Review: Mad Tinker’s Daughter

Mad Tinker's Daughter (Mad Tinker Chronicles, #1)Mad Tinker’s Daughter by J.S. Morin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another book I got via a bundle (either Humble Bundle or, more likely Story Bundle), not because I’m a pre-existing fan of Mr. Morin. This book continues in a universe Mr. Morin created, but starts a new series that that does not seem to require any knowledge of the prior one. He takes great advantage of the world of technology and has links at the beginning of the book to a web page that explains the key tenets of his universe.

This universe has people called “twinborn” who essentially share one consciousness in two bodies. Each of those bodies is in another dimension of the same planet. At least in this book, both versions of the planet have the exact same geography, but have different histories. In this book, one world seems like a steampunk version of an Earth-like planet. The other world is steampunk plus something akin to magic and the humans are slaves to a race of alien-human hybrids. (If those who relate the history are not unreliable narrators) We mostly follow Rynn/Madlin, the titular Mad Tinker’s Daughter. The interesting thing, given the title, is that we spend more time with the Rynn body and then Madlin one and Madline is the Mad Tinker’s Daughter.

Morin does a good job telling the story with the twinborn concept. The twinborn can remember things from one body to the other and can use that as a method of passing messages – as one example of how he uses this. He creates compelling characters and anyone looking for a strong female character will not be disappointed; Rynn/Madlin is a real hoot who doesn’t take crap from anyone. He also wonderfully fills in the details of the human slave world and it feels like a lived-in universe.

If you’re looking for steampunk that isn’t just in Europe or a European-like world, this one definitely pushes the boundaries of the genre in good ways.

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Author: Eric Mesa

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