July 23rd, 2020 by Jane Turner
I read The Mechanical Maestro by Emily Owen as part of a blog tour for Random Things. The Mechanical Maestro was published by SilverWood Books on 18 May 2020 in paperback and ebook formats.
Brothers George and Douglas Abernathy are clockmakers who are barely scraping a living in their family’s shop. They are also brilliant inventors with a sideline building custom-built androids and other technology ahead of its time. Their sixteen-year-old sister, Molly, is also a genius, specialising in transformative plant biology, but earns her keep by sewing.
The Abernathy’s fortunes improve dramatically when the brothers invent a clockwork automaton composer named Maestro, whose musical artistry takes London by storm. But there are those who believe Maestro is a fake, and others who think him a monstrosity.
As Maestro tries to make sense of the world of London’s high society which he is thrown into, he incites the interest of sinister figures who would go to any lengths to discover what makes him tick.
I loved this! I was halfway through before I realised it.
Ms Owen has faithfully created a London we recognise, and some brilliant characters who quickly find a way into the heart. The Maestro himself is a wonderful character, full of innocence and naivete, endearing and marvellous.
The Steampunk-y elements are great, the patrons are suitably grandiose and eccentric, and the villains are ‘proper’ – earning instant suspicion from the reader.
The writing flows very well – I experienced no ‘editing-brain’ hiccups at all! 🙂 Truly a wonderful thing!
This is a smooth and thoroughly enjoyable read, and one I’d recommend to anyone looking for steampunk, history or creative invention.
I’ll be looking forward to Ms Owen’s future works. This is an amazing debut and has set a brilliant standard.
If you’re looking for a fun read, with engaging characters, witty dialogue, thought-provoking automatons and buckets of creativity, The Mechanical Maestro by Emily Owen is for you.
Emily Owen studied English Language and Literature at the University of Leeds. Since completing a Masters by Research, she has worked as an Archives Assistant at the University of Huddersfield. She has lived in a village in West Yorkshire my entire life, and is fascinated by the region’s industrial past, which is interwoven with woollen mills. She is also a lover of the steampunk subculture (and its music). The Mechanical Maestro is her first novel.
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