Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mechanique - Review

Title: Mechanique
Author: Genevieve Valentine
Series: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti

Synopsis: “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…”

Review: I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up this book. I’ll admit it, I bought Mechanique because the cover and the title intrigued me and I had a 30% off coupon for Borders. After getting it home I assumed, after briefly skimming the synopsis on the back cover, that Mechanique was going to be a steampunk novel about a travelling circus. Boy was I wrong! I guess I should have read the synopsis a bit closer. I started the book at 530pm, after I got home from work. I had assumed that it would be easy to put it down to make dinner and go to bed early since I had to be up early the next day. No. Everyone has been told by a teacher at some point in their life to never assume. This is what that teacher was taking about. I ended up ordering pizza for dinner and staying up until after midnight because I could not put this book down.
This story about a dystopian world in which magic and the mechanical seem to coexist fascinated me. At first Valentine’s writing grated on my nerves. The tenses were constantly changing and every page had approximately three parenthetical statements. However after the first few chapters I realized that it seemed as if these “flaws” were intended to throw the reader for a loop, quite like a real circus. Valentine is a ringmaster and this novel is her circus.
Don’t make the mistake of believing this to be a steampunk novel about a circus. It’s so much more.
Trying to stay away from spoilers I believe I can say that Boss fixes people that are broken. She changes them into something else, something more or less than human. In a world surrounded by war she creates her own community, her own army, of misfits. Her characters become real people that I felt for. Valentine has created a world that sucks you in and refuses to let you go.

Publisher: Prime Books
ISBN: 978-1607012535

If you like this book you may want to read:

Eternity Road by Jack McDevitt (ISBN: 978-0061054273)

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (ISBN: 978-1597801584)

The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt (ISBN: 978-0765360229) See my review of this novel here.

1 comment:

  1. This book sounds awesome and I agree with you- the cover is fabulous. I guess I have another book to read! :)