Mechanica was written by Betsy Cornwell and is due for release later this month. It is a steampunk take on the story of Cinderella and contains a mixture of science-fiction and fantasy themes. The novel is a stand-alone story and so you do not need to have read any of the author’s other work to fully appreciate it.

Following the death of her father, Nicolette Lampton’s life is utterly turned upside down. Overnight, her Stepmother fires her only friend – the household’s fae butler Mr. Candery – and announces that the ten year old will be taking over all of his duties. Quickly learning not to rebel, Nicolette – called Nick by her Stepsisters – settles into her new life as a slave and loses all hope that her story will ever have a happy ending.

On the night of her sixteenth birthday, a note is pushed under her bedroom door. It hints as to the location of her mother’s workshop – a place that Nick believed to have long since been destroyed – and soon Nick is able to resume her mother’s tinkering. With the help of her mother’s last machines, including a small army of insects and an intelligent miniature horse named Jules, Nick quickly devises ways to make her chores easier.

When the royal family announces a ball and cultural exposition in honour of the Heir’s coming-of-age, Nick knows that she has to somehow be there. The exposition is her one chance to get her work noticed and make enough money to buy back her home. However, the path to self-sufficiency is littered with obstacles. How will she get the materials that she needs and construct her entry without her cruel Stepmother noticing?


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