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Clockwork Angels by Kevin J. Anderson

Clockwork Angels

by Kevin J. Anderson

Other authors: Neal Peart

Series: Clockwork Angels (1)

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2241581,954 (3.32)12
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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Before I review this book, I need to point out that I haven’t heard the album of the same name by Rush, so this review is based solely on my thoughts about this book. This is a book that I may have picked up in a store because the cover intrigued me but may not have actually purchased, so it being a free gift from Emerald City ComicCon was a plus.

From the first page the reader is introduced to the main protagonist, and it is through his journey into adulthood that we are introduced to the world he inhabits. Initially I was under the impression that, because of his naiveté, this character could not possibly be the one who the storyline would centre around; I was sure he would be chewed up and spit out like so many broken watch parts, but this was not the case. This character is not a complex or multifaceted one in anyway, but he is written with traits and questions in his mind in his mind that will make the reader think; order or chaos, life and death freedom of choice and success or failure, are all covered and encountered by the main character as he journeys through this book. I enjoyed travelling with this character and joining in his adventures so much that, by the time I finished this book I felt I would our time together and I hoped his future would hold good things for him. As much as I liked this character, I did feel that the Author would have done this book a great service by providing an equally despicable and thoroughly unlikeable villain as a counterpart but, despite there not being such a character it really did not pull away from my liking of this book as a whole.

Steampunk is always a great genre to find action and adventure set in semi-quasi historical settings, and this book was no different in this respect. However, if you pick this up and read it purely as a steampunk fantasy you will, in my opinion be missing out on so much more and possibly some of the best pieces of this book.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in French literature (parts of it carry a strong resemblance to Voltaire’s work) and also those with an interest in philosophy. This is a book that needs to be read slowly and savoured with time given over to the thinking it will provoke.

Originally reviewed on: http://catesbooknuthut.com/2014/07/21/review-clockwork-angels-the-novel-kevin-j-...

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
( )
  TheAcorn | Nov 8, 2019 |
Loved the Rush album (especially BU2B, Clockwork Angels, The Anarchist, The Wreckers and The Garden) but really disliked the book. ( )
  anandrajan | Apr 15, 2018 |
I loved this book. It presents a really cool world, one I wish had more books about it. The concept of intersecting worlds introduced in this story is lovely, and I really love the aesthetics of the clockwork angels. It's also satisfying that while we see in this novel how the seeming utopia of Albion is not perfect, we also see how it does provide a happy, safe, fulfilling lifestyle for most of its people. This is a much more nuanced concept than just criticizing the clockwork society for its restrictiveness, and offered a lot to think about. ( )
  JBarringer | Dec 30, 2017 |
An OK novel derived from a Rush album of the same title. Some new concepts, but nothing groundbreaking. ( )
  Guide2 | Oct 30, 2017 |
Disappointing, but not wholly without value.

A novelization of the band Rush's latest album (with the same title), it expands on the songs of that album, but is a flatly rendered and weak story with little depth to the characters or the world they inhabit.

Disclosure #1: I've been a fan of Rush since the late 1970s.
Disclosure #2: I've listened to Clockwork Angels four times now and it still hasn't grabbed me, though the latest time was at the halfway point in this book, and the context provided by the novel helped to flesh out those bizarre lyrics.

Paired, both are better than they stand alone. But only just so. I like the music - some of the most complex and ambitious in their prolific history - but the vocal tracks and many of the lyrics don't work for me. As such, I am somewhat disappointed in the album. Neil Peart has written far better lyrics, and far better themed collections. I suppose I expected more of the book than it simply reading like a novelization of a rock album. At least Roger Waters's warped vision of The Wall could be visualized by listening to that album. No so with Rush's album or this book.

In Neil Peart's afterward, he mentioned how Anderson wove less obvious references to Rush throughout the novel. I caught many and thought them gratuitous kitsch. I'll try not to let it color my perspective, but I think Clockwork Angels will never be a "must" listen, and this book will likely never be a re-read.


[Update: 2/5/2013]
It took me seven times through the album before it grabbed me...and then I couldn't get some of the songs out of my head. Unfortunately, they were some of the lesser ones on the album. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kevin J. Andersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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ECW Press

2 editions of this book were published by ECW Press.

Editions: 1770411216, 1770411569

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