By Lisa Mantchev
Penelope Farthing was born with a congenital heart defect, one that has already claimed the lives of her two sisters and left her family a shadow of what it once was. When Penny’s health takes a sudden turn for the worse, brilliant surgeon and friend of the family Calvin Warwick saves her life with his prototype brass heart implant, called a “Ticker,” making her the first Augmented human.
But Penny’s Ticker is flawed. She needs an upgrade, but Warwick is currently on trial for the murders of over a dozen people–sacrifices to his obsession with creating Augments that will erase the fragility of bone and flesh.
On the day of Warwick’s verdict, the city is rocked by protests and riots. Then the Farthing family factory is bombed, the Farthing mansion, Glasshouse, is ransacked, and the Farthing parents are abducted. Who is behind these attacks against the Farthings? Penny and her twin, Nic, must find out, quickly, or they may never see their parents again.
Time is running out for the girl with the clockwork heart.
Why I picked it up:
Mostly because of the cover art. I also wanted to know more about the mysterious Calvin Warwick: what drove him to commit multiple murders in the name of saving one life?
Why I finished it:
I was drawn in by the fast-paced action–the book hits the ground running and the characters only rarely get a breather before plunging into the next high-action scene. I also enjoyed all the little details that came together to give the story its great steampunk ambiance. And Warwick’s motivations, slowly revealed over the course of the story, are both heartbreaking and chilling.
I’d give it:
Three stars. It often stretched my suspension of disbelief to the breaking point. The plot clearly takes a backseat to the romance, which would be fine, if only the romance didn’t feel quite so flat. However, it’s fast-paced and a quick, fun read.
Reviewed by: Francesca (Davis)