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Clockwork Angels: The Novel (edition 2012)

by Kevin J. Anderson, Neil Peart

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1136108,775 (3.55)5
Member:lutenzo
Title:Clockwork Angels: The Novel
Authors:Kevin J. Anderson
Other authors:Neil Peart
Info:ECW Press (2012), Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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Clockwork Angels by Kevin J. Anderson

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The Watchmaker has spent a couple hundred years bringing absolute precision to the lives of Albion. The Anarchist is trying to tear the order apart. In between the two of them is a rather unassuming young man, Owen Hardy, who is almost at the age of adulthood and is ready to propose to a pretty girl and take over running the apple orchard for his father. He is noticed by the Watchmaker and the Anarchist as a possible hiccup in the order of things and they try to sway him to their respective views. The anarchist takes the first shot by literally snatching him onto a steamline train, off to take raw supplies to Crown City and to possibly see the legendary Clockwork Angels.

The reader follows Owen as he arrives in the city and naively makes his way around until he runs out of funds. He comes across a traveling circus and starts working for them, traveling through many small towns like his home and he gets strong and more attached to the beautiful trapeze artist. Later he joins a steamliner captain and also works on a ship and is wrecked by pirates. He sees the good and bad in order and chaos and wants to find a good balance between the two.

The reader is treated to an interesting world full of alchemy and follow the growth of a young man who gets hard lessons during his journey. A fun read. ( )
  mamzel | Jun 23, 2014 |
Prior to reading Clockwork Angels I would have rated Kevin J. Anderson’s outstanding Terra Incognita trilogy as his best work. Kevin has published many superb novels, and while I love them all, I really clicked with the Terra Incognita books. In fact, I had Kevin sign all three of my copies when I met him a few years ago. But Clockwork Angels is a special book. A stand alone novel based upon and inspired by Neil Peart’s lyrics for the Rush album of the same name, Clockwork Angels is a dazzling coming of age story. Part fantasy, part science fiction and part Steampunk, Clockwork Angels tells the story of young Owen Hardy who yearns to see more of the world. He does just that, and soon he discovers that his world isn’t what it seems, and his adventures test his endurance and willpower. He finds himself pulled between the forces of order and chaos. Learning to survive on his own, Owen falls in love, travels to remote parts of the world, and experience extreme loneliness and extraordinary adventures. Bibliophiles take note: the paperback edition from ECW Press in Canada includes stunning cover and interior images designed by Hugh Syme thus making this a real collector’s item. Neil Peart’s lyrics are included along with an essay by Peart on the book’s origin. Kevin J. Anderson has crafted a wholly original and heartfelt story that will touch readers of all ages. I really loved this book and I’m rating it a modern classic alongside Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. This is one you won’t want to miss. The Anarchist, the Watchmaker, Francesca, Cesar Magnusson and his carnival extravaganza, Commodore Pangloss, the seven cities of gold and other characters and places are all waiting to be discovered in the pages of this wonderful book. ( )
  TPMCNULTY | May 21, 2014 |
First off, I have to say, the hardcover version of this book is a beautiful book. The jacket is excellent, the cover, binding and paper are good quality, each new chapter page is in a parchment style and there are appropriate interior illustrations. If you aren't familiar with it, this is the novelization of the Rush album Clockwork Angels. It faithfully turns the story that's told in the songs from the album into a novel. Even if you aren't a fan of the steampunk genre, this is appropriate for fans of fantasy. It was a fun and interesting read with little bits of Rush-dom thrown in for Rush fans, though if you aren't a fan they won't bother you. Really well done. ( )
  Karlstar | Mar 30, 2014 |
Out of context, this might seem to be a somewhat by-the-numbers steampunk quest novel. With a little (or a lot) of knowledge of the album which inspired it, it takes flight as part illustration, part explanation. I liked it a lot, but I'm a Rush fan. Mileage will undoubtedly vary for non-fans, but I still recommend it; in fact, I'd be interested to hear what people who haven't heard the music think of it. ( )
  Watty | Nov 14, 2013 |
In a world where order is precisely controlled by the Watchmaker, Owen Hardy, an apple farmer, yearns for adventure and to visit Crown City and to cast his eyes upon the famed Clockwork Angels. But nobody leaves their village. It's not allowed. He takes a chance in sneaking out of his house just before midnight to meet his girlfriend, who doesn't show up and unwittingly embarks on an adventurous journey beyond his wildest dreams when he impetuously leaps aboard a Steamliner.

Life, as he knew it, crumbles as he engages with pirates, encounters and falls in love with a carnival artist named Francesca, knows not what to make of makeshift island, is awed by Chronos City and meets with a host of complex characters. The ever changing landscape, exciting machines and people are described in such colorful detail as seen through Owen's eyes that we share in his awe, his excitement, his fear, his sorrow and his joy.

As the Watchmaker exerts control over most of the population, providing them with a safe and orderly world, so does the Anarchist introduce chaos in an attempt to disrupt order, and Owen experiences the struggle of one against the other, and the importance of balance.

This steampunk book is beautifully illustrated and I chanced upon it, not realizing that it was based on the lyrics of songs by the band Rush. I think the story does well standing on its own for those unfamiliar with the band and their songs. I understand that the experience is enhanced if one listens to the band before, during or after reading the book. I may have to download some of their songs and re-read this. ( )
2 vote cameling | Jul 31, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kevin J. Andersonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Peart, Nealsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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A remarkable collaboration that is unprecedented in its scope and realization, this exquisitely wrought novel represents an artistic project between the bestselling science fiction author Kevin J. Anderson and the multiplatinum rock band Rush. The newest album by Rush, Clockwork Angels, sets forth a story in Neil Peart’s lyrics that has been expanded by him and Anderson into this epic novel. In a young man’s quest to follow his dreams, he is caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos. He travels across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy with lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life. The mind-bending story is complemented with rich paintings by the five-time Juno Award winner for Best Album Design, Hugh Syme.
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A novel based on the album "Clockwork Angels" by the rock band Rush follows a young man on a quest through a world of lost cities, pirates, anarchists, and a Watchmaker who imposes precision on all aspects of daily life.

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