Penelope lives in a world of advanced technology but many claim society has yet to catch up. Marionettes have advanced in the form of robots; lifelike creations remote controlled to perform super human tasks.
When Penelope makes a deal with Jed, a marionette-obsessed scientist, she doesn’t fully realize what she’s getting herself into. In order for Jed to take her away from the orphanage she lives in, she must first agree to undergo his experiments and tests, ultimately creating something no one ever dreamed possible; the first living marionette.
As Jed shows off his scientific creation to the world, concerns arise surrounding Penelope’s abilities and what she’s capable of doing. Ordered to somehow lessen her abilities, Jed makes a desperate attempt to change Penelope to make her more human, more vulnerable. After Penelope lies to the officials about her past, Jed makes sure it’s the last one she’ll ever utter. The truth is now the only thing she is capable of telling.
As Penelope struggles with her past, her disturbingly new present, and her uncertain future, she is thrust into a magically twisted world of mayhem in search of the one thing she wants, but knows she can never have. The chance to be just a girl again. To be normal. To be real.
I received this book form NetGalley for review.
I am a fan of fairytale re-tellings, and even though Pinocchio is one of my least favorite stories, I just couldn't pass up reading this book. And I like it much more than the original tale. Penelope is character that I sympathized more with than a little wooden puppet boy that didn't know what being alive meant. Penelope grew up in an orphanage, and gave up what being a "normal" human to try and make up for her past sins.
Though the story took a couple short chapters to really draw me in, once I was there I could hardly put the book down. James, the son of the scientist that gave Penelope her marionette abilities, was a fine addition to the book, but I kind of felt it was unnecessary to have a romance added. To me, it didn't come off as something that was needed to add anything interesting to the story, and it felt really forced.
One thing that left me scratching my head, was when this story takes place. Is this book steampunk, is it set in the future, or an alternate universe? Nothing that I noticed ever indicated what year or time frame this book was set in. I really enjoyed this book, and I would recommend this to anyone that like fairytale retellings.