Published by Skyscape on December 1st 2014
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Steampunk, Young Adult
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 bought Ticker on a whim. The cover looked pretty, I needed something different to read and the synopsis sounded interesting. Here are my thoughts about it.
Ticker is a “Steampunk” novel about a girl named Penny with a clockwork heart. Due to a heart condition that plagues the females in her family, Penny is always living on the brink of dying. Doctor Warwick managed to install a brass ticker that works as a windup heart…aka a steampunk version of a pacemaker.In order to gather all the data to accomplish this technology, Warwick apparently had been experimenting on actual people, which lead to him being accused of murder once the truth was discovered.
The book opens with Warwick’s sentencing about to be delivered and our heroine Penny heading off to meet her twin Nic at their parent’s factory. Just before she arrives there is an explosion at the factory and she runs in to find her brother, which she does. They head home only to find that their house has been ransacked and that their parents have been kidnapped. Up to this point Penny and her brother believe that the kidnappers are people who are protesting “mechanical augmentation” of humans, but that is not so.
Along with Penny and Nic embark on a mission to find out what happened to their parents and the truth about Warwick, and along for the ride they bring Violet (Penn’s best friend and Nic’s fiance) and Sebastian (Violets’s rogue brother). There is also Marcus, who apparently is the head of the law system in this world, and also becomes Penny’s love interest.
Overall the book was a fast read, and amusing. I was looking for something light and different and I found it in Ticker. My favorite character was Penny. She was witty, and very independent. She was brave and definitely not going to let anything, not even her weak heart get in the way of her living life to the fullest.
I did feel that there were parts, especially as the end approached that were rushed. It would have been nice to get more of a backstory on the other characters and for all the characters to have had time to develop (especially for us to actually understand their connection to one another). There are many things about the novel that the writer is asking the reader to basically just “go with it”. There is no real explanation about the world the novel is set in, how their government runs, where the real “live” animals all are, or come from, seeing that horses are mechanical and so are all the bugs. The technology has no explanation either, and at some point there is alchemy mentioned, but it doesn’t go much further than a passing mention. It’s almost like you are thrown into the middle of the story, as if this was Book 2 of a series and Book 1 never quite made it to the printers. However if you want to just go into a book for the fun of it, and to not over think the story too much, Ticker will fulfill your need for fantasy and escapism.
**This review was originally posted on Reading In The Tardis**