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The Girl and the Clockwork Cat by Nikki…

The Girl and the Clockwork Cat

by Nikki McCormack

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I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

Clockworks? Check! Airships? Check! Orphans? Check! London? Check!

Diagnosis: Steampunk.

Maeko has been living as a street rat for years now. Her mother a Japanese prostitute and her father unknown, no one really cares about her except Chaff, the leader of a street pickpocketing and burgling gang. When Maeko meets a cat with a clockwork leg, she has no idea in what kind of conspiracy she finds herself...

I enjoyed this story, it was a nice and quick read. However, when I started to think about exactly why I enjoyed it, I couldn't really find things that stood out for me. So it was basically the setting in London I liked, and the story was probably just what I was looking for these last few day. Something not too complicated, but nice enough.

The story wasn't flawless. As I usually find in YA 'mysteries' the mystery was quite easy and it didn't took Maeko long to find new clues and everything. She's supposed to be very streetwise and almost seventeen, but when reading I'd guess she was around thirteen at most. And there's a *BRACE YOURSELF* love triangle! *sigh* There isn't too much romance it this book but why does it have to be a love triangle, again...

The setting was London, but a bit alternate. There's the Literati (upperclass and modern, from what I read in the book) and the Pirates (more like Luddite or just opposing the Literati). The problem is just that the story tells so little about this world that I don't really know what is going on. I understand that this is Maeko's story and she's neither Literati nor Pirate, but still, I'd like to see a bit more world building.

But still, I had some nice hours reading this book. And, if it happens not to be a standalone, then perhaps I'll find out more about the world in the next book... ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
This is my first foray into Steampunk fiction. What a great place to start!!
“The Girl with the Clockwork Cat” had me glued to the pages right away. Nikki McCormack is a fantastic storyteller. Her world building abilities dropped me right into Victorian London. I could see the dirty streets, the bustling people, and the intricate details of the Macak’s clockwork leg. I could smell the aromas in the kitchen, the stench of prison, and the smell of so many of the London places Maeko visited. It’s all in the descriptive talents of Ms. McCormack, however she didn’t overwhelm, or bore me by spending too much time on the details.

The characters in this story are vivid and their personalities leap right off of the page. Maeko is certainly feisty, but you would have to be in order to survive on the streets. She is scrappy, determined, and incredibly intelligent. There is, however, a sweetness to her that rounds out her character, creating balance, allowing me to admire and empathize with her.

Macak is so intriguing. He has a strong personality and I must give to kudos to Ms. McCormack for being able to give Macak character without giving him a fictional ability to speak. It amazing when you connect with a character of the feline species in a book! Macak holds his own in the story, and is at time, Maeko’s best source of comfort.

I have to admit, I hate love triangles…97% of the time. So often I find myself unable to root for one person, I care too much about them both. Then in the end, I often find myself harboring animosity for the heroine. This book falls (mostly) into that 3%. I don’t love it, but I was not turned off by it. Again, I fell into the role of caring for both Chaff and Ash. The true test came in my opinion of Maeko at the pinnacle of the triangle. I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes with those boys. They both have endearing qualities and ones that make you want to slap them upside the head sometimes. But, Maeko handles it well. Though her confusion is clear, I felt like she was open about it. I hate to choose sides…but I have to admit, I lean more towards Ash. He may have been a jerk in the beginning, but he redeems himself and I fell a little bit in love with him.

There are so many secondary characters that shape this story. Ms. McCormack knows how to contour the tale with the surrounding characters, moving it in the right direction with characters we love and characters we love to hate. I have to admit…I was a little bit in love with the Captain by the end of the story.

This book is so worth the read. It is fun, suspenseful, and riveting. While the story does find completion in the end, it is left open for a sequel. I will be waiting impatiently and am not above begging for that additional book!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

*A copy of this book was generously provided by YA Bound Tours in exchange for an honest review* ( )
  tlcbooks05 | Sep 4, 2014 |
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