|Love fairy tales and mythology?|
Fans of mermaids, dragons, unicorns, and other mythical creatures?
Enjoy when a beloved classic tale is retold?
A Twist in the Tail Thursdays features all this and more!
In case you missed it...
we interviewed Betsy Cornwell during this year's Fairy Tale Fortnight about
"I had rescued myself entirely."
Lately, there's a new trend happening, and it's happening in fairy tales. It's the theme of GIRL POWER. WHO SAYS girls can't tinker or fix things or be great at wielding tools? WHO SAYS a boy always has to come around and save a girl? WHO SAYS traditions aren't made to be broken? If you want a book with a smart girl who defies the label society has tried to pin on her and paves her own path, MECHANICA is a book for you, fairy tale or not. It reminds me of other recent fairy tale retellings that have introduced these components that I've reviewed, from the fantastic picture book INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA by Deborah Underwood, to YA novels CINDER by Marissa Meyer and STITCHING SNOW by R.C. Lewis. (Ironically, three of these books are Cinderella-themed, but they're all different from one another. Also ironically, all three of the other titles take place in a sci-fi intergalactic setting and MECHANICA does not, choosing to go a steampunk route instead.)
Nicolette Lampton is unlike any other female her age. Rather than be sent to finishing school, her mother decides to finish her in her own way. Nicolette learns to repair mechanical creatures and invent ways to make work easier. When her mother dies, Nicolette's father remarries, than passes away soon after. Nicolette is left as the sole live-in help in her own house. When she discovers her mother's long-abandoned workshop on her sixteenth birthday, she dives into her upbringing and feels closer to her mother than ever. She finally has a way to make it on her own and leave the Steps behind...but only if they don't discover the secrets she's been keeping!
MECHANICA is fresh and different. While it started off slowly, the true charm came from Nicolette herself, especially once she started growing more confident in herself. I really liked the way Nicolette was so capable and willing to do whatever it takes to make it on her own. She finds great friends in Finn and Caro when she goes to sell her wares at the Market, and shows gumption and courage when she decides to enter the First Annual Royal Exposition of Art and Science, determined to show off her abilities and find a patron to help shape her future. I really liked the way Betsy Cornwell layered secondary characters into the story and gave them new roles to play that changed the dynamics of the traditional Cinderella tale and turned it into something original. (Plus, it totally makes me want to see someone like Tim Burton turn it into a best-selling stop-animation movie because it would work so well! Fairy tales + Steampunk + Stop Motion + Great Message? YES PLEASE!!!)
I was also intrigued by the way the story ended, and while MECHANICA is definitely a stand-alone, I really want another book that continues Nicolette's story. It doesn't feel complete, and there's still an ominous tint to the air. Plus, I want to see where life takes her next! I really hope a sequel or a companion novel is in the works!!
I write fiction and nonfiction and blog about Irish folklore, travel, wild food, goats (of course!), homesteading, and growing up.
You Could Win...
1 winner will receive a finished copy of MECHANICA and a beautiful watch necklace from this etsy shop!
2 winners will receive a finished copy of MECHANICA.
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