The Clockwork Menagerie

Author: Elliot Cooper

Publisher: NineStar Press

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Links: NSP & Amazon

Type: Novella

Received from Publisher


Blurb: 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.


Review: This was an intriguing steam punk short story. The world building was vivid. The characters well well fleshed out and extremely likable. A compelling love story. I enjoyed this. I was a little sad when it was over. I’d love to read more from this couple or world in the future.

Clement likes to work alone while building his mechanical animals. He’s resisted offers to merge with the larger shops that mass manufacture because he takes pride his work and his craftsmanship. He hand makes every piece with care. He’s also struggling to keep the shop afloat. He’s not great at the business side of things but he loves to create. His biggest rival in town is also the love interest in this story. Clement just questions whether or not his interest in him is business or personal.

The animal lover in me really appreciated all the visuals created through the writing in regards to the creations he built. The kitty head bumps, stretches and purrs. I can see how these creations were special and sought after items in this world. I appreciated that the love story gave some history between Clement and the Duke but kept things moving briskly given the length of the book. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this story. The author drew me into this unique world and the romantic story line engaged me. I would have loved to read more but I was also pretty happy with it as it is.

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