Thursday, November 17, 2016

Tinker (Elfhome series) by Wen Spencer

From the Back Cover:

Move Over, Buffy! Tinker Not Only Kicks
Supernatural Butt
Shes a Techie Genius, Too!

Inventor, girl genius Tinker lives in a near-future Pittsburgh which now exists mostly in the land of the elves. She runs her salvage business, pays her taxes, and tries to keep the local ambient level of magic down with gadgets of her own design. When a pack of wargs chase an Elven noble into her scrap yard, life as she knows it takes a serious detour. Tinker finds herself taking on the Elven court, the NSA, the Elven Interdimensional Agency, technology smugglers and a college-minded Xenobiologist as she tries to stay focused on whats really important her first date. Armed with an intelligence the size of a planet, steel toed boots, and a junk yard dog attitude, Tinker is ready to kick butt to get her first kiss.

My Thoughts:

I sat down and read the first three books in the series. While I understand there's a fourth, it doesn't follow the story line of the main characters from the first three so I didn't bother reading it.

That said, I have a lot of mixed feelings about this series. First of all, the world building and originality was fantastic. It was well developed and a lot of fun to learn about the world of Elfhome. The author obviously spent a great deal of time developing the world and this is where the books really shine. I loved the mixture of science fixture combined with magic. The main character, Tinker, was a lot of fun with her quirky and spunky personality. I especially liked her in the first book where we could see her in her natural habitat -- a junkyard.

There are a few things that I had trouble wrapping my head around though. I found some inconsistencies in the story/world building that kind of pulled me out of the story. These weren't major, and I can sort of understand -- it looks like there was a big time gap between the release of the first and third books. It's hard to keep it all straight when the world and events are that intricate and detailed. It wasn't a huge deal. If I hadn't read them back to back, I probably wouldn't have even noticed.

The biggest drawback though... there was some emotional disconnect between the reader (me) and the characters. These books were pretty action-packed, but the romance and relationships were so... flat. There was no real development. There was no true emotion. All of a sudden the main characters were in love... and I was like, "What the heck just happened?"

Tingles, people. We need tingles. Love involves tingles! There were no tingles. It made me sad.

The bad guys in the story (Oni) were truly evil. I mean, these guys were.... really freaking bad. Like, I'm gonna have nightmares bad. Eating babies? Check. Rape? Check. Forced bestiality? Check. While these acts were horrendous, they were so casually thrown into the story in such a matter-of-fact way that the characters didn't really react to the emotional horror of the situation. I had some trouble wrapping my head around it. I mean, come on -- EATING BABIES? Seriously? What the hell kind of book is this? You'd expect a bit more of an emotional reaction than the attitude of:  "Gee. We should probably stop them."

So yeah.

It was an interesting and different story. The writer is obviously very talented and I'll probably pick up another one of her books in a different series. I liked a lot of things about this series, but I think many people may be sensitive to a lot of the topics in the book.

My Rating:


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