cover image Clockwork City

Clockwork City

Meredith McClaren. Image, $15.99 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-63215-253-4

Upon awakening, a bewildered girl named Orio becomes the newest resident of Cobble, a mechanical city inhabited by all manner of robotic people and their familiars, known as "odds." Orio's odd is a troublemaking, skull-faced feline named Bauble, but there's more to the little scamp than meets the eye, as revealed in a flashback/nightmare in which Bauble gives a dormant Orio a pocket watch. As Orio acclimates to her surroundings and tries her hand at a series of pre-approved jobs, Bauble's past catches up with them in the form of a terrifying predator—it resembles a panther created from bolted-together sheet metal—that appears to be after Orio's watch. While there is a resolution, myriad questions remain, likely to be answered in future installments. In this first book in the Hinges series (which originated online), McClaren strongly establishes the look and feel of Orio's analog world and its inhabitants with her polished, almost carved-out forms. Orio's continued silence (her first and only words arrive in the book's closing pages) emphasizes her disorientation and otherness while revealing McClaren's talent for wordless breakdowns and timing. Ages 9–up. (Mar.)