Tessa’s Scifi Book Recommendation: Tinker by Wen Spencer

In the book Tinker (Elfhome #1), Wen Spencer has crafted a terrific and complex future Earth where Pittsburgh is the location of the single interdimensional gate.  Yes, Pittsburgh.  The Chinese built a faulty hyperphase gate that translated the city to the Faerie planet of Elfhome—most of the time.  Sometimes it returns to Earth.  Now haughty elves govern Pittsburgh, and its surrounds are filled with dangerous magic creatures.Jacket Cover

Spencer’s humor is wry and witty, endowing the fully formed characters of this series with their unique quirks and foibles.  Tinker, of the title, is a young girl who is so brilliant she has prospered, even though orphaned and basically neglected by her family.  A young cousin works with her in the salvage yard where she bargains, builds and dreams with grease under her fingernails.  One evening a noble elf stumbles into her yard chased by vicious wargs, and life completely changes for her. 

What makes this old story (girl falls in love with handsome prince) fresh and new is Tinker’s gaspingly huge talents for physics, engineering and just about anything else.  Her abilities extend to the hyperphase gate and astrophysics just as much as to the robots and mechanics of her salvage operation.

This fast-paced action story will appeal to anyone who likes science fiction and also to fantasy lovers.  Spencer avoids all the clichés and turns in a top-notch read that's fun, too. ~ Tessa Eger    January 2014  4.5 out of 5 stars