About the book:
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.
About the author:
Jordan Elizabeth, formally Jordan Elizabeth Mierek, writes down her nightmares in order to live her dreams. With an eclectic job history of working as a college professor; historic costumed interpreter at Fort Stanwix, Victorian Leisure Fair, and Mayfaire on the Green; office specialist; sales clerk; election inspector; and trainer, she is now diving into the world of author.It happens to be her favorite one.
When she’s not creating art or searching for lost history in the woods, she’s updating her blog, Kissed by Literature. Jordan is the president of the Utica Writers Club and maintains JordanElizabethMierek.com.
She roams Central New York, but she loves to travel. A great deal of time has been spent in a rural town very similar to Arnn, the setting of her novel ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW.
Warning: Some spoilers may be included!
Cogling opens with a prologue that should really be the first chapter, I think. I love prologues because they typically offer a bit of background information before the start of the actual story. They provide insight into different characters, history, and maybe don’t even seem to connect to the story at all until much, much later. Prologues are fascinating! This prologue, though, while providing a different character’s insight, is really just a kick start to the action. The different insight we get is from the point of view of SImone, a hag who is stealing our main character’s brother’s life force (sort of) to bring to life a cogling (replacement, robotic/clockwork child) so she can also steal the child. Wow, I just made that sound more complicated than it is. I promise, the book words it much better!
Edna, our main character, is a bit unusual to me. She seems to think she’s evil because she experiences emotions.
The evil exploded from her heart so fast she gasped; it raced through her veins as though anything touching her skin would combust.
True, at this point she had been kidnapped, but this internal outburst of emotions happens while another girl (likely also kidnapped) is braiding her hair. And it happens all the time and has apparently been happening all her life. She suppresses her emotions and then randomly “the evil whispered into her mind.” Okay, so the evil is explained a bit later, I won’t give that away, but there’s never a good explanation (to me) for why she thinks it is evil inside her. I don’t get that.
At the very beginning of the book (the prologue), her younger brother Harrison is kidnapped by a hag and replaced with a cogling. The hag doesn’t do the best job as it’s her first time, and cogling-Harrison is found out fairly quickly. There’s a lot of jumping to conclusions, making bad spur-of-the-moment decisions that seem completely out of character for a girl who knows her place in the world and is willing to just accept it even if she doesn’t like it, and then, of course, there’s a boy. Granted, the boy encourages many of these bad decisions…
Ike is our other main character… He is so much more than he lets on in the beginning and there are a great number of hints as to his actual identity, so by the time the actual reveal happened it wasn’t much of a reveal. The same with a specific detail about Edna that is hinted at throughout the book. (Hint: it has to do with the evil inside her heart.)
There were a few issues of awkward wordings that irked me. Like when Edna tells Ike about her evil.
It hurts me, having the secret. Hurts me real bad.
… “Hurts me real bad.” Uuuhhh… Yeah. Not what I expected out of Edna’s mouth just then. That first sentence, sure, that’s all her. But “hurts me real bad” is just downright creepy. Like, really freaking creepy!! And maybe I missed it, but nowhere else in the book does she speak so foolishly. For all that she’s lower class, she’s not uneducated based on her speech.
Soooo…. With all the above, you might think I didn’t like the book, but you couldn’t be further from the truth! It was fast paced, interesting, and filled with fascinating creatures. I thought the characters and the story were unique. While I’m fairly certain this book is a stand-alone, I would definitely read more in this universe and will continue to read more from this author.
In conclusion, I feel this book deserves 3.5 out of 5.0 stars because, while it was quite enjoyable, it would definitely benefit from tighter editing. I can’t imagine any of the editors I know letting that “hurts me real bad” slip through to the final product. Overall, though, it’s a great win and I would definitely recommend this book to my friends. (And I already have!)
About Curiosity Quills Press:
Curiosity Quills Press (CQ) is a small hybrid publishing company specializing in genre fiction of the highest quality. With 150+ titles in our catalog already and approximately 6 new books coming out each month, there’s never a dull moment at CQ. We work with major retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Audible to ensure that you, the reader, can find whatever you are looking for at your convenience.
Founded in 2011 by Eugene Teplitsky and Lisa Gus, CQ was initially a resource portal for writing and publishing, created in an effort to help writers, like themselves, survive the publishing industry. After rapid success, CQ morphed into publishing press that over time has solidified its share in the market. Now we spend our days searching for the next great escape!