Thursday 19 April 2018

Review: Spare and Found Parts - Sarah Maria Griffin

We are all more than the sum of our parts.

Nell Crane has never held a boy's hand.

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 biomechanics 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.

Visit Sarah Maria Griffin's website for more information

Spare and Found Parts is a futuristic story set in a world that was nearly destroyed by some kind of epidemic that left the majority of the population with missing body parts. Nell's father is a respected scientist who created the biomechanics that are used by those who can afford to have their missing limbs, be they arms, legs, hands or even eyes, replaced. Nell is a bit of an outsider, she struggles to connect with people and she's different because her machinery is on the inside and her mechanical heart that is the only thing that has kept her alive since she was a small child.

This is a society that is very suspicious of computers because it is believed they caused the epidemic but it was never fully explained what actually happened to the world or why, if technology was to blame, that everyone is so happy to walk around with biomechanical limb replacements. I wish the world had been explained better because I was left with so many questions and it really stopped me from fully getting sucked into the story.

Nell was an interesting character but she was quite hard to connect with because she's quite selfish, she has a goal to build herself a robotic companion and she doesn't care what she has to do to achieve that goal. She walks all over people who are just trying to be her friend and that doesn't endear her to me as a reader but at the same time she could also be quite vulnerable and it was easy to see she was just trying to find her place in a world that has always treated her as different.

This story is partly based on the story of Frankenstein and it has some really interesting concepts but unfortunately I found it quite a heavy going read, particularly in the first half, so it took me a long time to read. The story picks up pace later on and becomes much more interesting but I still have so many unanswered questions and feel like I wanted more world building.

Source: Received from Titan Books in exchange for an honest review

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