Review: Mechanica

by 1:36 PM 2 comments
Nicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have turned her into a servant in her own home.

But on her sixteenth birthday, Nicolette discovers a secret workshop in the cellar and begins to dare to imagine a new life for herself. Could the mysterious books and tools hidden there—and the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules—be the key to escaping her dreary existence? With a technological exposition and royal ball on the horizon, the timing might just be perfect for Nicolette to earn her freedom at last.

Gorgeous prose and themes of social justice and family shine in this richly imagined Cinderella retelling about an indomitable inventor who finds her prince . . . but realizes she doesn't want a fairy tale happy ending after all.


Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

Expected publication: August 4th 2015 by Clarion Books
Genre: Fantasy, Fairytale and Retelling
Rating: 2 Stars
Reviewed on May 12, 2015
This review can also be founds on Goodreads.

My Review

Bibbity bobbity . . .


I’ve never booed a book before, but there’s a first time for everything.

Where did Mechancia go wrong?

Beware: spoilers everywhere.

I kept waiting, waiting, for something exciting to happen. I was bored with the beginning and the middle and I wasn’t enjoying the characters.

By the time I hit 80%, I knew I was in for an underwhelming ending.

The thing is I like the idea of the ending. The message it's sending to young girls. Nicholette owns her story and she doesn’t need a prince to complete it. She moved out of the house and is making a living as a successful inventor and independent woman. I love that. I do.

"Nothing could make me give up the freedom I longed for, not even the heir to a kingdom."

But the way it was delivered?

You’ve got to be shitting me.

You throw all this “Ashes” mystery, Fey antagonism and revolution, political intrigue, and hidden prince speculation at me, and I end up with this ending?

Who exactly is Cora? Where did half-ass triangle come from? Why must you make Nicholette bitch-slap her stepsister? Was I supposed to shout in triumph? I have so many issues with this book.

The thing is I don't care one bit about the romance and I'm not even mad that the prince is in love with someone else, but suddenly, he decides he wants to marry Nicholette because they make an "inspirational" and "romantic" couple and then Fitz added some crap about how it would help the revolution. All of this came out of nowhere. I really expected there to be some action with the Fey. There was none. The only action there was is of Nicolette running away from the ball like a little chicken shit and then bitch-slapping her stepsister. Retaliation and girl-on-girl harm is your version of feminism? No. Just no. I'm glad Nicolette stood up to her family and gained a backbone, but the rest of that crap is utterly ridiculous.

Yes, Mechancia, you are definitely rocking steampunk, but that’s all you’ll be rocking in the fairytale retelling world.

What a disappointment you are.

You're going into limbo with your sister Cinder. I don't like you both.

ARC provided by author in exchange for review.

My Rating


Nancy Her


Cee named The Mistress Case after Sherlock (BBC with Benedict) and Supernatural (Dean, baby). She writes mainly book reviews. On occasions, movies and TV shows. She reads and reviews in many genres, including fantasy, historical, contemporary, romance, erotica, mystery, etc. She personally rains more love on fantasy and historical romance and hopes you won't hold it against her. Caoi.


  1. I actually really loved Cinder but I read the synopsis of this and thought it is copy cap of Cinder so didn't pick it up. Now after reading your review, I am really glad I didn't request it :D

    1. You should definitely read the contents of a book before judging it, but yep, this book is nothing like Cinder. I have to say that Cinder is a better retelling than Mechanica.