Mechanica: Book Review

I love retellings of old fairy tales that are more than simply old tales with updated clothing.

chrispavesic

Mechanica, by Betsy Cornwell, is a young adult steampunk retelling of the Cinderella tale.   Mechanica, like other modern fairy tale adaptations (Wicked, Maleficent, Frozen) present a strong female character in Nicolette, who is derisively named “Mechanica” by her stepsisters. Like other versions of the Cinderella tale, the mother dies, the father remarries, and then he dies and Nicolette is left in the hands of her stepmother. The “steps” treat her as a servant and abuse her until she is able to escape and live the life she dreamed about through her long years of misery. There are several variations in this narrative, including the addition of steampunk creations that make this a vivid and memorable tale.

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Many modern fairytale retellings have deliberately removed themselves from the traditional framework of the older tales in order to create a different social message.. So it is not unusual for a…

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