4 out of 4 stars
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Josef Kronecker is a clockmaker, but he's so much more. Having once attended medical school, he creates mechanical appendages for those in need. At a party where mechanical figurines are on display (birds that fly, ballerinas that dance, and cats that purr), Josef meets a mysterious woman named Klara. Knowing very little about her, he's infatuated. Josef, though, has a mechanical secret of his own. If Klara learns about it, she may very well use it to her advantage, which might end up costing Josef his life. Who is Klara? Will Josef be able to keep his secret?
Of Gilded Flesh by Gordon Gravley is a science fiction story of around 185 pages. Though it has some science fiction elements, it doesn't fit solidly into any one genre. I would tend to classify it more as other fiction. The story is told in the present tense from the third-person perspective and is character-driven. Taking place in the eighteenth century, it has a unique perspective that isn't too old fashioned.
Some stories are so magical they capture your attention from the start. It doesn't matter if they are science fiction, mystery, or drama; you're enraptured from start to finish. This was one such book. Because of this, it could appeal to a wide audience, not just lovers of science fiction.
The author has a way with words that makes the story come to life. This was my favorite aspect of the book. Consider this description from page 27. "Galileo, owner of the meows, greets Anna with purrs loud enough to rival a shop full of clocks." In case you're unsure, Galileo is a cat.
The characters were realistic. From those that you know from the start are going to be trouble to those that have such an extraordinarily kind heart that you know they'll be taken advantage of to those that you love to hate, there's a bit of every personality. It's an interesting sampling of humanity. This, again, shows the author's writing prowess.
While there were a few grammatical errors, they were minimal. My only complaint was the words in italics. Appearing in a different font, these words were smaller than all the rest. While merely a stylistic choice, it was annoying; I would recommend a different font for readability. It didn't, however, interfere with my enjoyment of the book. It was an engaging read from start to finish.
Because of this, I rate Of Gilded Flesh 4 out of 4 stars. There is some mention of abuse, but the details are vague. There is also some sexual content, much of which is left to the reader's imagination. I recommend the book to adult readers looking for a unique read who enjoy interesting characters set in an older period with a more modern feel. If the subject of abuse is triggering to you, I would skip this story.
Of Gilded Flesh
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