Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti

Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti

4.5 21
by Genevieve Valentine, Kiri Moth
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions


Now nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel of
2011."

Come inside and take a seat; the show is about to begin...

Outside any city still standing, the Mechanical Circus Tresaulti sets up its tents. Crowds pack the benches to gawk at the brass-and-copper troupe and their impossible feats: Ayar the Strong Man, the

Overview


Now nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel of
2011."

Come inside and take a seat; the show is about to begin...

Outside any city still standing, the Mechanical Circus Tresaulti sets up its tents. Crowds pack the benches to gawk at the brass-and-copper troupe and their impossible feats: Ayar the Strong Man, the acrobatic Grimaldi Brothers,
fearless Elena and her aerialists who perform on living trapezes. War is everywhere, but while the Circus is performing, the world is magic.

That magic is no accident: Boss builds her circus from the bones out,
molding a mechanical company that will survive the unforgiving landscape.

But even a careful ringmaster can make mistakes.

Two of Tresaulti's performers are entangled in a secret standoff that threatens to tear the circus apart just as the war lands on their doorstep. Now the Circus must fight a war on two fronts: one from the outside, and a more dangerous one from within.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This steampunk-flavored circus story begins with a disturbing undertone, like an out-of-tune calliope, and develops in hints and shadows. Touring a drained postwar world, the Mechanical Circus Tresaulti rarely visits a city twice in anyone's lifetime; borders are lax, and lives are short. The circus's performers have no time for training, instead undergoing terrible trials in the ringmaster's workshop to gain their skills. Enter the "government man," who dreams of bringing back the order and security of the old world and wants the ringmaster to help him. She shares many of his dreams but mistrusts his offers of alliance. The drama and climax come not from the rivalry between the two but their similarities as they decide how to use their powers and who will suffer the consequences. Fans of grim fantasy will love this menacing and fascinating debut. (May)
Jeff VanderMeer
Valentine's novel has the stylized quality of books by Angela Carter like The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman, and it displays similar pyrotechnics…Valentine…raises the novel above the ordinary through her ability to convey the richness of the circus performers' emotional lives, coupled with impressive writing…
—The New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781607012535
Publisher:
Prime Books LLC
Publication date:
05/10/2011
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
403,125
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Mechanique 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
SineadRivka More than 1 year ago
I haven't read a story like this before, and I can't wait to see her come out with a new story! An absolutely spellbinding thrill to read, that will keep you hanging on by fingernails for that final note to ring true. If you like steampunk, post-apocalyptic eorlds, or you just like a circus with a dark twist, this story is for you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Most original and compelling world I've read in quite some time. Almost impossible to categorize, but it is a universe I would like to return to.
cindymt More than 1 year ago
If you have any affinity for fantasy at all, you must read this one. Not just another post apocalyptic missive, the language at times is beautifully lyrical. The world is set up well and the characters will break your heart. Well worth your time. Received free copy for review.
Readaba More than 1 year ago
I feel that it is very important to point out that this novel is a true work of art. Of course, as with all works of art there will be those who are fascinated by it and others who are dissatisfied with what they find before them. As for me, I’m caught up somewhere in the middle. I could appreciate the novel for the craftsmanship that went into it but at the same time the very original construction didn’t really appeal to me. The narrative jumps around both in point of view and chronologically. I assume that these jumps are marked by chapter breaks in the physical copy of the book but in my PDF-to-mobi copy only a handful of these breaks were marked. Sometimes a paragraph would start in the third person, present tense and suddenly switch to first person, past tense and be following a different plot point. This got to be very confusing at times; I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it affected my enjoyment of the story. The opening scene is about “you” visiting the circus and admiring the marvels that are to be found there. It was so uncannily similar to the opening of The Night Circus that I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first. It turns out that both books are copyrighted to 2011 – in fact, Mechanique was published some 6 months before The Night Circus – so it’s just two different authors who came up with very similar ideas (albeit following completely different plot veins) at around the same time. It took me a while to really get used to the narrator jumps. Sometimes it would be in the second person, sometimes third person omniscient and others in the first person. It took me a fair while to get used to the flow of this. It didn’t help that the plot took a long time in getting anywhere at all: it wasn’t until the 10-15% mark that the threads of a plot started to weave together beyond the confusion of seemingly random, unconnected scenes that had come before then, and it wasn’t until the 50% mark that the plot itself took precedence over anecdotes from various characters’ pasts. That was what I didn’t really like about the book – how things seemed to yo-yo a lot between relevant scenes and what were really just scenes to flesh out the history behind the story. When things focused on the plot, though, I found it to be 100% original and absorbing. I loved the steampunk idea it all of a woman somehow endowed with the ability to sustain a person’s life indefinitely through metal contraptions. I liked the idea of a travelling circus moving through the wasteland of a country brought to its knees by constant wars, unable to pull itself back together. This was a fascinating setting, especially as we have no real idea of when it could possibly be as the chronology even within the story is very vague, or even where, though I pictured it being in North America. I didn’t really buy the hatred behind Stenos and Bird, which was the main motivation for tension within the circus itself. I enjoyed the descriptions of their encounters but to me it always seemed that they were balanced very precariously on that fine line between love and hate, especially Stenos. They were certainly obsessed with each other either way. All in all, I can appreciate that this author is a master weaver of the craft who has great vision but this particular structure didn’t work very well for me personally, which detracted from my enjoyment of the book.
fuzzmom More than 1 year ago
A disturbing place where humans take on metal bones, lungs, and wings. Full of both beauty and terror. Performers that never age, but that in and of itself is a horrible truth to face. Moving through a world gone wild, with war, and evil and those in the circus mechanique form a warped, twisted family, with the Boss in charge, never showing her soft side. Through it all...the wings...oh the wings. Beautiful, terrible wings that sing and shine and take over with their own brand of madness. Like a horrible wreck, you cannot look away. You have to read to the last line, the last battle, the last gasp. Who can ever forget the circus. This is not the circus of your childhood. This is a circus of your nightmares....everything looks bright and sparkly, at first. As you look closer, you notice the frayed edges, the strained looks, the awkward moments that whisper "run now, before it's too late". But it's already too late. You are hooked and must read to the very end. It's well worth the read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago