Author: Wen Spencer
Page Count: 448 pages
Genre: fantasy, science fiction, paranormal romance
Copy for review was from my personal library
50 words or less: Not too far in the future, Pittsburgh is magically merged with the land of the elves, girl-genius Tinker invents cool stuff and runs a scrapyard, and Windwolf, a leader of the elves, tries to figure out how to get with Tinker. Adventure, science, and romance abound!
Tinker is one of those books that makes my heart go pitter-pat. So many genres are fused together seamlessly to create a story that's fun, adventurous, unique and exciting all at the same time.
The setting of the story is definitely unique, and the worldbuilding is top shelf. The author succeeds in packing the story with lots of detailed descriptions, right down to the physics of why things actually work or why a certain set of circumstances is plausible, without ever bogging down the pace of the story. This is no small feat; sometimes I'll read a book and feel like the underlying message is that someone did Research and is determined to use it. I never had that feeling while reading Tinker.
Tinker herself is a character you almost can't help but like. She's smart, witty, clever, loyal, but still refreshingly innocent despite having been responsible for her own well-being for quite awhile. She enjoys using her skills and talents and they've really benefited the people around her, not to mention helped her survive the kind of crazy landscape she lives in. I found myself rooting for her throughout the entire novel, first, that she find her happily ever after with Windwolf, but also that she be able to find the happiness and fulfillment that seemed to have eluded her.
Speaking of Windwolf, he makes a really interesting hero for the story as well. He and Tinker have kind of an unusual history together, and much of what Tinker knows about him she's had to find out from other people. She knows he's a total hottie, that he's going to live forever, and that he's a powerful person in the elf world, but other than that, she's got to find out things for herself. I enjoyed reading Tinker's thoughts on her growing feelings for Windwolf, as it was refreshing to read the perspective of someone who thinks she just has a crush, and isn't a fated mate or rekindling an old love or anything like that. Tinker gets way more than she bargains for in the relationship department, but she handles it like a champ, and definitely holds her own against some pretty powerful opponents.
Beyond all that, another excellent facet of this story was the way it asked questions of the reader that inspire thought, but don't detract from the story as a whole. Questions about science, about loyalty, about politics, about race, about relationships, and about how damn tricky it would be to really be committed to someone when living forever is a fact of life are all on the table and made this story meatier and more enjoyable. There's a second book in this series called Wolf Who Rules, and I'm hoping it delivers more of the same. I'm trying to track down a copy as we speak.
Overall Grade: A
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