Monday, March 30, 2015

Review: Ticker by Lisa Mantchev

Title: Ticker
Author: Lisa Mantchev
Publisher: Skyscape
Published Date: 1 December 2014
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository

girl with a clockwork heart must make every second count.

When Penny Farthing nearly dies, brilliant surgeon Calvin Warwick manages to implant a brass “Ticker” in her chest, transforming her into the first of the Augmented. But soon it’s discovered that Warwick killed dozens of people as he strove to perfect another improved Ticker for Penny, and he’s put on trial for mass murder.

On the last day of Warwick’s trial, the Farthings’ factory is bombed, Penny’s parents disappear, and Penny and her brother, Nic, receive a ransom note demanding all of their Augmentation research if they want to see their parents again. Is someone trying to destroy the Farthings...or is the motive more sinister?

Desperate to reunite their family and rescue their research, Penny and her brother recruit fiery baker Violet Nesselrode, gentleman-about-town Sebastian Stirling, and Marcus Kingsley, a young army general who has his own reasons for wanting to lift the veil between this world and the next. Wagers are placed, friends are lost, romance stages an ambush, and time is running out for the girl with the clockwork heart.
 (summary from Goodreads)

I loved Ticker. From the story, to the characters, to the setting, to all its Steampunk goodness - I loved it all. This book is just plain fun!

I've only read a few Steampunk novels, and every time I finish one I think I've got to read more. There's just something about them that clicks with me. I find the world building so fascinating, and Ticker is no different. There is a lot to take in as you read Ticker, and truthfully, you are thrown in head first without much explanation or backstory. Plus there is A LOT of technology to wrap your head around. But this was part of the enjoyment for me. It's all a little bit unknown and a little bit familiar at once. My recommendation is to just go with the flow. There's not a lot of need to overthink this story - it's a non-stop wild romp to solve a mystery, so just hold on tight and enjoy the ride!

The plot of Ticker isn't that convoluted, honestly. In fact, it's pretty predictable. As a villain, Calvin is quite one dimensional, so there's no major twist or shock. Ticker also touches on the idea of the other side, life after death, as it were, and the possibility of contact between the living and the dead. It's an interesting concept but doesn't really feel like it develops, which is unfortunate. For some, these cons are going to be more than enough. I can certainly see why Ticker might not be for everyone. But there was just something about it that hooked me. It's an easy and entertaining read to spend a delightful afternoon with!

Adding to the fun is Mantchev's sassy characters. I do love the sassy ones, and Ticker has them in spades. Penny is brave, strong and determined, and she had me grinning so many times, as did Violet's feisty nature. I don't think I should even start on Sebastian for fear of being caught up in the gushing! Penny's brother, Nic, frustrated me though, but mostly because compared to the other characters he's a bit of a stick in the mud. I wanted him to be more understanding, and seriously, just a little smarter. Marcus also lacks some of that much loved sass, but for him it works. His and Penny's relationship almost smacks of insta-love, which is eye roll inducing, but as by the end I was wanting to twirl and squeal like Cora, it's easy to let slide. You'll see what I mean. Their connection does zing, I'll give Mantchev that. 

Overall, Ticker is a fun, action packed read that I was hard pressed to stop once I started. 



  1. I've had Ticker in my TBR pile for a while after getting it cheap in an Amazon deal, I just wish I had the tie to get to it a bit sooner as your review has reminded me why I bought it in the first place so thank you for the insightful review xx

    Thea @  Gizzimomo's Book Shelf

    1. I feel you, there's so many books I've had for ages but just haven't had the time to get to. Someday, someday! I hope you get to read Ticker soon and that you enjoy it. Thank you for your lovely comment. I really struggled writing this review, trying to put into words why I liked it so much, so I truly appreciate your comment. :-)