Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti

Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti

by Genevieve Valentine

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Come inside and take a seat; the show is about to begin . .

Outside any city still standing, the Mechanical Circus Tresaulti sets up its tents. Crowds pack the benches to gawk at the brass-and-copper troupe and their impossible feats: Ayar the Strong Man, the acrobatic Grimaldi Brothers, fearless Elena and her aerialists who perform on living trapezes. War is everywhere, but while the Circus is performing, the world is magic.

That magic is no accident: Boss builds her circus from the bones out, molding a mechanical company that will survive the unforgiving landscape.

But even a careful ringmaster can make mistakes.

Two of Tresaulti's performers are trapped in a secret standoff that threatens to tear the Circus apart, just as the war lands on their doorstep. Now they must fight a war on two fronts: one from the outside, and a more dangerous one from within . . . 

Product Details

BN ID: 2940154288900
Publisher: Prime Books
Publication date: 12/18/2013
Sold by: Draft2Digital
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 901,157
File size: 1 MB

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Mechanique 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
SineadRivka More than 1 year ago
I haven't read a story like this before, and I can't wait to see her come out with a new story! An absolutely spellbinding thrill to read, that will keep you hanging on by fingernails for that final note to ring true. If you like steampunk, post-apocalyptic eorlds, or you just like a circus with a dark twist, this story is for you!
MarFisk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I taught a class called Ideas to Outlines, or Outlining for Organics. As part of the process I presented, I tried to cover all the possible starting points for a novel. The hardest for me was a mood story, because I hadn¿t actually encountered one with that focus. I¿m all about story, and in most modern novels at least, that means plot-focused. Mechanique proved me wrong in the most delightful way. This is not a book for the plot-driven, straight-forward reader, but if you¿re willing to lay yourself open to a twisted, tangled journey that often reminded me of an Escher painting, Mechanique will surprise and awe you. This novel does not hold to point of view conventions, uses second person and intrusive narrators at times, gives no warning when thrusting you into past events, and the story unfolds in glimpses, just enough to have you thinking you¿ve found the main point only to lose it again. At the same time, there is a clearly defined story. Well, actually several of them. This is not a naval-gazing, stream of consciousness novel. Valentine knows exactly where it¿s going and how all the pieces fit together, or at least that¿s how it comes across. The characters are compelling, each with their own story and their own reasons behind what they do. The world itself is introduced bit by bit until you get a surreal picture that is so concrete it becomes real. But the strongest part of this novel is the mood. It¿s hard to explain because it¿s part the world, part the language, part how the story unfolds, and part how everything comes together. I recommend Mechanique wholeheartedly. It¿s more than just a read. It¿s an experience. I¿ve talked about what made Mechanique special, but neglected the basics. It¿s a steampunk apocalyptic novel about a traveling circus. However, the feel of the novel is more important than the genre in this case. It¿s worth giving a read. I got the title from NetGalley or I might not have come across it, but I¿m glad it caught my eye.
JanaRose1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Circus Tresaulti, set in the distant future, features an odd assortment of mechanical people. Boss has replaced bones, organs and various bits and pieces of the human body with mechanical and medal parts. This is a very odd book, but I found myself unable to put it down. The people and their lives were fascinating. I do wish the book was a bit more chronological, it skipped all over the place, but at times that did serve the author well. Overall, this is definitely a book worth checking out.
gsmattingly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I just finished "Mechanique - A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti" by Genevieve Valentine. I enjoyed this book. It was rather dark and depressing. If you are interested in scientific accuracy, um, this might not be your best bet. As noted in the attached review, sort of a mashup of steampunk romance, fantasy and a bit more. I must admit skimming a bit near the end. Could just be my current mood though.
ladycato on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a weird book. I struggled to finish it, and pushed onward because 1) it was on the Nebula shortlist and 2) simple curiosity about how it would end. I should also add that I have always gotten a weird vibe from circuses, so this wasn't a book I would have selected on my own, despite my interest in steampunk.Oddly enough, I could readily except some of the stranger elements of the circus. The ringmaster, Boss, has a peculiar talent to grab souls on the brink of death and reconstruct them into partly metal bodies. This is never explained or understood by the characters, Boss most of all, and that was fine by me. The weirdness of the creations incorporated well with the vibe of a circus, especially against an already-bleak dystopian backdrop.The thing that ended up jolting me the most was the fluctuating structure of the book itself. There are various story threads going on at once--past and present--told by different characters, in different perspectives, and with omniscient add-ins in parenthesis. The cast of characters is wide and even at the very end, I was confused about who many of the minor characters were. I can't say that the story lacked a logical flow, as the author was obviously very skilled, but at the same time it was an unusual flow and that made it a challenging read.The characters themselves are intriguing and complex. Boss and Elena struck me as especially vivid. Even the darker characters are portrayed well. There's nothing black and white about them, even if they do terrible things.In the end, I would say this is a book for those who like an experimental structure and a creepy vibe. It's not my sort of thing, but I see why it made the Nebula ballot.
