Title: The Clockwork Menagerie
Autosmith Clement Dyer wants to create his life-like, mechanical animals in peace. He's tired of being badgered about selling his business to his long-time rival and former lover, Duke Goodwin. He also craves appreciation for his living works of art.
Unfortunately, not all of Clement's clients see his clockwork creations the way he does, and a prominent but dissatisfied customer threatens to sink his struggling business into the ground.
Author: Elliot Cooper
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Junk Mage
Published by Nine Star Press Source: Publisher
Published: 23 May, 2016
Genres: Male Male Romance, Steampunk
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website
A character-driven short steampunk read, perfect for that quick bite of escapism. Elliot Cooper brings us Clement, a master craftsman who creates clockwork animals – he’s a bit reclusive and obsessed, certainly imaginative and carries a small chip on his shoulder about the difficulty he has in being recognized for his work. He’s truly a struggling artist, not as focused on the business end of his work as he should be.
Duke is a former lover and a man well-heeled and capable of helping Clement succeed. What we don’t see is the initial sparks between them, or just how their relationship went south, but the sparks between them leave much unsaid yet felt. Duke is a bit heavy handed in his offers to help, he’s not perfect either…he’s relentless in appearing everywhere. He genuinely wants to help Clement – but these two are so different and driven in their own ways – it makes their conflicts and misunderstandings feel plausible.
Secondary characters, particularly the animals that Clement creates are wonderful. The return of Ophelia the cat with her completely cat-like quirks and ability to be everywhere at once to distract was wonderful. Clement truly loves his little creations, and that imagination combined with the skill to build them, the clockwork elements and the decided perfectionism made me want to see more.
Short yes – but none of the questions I had took me away from the story. I would have liked more of this world, and more of Clement’s work, but the creation of the world and making the relationship feel plausible while engaging my imagination as I tried to visualize it all stood solidly and make this a story well worth reading.