STARRED REVIEW
September 2015

Not waiting for a prince

By Betsy Cornwell
Review by
A wonderful, brilliant mother—who dies. An adoring, protective father, who remarries—and then dies. A beautiful but nasty stepmother, two conniving, vapid stepsisters—this is starting to sound familiar, isn’t it? However, Betsy Cornwell’s Mechanica is anything but another lifeless “Cinderella” retelling. And Nicolette, filled with her mother’s inventiveness and her father’s determination, is anything but another princess waiting to be rescued.
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A wonderful, brilliant mother—who dies. An adoring, protective father, who remarries—and then dies. A beautiful but nasty stepmother, two conniving, vapid stepsisters—this is starting to sound familiar, isn’t it? However, Betsy Cornwell’s Mechanica is anything but another lifeless “Cinderella” retelling. And Nicolette, filled with her mother’s inventiveness and her father’s determination, is anything but another princess waiting to be rescued.

Detested by her stepmother and called “Mechanica” by her stepsisters to humiliate her, Nicolette has resigned herself to a lifetime of forced servitude—and to the loss of access to magic from the now-banished Fey. But at age 16, she is granted access through mysterious means to her mother’s hidden workshop, filled with wonders beyond her imagination. There, Nicolette discovers fantastic inventions and clockwork animals that almost seem to think. Most importantly, she finds hope—hope that she can get her life back, hope that she can escape, hope that she can reclaim her home from her stepmother. And with the help of new friends and the perfect timing of the technological exposition and royal ball, Nicolette sets out to do just that.

With a unique mix of steampunk and the maker movement, Mechanica introduces a smart, strong, talented heroine who may be able to find her prince, but doesn’t necessarily want to.

 

This article was originally published in the September 2015 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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Mechanica

Mechanica

By Betsy Cornwell
Clarion
ISBN 9780547927718

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