What’s The Story? is a meme created by Alex in Bookland that looked like a lot of fun. She does it as What’s The Story Saturday?, but since I post on Mondays and Thursdays, I dropped that bit. Hopefully she doesn’t mind! The idea is to pick a book you know nothing about, and try to guess the story from the cover. Then you find the actual synopsis, and see how you did. So, let’s get started!
Okay, so between the title and all the cogs and stuff, there’s obviously a steampunk kind of vibe here. I also get fairytale feels from the castle type thing underneath the girl, and the colours of the sky. Also, I think she’s holding a shoe, so I call Cinderella retelling. There seem to be fairies or magical dragonflies or something flitting around her, but I’m thinking maybe they’re actually mechanical, to fit with the steampunk elements. I’m kind of thinking of Cinder here, where the magical elements of the story aren’t included. However, this cover looks dreamlike and kind of fluffy, so I think we probably do get the original ending and the unambiguous happily ever after. Not that the synopsis would tell me that anyway.
Goodreads synopsis: Nicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have turned her into a servant in her own home.
But on her sixteenth birthday, Nicolette discovers a secret workshop in the cellar and begins to dare to imagine a new life for herself. Could the mysterious books and tools hidden there—and the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules—be the key to escaping her dreary existence? With a technological exposition and royal ball on the horizon, the timing might just be perfect for Nicolette to earn her freedom at last.
Gorgeous prose and themes of social justice and family shine in this richly imagined Cinderella retelling about an indomitable inventor who finds her prince . . . but realizes she doesn't want a fairy tale happy ending after all.
So… I got the Cinderella retelling right, but I missed that she’s a mechanic, which was pretty stupid of me considering the name and the fact that I was comparing it to Cinder. It looks like I was right about the steampunk influence, but ‘the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules’ sounds pretty magical. And apparently I was wrong about the happy ending, too.
This doesn’t sound as good to me as Cinder or Ella Enchanted, but I still kind of want to pick it up now to find out where it goes with the mechanics verses magic thing, and how the ending works out.