Cogling by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
**** 4 Cranky Stars ****
YA, Steampunk, PNR, adventure and has some fantasy thrown into the mix. This is a novel that will appeal to all ages and I’d be happy handing it off to my kids to read, as I would recommending it to anyone who enjoys the above genres.
Cogling centers around Edna, our pithy, sometimes mean-spirited, but always good hearted, fifteen year old heroine. Oh, how I love her!
Set in an era similar to the Victorian period, Edna and her family are poor working class, just above the homeless on the street. Her mother works in a dancehall at all hours and her father works away on the rail station.
Edna is charged with taking care of her younger brother, Harrison, and while she is sometimes gruff with him, she loves him. They work for the local nobility, the Waxman’s, and although Edna doesn’t particularly enjoy her work or employers, they need the money to keep a roof over their heads.
In a magical land where hags roam, trolls are in swamps, legends abound, and old wars are unresolved, Harrison goes missing and is replaced by a Cogling: a magical, mechanical replacement. Cottoning onto the ruse, Edna sets out to reclaim her brother, setting in motion a chain of events that will change her life forever.
She meets Ike, a thief with talents, depths, and secrets, but can also lead her to Harrison. I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed Edna and Ike’s interactions. Edna was at her pithiest, suspicious best here as well as at her sweetest.
This was a darn good read. I basically sat down and read it in one setting. I also enjoyed how Mierek didn’t shirk away from the issues where stratification shapes a society and not for the better. This period is often romanticized and we tend to overlook how abysmal life could be for those at the bottom or deemed less than. Also, social hierarchies are often illusory and can be stripped away by a lie as one character finds out.
I enjoyed all the characters in this story, even the bad ones and also, including the spoilt and sharp tongued, Rachel. Even though, at times, I wanted to brain her.
One question: Silver. What happened to him?
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