Books

Mechanica

13455099

Mechanica

Author: Betsy Cornwell

Genre: Fantasy/ Retelling

Grade: A

 I have to be honest this went on my list original because the cover is so beautiful!

 This is another retelling of Cinderella. Our main character is called Mechanic by her stepsisters because on her sixteenth birthday she finds her mother’s hidden workshop and with the help of the most adorable little horse called Jules, begins to invent her own things and imagine a life of her own.

 This is not a character that dreams of marriage or some fairy tale escape but someone who pretty much develops a business plan and puts it into action. It’s also a story that with the added politics of a possible war brewing with the fairy kingdom (and her mother’s inventions possibly being somewhat questionably enhanced by by magic) and a romance that is back seated for a strong friendship with a young girl that works in the palace.

 In other words there was a lot I found to like here.

 I quite enjoyed the ending as well. I can see why it might not be everyone’s cup of tea or what everyone might want from a fairy tale but I found it very believable and it was just what I was in the mood for at the moment.

 The only thing that brought me down was a character death I did not get over for most of the book so beware of that one if you’re giving it to young kids who might take that kind of thing hard.

 Recommend: Yes. If you like your fairy-tale retellings with some unexpected twists, a bit of a modern element and a strong message about friendship check this one out.

Books

Fairies: The Myths, Legends and Lore

18470482

This was a fun little read that strangely put me in a spring mood. When they say fairies they mean really all “supernatural” or “elemental” creatures you can think of in here including; elves, pixies, trolls, leprechauns and dwarves amongst other things.

The book is broken into areas and addresses the subject in that way for instance you get a section on European fairy lore, Asian and Australian, America and others. I did find it all interesting even the stuff you would have learned from the movies like Tinkerbell, Morgan Le Fey and anything Lord of the Rings.

So some things I learned that I didn’t know:

There is a theory that these beings are demoted Gods which would be kind of cool. I mean I don’t consider it a bad fall back job. But then again if I could chose a vocation elf would be high up on the list and I don’t discriminate between Middle Earth or North Pole elf.

People think of absinthe as a fairy or associated it with fairy magic which is totally reasonable in my opinion.

People believe in beings known as the Cyber-Jinn who effect computers. Which was especially relevant because I happened to catch a nasty little adware cold on my work computer a couple of days after reading this so I just blamed the Cyber-Jinn.

The author touches on some other interesting points that I would like to read more about but with some exceptions it’s very much a hodgepodge so a lot of it gets run through quickly and dropped just as quickly. However throughout the book websites and other reading material are mentioned that you could use to continue on your fairy studies.

Recommend: Yes. If you like this kind of thing but aren’t an expert I’d recommend it. I also think it’s a great little gift idea. I really am going to gift it to a friend for their birthday. As for kids I don’t think there’s anything in there that would be bad to read although depending on their level of interest it might be a little dry.