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Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti…
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Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Genevieve Valentine, Kiri Moth (Illustrator)

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4663339,908 (3.84)30
"Outside any city still standing, the Mechanical Circus Tresaulti sets up its tents. Crowds pack the benches to gawk at the brass-and-copper troupe and their impossible feats: Ayar the Strong Man, the acrobatic Grimaldi Brothers, fearless Elena and her aerialists who perform on living trapezes. War is everywhere, but while the Circus is performing, the world is magic. That magic is no accident: Boss builds her circus from the bones out, molding a mechanical company that will survive the unforgiving landscape. But even a careful ringmaster can make mistakes. Two of Tresaulti's performers are trapped in a secret stand-off that threatens to tear the Circus apart, just as the war lands on their doorstep. Now they must fight a war on two fronts: one from the outside, and a more dangerous one from within..."--P. [4] of cover.… (more)
Member:psutto
Title:Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti
Authors:Genevieve Valentine
Other authors:Kiri Moth (Illustrator)
Info:Prime Books (2011), Edition: Second Ed, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:2013 challenge

Work details

Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti by Genevieve Valentine (2011)

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» See also 30 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Mechanique is the story of a circus in another world, a world that's been at war for hundreds of years, and a circus filled with mechanical people who cannot die. Various despots in the countries where the circus works envy the circus its mechanical, deathless people, and want to discover how the magic works.

The characters are compelling and original, the writing is lovely, the plot is utterly unusual and unique. There are no world-saving schemes, no messiahs, no saviours, no quests, no war between Good and Evil--just a collection of very strange people making something beautiful in an ugly world. I read it in a morning. Well worth picking up--even if you think you don't like fantasy novels. ( )
  andrea_mcd | Mar 10, 2020 |
This book won't be for everyone, and everything I loved - the terse and taut writing style, the ruthless characterisation, the unflinching slow collision of tragedies and unravelling of mysteries - might be something others don't like. True for everything, and I really did love this.

It's about belonging and being outside, it's about refuge and sacrifice, it's about wanting and about refusing... it's about loving someone so hard and for so long that you no longer see them, and hating someone so closely that you need them. And it's all delivered with the elegance of poetry, or performance, but no airy-fairy nonsense. The language is picked for punch and the author does not care to hide behind polysyllabic show-off words (...unlike me :D).

But it lingers, and well after I closed the final page, I'm still thinking about the story, the themes, the characters. And that is the real mark of something strong and enduring. ( )
  cupiscent | Aug 3, 2019 |
Deeper than expected.. still doesn't beat out Something Wicked or Night Circus (who knew I'd like so much circus fiction? {I dislike clowns... very much.})
I want to watch Carnevale again. ( )
  kmajort | Feb 9, 2018 |
An intriguing novel driven by the conflicts of the characters and the secrets of the mysterious circus that binds them together.

The characters never really stuck for me, but they are mostly just vehicles to move the conflict forward. Given the number of people in a circus, Valentine does well to give each character just enough of a feature to pin them into the story without having to flesh out a deep and reasonable psychology.

Overall, a good take on the steampunk genre, with a good variety of twist and variation to make the tired tropes of cogs and brass into something new and interesting. ( )
  Beniaminus | Nov 1, 2017 |
Odd - both the story and the way it was written. I'm not sure if I liked it or not; I found it rather hard to get into, and the staccato writing style didn't help. Oddly, the style reminded me of Angela Carter - and the story if she'd written the book of the TV series Carnivale.
  Maddz | Feb 21, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
[I]n a highwire act of her own, Valentine still raises the novel above the ordinary through her ability to convey the richness of the circus performers’ emotional lives, coupled with impressive writing. . .
 
 
added by nsblumenfeld | edittor.com, Nina Lourie (May 5, 2011)
 
 
Genevieve Valentine's Mechanique, a steampunk/post-apocalyptic/magical-realist/paranormal adventure, is one of those rare books that will transform your understanding of genre. It's a genuinely literary book that uses the elements of genre to tell the truth about people. Fittingly for a book about acrobats and tumblers, this book both soars and confounds your expectations.
added by ShelfMonkey | editio9, Charlie Jane Anders (Apr 27, 2011)
 
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The tent is draped with strings of bare bulbs, with bits of mirror tied here and there to make it sparkle. (It doesn't look shabby until you've already paid.)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Outside any city still standing, the Mechanical Circus Tresaulti sets up its tents. Crowds pack the benches to gawk at the brass-and-copper troupe and their impossible feats: Ayar the Strong Man, the acrobatic Grimaldi Brothers, fearless Elena and her aerialists who perform on living trapezes. War is everywhere, but while the Circus is performing, the world is magic. That magic is no accident: Boss builds her circus from the bones out, molding a mechanical company that will survive the unforgiving landscape. But even a careful ringmaster can make mistakes. Two of Tresaulti's performers are trapped in a secret stand-off that threatens to tear the Circus apart, just as the war lands on their doorstep. Now they must fight a war on two fronts: one from the outside, and a more dangerous one from within..."--P. [4] of cover.

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Book description
Come inside and take a seat; the show is about to begin... Outside any city still standing, the Mechanical Circus Tresaulti sets up its tents. Crowds pack the benches to gawk at the brass-and-copper troupe and their impossible feats: Ayar the Strong Man, the acrobatic Grimaldi Brothers, fearless Elena and her aerialists who perform on living trapezes. War is everywhere, but while the Circus is performing, the world is magic. That magic is no accident: Boss builds her circus from the bones out, molding a mechanical company that will survive the unforgiving landscape. But even a careful ringmaster can make mistakes. Two of Tresaulti's performers are entangled in a secret standoff that threatens to tear the circus apart just as the war lands on their doorstep. Now the Circus must fight a war on two fronts: one from the outside, and a more dangerous one from within.
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