Monday, September 08, 2014

Review: The Girl and the Clockwork Cat by Nikki McCormack

From Goodreads: Feisty teenage thief Maeko and her maybe-more-than-friend Chaff have scraped out an existence in Victorian London’s gritty streets, but after a near-disastrous heist leads her to a mysterious clockwork cat and two dead bodies, she’s thrust into a murder mystery that may cost her everything she holds dear. Her only allies are Chaff, the cat, and Ash, the son of the only murder suspect, who offers her enough money to finally get off the streets if she’ll help him find the real killer. What starts as a simple search ultimately reveals a conspiracy stretching across the entire city. And as Maeko and Chaff discover feelings for each other neither was prepared to admit, she’s forced to choose whether she’ll stay with him or finally escape the life of a street rat. But with danger closing in around them, the only way any of them will get out of this alive is if all of them work together. 

My Rating: 1.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: When I requested The Girl and the Clockwork Cat by Nikki McCormack, I was expecting a book with great worldbuilding, a wily protagonist, and a slow burning romance. Sadly, not only were none of my expectations fulfilled, but the plot also lacked organization as it consisted of characters endlessly running around from place to place while highlighting the adults’ incompetency.

Though it didn’t have as many steampunk elements as I thought it would, the worldbuilding in The Girl and the Clockwork Cat was pretty decent. I felt like I was in Victorian London, and I liked McCormack’s use of historically accurate language. 

Maeko’s character, however, was less tolerable. Where I was expecting a hardened street rat, I instead got a girl with a soft heart. As well, I found that she thought she was much smarter than she actually was, and so constantly put herself in unfavourable situations.

Finally, the romance that the synopsis promised hardly came into fruition because Maeko ended up feeling torn between two guys. I’m not sure why the author chose to go the route of a love triangle because a straight-up romance between fellow thieves would have been a lot more believable than the possibility of a romance between a street rat and a wealthy guy.

The Girl and the Clockwork Cat was released by Entangled Teen on September 2, 2014. 

Comments About the Cover: I like that the cover reveals quite a bit about the book. For example, Big Ben in the background makes it evident that the setting is London and the gears at the bottom indicate that The Girl and the Clockwork Cat is a steampunk novel.

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Entangled Publishing) for free via NetGalley.


  1. I hate when your reading expectations aren't delivered. I won't be picking this one up because of all the flaws that you pointed out. I have very little reading time as is and I don't want to waste it on a blah read. Hope your next read is better, Z!

  2. Oh no! This had me at 'clockwork' and then it lost me because of your review. I am SO disappointed and I'm sorry your expectations weren't met. It seems to be a huge waste od time.
    I'm all about steampunk, this would surely disappoint me too.

  3. I was really intrigued by the cat in the cover, I swear. I'm not sure this one is for me since it didn't work out for you and I would be frustrated with all the points you pointed out. So sorry this didn't turn out to be the book you wanted. Hoping your next read is stronger!

  4. *sigh* Why a love triangle Z? WHY?! It's like a staple of YA fiction now which is most frustrating, and surprising actually given how many readers have expressed a distaste for them. Oh well. I think I'll take a pass on this one, but I'm glad the world building was at least a highlight!

  5. Oh no! That doesn't sound that good! Def. will skip this book. A plus is that it takes place in London! Love that city. :)

  6. Yikes. I think I likely would have been interested in this one too, just based off the title and blurb, had I not read your review here. I'm a little baffled why YA these days keeps trying to stuff love triangles down our throat when I'm under the impression that they are largely poorly received by most readers. I would think they would know that by now and quit it. What a shame...

  7. I've only seen negative reviews of this book so I'm going to stay far away from it. I hate it when love triangles seem unnecessarily thrown in. The whole book sounds pretty frustrating.

  8. I think the title totally turned me off of this novel. It sounded a but hokey. This one I will most likely skip. Especially with the presence of a love triangle (why do these silly things exist?).

    Thanks for the review!


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