Saturday, February 20, 2016

Book Review: Cogling by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek

I received a free eARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Cogling
Author: Jordan Elizabeth Mierek
Genre: Young Adult Steampunk-Fantasy
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date:  January 25, 2016
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 285
My Rating: 5 stars

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When fifteen-year-old Edna Mather tears an expensive and unfamiliar pocket watch off her little brother's neck, he crumbles into a pile of cogs right before her eyes. Horrified, Edna flees for help, but encounters Ike, a thief who attempts to steal the watch before he realizes what it is: a device to power Coglings--clockwork changelings left in place of stolen children who have been forced to work in factories.

Desperate to rescue her brother, Edna sets off across the kingdom to the hags' swamp, with Ike in tow. There, they learn Coglings are also replacing nobility so the hags can stage a rebellion and rule over humanity. Edna and Ike must stop the revolt, but the populace believes hags are helpful godmothers and healers. No one wants to believe a lowly servant and a thief, especially when Ike has secrets that label them both as traitors.

Together, Edna and Ike must make the kingdom trust them or stop the hags themselves, even if Ike is forced to embrace his dark heritage and Edna must surrender her family.

My Thoughts:

This was my very first steampunk story and I was not disappointed!

Edna Mathers works as a servant in the house of Lady Rachel Waxman alongside her little brother Harrison. One day, Harrison starts acting rather strangely. Edna notices a watch on a chain around his neck and when she rips it off thinking he had stolen it, he collapses into a pile of cogs. Cr-azy! She tries to get help but no one is willing to help her find her brother until she meets Ike, a thief who tries to steal the watch from her. She learns that the silver-eyed hags that sell potions and enchanted items to whomever can afford them are stealing children to work in their factories and replacing them with Coglings. Ike is willing to help her find the hags' factory to save her brother for a price. They become close throughout their journey and learn things and learn things about each other that neither were ever willing to tell anyone else. It becomes their mission to save Harrison and stop the hags before it is too late. 

The idea of 'coglings' is very similar to 'changelings'. Someone is being replaced by someone or something else. I actually prefer the coglings! I've read a few changeling books and had a hard time getting into them. This new twist on them was pretty refreshing.

I loved the steampunk-ness of this book. It was all fun and new for me without being overbearing with descriptions of clothing (which is about all I know of steampunk stuff having seen lots of top hats paired with goggles and clock innards attached). 
I really enjoyed the idea of the tomtars, which to me basically seemed like bird people (so cool!) and the foxkins that have three tails and only talk to people that they feel truly safe around. I loved the idea of soot-demons and how dragons were used by policeman almost like K-9's! These creatures made this book so much more appealing to me. 

This book has likable characters, lots of adventure, intrigue, and just enough romance that it isn't overwhelming and is perfect for this age group. The one thing that I think might turn people away from this book is that towards the end a female character is being held against her will and is forcibly kissed by her captor and the threat of rape is pretty obvious. For that reason, I wouldn't suggest this to immature middle-grade audiences. Other than that, this reads like a middle-grade novel.

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