Thursday, January 22, 2015

Review: Ticker - Lisa Mantchev

Ticker by Lisa Mantchev
Genre: YA, steampunk
Published on December 1, 2014
Published by Skyscape
Pages: 274
Read From: 1.11.15 - 1.16.15

When Penny Farthing nearly dies, brilliant surgeon Calvin Warwick manages to implant a brass "Ticker" in her chest, transforming her into the first of the Augmented. But soon it's discovered that Warwick killed dozens of people as he strove to perfect another, improved Ticker for Penny, and he's put on trial for mass murder. 
On the last day of Warwick's trial, the Farthings' factory is bombed, Penny's parents disappear, and Penny and her brother, Nic, receive a ransom note demanding all of their Augmentation research if they want to see their parents again. Is someone trying to destroy the Farthings. . . .or is the motive more sinister? 
Desperate to reunite their family and rescue their research, Penny and her brother recruit fiery baker Violet Nesselrode, gentleman-about-town Sebastian Stirling, and Marcus Kingsley, a young army general who has his own reasons for wanting to lift the veil between this world and the next. Wagers are placed, friends are lost, romances stages an ambush, and time is running out for the girl with the clockwork heart.


Cover Blurb: Yes or No? Love the cover art. It's very steampunk and Neo-Victorian. Caught my attention right away.

Characters: Penny Farthing is a spunky, "do or dare" type of protagonist with good instinct that does tend to lead her into trouble. I would have gotten more frustrated with her tendency to dash off without a plan, except her instincts were usually spot on and everyone was moving at too slow a pace. I loved Sebastian, the resident rogue-with-a-heart, and I tried to like Penny's twin brother Nic, but he too often treated Penny like a child that I got annoyed with him. I loved Marcus the moment he appeared. Gentlemanly and intelligent. Warwick as a villain wasn't necessarily intimidating nor disappointing. I was a little bleh about him.

The Romance: Naturally, Penny and Marcus fall for one another. And their romance is extremely fast. I would have liked it to be developed over time a bit more, but overall I didn't mind it too much because I liked Marcus and Penny.

Plot: I send you to the above synopsis because I am too lazy to sum it up in my own words! This book didn't have a serious bone in its proverbial body. Even amid all of the peril and high stakes, it was plain not serious. It was just a fun romp through a steampunk world. That being said, I have some complaints. I enjoyed the plot, though it was perhaps a lot more straightforward that I would have liked (there are no real twists in this book; the only one is fairly easy to see coming). And the world was awesome. However, it wasn't as well developed as I wanted it to be. There were mechanical animals and mechanical butterflies, but no explanation as to who created the mechanical butterflies and why there were no real animals. So a brilliant world, but not a lot of explanation.

Believability: Not applicable.

Writing Style: First person, past tense. Penny was a good narrator, though I suppose there was nothing special about her voice.

Content: None.

Conclusion: Bittersweet, but it worked. Ticker is exactly what it promises it be: a light-hearted, fun, comic steampunk adventure. It's a fast read, it's a relaxing read, and it was just fun. It has its flaws, but you can still appreciate it for what it is.

Recommended Audience: Girl-read, fourteen-and-up, fans of steampunk.

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