The io9 Book Club is in session! Let's discuss Genevieve Valentine's Mechanique

Illustration for article titled The io9 Book Club is in session! Lets discuss Genevieve Valentines emMechanique/em

Welcome to the monthly meeting of the io9 Book Club. In July we read Genevieve Valentine's novel Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti. Jump into comments to get started talking about it!

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For those unfamiliar with the io9 book club, here's how it works: You read the book. We create a special book club post on io9 when the meeting is in session. That would be the post you're reading right now. Then everybody talks about the book in comments for a few days, starting right now.

Genevieve Valentine will drop by and speak to us about the novel later this week. I'll post a call for questions for her on Thursday — keep an eye out for it!

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So, what did you think of the book?

Want to get a headstart on next month's book? We'll be meeting August 23 to discuss Ian McDonald's The Dervish House.

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DISCUSSION

Dr Emilio Lizardo

I didn't expect to like this. Steampunk isn't my thing and I can take or leave a circus. I read it because it was short and because book club has turned me on to some things I would have otherwise missed. Which is kind of the point.

I'm very happy I did read it. The story was good and some of the characterization was really great even in a short book. What really knocked me out though was the mood. Valentine did a really great job of creating a sad, somber, morose tone and I mean that in a good way. It really highlighted the juxtaposition between a circus which is supposed to be happy with the half dead world the circus was touring. I felt sort of tearful throughout the whole book and I wasn't always sure why. I was very impressed by that.

It is not an easy book. I know some people didn't like the overuse of parentheses, the second person narration and the shifts in time frame from present to past but I thought that contributed to the tone. The time shifts especially gave me sympathy for the aerialists, flying through the air, barely hanging on, reaching for the next handhold.

I also thought the cover quote, "a brutal gem of a book," was one of the most accurate I have ever seen.