it. Makes me want to read it even sooner!


message 10: by Sh3lly (GrumpyBookGrrrl.com) (last edited Sep 20, 2015 08:04PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sh3lly (GrumpyBookGrrrl.com) Liz* Fashionably Late wrote: "I'm not sure if I've read steampunk before but I'm curious about this unconventional ending, Shelly. Hope to read it soon!"

Steampunk is very cool. The setting is like the early 1800s where people still ride in carriages and the women wear the period dresses and have conservative roles in society, etc. But they also have certain technology that wasn't around in those days - like automatons/robots and airships/dirigibles/blimps. The technology runs on coal. So it's very steam/coal/industrial age based. Fun. I love the genre.


Sh3lly (GrumpyBookGrrrl.com) Samantha wrote: "I have found that reading reviews totally influences my reading experience so I'm not reading your review just yet. I'm just happy to see that you 5 star loved it. Makes me want to read it even soo..."

I look forward to seeing what you think about it. :)


Liz* Fashionably Late Sh3lly (Not all those who wander are lost) wrote: "Liz* Fashionably Late wrote: "I'm not sure if I've read steampunk before but I'm curious about this unconventional ending, Shelly. Hope to read it soon!"

Steampunk is very cool. The setting is lik..."


Sounds like crazy fun! (: Wait a minute, I've read Soulless and I think there's the steampunk element with robots and dirigibles, have you read that one?


message 13: by Casey (new) - added it

Casey Well, answers that question. I guess both stay on the list, but I think I'll try this one before Cinder.

Great review Shelly!


Sh3lly (GrumpyBookGrrrl.com) Liz* Fashionably Late wrote: "Sounds like crazy fun! (: Wait a minute, I've read Soulless and I think there's the steampunk element with robots and dirigibles, have you read that one?"

Yeah, that is considered steampunk. I have not read it yet, but it's on my list (for awhile now).


Sh3lly (GrumpyBookGrrrl.com) Casey wrote: "Well, answers that question. I guess both stay on the list, but I think I'll try this one before Cinder.

Great review Shelly!"


Thanks Casey. I look forward to seeing what you think!!


message 16: by Angelina (new) - added it

Angelina I so want to read this book but I was hesitant from the reviews!! So glad that you enjoyed it!!


message 17: by Aleera (new) - added it

Aleera So glad I started following you. I have read some great books because of you. ❤️


Sh3lly (GrumpyBookGrrrl.com) Aleera wrote: "So glad I started following you. I have read some great books because of you. ❤️"

Well thank you very much! :) <3


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