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Book review: The Girl and The Clockwork Conspiracy by Nikki McCormack


Title: The Girl and the Clockwork Conspiracy
Author: Nikki McCormack
Paperback: 213 pages
Publisher: Elysium Books (September 14th 2015)
Genre: Young Adult, Steampunk, Fantasy
Read: eBook
Stars: ****/5
Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US




Maeko hasn’t been long away from the gritty London streets and she’s already learning that her new “civilized” life comes with its own challenges. She has to dress proper, eat proper and be a proper lady. She can’t even talk to a boy without a chaperone. She’s got proper coming out of her ears. If not for her feline companion Macak, she might go mad.

Her one hope for some freedom and excitement comes when the moody detective, Em, asks her to be an apprentice. But that apprenticeship comes with a price. She must agree to spy on Macak’s owner, Lucian, the wealthy businessman and inventor whose life she saved.

Everything changes when Lucian’s brother dies in an explosion while visiting Lucian’s home in the heart of London. The Literati–a powerful group vying for political control of London–say it was murder and Maeko is on their suspect list. With Macak at her side, she must turn once more to her allies, Chaff and Ash. They will have to brave city streets torn by rebellion and conspiracy to find the truth.


My Review:

Note: Thanks Nikki McCormack and YA Bound Book Tours for offering me this book to read and review 🙂

Cover: Provokes Curiosity…

Paper and font: Easy on the eyes!

Readability, language: Easy on the Mind.

Why did I choose this book: I’ve been coming across the term steam-punk a lot these days but had not read a book in that genre. I jumped at the chance when this book came up.

This is book 2 of the Clockwork Enterprises series and continues from where book 1 left-off. This isn’t a stand alone. The story continues as Maeko tries to extricate herself (but only manages to get involved deeper) from the events unfolding as various factions fight for power and balance in the city of London.

The title ‘The Girl and The Clockwork Conspiracy’ is appropriate and explains itself as the story unfolds. It is also a good follow-up to the first book’s title and connected well to the series title. The cover is well made and is what first got me curious about the book. The blurb also captured my interest.

I felt the plot was new and unique but then this is the first ever steampunk book I’ve read. The plot seems well laid out, with various levels explored in the book, politics, personal, societal,… the conflicts in each of these clear and distinct in the book. McCormack has built in many twists and sub-plots but each of them adds to the story.

The story is set in Victorian London in the 1800’s and as I read the book in my head I relived the urchins of Dickens and the prettily dressed ladies of Heyer as they walked down the streets of London along-side coaches and hansoms. McCormack has done a good job of describing the places, lifestyle and people of the era.

The main character of the book is Maeko, a street rat with oriental ancestry and a penchant for trouble. I found myself associating with Maeko so much that mid-book onwards I found myself rooting for her. She comes across as the endearing smart-ass. Then there is Chaff who I can’t help but have the hots for and the scenes between Maeko and Chaff, well let’s just say… Steamy! To add to this triangle is Ash, the cute boy next door. There are also a bunch of other characters who help the story along.

In book one somehow I didn’t connect much with the story or the characters, for that matter I had trouble finishing the book but in book two the characters grew on me and I started to enjoy the story. McCormack’s writing seems to get better as the books roll along and at the end of this book I found myself wishing I could read part 3 right away.

The story gets tighter in book 2, the characters more defined and the pace and build-up stronger. That said I did feel the climax came out of the blue, almost as if McCormack wanted to end the book and just jumped into the climax scene. I also felt the story didn’t close neatly, there was too much left out for book 3.

Over all I enjoyed The Girl and The Clockwork Conspiracy and would definitely recommend it if you are into Steampunk and Romance. The books 1 & 2 don’t have any explicit scenes but there is enough I think to classify it Upper YA and above. There is also promise of more steamy scenes in future books.

I for one, I’m definitely looking forward to book 3. 😉

Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US

About the Author:

Nikki started writing her first novel at the age of 12. She lives in the magnificent Pacific Northwest tending to her husband and three cats suffering varying stages of neurosis. She feeds her imagination by sitting on the ocean in her kayak gazing out across the never-ending water or hanging from a rope in a cave, embraced by darkness and the sound of dripping water. Nikki finds peace through practicing iaido or shooting her longbow.

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