Fantasy - Novel
TBR reviewer: Mark
Cecilia Orchard lives alone.
She writes fantasy and mystery stories to escape a humdrum data entry job that barely pays for her apartment, food, and bus fare. Then a handsome police detective arrives with news that she is the prime suspect in the murder of her grandfather whom she never knew existed. If inheriting a fortune from a man she doesn't know isn't madness enough, Cecilia finds herself the owner of a powerful genie that could make all her dreams come true, but what are her dreams and is she willing to make the wish?
Aspiring writer, Cecilia Orchard is having a very strange week. First she discovers that she is sole heir to the Billionaire estate of a Grandfather she never knew she had, then she discovers that she is the prime suspect in his murder. And if that's not all, she is also the proud new owner of her Grandfather's Genie who lives in a pocket watch! Whatever happened to her life being simple?
This was a bit of a strange read. It sounded like something that might be a bit quirky and different, which is why I decided to pick it up, but I can honestly say that my end impressions were a disappointing.
It reads a little like a Detective story, a traditional whodunnit, but with paranormal and other-worldly influences thrown into the mix but that was not my problem. My problem was that the main characters that we are supposed to care about, read like caricatures of themselves and just felt a bit too two-dimensional and under-developed for my liking. The romance aspect of Clockwork Genie felt a bit clumsily done and never really came together.
Cecilia is an interesting character in and of herself but those around her were mostly just vacuous. The culprit of the crime was obvious very early on and not just that, when you thought the book had come to a fairly tidy conclusion then the story continued on with, what I felt, an unnecessary slant added merely to boost the word count!
One of the most important factors in writing fiction is creating believable characters and if you get that wrong, then everything else pretty much falls flat. This is Broden's first full-length novel but, to my mind, it never really quite gelled and that is a crying shame as this had so much potential that it never quite managed to live up to.
I really wanted to like this but the whole thing just didn't seem to tick any of my boxes. Genies are an under-used concept that don't appear very often in modern-day fiction so this book was always going to get off to a good start by breaking the mold as it were. But unfortunately, this particular tale just couldn't hold the pace and ended up falling at the very first hurdle.