Reviews

Chatarra, by Pádraig Kenny

bigbeardedbookseller's review against another edition

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4.0

Follow the ragtag band of mechanicals as they search for Christopher, who has been abducted by someone who wants to discover his deepest secrets.

Throughout this gripping adventure, set in an England of alternative 1930s where mechanicals (robots) are common, there is a huge nod to ‘The Wizard of Oz’, a curmodgeonly wizard, evil witch, someone longing for home, and a ragtag band of friends who are on their own journeys of discovery.

Pádraig has developed a wonderfully believable world where Pinocchio was burnt on a bonfire through fear, but Gepetto (Runcible) kept developing his creations, perfecting them, but there was always fear. Therefore a set of rules were developed to make the mechanicals acceptable.

The pace is perfect and keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout, always one step ahead of you keeping you wanting more. This is accompanied by some of the best described locations ever, some of which are very dark indeed.

It feels like the start of a new fictional universe which I would be more than happy to explore further.

I will just leave with one last thing, Round Rob.

motherbooker's review against another edition

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4.0

From my review at motherbookerblog.com:

"When I first decided to read this book I expected it to be a twee little story about an orphaned boy and his little robot friends going on an adventure. What I actually got was something much deeper that goes into the finer details of what it means to be human. This feels like an incredibly grown-up book and it was an absolute joy to read. Writer Pádraig Kenny has not only come up with a fantastic concept for his story but he has fit it into a really well-built world. His whole new reality has its own, slightly recognisable, history and is full of luscious details. It is a steam punk wonderland that I wish I could have seen more of. He has also crammed it full of amazingly written characters who feel believably real despite the fact many of them are actually artificial. Each mechanical has their own distinct personality and add their own emotional slant to the narrative. It’s a pleasure getting to know these characters and it’s super difficult to not fall in love with each of them.

I admit that I wasn’t expecting a children’s book to have such a profound impact on me, a nearly 30-year-old woman, but there were moments when I was nearly in bits. The story delves deep into the heart of humanity and love and is not afraid to put its readers through the ringer. The narrative gets a little dark in places but is always so full of hope and love that it never becomes too much. It plays with the idea that science and advancement are great but that there is a massive responsibility to keep it under control for the good of humanity. Genius is all well and good but nobody should be trying to play God. It’s an incredibly mature and thoughtful book that I wish I’d read as a child. There are big ideas and big, gut-wrenching feelings inside these pages but there is also more than enough fun, laughter, and love to balance it out.

I was drawn to Tin thanks to its sensational premise and awesome cover (yes, I know you should never do it but what are you gonna do?). I stayed because of how well-crafted the story is. The pacing is brilliant and drives you forward. Not a single moment is wasted in unnecessary side-plots or over-the-top description. The plot never drags but it is slow enough to allow you to keep up with what is happening. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you interested and the dialogue is all very natural. This book really surprised me and I would definitely read as much as I could about these characters and this reality. If this experience has taught me nothing else it’s that maybe it’s time I start reading more children’s books and stop being so concerned with only reading “proper” literature? After all, Tin taught us all that “proper” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be anyway."

4rosiedozie's review against another edition

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5.0

Beautiful tale of friendship and humanity.

mutantpudding's review against another edition

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3.0

Is this steampunk?

caittweddle's review against another edition

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adventurous funny mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.0

ciaravr's review against another edition

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adventurous lighthearted mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.25

engpunk77's review against another edition

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4.0

A middle grade quest story for avid readers with great vocabularies, set in a world populated with robots/animated mechanics. Themes: identity, good vs. evil, family, friendship. Lovable characters give you warm feelings, lots of action, and not accessible to struggling readers. Surprisingly, with the reading level, there's not a lot of philosophical fodder like you'd expect. It's more like [b:The Wild Robot|26030734|The Wild Robot (The Wild Robot, #1)|Peter Brown|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1441052184l/26030734._SX50_.jpg|45956901] for a higher level reader.



Personal sidenote: "This single-minded intensity was Estelle's version of happiness." I love this sentence. I've never seen anyone else explain it this way, and it rings true for me. I truly feel happiest when I'm feverishly working on something I've deemed important, even more so than when I'm curled up on the couch with a book, in a loved one's arms, or sitting on the beach with an entire summer vacation spread out before me. I'm a worker.

teri_b's review against another edition

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5.0

I am back with reading middle grade and have discovered another amazing read from my local library with the audiobook of this book.

This book holds so much representation of friendship, of family own and found, of not being quite right and yet having to live your life and of living through difficult moments but finding answers in the end.

There is representation and discussion of disability and disfigurement in this book.

misslupescu's review against another edition

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5.0

This is a wonderful story. One of my faves so far this year and will most likely remain high on the list. 😊

stevies_shenanigans's review against another edition

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5.0

It's a children's book and I read it as such.
I mostly read adult fantasy/Sci-fi, O was not looking at it from that perspective.

This was a wonderful story.
I fell in love with the characters and world they belong to.

I am so glad the shop assistant recommended this little treasure to me. I know it's one I will read again and again.

It made me cry at the end (in a good way) , and that's all you need to know.