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.
I was really looking forward to reading this book. I loved the premise of it: A young girl gets the first clockwork heart implant but now that the heart is failing the doctor/inventor of the device has become intent on creating a new and improved version, which has lead to him becoming a notorious serial killer to get it done because finding willing volunteers to test out the changes on isn’t possible. And though I did enjoy the story, I just didn’t love it. I thought the world it takes place in was well thought out, the story moved at a good pace and the twists and turns were done well and I was satisfied with the resolution of all of them, but I wanted more out of the characters. The story is told through Penny’s eyes so the majority of the book is based on her inner thoughts/feelings and a whole bunch of descriptions of the various people, places and things around her, which is fine, I have no problem with first person narration, but I wish there had been more interactions between Penny, Nic, Violet and Sebastian. There is some but much of our understanding of their friendships fall under the telling instead of showing arena, especially when it comes to Sebastian. He is supposed to be Nic’s best friend and while there is some bantering between the two, we don’t get much more than that. Penny is someone who I liked and rooted for since she was determined to live her life, but at the same time wanted to wring her neck because she had a tendency to rush into situations without thinking things through. More could have been done to show the relationship between Nic and Violet, other than them having a tiff, but I felt that the burgeoning relationship between Penny and Marcus, while quick, was done well and could see why they intrigued each other.
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