Author: Lisa Mantchev
Publication Date: December 1st 2014
Rating: 3.7 stars
A girl with a clockwork heart must make every second count.
When Penny Farthing nearly dies, brilliant surgeon Calvin Warwick manages to implant a brass “Ticker” in her chest, transforming her into the first of the Augmented. But soon it’s discovered that Warwick killed dozens of people as he strove to perfect another improved Ticker for Penny, and he’s put on trial for mass murder.
On the last day of Warwick’s trial, the Farthings’ factory is bombed, Penny’s parents disappear, and Penny and her brother, Nic, receive a ransom note demanding all of their Augmentation research if they want to see their parents again. Is someone trying to destroy the Farthings…or is the motive more sinister?
Desperate to reunite their family and rescue their research, Penny and her brother recruit fiery baker Violet Nesselrode, gentleman-about-town Sebastian Stirling, and Marcus Kingsley, a young army general who has his own reasons for wanting to lift the veil between this world and the next. Wagers are placed, friends are lost, romance stages an ambush, and time is running out for the girl with the clockwork heart.
Note: This book is an eARC provided by Amazon Children’s Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
For the most part, I found myself annoyed by the excess description. Although this book is written in an engaging style, there is often “too much information” provided about the various tech/mechanicals. More often than not, I’d get confused by the info (overload) and skim or ignore it. I think the book would have been far more engaging if the author just gave us the “highlights” version of whatever info she intended to impart. I also wondered whether there couldn’t have been a way to limit the amount of tech the reader is introduced to…or simplifying the tech so that it’s easier to understand how it works. Most of the world-building is also heavily based on the excess technology.
The story starts of with a motorcycle ride and the action and excitement continue to escalate. Information is relayed through conversation and the MC’s thoughts but I feel like some of the information is unnecessary. I also noticed the presence of all these unnecessary flashbacks triggered by the MC seeing something belonging to her parents. She immediately launched into this description of when/how/why the object was acquired…and it totally bored me and pulled me out of the action of the moment.
The premise for this story is what initially interested me but I feel like this plot is too heavily based on the main character, Penny Farthing. She’s a very strong female lead who drives most of the action. The rest of the characters are also pretty unique but they seemed a bit under developed and most of the focus is placed on Penny. Even though she’s the MC, I think the author should have allowed some of the other minor characters to shine a bit more. Sebastian is one of my favorite minor characters and the plot twist involving him is really unexpected. I also love his personality and dialogue.
I found the romance between Penny and Marcus a bit disappointing and mostly uninteresting. It’s almost like a sideshow and they’re “chemistry” felt skewed. The style in which Penny kept reacting to Marcus’s touch felt too forced and the multiple descriptions of how her clockwork heart stuttered (in her chest) started to get annoying after a while.
Would I Recommend It? Yes. Parts of it such as the excess tech are frustrating/annoying but the plot and characters are pretty engaging.