The Captain’s Log – made things (Adrian Tchaikovsky)

Ahoy there mateys!  This author’s work is fairly new to me but I am really enjoying it so far.  It seems that the author writes in a variety of styles with a variety of subjects.  The first sci-fi novella was walking to aldebaran which was definitely unusual but made me laugh.  The second, a novel called dogs of war, took some time to track down but I ended up finding that one interesting too.  Strange sci-fi about bioforms but good.  So I was looking forward to reading this fantasy that involves puppets.

This world building was freaking awesome.  The story follows Coppelia who is a thief and pickpocket with an unusual ability – to make intricate puppets.  But not just any puppets.  These six inch tall puppets are alive.  Made out of wood, metal, and other materials, the tiny magical beings have recently moved to the city of Loretz.  Coppelia and the homunculi strike a mutually beneficial deal for survival.  Until the local crime boss gives them no choice but to help with a heist.

Seriously the homunculi were just awesome.  I loved how the different materials influenced how they functioned.  I loved that how they dealt with gender.  I loved the back story of their origins.  I loved their plans for the future.  And I loved their friendship with Coppelia.  I could have read about them for a lot longer.

Besides the amazing world, the plot was also unpredictable in the best way possible.  The story felt light at times and very dark at others.  Coppelia was fun to follow and I did actually get anxious for her chances.  The book did not end up where I thought it would.  Cool.

The only negatives were I got a lot of the criminals mixed up and also the plot details are fading already.  That said, I would certainly reread this one and enjoy refreshing me memory.  Arrr!

Side note: any other standalones by the author that ye recommend?  No new series until the Series Shakedown is under better control!

Goodreads has this to say about the novella:

She was good at making friends.

Coppelia is a street thief, a trickster, a low-level con artist. But she has something other thieves don’t… tiny puppet-like friends: some made of wood, some of metal. They don’t entirely trust her, and she doesn’t entirely understand them, but their partnership mostly works.

After a surprising discovery shakes their world to the core, Coppelia and her friends must reexamine everything they thought they knew about their world, while attempting to save their city from a seemingly impossible new threat.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Adrian Tchaikovsky – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

made things – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

walking to aldebaran (On the Horizon – Sci-Fi eArc)

dogs of war (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi)

17 thoughts on “The Captain’s Log – made things (Adrian Tchaikovsky)

  1. I absolutely love this author – but this one has slipped through the net! I’ve just bought it:)) Children of Time is a joy, and while I found Children of Ruin an interesting read, it’s not as convincing. My personal favourites also include Spiderlight – a wonderful, gripping take on the fantasy quest trope and the fabulous novella The Expert System’s Brother, which I still think about… I think he is an extraordinary talent.


  2. I’m happy you enjoyed it so much! If you like short stories and would like a sample of the Shadows of the Apt without committing to a 10-book series, there are two really good collections of short stories by Tchaikovsky set in that universe. There’s also a D&D parody, Spiderlight, and I still count Children of Time as a standalone 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the recommendations. I think I would rather try some short stories instead of reading a 10 books series. I remember the days when I loved long series but I don’t have the mental energy for it. And ye are not the only person who considers children of time as a standalone 🙂
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

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