Mechanique (Genevieve Valentine)

Mechanique is Genevieve Valentine‘s first novel.

The Circus Tresaulti is wandering through a world that has been wrecked by endless war. The circus is special, and not only because it managed to stay afloat for so long. Boss is not only running her circus, she’s making it – and its artists. From Ayar the Strong Man to Elena and her aerialists on the living trapezes, there’s a bit of copper and magic in all of them. But with skills like Boss has, chances are slim that they are going to be left alone.

Mechanique is a good book, though one I have more intellectual appreciation for than I emotionally connected with. But it has wonderful visuals and is engaging.

I have rarely read a book that is as extremely visual as this one. It basically cries for a movie adaptation. It has this amazing steampunk aesthetic (actually it would probably qualify completely as steampunk if it was science fiction and not fantasy) and Genevieve Valentine has a knack to describe it.

But it took me a while to get into it. It doesn’t have much plot and is told in little bits and scenes that are not necessarily chronological. While I did like that structure, it’s not one that makes you slip into the book straight away. Instead it’s idiosyncratic in a way, and much like idiosyncratic people you have to get to know them first before you can really appreciate them.

I did like the characters, though I didn’t really understand Stenos’ and Bird’s relationship. Valentine tries to explain it a lot, but maybe I’m just a little dense in that regard.

Summarising: not a book that is easily categorized but that just makes it more interesting.


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