By Lisa MantchevBlurb: A girl with a clockwork heart must make every second count.
When Penny Farthing nearly dies, brilliant surgeon Calvin Warwick manages to implant a brass “Ticker” in her chest, transforming her into the first of the Augmented. But soon it’s discovered that Warwick killed dozens of people as he strove to perfect another improved Ticker for Penny, and he’s put on trial for mass murder.
On the last day of Warwick’s trial, the Farthings’ factory is bombed, Penny’s parents disappear, and Penny and her brother, Nic, receive a ransom note demanding all of their Augmentation research if they want to see their parents again. Is someone trying to destroy the Farthings...or is the motive more sinister?
Desperate to reunite their family and rescue their research, Penny and her brother recruit fiery baker Violet Nesselrode, gentleman-about-town Sebastian Stirling, and Marcus Kingsley, a young army general who has his own reasons for wanting to lift the veil between this world and the next. Wagers are placed, friends are lost, romance stages an ambush, and time is running out for the girl with the clockwork heart.
Genres: Young Adult, Steampunk, Romance, Mystery
Publication Date: December 1, 2014
My Rating: 3 stars
It's been a while since I've read a steampunk novel, and I was really excited to get to Ticker. Well, it was definitely steampunk. And--dare I say it--this may be the reason I didn't like it as much as I wanted. I think the author may have tried too hard to embody the steampunk genre, to the point where it got annoying. The story is still overall pretty good, but it's a bit hard to get into.
The main reason for this is the writing style. For the first 2% of this novel, I thought, "Oooh! What an adorable writing style! So proper! So fun!" But after that it quickly changed to, "Make it stooooop, please, aaaaah." That feeling settled down as I went along because I was able to tune it out, but seriously; this writing style got annoying quickly. It uses antiquated and overly proper words in everyday speech, which is fine, to an extent, but when every. other. word. fits into one of those two categories, I got exasperated quickly.
However, once the story really got going, writing style aside, I was hooked. The story was so unique and interesting. Penny is a girl whose heart is a clock; she had it transplanted because of a condition that killed her two sisters and would have killed her if it hadn't been for a transplant. Penny doesn't let her disability get in her way--even though there are times when she should probably take it slower than she does. She is funny and strong.
The plot was really fast-paced, though it didn't start out that way. Maybe it was just due to my misgivings about the writing style, but I thought it took a while for the actual story to get fully laid out. Once it did, however, Ticker was impossible to put down. It's not just action-packed, there was an unexpected paranormal twist. It was very subtle and didn't take up too much of the plot, but it really added an extra flair to the story.
I feel like I'm perpetually complaining about this in my reviews, but whatever--I didn't like the romance. Once again, I thought it happened too quickly. When she meets the love interest Marcus, he's so hot her heart literally stops. Utter cheese. I don't need that. This was definitely not the book's strong suit.
It was nice to read a book with a definite end for once. This is one of those stories that definitely works better as a standalone, and I'm glad the author realized that. Everything was accomplished within one book. It was great.
Ticker was a nice steampunk experience. It had its exasperating moments, but I still liked reading it overall.