Arc provided by Entangled Publishing through Netgalley
In a time when we're assisting to a growing demand for stories able to respect the world's, people's, readers diversity, here is a story that breaks with the old fashioned pattern.
Maeko our main character _as the name indicates _is of Asian ascendency. Her mother is Japanese.
Therefore she has the built, and appearance of someone with that heritage....
I can't remember the last time I read a book in which the main character wasn't Caucasian..well maybe CE Murphy's series The Walker Papers...although looking at Harlequin's latest cover you would never figure that out!
But I digress...thank you Nikki McCormack for writing such an interesting and culturally diverse character!
I loved Maeko! :)
She's fierce, courageous and resourceful. She survives as best as she can on the streets of a steampunk Victorian London, through any means available to her: Breaking and entering, pick-pocketing, the girl has had a decade to develop her skills.
But she also has a big heart, and that is what ends up getting her into one big mess.
Maeko, is a very well developed character. She is strong, but she has this sense of sadness and frailty encompassing her_which is only natural considering her life _. This helps to see her as a real person. Unlike her mentor, Chaff who is all that is cocky and arrogant.
In the end, all she wants is to be wanted, and to have a family of her own.
"(..)but a person could starve for company just as they could starve for food."
Despite liking what was given to me regarding her characterization, I guess I would have liked even more, to have seen how her life was when she started living on the streets.
Maybe a little more of how her relationship with Chaff begun...but maybe that is reserved to a future story, or even a short story? ;)
This is a very action packed story that takes place in a steampunk environment...and this is where I feel that the story should have been more developed.
I confess that I haven't read that many steampunk novels, but even to me, the descriptions used to characterize this world, felt somewhat generalist and basic.
I wanted more out of this steampunk world, and I wanted descriptions of how those things looked like!
Also, the world-building?
It could use more "building", lol, it is somewhat lacking. The characters, and non stop action disguise this to a point, but there's quite an informational lacuna about this world, that should have been info dumped (lol) on us readers in the beginning of this story.
We have the Literatis, which seems to be more of a mentality, because in the beginning it seemed as if they were some sort of police officers who apparently didn't do much more than chasing the so called Rats, kids and teenagers who lived on the streets, but then there was this:
Since the Literati had taken charge of local government operations, some street development and sewer maintenance was cut back in favor of cleaning criminals off the street, which mostly meant the homeless population because they were easier to apprehend than the truly dangerous ones.
I am just going to place them in the conservative/corrupt box...
"The Lits called it neighborhood improvement. The pirates called it class separatism."
Then there's the Pirates....
But then a distinction is made between Pirates and Bad pirates....and I was like: Say what?
Like I mentioned previously, I really needed more info on that.
But despite these things, I liked how the mystery was played, and I loved Macak, the cat !
Of course I am partial to cats...
The cat stopped a few strides away, looked at her, at the alley entrance, then at her again and meowed.
She grinned. “Oh? Brilliant plan. A half-Japanese street rat and a cat with a mechanical leg traveling together. That won’t draw unwanted attention.”
Bottom Line: If you want a fast paced read with a different taste to it, I think you may like this!
Oh, be warned however that there's this incipient love triangle (o_O) in the story.
You know... the basic: When it pours, it rains!
Because every girl, has to suffer a love triangle in her life.
She already had the cat! ;)
Oh, and most importantly _before I forget it_ I would really, really like to read more of Maeko's adventures!
Preferably without love triangles...but I can manage around it!
Also my cat, Formiga approves!
Buy "The Girl And The Clockwork Cat"