Clarion Books, 2017
From the dust jacket, “Nicolette’s Cinderella story is over, and she’s finally living her own fairy tale happy ending. She’s a successful inventor now, free of her horrible stepfamily, and content in her loving friendship with Caro, a palace servant, and Fin, the Prince of Esting.
“Then she receives a message from her long-lost housekeeper, now a revolutionary, begging her to bring the prince to Faerie for a diplomatic meeting. Nicolette fears a trap, but decides that the chance to end the bloody war waged by their kingdom is worth the risk.
“Together with Fin and Caro, she ventures across the monster-filled ocean to the lush continent she’s always dreamed of visiting. There, mechanical armies and dark magic await as they uncover devastating secrets about the past and fight for a real, lasting happily-ever-after for two troubled countries – and themselves.”
This is the sequel to Mechanica (click on the name for a link to my review) and it was good. When I read BobbieSue’s review, I saw she hadn’t planned on reading the sequel but I’m glad I did. it had been 2 years since the Library first read Mechanica and it took a while to remember the character’s story. but once I did, I enjoyed the book, for the most part.
The main character, Nick (Nicolette) is a brilliant inventor and creates machines to aid in housework and mechanical trinkets to wear. She is in a ‘friendship-relationship’ with two other people, Caro and Fin, which, I will admit freely, made me uncomfortable at times. The three of them love each other equally and are with each other as much as possible. They sleep together in one big bed and there’s no obvious or implied sexual attraction or activity, but they do kiss and hold each other frequently. Let the squeamish reader be warned!
But beyond the discomfort I found with their group relationship/dynamics, the story was exciting and imaginative. Its full of mechanical beings, or automatons, who are brought to life by the use of Ashes, a magical ingredient harvested in a truly terrible way. There is a large battle scene and many fey, Estingers and automatons are killed but none of it is too gruesome or gratuitous. The author has crafted a sequel better than the first book – so far away with the original fairy tale theme of Cinderella – that it could almost stand on its own.
Rating: 4 out of 5 paws because Nick’s story touched my heart. This book ends neatly and doesn’t need another follow-up; but you never know with authors these days!