Welcome to the Curiosity Quills Press’ January Releases Review Tour! Today I have for you my review of Cogling by Jordan Elizabeth and an excerpt. Enjoy!!
COGLING, by Jordan Elizabeth
Genre: Middle-Grade fantasy
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Release¬¬: January 25, 2016
Cover Artist: Mandie Manzano
I received an eARC from the publisher Curiosity Quills Press for an honest review. This in no way influences my review.
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.
Can I just say that Curiosity Quills Press’ book covers are the prettiest? Even the formatting is really nice!!
Cogling is one of those books whose characters take a piece of your heart and will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book. The author does such a great job building this world and crafting her characters and it really shows in their realness and depth.
I found myself totally riveted to my Kobo and immersed in this world where Edna, her brother and her mom are barely scraping together a living. At 15 years old she is already working along with her younger brother . Their dad is mentioned only briefly since he is hardly ever there, being a railroad worker. Edna is almost a mom to Harrison so she is the first to realise something is off about him after the hag has replaced him with a cogling. This ‘cogling’ is a doppelganger held together and operated by clockwork, which I thought was just ingenious. So, for all looks and purposes, it was supposed to imitate Harrison so that he wouldn’t be missed.
Anyway, without giving away too much, Edna finds out the cogling is not her brother when it disintegrates in front of her eyes into clockwork, gears and other bits and pieces. She then sets out to investigate and finds out the hags have kidnapped Harrison so of course she sets out to retrieve her brother and things only get more intriguing for there on.
Now, this is a world with magic but not everyone has it and those that do,the hags and the ogres, were once in control and wish to be so again. So they have hatched an evil plan to suppress the humans which Edna stumbles upon in her attempts to retrieve Harrison.
I loved all the characters, even the villains ,especially Mother Sambacus because they were so well developed, interesting and multi-faceted. The character development is done in such in way that I found myself relating on a deep and personal level with them especially Edna, Ike and Harrison. I couldn’t help but admire Edna’s strength and her love of family. She literally did everything in her ‘power’ to rescue her brother and others and refused to allow herself to let doubt cripple her ability to do so, even when the odds were stacked impossibly high against her!
Ike, the secondary character has earned a place in my heart too. Even though in the beginning his motives were ulterior, he kept his word and helped Edna to rescue her brother and didn’t just stop at that. The romance that developed is one that makes sense to me. I can imagine that going through danger and uncertainty together could cause feelings to develop and mature, as a bond would form between the two.
Mother Sambacus lived up to the idea of a villain and added tension and suspense to the plot. The plot itself, though not overly complicated, was clever and the gripping and with a few twists interwoven to add that element of surprise which just kicked it up a notch. The pacing is fast and steady and there is more than enough nail-biting tense moments to keep one’s eyes glued to the page.
The action and intrigue never let up! Seriously!! With impeccable narration and riveting , imaginative , well- thought out scenes and plot twists, the author was able to grab my attention and keep me enthralled! Cogling really was a page-turner that I had to force myself to read slowly, to savour every word and nuance, so as not to miss anything from this veritable feast of words! It will tug on your heartstrings and have you rooting for Edna and Harrison and will leave you totally satisfied yet disappointed that it’s come to an end. I can’t wait for you to read it! Cogling has my stamp of approval and I highly recommend it to EVERYONE!!
Green smoke snaked up the side of the tenement and drifted over the sill of an open window. A breeze blew the vapor into a column before it solidified into the shape of a stout, young hag. She shook her crimson curls away from her face and straightened the hood of her cloak to keep her kohl-lined, silver eyes shadowed.
The scent of lavender clung to her robes, washing over the small room. Two brass-framed beds crowded the floor. Blankets covered sleeping children. A little boy wheezed against the head of his stuffed bear, drool dripping onto the wool.
The hag squinted to see the goldenrod dream cloud above his head—a dream about seeing his father again. She frowned at the other bed, where a sleeping teenager lay with a threadbare blanket tugged around her chin. Even squinting, the hag couldn’t make out a dream cloud. The girl was too old to be of any use.
The hag slithered to the boy’s bed and, from the folds of her cloak, drew out a rectangular box four inches long, with a circular indentation on one side. She set it on the floor to remove a vial and rag from her skirt pocket, the rough wool of the rag irritating her fingertips.
“Do it, Simone,” the hag muttered to herself as she willed her hands not to tremble. “Make the Dark Mother happy.” She couldn’t fail at her first mission.
Holding her breath, Simone dribbled three drops onto the rag, yanked the teddy bear away, and shoved the drugged cloth against the boy’s mouth. His eyes opened, his gasp muffled, and his body jerked. Simone stiffened.
The girl moaned. Her mattress rustled as she rolled over to face the wall, brown curls shifting over her pillow.
Simone’s heart thudded. By the seven Saints, she should’ve cast a sleeping spell over the girl. The Dark Mother preferred humans to think hags were harmless healers, not thieves who kidnapped children.
The boy writhed, squeaks emerging from behind the rag. Simone pressed harder. She needed his breath in the wool to disguise and fuel the machine.
The potion took hold and the boy collapsed. Simone’s thick lips curved over her broken teeth. She lifted a pocket watch from around her neck and positioned it into the crevice in the metal box. As the two pieces connected, a chime rang out. She set the box beside the limp little boy and draped the rag over it. Even though she should wait to make sure his breath stuck in the machine, she couldn’t risk waking the girl.
The metal stretched to become his replica as if it were made of putty. With a second chime, the metal shimmered and dulled into the pale peach of his flesh, becoming an exact duplicate of the child.
“Mine.” Simone hefted the little boy into her arms, leaving the duplication on the bed, and transformed to smoke before the chimes awoke the girl.
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.
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!