Venturess
Venturess
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Annotation: In this smart, unconventional, and action-packed YA novel that's perfect for fans of The Lunar Chronicles and The Red Queen series, an indomitable inventor and her loyal (and royal) friends cross the ocean to the lush world of Faerie, where they join a rising rebellion.
Catalog Number: #6154216
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 336
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-328-94164-7
ISBN 13: 978-1-328-94164-0
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Inventor Nicolette may have gotten her happily ever after in Mechanica (2015), but even when a fairy tale has a perfect ending, there's always more to the story. Since escaping from her vile stepfamily, Nicolette has become a successful inventor and dressmaker, thanks to her Faerie-powered glass-and-clockwork horse, Jules. Things are just about perfect, especially as she's almost saved up enough money to buy the house she grew up in, where her mother's mechanical workshop is. However, her Steps and the suspicious, religious Brethren aren't through with her yet, donating her home before she can make an offer. This act of revenge and cowardice sends Nick and her friends, including her royal sort-of love interest, Fin, off into the wilds of Faerie to try to stop a war that's been raging for far too long. Cornwell writes with a deft hand; her descriptions of Faerie and the mechanical automata are gorgeous. This unexpected sequel hits a sweet spot for fairy tale and steampunk lovers alike.
Kirkus Reviews
After the "Cinderella" story ends, a heroine inventor must stop a war between humans and Faerie.Nicolette's tale didn't end after she found her prince and escaped her stepmother in the "Cinderella" retelling Mechanica (2015). Earning her living as an independent inventor, Nick's uncomfortable with the public's belief that she's destined to wed their prince. She loves Fin, yes, but their relationship with each other and with their best friend, Caro, isn't something she wants to constrain by a conventional marriage. Meanwhile, anti-magic religious fanatics and war profiteers aim to lead the kingdom in a full-blown genocide of Faerie. Fin thinks he can stop the war, but they must hurry; one courtier is secretly building an automaton army. An airship journey across the ocean to Faerie ends exactly as the adventure demands, leading to angst-y revelations, steampunk gadgeteering, and cinematic battles. The romantic element is solid and nondistracting, as dark-skinned Fin, "short, fat, pretty blonde" white Caro, and Nick (whose appearance is ambiguous) remain happily in love with one another, leaving the emotional hand-wringing for political and family drama. The romantic triad, lacking any on-page erotic component, is deftly handled. Unresolved plot threads imply a sequel in the works. As clever as the heroine's invented boot polishers and sewing machines, as appealing as the dresses designed by her coal-powered automaton horse. (Steampunk. 12-16)
School Library Journal
Gr 610A companion to Mechanica, this work continues the fractured Cinderella, steampunk, and faerie mash-up. One year has passed since Nicolette and Nick left the Steps (stepmother and stepsisters), and Fin's father, King of Esting, has once again declared war on Faerie. When Nick discovers an army of automatons built to fight the Fey, friends Nick, Fin, and Caro journey to Faerie by airship. A relationship blossoms between Nick and Captain Wheelock. In Faerie, Fin negotiates peace with the Fey and works to ensure they remain free from colonialism. Nick learns that her mother is "living" as an automaton, and Nick's steam-powered horse, Jules, reveals to her the mystery of the Ashes. This book overturns and plays with typical steampunk tropes and features female engineers with a DIY attitude. It also presents a world in which dark-skinned people, such as Fin, reign over those with fairer skin. A central theme is freedomreligious freedom, freedom from imperial domination, freedom to live unencumbered by gender norms, and freedom to love others unbound by restrictions of family, gender, or race. This volume ends with a host of social issues and relationships unresolved, leaving room for another installment. VERDICT This thought-provoking blend of genres deserves a spot in most middle and high school collections.Stefanie Hughes, Mt. Pleasant, TX
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
After the "Cinderella" story ends, a heroine inventor must stop a war between humans and Faerie.Nicolette's tale didn't end after she found her prince and escaped her stepmother in the "Cinderella" retelling Mechanica (2015). Earning her living as an independent inventor, Nick's uncomfortable with the public's belief that she's destined to wed their prince. She loves Fin, yes, but their relationship with each other and with their best friend, Caro, isn't something she wants to constrain by a conventional marriage. Meanwhile, anti-magic religious fanatics and war profiteers aim to lead the kingdom in a full-blown genocide of Faerie. Fin thinks he can stop the war, but they must hurry; one courtier is secretly building an automaton army. An airship journey across the ocean to Faerie ends exactly as the adventure demands, leading to angst-y revelations, steampunk gadgeteering, and cinematic battles. The romantic element is solid and nondistracting, as dark-skinned Fin, "short, fat, pretty blonde" white Caro, and Nick (whose appearance is ambiguous) remain happily in love with one another, leaving the emotional hand-wringing for political and family drama. The romantic triad, lacking any on-page erotic component, is deftly handled. Unresolved plot threads imply a sequel in the works. As clever as the heroine's invented boot polishers and sewing machines, as appealing as the dresses designed by her coal-powered automaton horse. (Steampunk. 12-16)
Voice of Youth Advocates
Teen inventor Nicolette “Mechanica” Lampton is free of her controlling stepmother and stepsisters, who had made her their servant. At the royal ball, she captured the imagination of both the young royal heir and the nation. Her newfound fame allowed her to start a business and set out on her own. Now, she knows the heir simply as her friend, Fin. Fin and his friend, Caro, become Nic’s best friends, joining her on an ill-fated trip to the land of Faerie on a peace-seeking mission to try to end a bloody war. In the distant land, Nic learns terrifying and crushing truths about her own past and about the real power source behind her inventions. Even as these revelations arise, deadly enemies arrive, placing them all in peril. This volume is billed as a companion, rather than a sequel to, Mechanica (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015/VOYA June 2015) but it picks up the story immediately following the end of the first book. That story was a fairly straight retelling of the Cinderella story with steampunk elements, but this book departs from there to create a new storyline independent of the fairy tale. Fans of the first book will enjoy the more deeply developed characters in this book, and new readers can begin here easily as there is sufficient backstory provided. Steampunk fans will find much to love here, particularly the regal metal flying horse named Jules that gives the book it’s most heartbreakingly reflective moment.—Sherrie Williams.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
ALA Booklist
School Library Journal
Word Count: 74,644
Reading Level: 6.6
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 6.6 / points: 12.0 / quiz: 196511 / grade: Middle Grades+
Reading Counts!: reading level:7.4 / points:18.0 / quiz:Q70249
Lexile: 950L

In this smart, unconventional, and action-packed YA novel that's perfect for fans of The Lunar Chronicles and The Red Queen series, an indomitable inventor and her loyal (and royal) friends cross the ocean to the lush world of Faerie, where they join a rising rebellion. * "Clever . . . and] appealing." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review The young inventor Nicolette Lampton is living her own fairy-tale happy ending. She's free of her horrible stepfamily, running a successful business, and is uninterested in marrying the handsome prince, Fin. Instead, she, Fin, and their friend Caro venture to the lush land of Faerie, where they seek to put an end to the bloody war their kingdom is waging. Mechanical armies and dark magic await them as they uncover devastating secrets about the past and fight for a real, lasting happily-ever-after for two troubled countries--and for themselves.


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