Monday, July 18, 2011

Review: The Tinkerer's Daughter by Jamie Sedgwick

Today is my tour stop for Jamie Sedgwick's The Tinkerer's Daugther! This tour was put together and hosted by Book Lovin Bitches.

Book: The Tinkerer's Daughter by Jamie Sedgwick
Pages: 314
Genre: Fantasy / Steampunk 
Buy A Copy: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Available Formats: Ebook / Paperback
Publication Date: January 25th, 2011

First Sentence:  "My only clear memory of my father is from the day he left me."
How Did I Get This Book:  From Book Tour (Book Lovin' Bitches)
Breeze is an outcast, a half-breed orphan born into a world torn apart by one thousand years of war. Breeze never knew her elven mother. When her father -a human soldier- is called back to the war, he leaves Breeze in the safest place he knows: in the care of a reclusive tinker. The Tinkerman's inventions are frightening at first; noisy, smelly, dangerous machines that have little practical use. But elves mature quickly, and Breeze is no exception. When the war comes home, Breeze sees an opportunity. If she succeeds, she will change the world forever. If she fails, Breeze will be considered a traitor to both countries and she'll be hunted to her death.

The Tinkerer’s Daughter is certainly an interesting undertaking. It aims to combine steampunk and high fantasy and yields so-so results. Breeze is a half-breed; half Tal-mar (elvan), half human. Due to her unusual heritage, she has led an extremely sheltered life, but that all changes when she is left in the care of the Tinkerman. 

Breeze is, if anything, an intriguing character. She has inherited features from both her parents; which makes her an entirely unique individual. She possesses magic, but does not suffer from the ill effects that iron usually has on the Tal-mar (Elves/Fae). While her magic presented a sort of exciting unknown quality, I thought that some of Breeze’s other qualities hindered the story – mainly her strange aging. Breeze has an unusually long lifespan and physically matures faster than normal humans. So, her body matures faster than her mind. This means when she looks like a teenager, mentally she is still a child. But then, she is incredibly smart – like genius smart. She begins helping the tinkerer with his projects and is instantly able to grasp extremely difficult concepts and ideas. Long story short, I had a rather difficult time getting a hold on her character – which means I struggled to connect. Unfortunately, I just was never able to really get a read on her.

I also struggled with the plotline of the story. I thought there were elements that were well-done, but there were also things that I wish were done differently.  Let’s start with what I liked about the plot. I was a huge fan of the relationship between the Tinkerer and Breeze – I thought there was something so genuine about it. I love that neither one of them were expecting to find solace in each other – yet they did. I also enjoyed the whole racism twist on things – a lot of hate is thrown Breeze’s way. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t like stories about underdogs overcoming the odds and finding acceptance? 

However, like I said, there were some things I did not like about the plot. My main issue with it was it’s predictability. Honestly, it was incredibly easy to work out. I for one, like stories to surprise me and unfortunately, The Tinkerer’s Daughter didn’t. 

I also wasn’t overly impressed with the writing style. It’s not that I found errors or struggled to understand things, it’s just that the writing didn’t grip me. I am not sure if this can be attributed to the predictability of the plot, but the writing seemed, for lack of a better word, bland - I wasn’t swept up by it.

That being said, I did enjoy The Tinkerer’s Daughter. I am a sucker for steampunk stories and I was really intrigued by Sedgwick’s decision to combine it with a high-fantasy storyline and setting. It took me a while to get through this one, but in the end, I was glad I read it.

Favorite Quotes
"No it wasn't just that he was gone forever. We were gone. That magical spark between two people who love and understand one another explicitly was gone forever from my life, and it left me less than whole."
"Anything's possible, if you try hard enough."
"There are millions of things that could go wrong every day, from the time we get up in the morning to the time we hit the pillow at night. We can't live our lives worrying about what-ifs. We have to focus on doing the best we can, and making the most of what we've got."
"I turned away and left him standing there with his jaw hanging open, stricken speechless by the very audacity of the half-breed girl who wouldn't take "no" for an answer."


Jamie Sedgwick said...

Sarah, thanks for giving me this opportunity and for taking the time to read and review my book. If it's okay with you, I wanted to let your readers know that they can swing by my blog and enter to win a brand new Kindle. Just click through my name or image! The contest will run through August.

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

This plot sounds interesting, but if I don't connect with the character I know I won't like it. I'm not sure if this one is for me but fab well-done review.

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