Published by Skyscape on 1 December 2014
Genres: YA Science Fiction
Format: ARC eBook
A girl with a clockwork heart must make every second count.
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, romance stages an ambush, and time is running out for the girl with the clockwork heart.
So in late 2014/early to mid 2015 I requested about 20 or so ARCs through NetGalley. However, 2015 was a pretty unproductive / very emotionally unstable time period for me. I barely read and I had little interest to blog or review at all. I had requested these ARCs when I was feeling motivated and excited like one normally does at the turn of a new year, but as the year went on I just didn’t pick up many books, let alone these digital ARCs. But recently I decided to go reach for these ARCs again & try to read & review them like I had promised to do in my requesting of them on NetGalley.
So today’s ARC review is Ticker by Lisa Mantchev.
Ownership: ARC provided to me through NetGalley
Genre: Steampunk YA
Price: $4.99 (Kindle eBook); $9.99 (paperback)
Place: Amazon, B & N, Book Depository, GoodReads, IndieBound
Ticker follows Penny Farthing, a girl with an augmented clockwork heart, as she bands together with her brother Nic, friends Violet & Sebastion, & a young army general Marcus Kingsley to help save their city from Warwick, a medical family friend gone mad in his quest to save Penny & improve others of their flaws from augmentations. Penny & her sisters all suffered from a rare heart disease that caused them to die young, but when Penny was on the verge of death, Warwick replaced her heart with a brass “ticker” to keep her alive. The only catch–Warwick experimented on people (killing many) in his quest to create Penny’s clockwork heart. So Warwick was arrested and put on trial for murder until the day he broke out. That same day Penny & Nic’s parents are kidnapped. Now Penny’s on a mission to find them & save them amidst the chaos surrounding Warwick’s escape. Oh and her “ticker” is slowly breaking down as well. Can she & her friends save the day before Penny’s “ticker” dies out?
This was my first time reading a steampunk novel. I enjoyed the mix of advanced engineering & Victorian manners. Mixing tea & dresses with factories and interesting inventions like Penny’s weapon of choice — her Pixii was so fun to read about! Mantchev did a wonderful job of bringing to life the steampunk setting. There were moments that made it slightly hard to imagine things & I think that had a lot to do with the story’s pacing.
This story was really face-paced and some things felt rushed. While I usually enjoy the ‘in medias res’ (or in the middle of things) entrance into a story, it didn’t completely work for me this time. I think because I’m not as familiar with reading a steampunk setting, I wanted some more world building–something more to help me have a better handle on this fantastically inventive world that Mantchev created.
Speaking of more time, I would have also loved to have seen Penny & Marcus’ relationship develop more. I think they didn’t have as much time together to really develop into their ending. I still shipped them though and I loved seeing their relationship progress, but it still felt a bit rushed to me.
After finishing the book I felt like it could have been fleshed out a bit more. It seemed like this was more of a book 2 versus a book 1 in that maybe there could have been more background information or a slower introduction into all the action.
Still with that said, I did enjoy reading it for the most part. I liked the romance and the adventure and the unique world/setting. The novel really was fast-paced and I felt the rush of adventure like the main character. I really loved how brave and sassy Penny was. She was a strong female character and I loved seeing how she never backed down for fear of her clockwork heart giving out. She took risks and became an awesome heroine of this story!
If you’re looking for a light, fast-paced read with a unique world, then pick this one up!
Fast-paced with high adventure and a strong female main character. Such a unique world & it was fun reading a steampunk novel for the first time!
Thanks for stopping by! Let me know if you’ve read this book and if so what are your thoughts on Penny? on the steampunk setting? What other steampunk novels have you read? Let me know below! I’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂
As always, Happy Reading!
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Ceillie Simkiss3 December 2016 at 6:21 pm
Early 2015 was a bad time for me as well – that was a time when the books only gave you like a week to read them after being granted access. I had one that only gave me A DAY before it archived itself. Like???
Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed this one for the most part! Unique worldbuilding is usually pretty great!
NicoleLynn11 December 2016 at 1:25 pm
Thanks! Yeah 2015 was rough reading for me overall so I’m just getting into some of the books I have on my kindle from NetGalley now not that it would be that helpful to them now lol but I feel guilty having them on my kindle and never reading them. And yeah I do love unique worldbuilding too!
Candid Cover3 December 2016 at 8:37 am
Getting that NG ratio up is always a struggle! I think that there is one bonus to reviewing older titles and that is to reintroduce them. This is one that I have never heard of and I think that the element of steampunk is very intriguing. I have only read a few books in this genre, but I have enjoyed them. The fact that this is fast-paced is making me want to give this one a try! <3