Wen Spencer has a great imagination. The story starts off with a bang! Things seemed to slow down just a little bit somewhere in the 100's page-wise (or it could be that I kept getting interrupted -- grrr!), but after that I didn't want to put the book down and stayed up late last to finish. There's a ton of plot and world-building going on in here, but it's still easy to follow.
Easy to like, interesting characters, fast pace with lots of story.... I'm really glad there's a sequel to this book, and that there's already got a copy here waiting for me!
Great combination of sci-fi and fantasy. Wen (short for Wendy) Spencer explains elves and other mythical creatures in a very original manner: they are from a different dimension. In "Tinker", an interdimensional gate transports the whole city of Pittsburg to Earth once a month for supplies (a day called Shutdown), while the rest of the time it is in Elfland. Unfortunately the designer of this gate is long dead and no one else really understands how it works. Tinker is a girl genius raised in Pittsburg under this unusual situation. She owns a salvage business and one night, hours before Shutdown, an elf runs into her yard chased by monsters. Tinker steps in to help and this act changes her life forever as the elf is Windwolf, viceroy of the elves. A very interesting read: I fell in love with the worlds and loved some of the ideas used to explain elves and japanese folklore like oni and tengu. I did notice some Mary-Sue aspects to Tinker (smart, so many men are in love with her, she doesn't realise her own beauty .. blah). Some flaws did help her from becoming a complete Mary-Sue: she is only 18 and completely clueless about relationships with men and her own hormones, and she is capable of acting before thinking despite her genius apparently. This is the first of a series (yay!) and I plan on continuing it as there are several things left open that I would like to know about and I think Tinker's past will prove to be interesting as well as elf society and politics as a whole.
Top-notch fantasy. Tinker, inventor and girl genius, lives in a near-future Pittsburgh which now exists mostly in the land of the elves. She runs her salvage business, pays her taxes, and tries to keep the local ambient level of magic down with gadgets of her own design. When a pack of wargs chase an elven noble into her scrap yard, life as she knows it takes anserious detour. tinker finds herself taking on the elven court, the NSA, the Elven Interdemensional Agency, technology smugglers and a college-minded xenobiologist as she tries to stay focused on what's really important--her first date. Amed with an intelligence the size of a planet, steel-toed boots, and a junkyard dog attitude, Tinker is ready to kick butt to get her first kiss.
This is an excellent book. Starts off with a bang and never stops.
First time reading W. Spencer. Very novel qusi combination of SF and Fantasy. Enjoyable.
Fun first book in a new series from the author of the Ukiah Oregon books. Spencer stays close to home (Pittsburgh) but invents whole new dimensions with elves and magic, accessible by advanced earth tech. The new protagonist is a fiesty young woman, with brains and beauty.
This book started out strongly. Set slightly into our future, there is now a gate that allows humans into an alternate universe - this one with elves in it. However, the gate just switches out land in our world for land in the other world. In the case of our world, the gate covers most of Pittsburgh. For most of the month, Pittsburgh resides in Elfhome. One day a month it's returned to Earth for supplies and allowing people to leave or enter.
The story follows Tinker, an 18-year-old genius who's lived in Pittsburgh/Elfhome all her life. During a Shutdown day (a day that Pittsburgh is in Earth) an elf enters her life chased by monsters. She helps him defeat the monsters, then keeps him alive until the return to Elfhome. After that her life is changed forever.
As I said, the story started out strongly and I devoured the first half of the book. Then the romance starts entering in and it gets weird.
A very nice human she's known since she was 13 turns out to have been obsessing about her since she developed into a woman at 15. Once this is out of the bag it's like any self restraint he had is completely gone, leading him to actually attempt to rape her at one point. The counter-relationship with the elf seems better at first, but he also does some pretty strange stuff considering he's only known her for a few days.
*** END SPOILERS***
Unfortunately the weirdness in the romance put me off of the book. I skimmed ahead to see if it go better and ran across one more scene that lead me to put the book down altogether - a bit of cruelty from the bad guy that as far as I can tell serves no purpose but to show how much of a bad guy he really is. I don't mind horrible things happening to characters so long as it advances the plot. Horrible things for no reason but to show how bad the bad guy is - not my thing.