The Clockwork Menagerie, by Elliot Cooper
Publisher: Ninestar Press
Release Date: May 23, 2016
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Autosmith Clement Dyer wants to create his life-like, mechanical animals in peace. He’s tired of being badgered about selling his business to his long-time rival and former lover, Duke Goodwin. He also craves appreciation for his living works of art.
Unfortunately, not all of Clement’s clients see his clockwork creations the way he does, and a prominent but dissatisfied customer threatens to sink his struggling business into the ground.
Oh what a lovely and great short story! This was surprisingly good and I can’t wait to read more books by the author.
In only 38 pages Elliot Cooper manages to create a complex and interesting steampunk setting and Clement, our protagonist, whom we quickly care for. He is a well fleshed-out character with some endearing character treats.
But we do not only get one great character; even the secondary and minor ones stand out and come alive on the page.
A huge focus of the story is on Clement’s work of traditionally creating clockwork animals and I found this to be very interesting and charming. Come to think of it, even the automaton cat Ophelia is a living entity on page who gives the story more depth and character.
Woven into this is a very sweet and romantic love story. Although we don’t see that much of Clement and Duke together, it’s as if we know them quite well and can’t but root for them. I really liked their scenes together and I love that they are so honest and open with each other in the end.
Elliot also enjoys video games and knitting, and lives in the southern US with his human and feline family.