(Book Review) Mechanica: A Beginner’s Field Guide by Lance Balchin

(Book Review) Mechanica: A Beginner’s Field Guide by Lance BalchinMechanica: A Beginner's Field Guide by Lance Balchin

Published by Five Mile Press on September 2016
Genres: Futuristic, Graphic Novel, Picture Book, Steampunk
Pages: 40
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher

Click here to buy the book from AmazonBooktopiaBook DepositoryAngus and Robertson
Welcome to future Earth.

Despite repeated warnings, the environment has become polluted to such an extent that many areas of the globe have become uninhabitable, and wildlife is now extinct.

From the ashes, a new style of ‘wildlife’ is created. Wildlife that will not remain harnessed by humankind.

Welcome to the world of Mechanica.

This beautiful picture book, created by Australian illustrator and author Lance Balchin, is an encyclopedia of Mechnica creatures with a fictional narrative

In Mechanica: A Beginners Field Guide, the world as we know it has changed. On future Earth, the environmental impact of humans caused many animal and insect species to become extinct. With much of the world inhabitable due to pollution and other issues, a new kind of life was invented. Mechanica, human created lifeforms, were designed to replace the roles of now extinct wildlife. In this book the author gives us facts and illustrations of many different species of Mechanica as well as a brief history of the Mechanica as a whole.

For me, this book is in the same realm as Graeme Base’s Animalia. You don’t need to be young (or young at heart) to appreciate the art or the story in Mechanica. The illustrations are just breathtakingly beautiful. The information which goes along with each picture is imaginative and clever in a fun way. This book is the whole package.

There is a large part of me that wishes the Mechanica were real (seriously, I would want one of each of them. I would wear them as brooches. They are just that stunning). The detail in each one is amazing. There are mechanical components in each yet their animal origins are clear to see. They are steampunkesque.

I’m not sure where Lance Balchin got the inspiration to create a book featuring specimens described by a historian paraphrasing a teenage naturalist from the Orient in 2250. It sounds insane. And it is. But it works so well.

Mechanica is not just a picture book. This book is a treat for young and older readers alike. A combination of incredible art along with an environmental message, Mechanica is a book like no other.


Thanks to Five Mile Press for the review copy.


It is impossible to explain just how incredible a book Mechanica is without showing you some of the illustrations. I’ve embed a pdf to show you all an extract. You can also see the extract by going here: http://www.fivemile.com.au/sites/default/files/extracts/Mechanica_Extract.pdf

[pdf-embedder url=”http://www.fictionalthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Mechanica_Extract.pdf” title=”mechanica_extract”]

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