Feisty teenage thief Maeko and her maybe-more-than-friend Chaff have scraped out an existence in Victorian London’s gritty streets, but after a near-disastrous heist leads her to a mysterious clockwork cat and two dead bodies, she’s thrust into a murder mystery that may cost her everything she holds dear.
Her only allies are Chaff, the cat, and Ash, the son of the only murder suspect, who offers her enough money to finally get off the streets if she’ll help him find the real killer.
What starts as a simple search ultimately reveals a conspiracy stretching across the entire city. And as Maeko and Chaff discover feelings for each other neither was prepared to admit, she’s forced to choose whether she’ll stay with him or finally escape the life of a street rat. But with danger closing in around them, the only way any of them will get out of this alive is if all of them work together.
Author: Nikki McCormack
Page Count: 224 pages.
Genre: YA, Steampunk, Adventure.
* I received this as an eARC for review from Entangled Publishing *
When the email came in that informed me that I was getting a chance to read this for review, I have to admit, I was pretty excited. The cover caught my eye right off! Can you blame me? there is a cat on the front! But, that was not the only reason I was excited. The three reasons I was pretty excited:
1. First accepted request for a book review by a publisher!
2. First ARC to review before the release date.
3. First Steampunk novel to read!
As you can tell, quite a few firsts there! So with that being said, let me get on with the actual book review...
Being my first Steampunk novel, I wasn't too sure how the world was going to be set up. I know a little about the steampunk genre, but never actual read a story based on it. I was relieved to find out it wasn't something too crazy or unrealistic. Don't take me wrong, I love a good fantasy novel, but knowing this was supposed to take place in Victorian London, I was wanting something more believable. That is exactly what I got! The writing style used my McCormack made everything clear and the descriptions she used allowed me to picture everything in my head. I could almost see this as clear as a movie.
Along with the beautiful settings, I really enjoyed the characters. Maeko was a great character to follow along with, and the way she handled the situations she was dealing with was well thought out and written. I fell in love with her pretty much right away, but she wasn't the only lovable character. Chaff, the protective, dependable mentor was also a pretty good character. Strong and loyal friend, Chaff made sure to protect those he viewed as family, and that included Maeko. Then we have Ash, the son of pirates and new found friend for Maeko. Each character is unique and has specific characteristics that end up making you enjoy them even more. Not sure if he counts but we can't for get Macak..the cat!
I'm not the biggest fan of love triangles, but I think this one works out pretty well. The underlining tone of romance is weaved into the story, but it's not the most dominate factor. Maeko has feelings for both boys, Ash and Chaff, and the reader will soon see they have feelings for her. I personally can't decide which one I would rather Maeko end up with. Each could be good for her on different aspects, which makes picking quite hard. Guess you'll have to read and decide for yourself. ;)
Suspense and mystery is a personal favorite genre I enjoy, and this story had a great deal of both. When someone has been murdered and a group of teens have to figure out who did it and why, you know you are going to be in for a ride. I really enjoyed the mystery and loved how it kept you intrigued throughout the story. Each success led to another question, and new complications. It was a fast-paced story and hardly gave you a moment to put the book down.
While reading this story set in Victorian London with a group of teens on the trail of a mystery, I couldn't help but think of Sherlock Holmes. A younger, steampunk version that is. I enjoy a good mystery and I guess that is why I really enjoyed reading The Girl and the Clockwork Cat. I would give this book a 4 our 5 stars. Definitely one I recommend reading if you like a good suspense, mystery, steampunk novel. While any age would enjoy this, I have a feeling Young Adults would be the best age group for this book.
The book went on sale September 2, so be sure to find you a copy!
Have you read this book? Do you want to? Leave a comment below to let me know!