Review: The Girl and the Clockwork Cat by Nikki McCormack

The Girl and the Clockwork Cat by Nikki McCormack

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: September 2nd 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Format: eARC-kindle
Pages: 224
Pacing: slow
POV: 3rd person
Genres & Themes: YA, Angst, Friendship, Steampunk, Mystery (for some.)


Feisty teenage thief Maeko and her maybe-more-than-friend Chaff have scraped out an existence in Victorian London’s gritty streets, but after a near-disastrous heist leads her to a mysterious clockwork cat and two dead bodies, she’s thrust into a murder mystery that may cost her everything she holds dear.

Her only allies are Chaff, the cat, and Ash, the son of the only murder suspect, who offers her enough money to finally get off the streets if she’ll help him find the real killer.

What starts as a simple search ultimately reveals a conspiracy stretching across the entire city. And as Maeko and Chaff discover feelings for each other neither was prepared to admit, she’s forced to choose whether she’ll stay with him or finally escape the life of a street rat. But with danger closing in around them, the only way any of them will get out of this alive is if all of them work together.




Wait, it can’t be.

This can’t be a standalone.

That’s not how you write an ending for a standalone. There MUSTN’T be any sort of cliffhanger, if the author doesn’t want annoyed readers, that goes without saying.

Well, I’m annoyed.

First of all, I didn’t believe there really was a romance in this story. Sure, Ash seemed to have a more than friendship related opinion on the female lead (Maeko) but that unfortunately was one-sided, so how could I possibly call that to be romance? I called it angst and that’s it.

The angst was torturing. Maeko really made me want to give her a slap from time to time. Needless to say, her character didn’t mean anything to me. I did though have a bit of a heartbreaking feeling when seeing how alone she truly was, even though she always concealed it.

Back to the romance—AKA called angst—could you believe that, about ten pages before the ending, there is a character that from acquaintance, can-be-called-friend passed from that to love interest? I felt so so so bad for Ash and Maeko as a character went downhill in my esteem (even though she wasn’t high at all in the first place.)

But, you know, that’s not actually what I despised the most in this story. What I didn’t like as in oh please make it stop loathed was sadly the entire plot. Little question here: would you call looking for people over and over again being some sort of mystery? Because I don’t. I call it plot who lacks of imagination and that is mostly repetitive and especially boring.

Oh, it was awful! She kept looking and wondering for people over and over again. She went round and round and, even though this story has 224 pages, (according to Goodreads) it felt like it contained something like 400. You have no idea how happy I am to have finished it…but at the same time what was the point since the ending was sucky?

The writing was good in general but it’s the kind of writing that didn’t grip my attention. It sometimes happen and it’s a weird feeling since I’m never sure if it’s actually the writing, the atmosphere or simply the story. Basically, I wasn’t interested or even a bit invested in it. I tried to, of course, but it felt too forced and reading must feel natural for me to enjoy it.

World-building? None. As in at all. Good characterization for some specific characters but very very poor world-building.

This is the kind of story that I wouldn’t recommend even to someone that loves reading to a point that he/she never DNFs books or gives 1 stars. It’s just not worth it and retentiveness is one of my pet peeves—along with unclear endings—so I won’t recommend you go near it if they’re some of yours as well.

Would you consider voting for this review on Goodreads, if it was helpful? 🙂

50 thoughts on “Review: The Girl and the Clockwork Cat by Nikki McCormack

  1. Another cliffhanger? That’s very annoying. ha-ha. I agree, this is the type we can’t recommend. I feel sorry for the author. Maybe she’ll do better on her next book. 🙂


  2. *sigh* One star? Really? *double sigh* That’s just depressing. And a killer ending and it’s a standalone? YUP this would really annoy me and drive me insane! NOT my type of read!


  3. Oh I also just finished reading an ARC of this too! I agree with the review..It was sadly disappointing.
    and… what? what? This is a standalone?!

    I did not know that o.O Seems so sure to have a sequel! You can’t end a standalone in a cliffhanger :/ Well then. XD


  4. She switches love interests in the last 10 pages and this is a standalone? Noooooooo! I don’t like that at all. It would go over better with me if we were getting a sequel where the reason for the switch is explained and explored, but that’s clearly not the case which is a touch disappointing. Sorry this one didn’t work for you Lola but thanks so much for your thoughts!


  5. A stand-alone book ending with a cliffhanger? Really? And the only mystery was searching for the same people over and over? But the blurb sounds so promising! A Clockwork cat and a girl… that just sounds awesome. So sorry this fell flat on its face and annoyed you more than anything else, Lola 😦 I hope your next read will be just amazing.


  6. Oh man, that sucks. I was interested in this one because of the title/cover/description. But with a cliffhangar in a standalone and angst labeled as romance, I’m quite certain I don’t want to read it anymore. Great review!


  7. I don’t think I’ve ever read steampunk… mentally adding steampunk to my list of genres to check out. But I’ll take your word and avoid this book. It sounds so odd that there’s a cliffhanger in this book since a standalone… like how do they even think that will work? A cliffhanger is meant to make a someone want to continue with a series, isn’t it? Anyway, sorry this was such an awful read!


  8. I’ll definitely be avoiding this one, it sounds like it would frustrate me to no end. It did catch my interest at first but it sounds like it was deceiving. Weird about the cliffhanger, though.


  9. Oh wow, that sounds super disappointing Lola and I’m sorry to hear that! I actually thought this was related to The Girl with the Clockwork Heart or something, and the cat would have added an interesting perspective but sadly not 😦 Great review though!


  10. Sorry hear you did not enjoy this one, I think I will be staying away from it because it does not sound like it has many redeeming qualities. Thanks for the warning, Lola!


  11. Wow, this book must be so bad to be rated 1 star. You know, maybe it will have a sequel in the future. The author/publisher must be testing if it will click. If yes, then they will continue.

    Thank you for the warning. Even the blurb isn’t something that will entice me so yeah, I’m staying far away from this one.


    • Maybe you’re right though I’m not sure I’d be interested in reading it. :/ The mystery was done so boringly 😦 And ,oh lol, I’ve given a few 1 stars to be honest but that usually happens when I don’t enjoy a book and don’t find it more than one quality. 😛

      You’re welcome 😉


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