I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review, through Goodreads First Reads.
* NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS *
While some parts were a little slow, as other reviewers have mentioned, I actually enjoyed this book. It was a refreshing and unique retelling of Cinderella. While similar in a macro aspect to Cinder, it is actually very different – I have read both. Cinder is sci-fi, while Mechanica is just that – she’s an inventor who lives a life similar to Cinderella’s.
There were points where the plot was very slow. There were a lot of descriptions about her research and how she was inventing things and cleaning things, etc. But I still didn’t find myself bored. It was slow, but not necessarily boring.
I did feel that the background was way too long. You ended up needing some of that information to understand Nicolette, but I think there may have been another way to interject that history rather than just giving us 62 pages of history. Or maybe some of it could have been cut down. Unless of course if there is going to be a sequel which would play more on the faerie history and such.
I enjoyed following Nicolette’s journey of acceptance. She learned to accept who she was and worked to take back her own life. She didn’t just lie down and let herself be run by her step family. She worked hard to achieve her dreams. There was no fairy god-mother in this story. (Ok sure, Jules helps her find a ball gown, but that doesn’t count). Nicolette built her invention herself, sewed her own gown, made her magnificent shoes, did her hair herself. She was her own fairy god-mother, and I thought that was a nice touch. It’s empowering to younger girls.
While I also enjoy my romances, especially with dreamy princes, it was also refreshing to have a story where the main plot point was not on romance. From the summary of the book I knew she wasn’t going to end up with the prince, I still found myself really liking him. Rather than focusing on love in the sense that we usually think about, Cornwell focused on self-love and friendship love. Not all love is romantic. I think this was a unique take on still including a “love story” though not in the typical sense. It was refreshing to watching the friendships with Caro and Finn develop and how they became a family.
It doesn’t appear that this is set to be a series yet. But I feel there were unanswered questions that needed to be cleared up – big ones. What is so sinister about the ashes? What will happen with the impending war? I feel like it was set up for a sequel, so I hope it comes to fruition. And I secretly (or not so secretly since I’m writing it on goodreads) hope that she still ends up with the prince in the end.