Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Book Review: Ticker by Lisa Mantchev


Author: Lisa Mantchev

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Synopsis: A girl with a clockwork heart must make every second count.

When Penny Farthing nearly dies, brilliant surgeon Calvin Warwick manages to implant a brass “Ticker” in her chest, transforming her into the first of the Augmented. But soon it’s discovered that Warwick killed dozens of people as he strove to perfect another improved Ticker for Penny, and he’s put on trial for mass murder.

On the last day of Warwick’s trial, the Farthings’ factory is bombed, Penny’s parents disappear, and Penny and her brother, Nic, receive a ransom note demanding all of their Augmentation research if they want to see their parents again. Is someone trying to destroy the Farthings...or is the motive more sinister?

Desperate to reunite their family and rescue their research, Penny and her brother recruit fiery baker Violet Nesselrode, gentleman-about-town Sebastian Stirling, and Marcus Kingsley, a young army general who has his own reasons for wanting to lift the veil between this world and the next. Wagers are placed, friends are lost, romance stages an ambush, and time is running out for the girl with the clockwork heart.

Brought to you by TeamNerd Reviewer Annabell Cadiz


I have been a HUGE fan of the lovely Lisa Mantchev since the Theatre Illuminata Trilogy came out and with her newest book, TICKER, I just grow in my admiration and stalking of her!

Miss Penny Farthing lives in a world filed with a variety mechanical contraptions, where a brilliant yet deranged with grief surgeon—Calvin Warwick—is determined to save her Ticker heart even if it comes at the expense of people’s lives. He kidnaps her parents and depends that Penny turn herself over to him in order to save them. Penny sets out with her twin brother Nic, her best friend Violet, and the gallant Marcus Kingsley to rescue them. Along the way they encounter betrayal, traps, near death experiences, and spiders. Tons and tons of black, silver, and gold mechanical spiders that are hella scarier than real ones because, you know, mind control!

Penny was just so wonderful! She’s sarcastic, stubborn as all hell, a jump-head-long-into-battle-make-no-apologies type of girl and I would SO be friends with her if she existed in real life! She’s so protective of the people she loves and loyal. No matter the cost to herself, she will fight. She also has like two stomachs and a particular obsession with sweets which I am in TOTAL agreement *hehe*. Even with her life literally on the line and life falling apart around her, Penny is a woman of action. She sets her mind to something and does it. She’s got a lot of spunk and can raise hell with the best of them. She’s also a wicked shot with a pistol *wink*.

Marcus Kingsley. The name alone should cue massive amounts of swooning *dreamy sigh* Marcus is a gentleman and fine specimen of a gentleman at that! He has the physique to prove so *wink wink* Those broad shoulders and muscularly built body in a soldiers uniform was just enough to make a girl giggle uncontrollably while reading (Guilty!). Marcus is a man of his word and a brilliant leader. Having the Ferrum Viriae—elite rescue soldiers— newly placed under his command as acting Legatus (General), Marcus is doing his best to be a leader in a position that belonged to his brother before he died. He is headstrong, orderly, has a mind that work countless different battle strategies under a minute. But when it comes to Penny, Marcus is softer and open. He’s a man of action with a good heart and good principles sent in place.

Nic—Penny’s twin, Violet—Penny’s best friend, and Sebastian—Penny’s childhood friend were all thoroughly entertaining and well-developed secondary characters. You’ll love them as much as Penny and Marcus. Nic is an inventor with a sharp mind and fiercely protective of his sister. Violet is a true friend through and through. She’s got guts too! She leads a troop of soldiers in the book when she has to go hunting for the one who betrays them and is determined to protect the man she loves (Nic) no matter the danger. Her and Nic are just so cute together! Sebastian is the rich playboy of the group and many a lady will find themselves swooning over him too. He’s charming, handsome, and up for creating mischief at any time. But he’s humble enough to admit when he’s wrong and to find a way to make amends.

Calvin Warwick is the surgeon who gave Penny a ticker heart to help save her life when she fell of a horse. He broken up by grief and has gone quite insane because of it. Unable to let go of the love he lost, he thinks rescuing Penny at whatever cost, before her Ticker runs out of time, will be a way to honor his beloved. He's all kind of cuckoo BUT his madness makes sense for those who have lost people they love. I for one could understand his unbearable grief and could sympathize with him. Not with his actions but with his brokenness. Part of me wanted Calvin to have freedom even after all he had done because in a warped way, his intentions were good, he just did very ugly things no good human being would agree with. 

