In a city devastated by an epidemic, where survivors are all missing parts – an arm, a leg, an eye – Nell has always been an outsider. Her father is the famed scientist who created the biomechanical limbs that everyone now uses. But she’s the only one with her machinery on the inside: her heart. Since the childhood operation, she has ticked. Like a clock, like a bomb. And as her community rebuilds, everyone is expected to contribute to the society’s good… but how can Nell live up to her father’s revolutionary ideas when she has none of her own?
Then she finds a lost mannequin’s hand while salvaging on the beach, and inspiration strikes. Can Nell build her own companion in a world that fears advanced technology? The deeper she sinks into this plan, the more she learns about her city-and her father, who is hiding secret experiments of his own.
What I Thought:
Quite simply, what a beautiful novel Spare and Found Parts is! There is so much woven into the story – steampunk, dystopia, a recognisable Dublin and glimpses of our world that are hinted at, rather than explicitly pointed out, plus echoes of Frankenstein in both Nell and her father.
All we know is that 100 years ago, The Turn caused devastation in Ireland, with countless deaths and many people touched by the sickness and that Nell’s father is pioneering replacement and augmented body parts. Nell herself is expected to make a contribution to the society, yet despite the eminence of her family she is lacking in her own ideas.
I really loved the book, especially the exploration of what it means to live – from the literal life of Nell’s companions, to Nell and her friends trying to build a life among ruins and make a real contribution to the city.
The language of this book is so intricate and lyrical, describing at one point what, to us, is merely a song, but to Nell is an expression of joy, a glorious sound of instruments and voice that she finds hard to express and can’t help but move to and want to hear again and again.
So many things within the book are revealed delicately and as you read you suddenly realise important things about the characters and their surroundings and that is paced so beautifully.
In summary (in case you’d not already guessed) I thoroughly recommend this book and am excited to read more by Sarah Maria Griffin.
This post is part of the blog tour for Spare and Found Parts, and there is lots more good stuff on the blogs listed in the image below. As an extra treat, I have TWO copies of the book to give away – one here and one on Twitter. Check out the Rafflecopter widget below to try and win one copy…
Please note: I was sent a copy of this book for the blog tour and review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.