BrewsterKitteh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book captures the sweet sorrow of a circus. In theory the circus should be happy and thrilling but more often seems sallow and frail. The story unfolds in a non-linear fashion, shifting time and place and between narrators. In a lesser skilled writer this might be jerky and annoying. Ms. Valentine does it fluidly. It reminded of printing b/w photos, staring intently at paper watching the image emerge. I hope this is the first of many Circus Tresaulti books.
GirlMisanthrope on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the blurbs on the cover calls this book a 'brutal gem'. That, without hyperbole, is an excellent description of this unique book.The Circus Tresaulti is hundreds of years old and has maintained itself despite wars, despite performers coming and going, despite the centuries. The ringmaster, Boss, has found a way to enhance some of her performers with copper mechanisms and metal pipes. Some of the performers have Boss' mechanics while some still have their own bones. The first half of the book is expositional, setting up the Circus' history and each performer's history. I admit I was getting impatient and finding it a slog. BUT you need this background once the action starts, when a Government Man (no, they're not any better in this world) visits the Circus with his own agenda for the performers.This novel is brutal, and hard, and luscious. It is a steampunk bon-bon. (And kudos for no captive animals in this circus!)
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Most original and compelling world I've read in quite some time. Almost impossible to categorize, but it is a universe I would like to return to.
cindymt More than 1 year ago
If you have any affinity for fantasy at all, you must read this one. Not just another post apocalyptic missive, the language at times is beautifully lyrical. The world is set up well and the characters will break your heart. Well worth your time. Received free copy for review.
Readaba More than 1 year ago
I feel that it is very important to point out that this novel is a true work of art. Of course, as with all works of art there will be those who are fascinated by it and others who are dissatisfied with what they find before them. As for me, I’m caught up somewhere in the middle. I could appreciate the novel for the craftsmanship that went into it but at the same time the very original construction didn’t really appeal to me. The narrative jumps around both in point of view and chronologically. I assume that these jumps are marked by chapter breaks in the physical copy of the book but in my PDF-to-mobi copy only a handful of these breaks were marked. Sometimes a paragraph would start in the third person, present tense and suddenly switch to first person, past tense and be following a different plot point. This got to be very confusing at times; I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it affected my enjoyment of the story. The opening scene is about “you” visiting the circus and admiring the marvels that are to be found there. It was so uncannily similar to the opening of The Night Circus that I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first. It turns out that both books are copyrighted to 2011 – in fact, Mechanique was published some 6 months before The Night Circus – so it’s just two different authors who came up with very similar ideas (albeit following completely different plot veins) at around the same time. It took me a while to really get used to the narrator jumps. Sometimes it would be in the second person, sometimes third person omniscient and others in the first person. It took me a fair while to get used to the flow of this. It didn’t help that the plot took a long time in getting anywhere at all: it wasn’t until the 10-15% mark that the threads of a plot started to weave together beyond the confusion of seemingly random, unconnected scenes that had come before then, and it wasn’t until the 50% mark that the plot itself took precedence over anecdotes from various characters’ pasts. That was what I didn’t really like about the book – how things seemed to yo-yo a lot between relevant scenes and what were really just scenes to flesh out the history behind the story. When things focused on the plot, though, I found it to be 100% original and absorbing. I loved the steampunk idea it all of a woman somehow endowed with the ability to sustain a person’s life indefinitely through metal contraptions. I liked the idea of a travelling circus moving through the wasteland of a country brought to its knees by constant wars, unable to pull itself back together. This was a fascinating setting, especially as we have no real idea of when it could possibly be as the chronology even within the story is very vague, or even where, though I pictured it being in North America. I didn’t really buy the hatred behind Stenos and Bird, which was the main motivation for tension within the circus itself. I enjoyed the descriptions of their encounters but to me it always seemed that they were balanced very precariously on that fine line between love and hate, especially Stenos. They were certainly obsessed with each other either way. All in all, I can appreciate that this author is a master weaver of the craft who has great vision but this particular structure didn’t work very well for me personally, which detracted from my enjoyment of the book.
fuzzmom More than 1 year ago
A disturbing place where humans take on metal bones, lungs, and wings. Full of both beauty and terror. Performers that never age, but that in and of itself is a horrible truth to face. Moving through a world gone wild, with war, and evil and those in the circus mechanique form a warped, twisted family, with the Boss in charge, never showing her soft side. Through it all...the wings...oh the wings. Beautiful, terrible wings that sing and shine and take over with their own brand of madness. Like a horrible wreck, you cannot look away. You have to read to the last line, the last battle, the last gasp. Who can ever forget the circus. This is not the circus of your childhood. This is a circus of your nightmares....everything looks bright and sparkly, at first. As you look closer, you notice the frayed edges, the strained looks, the awkward moments that whisper "run now, before it's too late". But it's already too late. You are hooked and must read to the very end. It's well worth the read.
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