ARC Review: Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

Title: Mechanica  
Author: Betsy Cornwell 
Genre: Fantasy, Retellings, Steampunk 
Source: Edelweiss
Publisher: Clarion Books
Publication: August 25th 2015
Add it to Goodreads / Pre-Order it on Amazon 

Nicolette's awful stepsisters call her "Mechanica" to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother's knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have pushed her into a life of dreary servitude. When she discovers a secret workshop in the cellar on her sixteenth birthday--and befriends Jules, a tiny magical metal horse--Nicolette starts to imagine a new life for herself. And the timing may be perfect: There's a technological exposition and a royal ball on the horizon. Determined to invent her own happily-ever-after, Mechanica seeks to wow the prince and eager entrepreneurs alike.

Note Before I start my review: 

Can I say one thing? Cinderella came BEFORE Cinder. Yes, Mechanica is a Cinderella retelling, it is in no way even close to Cinder. They're two completely different ideas and stories. Mechanica is in no way a rip off of Cinder nor vise versa. I liked both stories. Cinder is loosely based and Mechanica follows it a little closer. 


This cover is just beautiful. Nicolette, her dress, the head piece, all the mechanical parts and the typography make it eye catching and memorable. Retellings typically make me nervous, the author will either destroy the orginal story or they will do an amazing job. I have yet had a chance to find a book that has a happy medium. Mechanica is a magical steampunk twist on a classic fairy tale that didn't fail to disappoint. 

I love retellings because an author can go in any direction with it and it is totally acceptable. Steampunk and metal horse had me sold and in total grabby hands mode for Mechanica. The writing and world building in Mechanica was rich and enchanting. There was so many aspects to the story that it was overwhelming at moments. But everything (for the most part) makes sense in the end. I wish that Betsy talked more about the faerie and their world. There was so much that was talked about but unclear, I see that it wasn't necessary for the plot. But it was thrown in there and we were expected to notice it. 

I am warning you now. In Cinderella, she falls in love and gets her happy ending. Mechanica wasn't about Nicolette falling in love and living happily ever after. The story was of Nicolette, who meets her prince charming. But changes her mind that happily ever after isn't for her. It came a bit of a shock to me, but with the friendships, learning about ones true self, and what family really means Mechanica was much more then a story about love. 

Overall I really enjoyed Mechanica. It was an interesting twist on a fairy tale that everyone has read before. It was a beautiful story that will stay with me for a long time.


1 comment

  1. Ooh. Upon reading this, I realize that it really was different from Cinder. Because from the ARC reviews I'm reading, and first impression reviews on Goodreads keeps on telling that it's somehow similar with Cinder. And honestly, that made me somehow not want to read it anymore.

    But after reading your review, I realize this will be so much fun to read because you loved it. I'm excited to read this already, so thank you for sharing thoughts about this! :)

    Wonderful review, Amber! Keep writing. :D

    A Girl Between the Pages


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