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.
Review copy provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Hey, guess who was pleasantly surprised by this little gem? That’s right. Me. I stayed up until 2:30a.m. reading because I wanted to finish.
Why was I so surprised? Actually, I judged a book by it’s cover and title. They were pretty much the only things about the book that I didn’t like. The Girl and the Clockwork Cat makes it seem like it’s a middle grade book that is going to lack depth, so does the cover. But truthfully, I hope most people aren’t like me and gives this book a chance because I thought it was fantastic.
Maeko, is a street rat, left to live a harsh life of thieving. She only has one person she can trust, Chaff. While that sounds terrible, it’s a simple life and she’s used to it. Doesn’t really mind most of the hardships either. But when a cat with a clockwork leg ends up in her lap things change drastically for her.
Her life was already adventurous but now she is deep in some stuff she doesn’t want to be involved in but because of her kind heart (that she tries to ignore and definitely not put out on display) she becomes the center of the conflict so she can help out people that maybe don’t deserve it. But, hey, that’s also how she meets Ash.
I normally don’t like a love triangle. They add angst that is usually unnecessary. In most books they are written in a way that you know who the winner will be right off the bat and you just have to feel bad for the sad sap that is the third wheel. Not this one. I rooted for both and shunned the idea of both and different times. It was very out of the ordinary and thus a good plot device. And just as an aside, while I like romance in my stories, I don’t like for that to be the focal point most of the time. This one was mainly a tale of adventure with some romance on the side. Loved that.
It ended in a way that makes me believe there will be a sequel (that I will absolutely read if it comes out) but it also makes for a fine stand-alone novel.
A few things I would have like to have seen: (1) Ash and Maeko kiss. Come on. I really wanted that. (2) To find out more about the dude who was in jail that gave Maeko the heads up that Hatchet-face shouldn’t be trusted.
*END SPOILER ALERT*
Overall, great read and I recommended to everyone likes a good adventure tale.