Author: Ian Tregillis
Publication Date: March 10th, 2015
Probably the best thing about The Mechanical was Visser’s storyline and the things that happened to him. The implications of what was done to him, especially since these things were pretty much immediately preceded with a long discussion on philosophy and the slavery of machines, were horrifying.
Berenice and Jax were okay characters but they just didn’t stand out that much. We kept being told how bad-ass Berenice was and, while she was really cool it was only a few times that we really got to see it. As for Jax, it was hard to really connect with him. Granted, part of this is I think because he is a machine but he is a machine that is written with a human-like voice so it should have been possible to feel something for him. It also seemed that several times that characters would be introduced in his storyline just to get him to the next plot point and then they would usually end up dead. It started to feel like somewhat sloppy writing.
This book was a lot more steampunk than the description lets on and the world building is wonderful. The re-imagining of what the world would be like had the Dutch and their alchemy and ability to make the Clakkers was fun to read about.
If I continue this story, it will only be for Visser’s storyline. It got dark and fucked up and I hope what happened to him is something that is done to a lot of people within this story because that would make for a fantastic story!
Apart from that though, I could really take this book or leave it. The only other thing this book really had going for it was Berenice’s relationship with her husband, Louis. And well…that’s kind of done now.
The Mechanical was not a fun read. The world building was creative and exciting to see the changes from our own reality. Steampunk has always been pretty cool to me and I love the way it is used to define this world.
Sadly that is all there is to say positive about this book. I felt the story was slow and all around boring. Characters felt bland and cookie cutter. I can’t say that I returning back to this series with any kind of excitement.