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Reviewed by Caitlin Lyle Farley for Readers' Favorite
Something is wrong with Edna’s younger brother, Harrison. He seems perfectly healthy, an oddity in itself, but he isn’t acting like his normal self. Edna pushes her worries to the back of her mind until she tears off the strange watch around Harrison’s neck and he disintegrates into a pile of gears. Her father is away, she can’t reach her mother, and the police laugh at Edna’s story. Help appears unlikely, until a thief recognises the watch as the power source for a cogling, a machine left in the place of a child stolen by the hags. Edna’s would-be attacker turns into a saviour as Ike swears to help her get Harrison back from the hags. Edna takes all her family’s savings and the duo heads for the swamps where the hags take the abducted children to work in their factory. First, they must save Harrison and then they must warn the king.
Jordan Elizabeth’s Cogling is an imaginative story populated with fascinating creatures. There’s an interesting backstory behind the origins of the hags, who serve as credible, relatable antagonists with a nice level of creepiness. Edna is an enigmatic character with strong motivation, but she can also be the sort of character you want to slap before they mess everything up. This is less of a problem as her character develops. The plot moves at a good pace and presents Edna and Ike with plenty of obstacles on their journey. Cogling is a delightful steampunk adventure with a satisfying pinch of romance and intrigue.