Ticker - Lisa Mantchev

Blurb from Amazon:

"A girl with a clockwork heart must make every second count.


When Penny Farthing nearly dies, brilliant surgeon Calvin Warwick manages to implant a brass “Ticker” in her chest, transforming her into the first of the Augmented. But soon it’s discovered that Warwick killed dozens of people as he strove to perfect another improved Ticker for Penny, and he’s put on trial for mass murder.


On the last day of Warwick’s trial, the Farthings’ factory is bombed, Penny’s parents disappear, and Penny and her brother, Nic, receive a ransom note demanding all of their Augmentation research if they want to see their parents again. Is someone trying to destroy the Farthings...or is the motive more sinister?


Desperate to reunite their family and rescue their research, Penny and her brother recruit fiery baker Violet Nesselrode, gentleman-about-town Sebastian Stirling, and Marcus Kingsley, a young army general who has his own reasons for wanting to lift the veil between this world and the next. Wagers are placed, friends are lost, romance stages an ambush, and time is running out for the girl with the clockwork heart."


I adored this book, hence it's very high rating. From the start, you're dropping into Penny's world, all of the intrigue of a century reliant on steam and mechanics. Penny's best friend Violet acts more like her mother than her friend at times and Sebastian, while Nic's best friend, has a protective brother streak in him towards the two ladies. Nic himself is broody and sees Penny as someone to be watched closely, given her health.


I fell into the story and read for hours before anyone had my attention and I'm fairly certain it would happen again if I opened the cover. I even ignored my fiance in desperation to finish- and I don't do that. EVER.


The characters have characteristics that remind me of my own friends, in some good ways and some bad, but it's what will endear you to the characters. The story has some confusing moments (keeping track of who is where and what different items of the technology they use is for) but it's oh so very worth it.  I would definitely read this again and probably will the next time I've got the time to spare.