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Clockwork Angels Hardcover – September 1, 2012
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"A mesmerizing spectacle of science fiction literature." —www.cbgxtra.com
"A grand adventure tale woven with threads of various themes enough to keep it fresh, exciting and engaging." —www.BookReporter.com
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Top Customer Reviews
As a stand-alone fantasy/steam-punk novel this book stands alone as an excellent example of Anderson's fine storytelling skills. But it also represents, for the Rush fan, multiple complex layers with which to enjoy the novel. The most obvious is the tie-in with the Rush album of the same name. Anderson and Rush lyricist/drummer Neil Peart, collaborated on the story. Through the music and Peart's lyrics, a story is told throughout the album. Anderson's novel explores that story in prose format, adding a wonderful and complex mosaic between the music and the written text of the story. For me, listening to the album again from beginning to end in a single sitting after reading the novel was an almost magic experience. Each of the two blend wonderfully together producing a unique multidimensional listening/reading experience. The music and prose co-exist and add more than the sum of their parts to the whole of the "Clockwork Angels" experience.
I should pause to refer to the print book itself. Illustrated by Hugh Syme, the hardcover book is a magnificent work of art. The book's artwork, layout and design is top-notch, with no detail left unfulfilled. Huge kudos should be extended to Canadian publisher ECW Press not only for putting this together, but for keeping the price at a virtual steal. One would easily expect to pay $45 for such an incredibly developed book -- but the hardcover book retails for a mere $24.95 US / $26.Read more ›
Unfortunately it's a mixed bag. The book's weakness, and why I have a hard time giving it more than 3-stars, is the writing (and therefore reading) gets somewhat awkward when the book stays too close to the lyrics, in some cases even working the lyrics into actual dialogue. A line like "I can't stop thinking big" is a great lyric, it conveys a rather complex concept in a single, simple phrase. As a line of spoken dialogue it ends up sounding very forced, as if the author had to fulfill a requirement to make the words fit into the story. There were a couple of places where this approach worked, but most of the time the book suffers from too literal a translation from the album lyrics. The author also mixes in older Peart lyrics to the story with mixed success, but it was fun identifying them and figuring out what song they were from!
It's interesting to see some of the ideas from the songs come to life with expanded detail and following Owen on his journey was enjoyable. There are some interesting characters that are introduced along the way, and for me the book is at it's best when it gets away from the detail that was presented in the original lyrics. I wish they had gone farther in flushing out these characters and story lines. In the end (ha!) I think the book would have been stronger if the author had taken Peart's concept and run with it instead of trying so hard to make the lyrics literally come to life.
Clockwork Angels: The Novel is set in a "Steampunk" inspired dystopian world devised in the joint imaginations of Anderson and Peart. Steam power energized by cold-fire animates gear driven machinery in a future world as seen through the eyes of a past Victorian styled world filled with quirky Carnies, iridescent Clockwork Angels, rigid Watchmakers, devilish Anarchists and free-spirited Pirates. Our hero, Owen Hardy lives a pleasant yet structured life in a small town tending the family apple orchard. He has bigger dreams and an optimistic but obedient outlook. He fantasizes about what adventures might lay outside his serene but lackluster village. He yearns to visit Crown City where The Watchmaker holds reign over the world of Albion with a down to the second control of all aspects of daily life. Owen impetuously hops aboard a passing "Steamliner" chugging towards the city. This is where the adventures begin.
There are a number of different angles to this story.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a Rush fan, I couldn't let this one pass, and it didn't disappoint. Based on Rush's final (?) studio album of the same name, the book expands on the themes previously explored... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Eric Treasure
I'm reading this because my son is a huge Rush fan and he enjoyed all the song references in the book, but I have found it tough to get through. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
If your a life long, die hard Rush fan, like myself (34 years plus) you will, in my opinion just love this finely
done work of art. Totally awesome. Buy it! Read more
Neil Peart is no stranger to telling stories via Rush lyrics, including science fiction and fantasy stories such as "2112" and "Hemispheres. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Gerald P. Petersen
Love the band, the album is very very good too, and I appreciate the album more now that I understand much more of what's happening. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Uncle Don
I just kept wanting to read the next chapter! It really kept my interest and was a great story.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a sweet story that many people will enjoy. Rush fans will especially enjoy finding lyrics from many of their songs tastefully embedded within the story.Published 5 months ago by SuzD
Outstanding book for any Rush or Steampunk fan. Even better when paired with the album!Published 5 months ago by paulinthehills