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Mechcraft

by Brian Fitzpatrick

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1041,527,297 (3.6)None
Present day Los Angeles- Jake London's ideal teen life is thrown into chaos when he discovers the ability to control a swarm of shape-shifting nanotechnology that has, until recently, lain dormant in his DNA. Mechcraft is the skill of controlling the nanotech, summoning and creating tools, weapons, and even machines. Being the first ever born with the nanotech, warring factions desire to use him for their own sinister ends. Now, with two Mechcraft agents at his side, and a horde of enemies chasing them down, Jake finds himself in a desperate race to safety.… (more)
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Showing 4 of 4
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I asked for this book in the Early Reviewers programs because the premise sounded amazing. A world in witch nanotech was part of people and could be used at will? Sign me in. I tough it would be more science fiction based, but it ended up being more like a fantasy thing. Not that I'm complaining about it, I love science fantasy!

But, I had my problems with this book and that's why it doesn't have a higher rating.

What I liked:
- The mechcraft "magic" system: it was really cool, with a cool origin story and it was really interconnected with the characters, plot and world in general. It gave characters a solid backstory and made them more interesting, it also gave them distinct personality trials based on how they used the nanos.

- The action: I love action scenes, and this books has a lot of it, so I was happy with them. They're well written, well paced and they're very engaging. It were also well used to established power levels, relationships, ideologies and to move the story forward.

What I didn't like:
- The ending: getting into spoilers territory here... I didn't like the ending at all. The final battle was really cool and has a lot of potential... but it ended up being kind of flat and without much consequence. I was expecting more dead, to be honest. Also, the "revelation" of Jake's parent arriving to "save the day" gave me the sensation that it should be a great twist but it wasn't twisty at all. The injuries some of the characters had seemed mortal, and I get that the nanos cured them quickly, but... they were too much for them to survive. I think Bex and Sasha should have died with the injuries they had. I also had the sensation that Trent should have died at some point but... anyway, that leads me to the other thing I didn't like...

- The lack of dead: for a world that cruel and for a villain as Sasha.... I tough more of the good guys were going to die, honestly. And don't get me wrong, I know some characters died, but they weren't a lot of important of even named ones... As I say before, I have the sensation that Trent was going to die, that everything was building to that, but in the end the author didn't want to do it.

Indifferent about:
- The characters: I wanted to get invested in them, honestly, I really wanted to relate to them or feel something for them... but I couldn't. Maybe it was because this a YA book and the characters are quite young and I'm an adult, but I just couldn't relate to them. They weren't annoying or anything, they were just... meh. The only one I liked, at first, was Sasha. I think she has a lot of potential but I'm disappointed that it ended up being just another crazy villain.

- The plot: honestly? I don't even know what the central plot was. Get Jake to safety, I guess? It didn't hook me much, I keep reading because I wanted to know how Sasha ended up lol ( )
  Merlucito | Aug 21, 2021 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The storyline was fast moving and the ideas were intriguing. But the human interaction was clumsy and simplistic. The characters were more stereotype than real, which was a shame. Also, I wanted to understand the nanotech better - did it replicate in side the human host? Otherwise I didn't understand how the various characters were unrestricted by size from creating what they wanted. ( )
  tjsjohanna | May 29, 2021 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
While I enjoyed the fast pace of this book, it sometimes seemed disjointed. Some scenes felt cut short or rushed, but it was action packed and moved forward. The background on mechcraft was great and Jake's development throughout the story was a bit too mature for my taste but it was done sell. Its a good book for a quick read. ( )
  AlejandraIvanez | May 15, 2021 |
Originally posted on Tales to Tide You Over

I requested this book because I thought the technology premise sounded interesting. It reminded me of a cartoon I used to watch, and I wanted to see how the author would handle it. The answer is well. I enjoyed the novel’s world, and found the social and psychological aspects of mechcraft fascinating, especially in how it played out across the factions.

My notes include the line: This is a mad, violent, power rush of a book, but with real-people stories mixed in. It’s a pretty accurate description as between ritualized suicide (bad guy zealots) and deadly battles, it’s not for the weak-hearted. At the same time, the novel has depth. I connected with the characters very much, having moments of fear and frustration when they acted just as they should have but I could see how it would go wrong.

I had one major quibble, and it’s in the beginning setup, but maybe not what you think. The book starts with a sort of prologue in almost a noir detective narrative voice. It then rolls into a well-written close omniscient (not to be confused with head hopping where you can’t tell what point of view you’re in). Then, it stops dead for a chapter that is, in my opinion, a novel synopsis for an unwritten book 1. That’s my quibble. I didn’t find the back story uninteresting. If anything, I found there was a lot I would have enjoyed exploring. However, it’s full of critical information and relationships told in summary. I would have preferred to see what led up to this situation with Jake in detail. That said, the necessary data points are there. I was able to track everything that followed in part because of the back-story chapter, so I suppose it serves its purpose.

I enjoyed the relationships between Bex, Trent, and Jake a lot. They’re teens with some of the traditional social and hormonal pressures despite the very different context they live in. And rather than have it a battle to the death over the lone female, one is a platonic, brother/sister relationship. This is cool because that aspect is often left by the wayside when friendships are critical at any age. What makes it better is how they have falling outs that are then realistically resolved. The novel touches on self-identity, and being faced with responsibility and making scary decisions, in a good way. None of the coming-of-age aspects felt tacked on for extra credit but instead were integrated into the story.

I could go on, but bottom line is I found it a compelling novel with an interesting narrative approach that worked for me. There were a couple of small tech glosses and a few places where questions that seemed obvious to me weren’t asked, but it didn’t clash with the world enough to be implausible. The tech itself is fascinating, especially in first manifestation, while the advanced capabilities is part of a mystery yet to be solved. This is clearly going to be a series, because intriguing hints were dropped about a bigger picture we’ve yet to see. Oh, and supportive parents plus cooperation against a common foe? These are things I am happy to see.

P.S. I received this ARC through NetGalley in return for an honest review. ( )
  MarFisk | Aug 12, 2018 |
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Present day Los Angeles- Jake London's ideal teen life is thrown into chaos when he discovers the ability to control a swarm of shape-shifting nanotechnology that has, until recently, lain dormant in his DNA. Mechcraft is the skill of controlling the nanotech, summoning and creating tools, weapons, and even machines. Being the first ever born with the nanotech, warring factions desire to use him for their own sinister ends. Now, with two Mechcraft agents at his side, and a horde of enemies chasing them down, Jake finds himself in a desperate race to safety.

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