“Aspiring inventor and magician’s apprentice Felix Carmer III would rather be tinkering with his latest experiments than sawing girls in half on stage, but with Antoine the Amazifier’s show a tomato’s throw away from going under, Carmer is determined to win the cash prize in the biggest magic competition in Skemantis. When fate throws Carmer across the path of fiery, flightless faerie princess Grit (do not call her Grettifrida), they strike a deal. If Carmer will help Grit investigate a string of faerie disappearances, she’ll use her very real magic to give his mechanical illusions a much-needed boost against the competition. But Carmer and Grit soon discover they’re not the only duo trying to pair magic with machine – and the combination can be deadly.”
I was fortunate enough to get an ARC from the publisher.
Carmer and Grit by Sarah Jean Horowitz was a great and captivating fantasy novel. It’s well-written characters and majestic world buoy the predictable plot.
Felix Carmer III loves to tinker. He is constantly experimenting with new items while helping his mentor, Antoine the Amazifier. Felix was a very likeable character. He was witty, smart, and the emotional heart of the book. You really wanted to root for him. Grit is a faerie, in fact she is a princess. Contrary to Carmer, who is a bit on the quiet side, she is head strong and fiery. She provided a nice foil of sorts to Carmer. When they inevitably meet, they have some nice moments. Obviously, the two come from different sides but find that they form a nice pair together. The side characters such as the Amazifier and Kitty were good and charming in their own way, but they were a bit standard. The same goes for the villain, who I will not name because of spoilers. You know instantly that he is the bad guy and he never deviates from it. However, I’m pretty sure the intended audience is younger than me and will have no problem with the characters that I mentioned above.
The other magnificent part of the book is the world Horowitz creates. It’s this steampunk world mixed with some magic. Horowitz never dumps the world on you, instead she slowly builds it, releasing information as the story progresses. In that sense, like Carmer, you get to know about the world as if you were just exploring it for the first time.The faeries had some interesting elements that I hope will get explored in future installments. Now as I said earlier, the plot is predictable. For someone who has read a lot of fantasy novels and watched fantasy movies, I knew what was going to happen. However, the intended audience will probably love the plot and I found the ending to be sweet and left open an interesting plot point that could be explored in future books.
In conclusion, Carmer and Grit was a fantastic book. I had a great time following Carmer and Grit as they solve the mystery. Their development and chemistry was great and the world created was even better. While the plot was predictable and some characters were a bit standard, they were done well enough that it did not hamper the book.
Rating: A Must Buy