The many contraptions throughout the story were really fun to read. My favorite was the parasol that could electrocute people! How I would just LOVE swinging one of those around *mischievous grin* The mind controlling spiders were just creepy enough to make you shiver and yet awesome enough to make you want some of your own. The action throughout the book builds up and keeps you turning the pages, especially the moments when Penny has near-death experiences and when Marcus rushes in like a knight in shining armor . . . except Penny can take of herself, what with her amazing shooting abilities.

TICKER was a splendidly, fantastic read full of delicious treats, hilarious dialogue, and imaginative action! You will find yourself laughing out loud, giggling nonstop, and your heart swooning every time Marcus Kingsley comes on the scene. It reads with a poetic ease where the words just fall into place like a dance, one part fast, one part sweet, one part heart-broken, one part steady. 

One of my FAVORITE books this year!


“I doubt anything untoward will happen, but should the romance of the situation overwhelm him and he attempt to ravish me before your very eyes, you may knock him out with a tray.”

“I’m allergic to fuss.”

“I might be able to look after myself, but I’m safer when I’m with you.”


“Everyone who is going will do so with hopes for the best and prepared for the worst. In other words, armed to the teeth and carrying a few extra surprises.”

“He reached up, trailing his fingers along my jawline before cupping my face in his hands. ‘But some treasures are more important than others.’”

“I think she’s safe from my advances, at least until morning.”

“A tigress doesn’t change her stripes.”

“My dearest Miss Farthing, will you do me the unutterable honor of wearing this cheap bit of metal that will most likely turn your finger green, pretending to love and honor me as your husband for the purposes of subterfuge and stratagem?”

“Dimitria was very sick. None of us knew the extent of it.’
‘That doesn’t make a damn bit of difference to your heart. Grief doesn’t take such things into consideration.’”

“We’ve all had terrible things happen to us. Only the weak use it as an excuse to prey upon others.”

“Don’t you understand! We’ve both had our hearts broken. Death took from me the thing I loved most in this world. Now I am going to cheat it at every turn.”


“Penny, my darling, I hoped that someday I would wake to find you by my side. I just didn’t think it would be because you tried to kill me.”


At that precise moment, Deadnaught returned carrying yet another tray, this one laden with missives and parcels, with Marcus Kingsley right behind her.

He didn’t appear at all taken aback by my ridiculous frills or my foul language; instead, he made a lovely bow, hat tucked under his arm. “Tesseraria.”


“I’m glad to see that you are well.”

“If by ‘well’ you mean I look a right monkey,” I said, “then verily, I am well.”

“You have to admit she looks fetching, Marcus,” Violet said.

“Far be it from me to pass judgment on a lady’s attire,” the clever man replied. A few stiff steps brought him within feet of the bed. “I’m glad you’re going to recover. It was terrifying to watch you fly through the crossfire on the Vitesse. If I find a dozen gray hairs of my head, I’ll know who to blame.”

I studied the military-short haircut, ignoring the temptation to run a hand over the closely cropped black curls. “Not a one.”

“Yet,” he added. “Give it time and a bit more of your reckless behavior.”

“Without a doubt, driving through a gunfight was the most reckless thing I’ve ever done,” I admitted. “And I’ve done quite a few reckless things in my life.”

He reached for my hand. “I shouted to you when you shot out of the driveway and took off down the street.”

“I heard you.” I stared hard at the place where our fingers met, thinking it better to look there than into his eyes.

He didn’t seem to care that we had an audience of two. “But you didn’t stop.”

Startled by the note of concern, I looked up. “I had to get to my brother.”

Marcus’s grip tightened to the point of impropriety. “You should have waited. I would have gone with you.”

“You were a bit preoccupied at the time, what with all the bullets whizzing past you.” I tried to extract my hand from his, but his gloves might as well have been coated in glue. “You were protecting Violet and Sabastian, too.”

“I’ve never been more tempted to abandon a post.”

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