Published by Entangled TEEN on September 2, 2014
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
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.
Nikki McCormack has a lot of strengths as an author. Her writing is gorgeous, her characters are well developed, her setting is vivid, and her story is captivating. From the very first sentence I had a feeling I would love The Girl and the Clockwork Cat and my prediction was right on target.
From the very first page, readers will have a hard time not falling in love with Maeko. She’s a strong heroine who really stands out among all the characters in the book. She’s feisty and I adored her attitude. She refused to take crap from anyone! However, she was not afraid to admit when she was in over her head or scared. She was willing to seek out help when she needed it which really showed her true strength. Also, while there were boys in her life (two, to be specific) she didn’t rely on them too much. In fact, sometimes she was the one saving their butts. It was a refreshing change of pace. Chaff and Ash (yes there is a bit of a love triangle) aren’t too shabby either. Chaff appealed to me a bit more since he was always there for Maeko but Ash had his strengths. He cared a lot for his family and he was an all-around stand up guy (if a bit rude at first.)
The murder mystery aspect didn’t take long to be introduced. Really everything about The Girl in the Clockwork Cat came about relatively quickly. Nikki McCormack wasted no time in setting up the story and getting readers truly invested Maeko, Chaff, and Ash’s story. The mystery will have readers hooked on this story if they weren’t already. This truly is a conspiracy story and no one is safe from being a suspect.
As for the clockwork cat, Macak really was a character all his own. When Maeko first finds him, it’s easy to tell that he’s not your ordinary cat. He’s got a clockwork leg, for one. Other than that, he’s a cat with personality and some little quirks. I’m a total cat person so everything about Macak appealed to me. I also really loved how Maeko didn’t see him as a cat, she saw him as a companion. For someone who’d been on her own for so long, Macak was just what she needed.
Overall, The Girl and the Clockwork Cat is a wonderful debut from Nikki McCormack. I don’t know what I expected when I first started reading it but it’s not what I got (and I mean that in the best possible way.) I’ve never been big on steampunk but Nikki McCormack may have just changed that.
What others are saying about The Girl and the Clockwork Cat:
Buried Under Books’ review: “The author’s other main strength is in her characters who are vivid and engaging, even those who can’t be considered likeable.”
Nicky Peacock – Author’s review: “The Girl and the Clockwork Cat was a well written, and thought out book, with an interesting storyline and some lovely prose.”
Forever Obsession’s review: “The Girl and the Clockwork Cat has action, mystery, intrigue, and really lovable characters.”
About the Author
Nikki started writing her first novel at the age of 12, which she still has tucked in a briefcase in her home office, waiting for the right moment. Despite a successful short story publication with Cricket Magazine in 2007, she continued to treat her writing addiction as a hobby until a drop in the economy presented her with an abundance of free time that she used to focus on making it her career.
Nikki 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. She finds peace through practicing iaido or shooting her longbow.
Where to find Nikki online: