Review of Cogling by Jordan Elizabeth

Cogling Book Cover Cogling
Jordan Elizabeth
Curiosity Quills Press

When fifteen-year-old Edna Mather tears an expensive and unfamiliar pocket watch off her little brother’s neck, he crumbles into a pile of cogs right before her eyes. Horrified, Edna flees for help, but encounters Ike, a thief who attempts to steal the watch before he realizes what it is: a device to power Coglings—clockwork changelings left in place of stolen children who have been forced to work in factories.

Desperate to rescue her brother, Edna sets off across the kingdom to the hags’ swamp, with Ike in tow. There, they learn Coglings are also replacing nobility so the hags can stage a rebellion and rule over humanity. Edna and Ike must stop the revolt, but the populace believes hags are helpful godmothers and healers. No one wants to believe a lowly servant and a thief, especially when Ike has secrets that label them both as traitors.

Together, Edna and Ike must make the kingdom trust them or stop the hags themselves, even if Ike is forced to embrace his dark heritage and Edna must surrender her family.

The idea behind this book by Jordan Elizabeth really appealed to me. While I enjoy the genre I am not a big fantasy reader and have read little steampunk fantasy. However from the start I found myself engaged with this book. There is a Dickensian feel here which has aspects of Victorian society in its basic structure. Edna finds that her young brother has been taken by the hags (witches in many senses) and replaced by a Cogling – an automation. She sets off to get him back and this book follows Edna and the companion she acquires, Ike, on their journey to find Harrison and bring him home.

This fantasy world has strict class structures with people such as Edna and her brother at the lower end of society although there are those who are probably lower still. There are some – to me at least – original creatures and creations. The descriptive writing was excellent and highly evocative. Aimed at the YA (young adult) market this tale is very well paced and well written. The book really is action packed – no one will get bored reading this! There are plenty of twists, turns and mystery and I lost count of the number of chapters that end in “cliff hangers”.

I was completely engrossed in this book. It was very hard to put down and was not an easy book to stop reading at all. I guess in the end it is a fairly simple story however the writing really lifts it to another level for me. I even found the chapters well present with a beautiful fob watch at the head of each – it is a fob watch that kept the Cogling that replaced Harrison “alive” – nice touch. Please don’t be put off by the YA tag – it is a while since I was one and I loved it! If fantasy and particularly steampunk appeal give it a try. I will certainly take a good look at previous books by this author.

Note – I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review