Author: Brooke Johnson
Pages: 250 (some formatting errors so could vary)
Format: This novel was giving to me as an advanced reader's copy so it could be given an unbiased opinion. ARC - eBook only
Release Date: December 13, 2011 (online retailers only)
Rating: 7 out of 10
Summary (From GoodReads): It's 1881, the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of Chroniker City, the global hub of technological advancement in the modern world. Based off the British coast, the city is home to the most prestigious polytechnic university worldwide, a center of mechanical ingenuity teaching everything from clockwork mechanics and thermodynamics to electromagnetism and electricity.
Petra Wade, self-taught clockwork engineer, dreams of one day becoming a member of the Guild, an elite group of inventors and innovators who envision a future fuelled by technology, but her ambitions will only come to fruition if she can find a way into the illustrious university—an institution reserved for men only. When she meets Emmerich Goss, an accomplished engineer newly recruited into the Guild, Petra discovers that he needs help building a top-secret, government-sanctioned automaton, and she is just the girl to help him.
Together, they craft the clockwork giant, and as the deadline for its completion nears, Petra finds that she can love more than gears and mainsprings.
My Take: When I first began to read this book, I won't lie to you, I was worried as to how it would turn out? I was a bit deceived by the cover and I guess also the summary. The beginning was a bit slow but that was the only thing in this book that was slow. After about the first chapter it picked up in a big bad way. Something was always happening and that helped to keep my interest. I read half the book in the first four hours of starting it before I decided it would be good to get some sleep. There was always movement and action. I had to pay attention to every word that I was reading in order to keep up with the story. It didn't bother me though so don't get me wrong! I got into it and stayed into it for the remainder of the story.
The characters are perfect for their perspective roles. Each is different and easy to remember. I've read stories with only three characters that I can't keep straight but this author managed to cleanly keep all of the characters in their perfect place within the story. Also, I'm not a huge fan of loving to hate characters and I don't think that I've ever hated a single character more than I hated one in this novel. This hate is well deserved I promise. I think it exists because I fell so much in love with Petra. She seemed so innocent (don't confuse this with naive) that I desperately wanted to protect her. Sadly, I couldn't jump in the book and do it myself.
Don't worry about not knowing anything about machines or clocks, this book can help you with that. I have the strange need to go out and buy a pocket watch. (Know a good place?)
There are only a few things that I didn't like. Firstly, if someone hurts you and you aren't sure if you could trust them, would you still go to them to ask for help in a life or death matter? Maybe you would but I had a hard time believing that. Then again, it could be the character hate speaking here. Secondly, around the middle of the book it seemed kind of jumpy and it would take me a minute or a quick second read through of a paragraph to catch what was happening, what she was seeing, or where we were. However, that could have just been the fact that I was reading it so quickly. Finally, the problem with any new series novel is that now I have to wait for the rest to come out so that I know how it ends!
Final Thoughts: (I'll make it quick!) Good read, fast paced, outstanding character's that are so good they might be the first person you really hate, and who doesn't like some love? (Did I mention love?) I would recommend this book to anyone who likes their love with a side of action and science or vise versa.