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Of Machines & Magics Paperback – January 24, 2012
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
About the Author
ADELE ABBOT graduated from Manchester University, where she majored in law. Her interest in Fantasy was first fired when she came across the Lyonesse series by Jack Vance. Working backwards from there, Adele discovered Vance’s earlier works, including the Dying Earth series, and was immediately fascinated by the way violence and evil could be hidden behind beautiful prose or absurd situations.
After several false starts and plenty of encouragement from friends and family, she began writing her first book, Of Machines & Magics. While shopping for a publisher, Adele began work on another fantasy, Postponing Armageddon, which she entered in the “Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now” contest for aspiring debut novelists, sponsored by Sir Terry Pratchett and Transworld Publishers. Out of more than five hundred entries, Postponing Armageddon reached the prize shortlist of just six novels.
In addition to pursuing a writing career, Ms. Abbot is a full-time law partner by day. She currently resides in Yorkshire in the United Kingdom with her son. Find out more at her website, www.adeleabbot.info.
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Top customer reviews
The character descriptions are a bit lacking, but I feel the writer made up for this with elaborate scenery, movement, and dialogue. While I can see how this book wouldn't appeal to everyone, it is truly a fun story with a quick pace. The writer's education is very clear in word usage. While there are some grammar mistakes, I would recommend this book over and over. Very fun read. I look forward to ordering more from this publisher and watching the career of this budding author.
An Earth some millions of years in the future after the Sun has prematurely entered its red giant stage and, as the action starts, is about to shrink to a white dwarf. Three heroes - a somewhat world weary "magician" who considers himself to be a better engineer than sorcerer, another who lives only for the moment and a new apprentice who finds everything fresh and exciting - set out to find the original machinery which moved the planet out of the red giant's reach so it can be used to steer the world back to the inner solar system over the coming millennia.
The Earth is hardly recognizable to our era: life is confined to the old dried up sea floors, the airless continental heights are forever out of reach; certain insects have developed to large sizes and pose threats as well as giving grudging aid to the humans. Perhaps, though, the greatest threats come from the scattered communities of human beings which each believe that theirs is the only society of any worth and all others are primitive or decadent.
We visit a village where the inhabitants live their lives in the false scenes projected by a "magic" lantern and another where the laws seem to be pure whimsy. We meet a rather delightfully naive, unexplained alien; a mechanical god and a robot built from junk-yard bits - largely by itself.
A thoroughly enjoyable book with laugh-out-loud bits and thoroughly recommended to readers of science fiction through to steam punk fantasy. Hopefully, the first of many from this new author.
Of Machines and Magic tells of the lengthy, perilous quest made by two sorcerers, Calistrope and Ponderos, and their apprentice, Roli, to prevent the worst from happening. The trio head from the city of Sachavesku towards Schune, the place where the engines at the heart of the world can be restarted and programmed to follow the sun to ensure the survival of all life on Earth.
During the journey the unlikely heroes are both helped and hindered by the ants, they face many life-threatening encounters with larger than life wasps, dragonflies, moths, eagles, and more. They also come across a couple of peculiar communities, making friends along the way, including the notable Polymorph-Morph to his friends.
Separated from each other on more than one occasion by various creatures, the team reunites and finally arrives at the mythical Schune, where they discover all is not as it seems...
All in all, a very enjoyable read, with lots of excitement along the way.
I found myself frequently stopping to ponder unique ideas and picture a fascinating world where beings and settings are never quite what they seem. Morph was my favorite character, but there are so many you'll be airlifted (literally) to another world.
The problem our heroes face is constantly changing and the solutions are never what you expect. Calistrope and friends seem to take one step forward and two back at every turn, carrying you along in their bag of magic mysteries. You won't figure it all out till the very last page. Enjoy!
Adele Abbot is a tour-de-force in Fantasy/Sci-Fi, a writer with a grand painted future which I want to be around to experience.
More like this please I can't wait for the next one. Even non-SF readers should try this one it's even more creative than Pratchett and his Discworld.