(5/5 ⭐️) “It takes quick thinking and a brave heart to win great battles.” This is a story of brave daring that illustrates how harmful secrets can be.
Cogheart takes place in Victorian England as an alternative history where clockwork mechanicals are a part of every day life, and secrets can destroy everything. Lily Harman’s father goes missing in a terrible zeppelin accident and she is immediately removed from boarding school. As men with mirrored eyes hunt her, Lily learns that no place is safe. Everyone is after the same thing: a mysterious perpetual motion machine invented by her father. Lily teams up with Robert, the local clockmaker’s son, to discover the secrets around her father’s disappearance. It’s a frightening game of cat and mouse, and it’s hard to know who to trust when even the people who should be on her side are the ones who pose the most danger to her.
This book was a joy to read. I don’t read middle-grade often, but it’s always refreshing. I loved watching both Lily and Robert face their fears and conquer them. And the friendship that develops between them is heartwarming.
The story has a steampunk/fantasy feel to it. I loved the idea of mechanicals with clockwork innards that required winding to work, just like old fashioned clocks. My favorite was the clockwork fox named Malkin. The ideas behind how these things work was explained just enough to make sense and feel real and believable, without going too far in depth to cause questions. One thing that was made clear throughout the story was that not all mechanicals are created equal. Those made by Lily’s father, John Harman, are made to have unique thoughts and feelings. They are nearly human and Lily very much sees them that way. While some people look at mechanicals as nothing more than machinery, Lily and her father treat them respectfully as equals.
The story core was fluid, the plot was fast paced, and the ideas were fresh and fun. Both Lily and Robert have a great character arc that was satisfying and fulfilling. I fell in love with this book and will definitely be purchasing the remainder of the series.