Wen Spencer
Tinker Cover



This steampunk fantasy book contained BREATHTAKING world building. I'm trying to think of a book that has done it better in the last 30 years. The City & The City maybe? But that was in such a completely different genre. I don't want to give anything away, but let me just say you can't go wrong with Pittsburgh stuck in another dimension and elves and tengu. Yes, tengu! I was thrilled with that.

The book was crazily fast-paced. I read it in a single sitting (unfortunately for me, I started it at 10:30pm) and was enthralled the whole way. Some reviewers have complained that it got a little difficult to follow because of the new words used (and old words used in new ways), but I liked that. It showed Spencer was really particular when it came to building her world--she made it real.

This is not high fantasy, and it's certainly not extremely literary, but it's FUN. It's the most fun I've had with a fantasy book in a long time.

Why four and not five stars? I loved that Tinker is a smart, resourceful, courageous character. But she at once is selfish and has low self-confidence. I wouldn't go so far as to call her a Mary Sue, but I do see why others have. The second thing: sex was a theme throughout the whole book, and the sex scenes were kind of weird and unnecessary. I'm not the kind of person who won't read a book because it contains sex, but I don't like authors using sex as a device or as a marketing tool. Maybe Spencer felt the only way young males would read a book about a smart, coming of age female was to over-sexualize her? I don't know, but I could've done without it.