Contented Reader

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Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti

Genevieve Valentine


This book has everything I ought to love in a book.  It has a mysterious and magical circus, a number of strange characters, all in conflict with one another and with themselves.  It has giant mechanical singing wings.  I think I may have simply read it in the wrong mood.

The story is, as the title implies, the story of the Circus Tresaulti.  It travels the world, in such a wide path that it might not visit any city twice in a resident’s lifetime.  The world is in ruins, wracked by wars and bad government and violence.  The performers in the circus are all scarred.  They’ve chosen the circus, even though it means allowing Boss to modify their bodies, to turn them into the partly mechanical performers she needs.  The aerialists all have hollow bones, like birds.  The strongman has gears in his back.  The organist is also the organ.  And more than one performer longs to be modified once more, to get the giant mechanical wings that once belonged to Alec, before he fell.

It really is an awfully good novel.  It’s simply that I just finished reading The Drowning Girl, which is another book full of lovely and elusive writing, shifting points of view, shifting points of reference in time.  I like that, but do you know what I want to read now?  A book with a clear beginning, middle, and end, in that order.  One with more of a focus on the story itself than on the writing style.  Characters whose motivations are understandable.  Humor.  For the moment, I want a little vacation from novels that have to be unraveled by me.

I really was enjoying Mechanique.  I’ll give it another try.  If I’m in the mood for a magical circus story, I’ll read Something Wicked This Way Comes.  Or The Night Circus.  But if I’m specifically in the mood for a magical mechanical postapocalyptic steampunky circus story, and in a mood to slow down and let the story unfold itself, I’ll pick this one up again.


Written by Contented Reader

July 19, 2012 at 6:38 am

Posted in Reviews


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