Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Book Review: Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

I received a free copy of this book in a blog giveaway.  There were no strings attached; I don't have to review it, but I want to anyway.
It is impossible not to compare this book with Cinder by Marissa Meyer. They're just so much alike in basic form.  However, Cinder is sci-fi, and Mechanica is a steampunk fairytale.  And, of the two, I like Mechanica better, mostly because Cornwell does not pretend to have a strong female character but then undermine her by giving her some Twilighty obsession with abusive men, which is what Meyer does, and which is why I stopped reading her Lunar Chronicles a few chapters into the third book.
Cornwell, in contrast, creates a truly empowered protagonist named Nick, who bucks the system, doesn't give up her life to marry the handsome prince, and won't bow to stereotypical family structures. (Hailing from Utah, as I do, where families are so habitually defined narrowly as only heterosexual parents plus kids, I really liked how Cornwell was willing to admit that a girl might not want to choose just one guy and that a family can be whatever one decides it is.)
However, I did have a few problems with the book:
1) Nick is too good at too many things.  She works with metal and glass?  She's good at sales, too?  She's also a good businesswoman?
2) All her problems were resolved far too easily.  Her stepfamily never notices anything.  Very little gets in the way of her success.
3) A lot is left hanging.  We never find out much about the magic.  Characters just disappear without being picked up again.  Is there going to be a sequel?  This might help, but it still felt odd.

Overall, it's a good read, and I'm going to get some copies in my classroom.  But it feels a bit like a draft of a book rather than a finished copy.

1 comment:

  1. Good morning, and Happy Saturday Lisa. I hope you don't mind that I gave you a shout out on my blog this morning. Here it is