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Thank you to Emily Owen and Silverwood Books for providing me with a copy of this book for an honest review.
First thing I have to say about this book is that IT IS GORGEOUS!
I’m in love with the cover and the font, even the chapter headings. The cover art honestly takes my breath away.
I like how Owen’s writing style is straightforward and to the point but still manages to paint a good picture of a deliciously historical steampunk world. However, I did find myself looking up the definition of some words whilst reading this.
The premise of this book initially reminded me of Edward Scissorhands in that a non human being tries to navigate human society while being targeted by bad people.
However, I found that it wasn’t much like Edward Scissorhands which I believe to be a good thing. This book has it’s own voice.
I even drew a
terribly beautiful picture of Maestro when he first appeared in the book:
Ok so it looks terrifying but you should all know by now that I have barely any skill when it comes to drawing something I actually want to draw.
Also, I can’t draw hands.
I won’t lie, the mad scientist in me came out whilst reading this because my first thought when Maestro appeared was:
I really loved the characters, especially the brothers. I love their brotherly relationship and they’re funny. They’re very smart too.
For some odd reason, they sort of reminded me of the Weasley twins but that may just be because I watched a Harry Potter marathon in between reading this.
George and Douglas seemed to squabble more than Fred and George so I think the similarities end at the fact that they’re both brothers who love inventing (and they each have a brother called George).
Clearly, the author did a lot of research on clockmaking because wow, there was a lot (update: she did, it was mentioned in my interview with her, which you can find here).
I liked the steampunk vibes and the quaint little Abernathy shop. I had to get to get adjusted to the steampunk genre as I haven’t read that genre for years.
I will admit that it took me a long while to read but that’s because it felt like a book that I could pick up after ages and still get into the story (which is a positive feeling for me, it’s comfort). It didn’t feel like a book I could just rush because there was so much to take in.
But since this book is set in London, I’m familiar with the area and so it was sort of familiar to read in the book.
One thing I can say about this book is that it took me back to the days when I was younger and I wanted to be an inventor, it was nostalgic.
One quote I really loved was:
“Just remember you are not a machine, George”The Mechanical Maestro, Emily Owen
This might not seem like a significant quote but it spoke volumes to me because it shows George’s fascination with machines but could also imply that humans forget that they’re human and so they work themselves too hard or have greater expectations of themselves that’s physically impossible to meet. It also ties in with the theme overall and foreshadows the invention of Maestro, the automaton.
Maestro was my absolute favourite character; he was curious, innocent and beautiful. His treatment from certain people was just horrendous. I truly felt sorry for this fictional automaton.
The story line was great! It definitely put me in the shoes of Maestro. It was like an adventure, the way the story moved around; one minute we’re in the Abernathy’s shop, next minute we’re in a theatre and the next, we’re in the air!
Overall I’d recommend this book to those who are interested in the historical steampunk genre! Or anyone who’s a fan of Edward Scissorhands and The Greatest Showman~
Buy this book:
Until next time,
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