Flash Review: Ticker

10:58 PM

Ticker by Lisa Mantchev
Publication date: December 1, 2014
Publisher: Skyscape
Format: e-ARC
Source: NetGalley
Pages: 273

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?


The premise of someone having a mechanical heart completely grabbed my attention. And the cover. The cover also grabbed my attention. :) 

I don't know if it's just me being dense but I couldn't really tell that Ticker was steampunk from its blurb. So I really loved the way I could immediately tell that the story world was steampunk when I started reading. From the clothing to the mechanical horses, there was complete immersion but it didn't feel like info dumping either. 

And from a girl who loves gadgets, let me tell you-- Ticker's got it all. Mechanically operated boxes for pastries, mechanical beetles who serve as library guardians...there is no end to the fascinating technology. The thing that really impressed me is that many of these things were ones I had never read before in other steampunk novels. Points for originality!

Names. The names were super cool. They sounded like they fit in the storyworld. The only problem with these awesome, and usually quite complicated, names is that I had a hard time remembering them. I have this problem a lot because I'm awful at names in general. It's not a huge deal (I just winged it wrote them down somewhere I could reference to) but something that might affect your reading experience.

Now for the biggest thing I didn't love...

The romance wasn't great. I felt like almost everything about it was cliche. It was too fast, it was too expected. It just didn't meet the quality of the rest of the book. The main character Penny meets the guy and instantly starts feeling the "symptoms." Butterflies, lightning-- you get the idea. And to me, not only was the romance itself something that I've read a thousand times (and loses even more in my sight because it's insta-love), the love interest was so love interest-y. He fit almost all the criteria for a certain type of love interest. He seemed harsh and cold but in reality he was caring, kind, only acting that way because of his past, because he was hurting. He was physically "perfect." He was dutiful. He had scars. I have nothing against love interests or anyone for that matter having a past. I think it adds depth and something to sympathize with to the story, but it just didn't work for me this time. 

Of course this next point I'm going to make is completely relevant to personal situations, but I'm not rich in real life. I'm actually kinda broke. So I experienced twinges of annoyance when money or expensive things were treated so flippantly in Ticker. Just because someone is rich doesn't mean that they can't be conscientious about their riches and how they treat them.

Overall though Ticker was an amazing, fast-paced read set in a steampunk world. Perfect for one of my first books this break! ;) I think some people might say it was wrapped up a little too neatly in the end, that it wasn't as hard as the rest of the book. But I thought that was fine because 1) I am a character softie. They better get out alive. And 2) they already went through so much...I think they deserved a break.

So, I would recommend this book to people who like traveling at break-neck speeds, sweet pastries, and the intricate gears of steampunk.

My Rating:

Disclaimer: I was not reimbursed for this review in any way and received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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