The Tinkererís Daughter Review
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The Tinkererís Daughter is the first book in the series of Breeze Tinkermanís adventures. Sheís half human, half Talímar, which is to say that sheís a halfling elf. That is a large part of the problem with this book: itís comfortable with itself, and it shortchanges plot and characterization.

The humans and Talímar have been at war for so long that no one remembers why theyíre fighting. Partway through the book, weíre told of a third race, the Kanters, who are cannibal giants with sharp teeth and little technology. So now we have humans, elves, halflings, and orcs, all put together in a Medieval steampunk novel. People fight with swords, Breeze has magic, and the man raising her is a tinker. He makes a steam engine car, a steam engine sled, and a plane powered by windup springs. He also makes remarkably powerful explosives.

  
 
I like the premise of the novel, and the character of Breeze isnít bad. She has some good qualities, and she has a curiosity that helps to carry the story. But all too often the book falls into clichťs and lazy writing, and sometimes itís hard to tell what Sedgwick is getting at.

For instance, when Breeze flies in the plane for the first time, she narrates, ď...it was completely unaffected by the change in gravitational forces...Ē Does Sedgwick mean to say that gravity in that world operates differently from gravity in our world? Because, in our world, if youíre in an open cockpit plane, gravity is still working pretty much as it does on the ground.

The plane eventually goes through a redesign, though the book says that the controls are virtually the same. So why does Breeze get detailed instructions on how to use controls that she should already know?

Itís details like these that will kick you out of the story too often.

A worse fault is that everything is convenient for Breeze. Tinker is injured, and she finds that she has the power to heal. She needs to hide from Kanters, and suddenly she has another magic power that she never knew she had.

The plot kicks into gear when Breeze flies to the front to convince troops who are battling against the Talímar to come back and battle the Kanters. Here she meets a man who knew her fatheróand who was indirectly responsible for his deathóand what does she come up with? ď...A plan so ridiculous and unlikely that it just might work.Ē

The worst aspect of the novel, however, is foreshadowing so early and so direct that itís a spoiler in its own right. In the first few pages, Breeze tells readers that her entire life is a failure to achieve her goal of peace between the Talímar and humans.

If you want something new thatís still really familiar, if youíre tired of books that make you work to follow what the author wants you to figure out, The Tinkererís Daughter might be for you. It delivers everything it has up front. But, for me, there were too many things that distracted me from the story. Thereís some good stuff hereójust not nearly enough.

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