Review: The Mechanical Maestro – Emily Owen

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Firstly, I would like to thank Emily Owen and SilverWood Books for sending me a free copy of The Mechanical Maestro in exchange for an honest review!

The Mechanical Maestro is Emily Owen‘s debut novel, which surrounds the lives of the Abernathy family, as they strive to create unique androids. It is set in Victorian London (1857).

The first thing that stood out to me with The Mechanical Maestro was the musical details. Maestro’s story reminded me of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s – a Western Classical composer, who like Maestro, was constantly being dubbed as a ‘fake’, as he was composing high quality works from such a young age. I really enjoyed this aspect, as it linked together so many elements of music throughout this story. The descriptions of the music that Maestro was creating was also something that I really enjoyed, as it helped to bring the story to life throughout the novel.

Throughout The Mechanical Maestro, no stone was left unturned when it came to details. I loved how everything was described in this way, as it brought the story to life, as well as showing off each character for who they really were. Due to this, I was constantly visualising Maestro, to the point where I had many alternating pictures of Maestro in my mind throughout reading this book! I loved this, as it added to the sense of mystery surrounding certain elements of the book.

The plot was also so thick and detailed, which aided the story’s development throughout. I was surprised at how quickly the story developed from the blurb at first, as I had assumed that the majority of the story would be dedicated to George and Douglas building Maestro, then the remainder to be based on those who oppose Maestro. However, I did really like this though, as I enjoyed seeing the development of Maestro’s story throughout, and the story did take some very unexpected turns.

However, I did find the language used a bit difficult in places, which meant that it did take me a while to fully get my teeth into The Mechanical Maestro. Once I did get past this difficulty, I did thoroughly enjoy this book though. I did also feel that the tension was mostly at the end of the book, I feel that The Mechanical Maestro could have benefitted from some more moments of nail-biting tension in other parts of the book.

As I had some background knowledge of Victorian London before reading The Mechanical Maestro, I loved the way that Emily Owen conveyed the culture and life of this period. I also found it incredible that George and Douglas were able to create their creations to the standard that they were able to, when I consider the lack of technological developments in Victorian London, in comparison to today.

I loved the cover of The Mechanical Maestro as well – although I did not realise at first, it showcases the Abernathy’s creations. This was something that I really like on reflection of the novel, as everything they make is right in front of you from the moment you pick up the book – but you do not understand the significance of each creation until you have finished the book. I also love the colours used in the cover.

I also loved Molly’s character – although she seemed so far removed from her brothers’ mechanical creations, there was definitely more to her than initially met the eye. This was proven towards the end, when I wanted to cheer her on in every action she took towards the end of this novel.

The Mechanical Maestro is the first book in a series surrounding the Abernathys and their creations. After reading the ending of The Mechanical Maestro, I can not wait to read about the next stage of each character’s journey.

Overall, I would recommend The Mechanical Maestro to any fans of Western Classical Music, and to fans of Historical Fiction. I believe that this book is suitable for a Young Adult audience (as well as any adults who fancy reading The Mechanical Maestro)!

Has this review inspired you to read The Mechanical Maestro? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Thank you for reading this post.


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