Book Review: The Clockwork Menagerie by Elliot Cooper

The Clockwork MenagerieThe Clockwork Menagerie by Elliot Cooper

Warning: Review contains spoilers

My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 5 stars

OMG. I love this story very much.

There’s a lot to love about The Clockwork Menagerie. For one, while short and sweet, the world that the author created is vivid in my head: historical and yet modern because of the advanced technology used to make mechanical animals which I find unique and beautiful.

The main character Clement Dyers is one of those who eked out a living by making life-like mechanical animals. Unfortunately he is dealing with many issues all at once: business problems, his former lover, and his stark future.

Secondly, every character and scene in this story has a purpose and as with the setting, the three main characters are well-written. Lastly, the love interest Duke Goodwin made me feel “kilig.” Nothing like a persistent guy trying to say sorry and make it up to Clement in his own special way to sweep not only Clement off his feet but also its readers.

Five stars to The Clockwork Menagerie by Elliot Cooper. Here’s to hoping we read more of them and more of this universe.

Thank you to NineStar Press for giving me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Book

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.

 About the Author

Elliot Cooper is a creativity addict who prefers writing stories that embody adventure, a hint of the taboo, and shadows that are deeper than they appear at first glance. All the better if romantic or erotic elements are key.

Elliot also enjoys video games and knitting, and lives in the southern US with his human and feline family.




Excerpt: Immersed by Katie Hayoz

About the Book

Title: Immersed

Author: Katie Hayoz

Genre: Steampunk Romance

Melusine Doré slays monsters for a living. The grim and gruesome don’t frighten her; she can take on a cyclops or a three-tailed dragon without even breaking a sweat. But falling in love? Falling in love terrifies her. Because love has the power to reveal a secret dark and dangerous enough to completely shatter her world.

GoodreadsbadgeAuthor Bio

Katie Hayoz was born in Racine, WI, the youngest of six kids. Originally, she wanted to become pope (for the awesome hat and fancy robes), but quickly realized reading—then writing—was her true religion. She now lives in Geneva, Switzerland and devours speculative fiction like she does popcorn and black licorice: quickly and in large quantities.


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From Chapter One

LEVI CANNON BACK IN CHICAGO. NO NEED TO FEAR THE BOGEYMAN shouted the headline of the newspaper spread out on Melusine’s dresser. A skilled drawing of Mr. Levi Cannon stepping on a monster with one giant eye was directly underneath the headline. Below that was a quote that made Melusine fume: “Miss Melusine Doré is now free to learn flower arrangement and make social calls. There is a man in town to do a man’s job. I promise you all that the beast found hunting here will be gone in a matter of days. Unlike Miss Doré, I do not take precious time to see if a monster has a heart of gold or not. It’s a monster, after all, and if its heart happens to be gold, well then, I shall rip it out and sell it for a fortune.”

Grabbing her fountain pen, Melusine inked warts onto Levi’s nose and cheeks, and filled in the area between his eyebrows. She gazed down at his lifeless face and grunted. Warts and all, Levi Cannon still looked good. Too good.

Once a year or so Levi would come into town, challenging Melusine, leaving a trail of dead monsters and smitten women in his wake. But she never rose to his dares and instead stayed out of sight until he left.

He was too dangerous, for so many reasons.

Tonight, however, she had a job to finish. She’d be quick as a bullet, no dallying. Then Mr. Cannon would have no reason to stick around. She fastened her scabbard around her right thigh and headed down the worn wooden stairs on tiptoe, but Mrs. Steed heard her regardless. The landlady stepped out in front of her, her red-gray hair coiled round her head like a snake ready to squeeze.

“Where you off to, Miss Mel? I don’t want you bringing any beastly body parts back here, you hear me?”

Melusine sidled past her, stifling a grin. “It was just the once. Every part of a Silver Spined Dragon is useful; I couldn’t allow the corpse to go to waste.” The dragon meat was roasted, the claws carved into weapons, the scales ground up and sold and the vertebrae made into bullets. The wings paid for one month’s rent and a bag of butterscotch candy. If Melusine had another beast like that to bring back, she wouldn’t hesitate.

Mrs. Steed harrumphed and pointed to the boarding house door. “Pull it tight behind you.”

Outside, it was approaching dusk, the smoke and steam of the city blending into the blue of the darkening sky and the white of the rising moon. Across the street from Melusine, workers swore, sang and grunted, preparing a block of buildings to be raised by lifts out of the muck that was Chicago. Up above, an airship hissed over the city, and down the street a clockwork horse whinnied a brassy sound.

A steam carriage huffed its way through the mud to stop directly in front of the boarding house. As she trod down the steps, Melusine thought she saw something move in the alley next to the building. A man, perhaps. Thieves and assassins were common in Chicago, killing for a penny if they could. Mel narrowed her eyes, scouring the darkness, but the driver pumped a lever and the coach coughed out a cloud of hot vapor. “You getting in or not, Miss?”

She threw her shoulders back and climbed into the carriage. Whatever it was that was out there was by far less worrisome than the thing she was on her way to face.