Quick review for a quick read. Man, I wanted to love this particular novella, but the reading experience felt far too empty and too short for me to care. I couldn’t get into either of Nessie or Joy’s respective experiences (nor their purported relationship), I couldn’t get into the technology that was described, the worldbuilding was barely drawn, and I couldn’t help but notice the amount of telling, not showing. The repetition of details was a problem as well.

The overarching story focuses on two young women in a steampunk era, only there’s no such details to be had in this short piece about where it takes place or when. Nessie is a young woman who is interested in mechanical engineering and loves mechanized parts. Absolutely gushes over them, even. Joy is the constructor of “Sally Spider” a mech slated to perform in the night’s events at the circus nearby. But when her owner asks her to throw the tournament style performance, Joy is not so happy. Nessie, in the meantime, is both taken by Joy’s masterpiece of a construction, but also Joy herself.

It’s a very loosely drawn story – one that I’ll admit the blurb makes it sound more fascinating than it actually comes across. Sadly, I was left wanting more from it.

Overall score: 1.5/5 stars

Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher.

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