- Series: The Alchemy Wars (Book 1)
- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Orbit (March 10, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316248002
- ISBN-13: 978-0316248006
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 114 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #444,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Mechanical (The Alchemy Wars) Paperback – March 10, 2015
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"There are a number of marvelous action scenes, hallucinogenic in their over-the-top big-screen violence, but the real attraction here is Tregilli's narrative ruthlessness, which manifest as willingness to take his character to the brink of hell...and then, rather than yank them back at the last second, push them in."―SciFi Magazine on The Mechanical
"A major talent."―George R.R. Martin on Bitter Seeds
"Superb alternate history filled with clockwork men and ethical questions on the nature of free will. ... Tregillis's complex setting is elegantly delivered, and the rich characters and gripping story really make this tale soar."―Publishers Weekly on The Mechanical
"The first thing readers will say after finishing this splendid book is: 'Wow.' The second thing will probably be: 'When can I read the next one?'"―Booklist on The Mechanical
"Tregillis presents a fascinating look at the nature of free will and the existence of the soul, wrapped up in an absolutely thrilling adventure story. Jax is an amazing, sympathetic character, and the world of the clockmakers and their slaves is so absorbing that readers will be dying for the next entry in this new series."―Library Journal on The Mechanical
"Thrilling philosophical clock punk."―B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog on The Mechanical
"His characters are as convincing as ever, the plotting is beautifully articulated, the tone relentlessly grim and sometimes horrifying. And while the action rarely flags, Tregillis manages to pack in a good deal of philosophical probing...readers with an interest in dark, intelligent fantasy-will find much to admire here."―Kirkus on The Mechanical
"In the tradition of Isaac Asimov, Tregillis's latest novel combines classic robotics with historical fiction to riveting ends. Tregillis brings an intriguing touch to his narrative, as parts of actual Dutch history, such as colonization, the founding of New Amsterdam and reliance on slavery, are reflected in the fictionalized country's conquering of the rest of the world. Further, the story manages to posit broad questions, such as how one defines humanity and free will, without coming across as sanctimonious or treacly. It's also just plain exciting, with intense fight scenes and exhilarating narrow escapes. Readers will no doubt be rooting for the "rogue" robots."―RT Book Reviews on The Mechanical
"...By the end of the novel, the physical and emotional transformations they have endured promise an even more exciting sequel. This tightly wound plot yields timely conversations regarding consciousness and technology as various forms of human and machine merge."―The Washington Post on The Mechanical
"While merely the warm-up for what promises to be a uniquely compelling series, The Mechanical is as intricate and exquisite as the clockwork wonders it brings to life."―NPR Books on The Mechanical
About the Author
Ian Tregillis is the son of a bearded mountebank and a discredited tarot card reader. He was born and raised in Minnesota, where his parents had landed after fleeing the wrath of a Flemish prince. (The full story, he's told, involves a Dutch tramp steamer and a stolen horse.) Nowadays he lives in New Mexico, where he consorts with writers, scientists and other unsavoury types.
Top customer reviews
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The book uses multiple viewpoints from several protagonists and each of them you very quickly develop feelings for. I won't write a lengthy review because I don't want to spoil anything, and I also want to get back to reading it. I can't wait to find out what happens next, and I'm delighted to see there's a trilogy involved.
This is the only time I've written a review before completing the book, so I'll update it again later after completion. (I was late in starting it after buying it due to work demands). I'm confident it will end well and can't wait to dig into the sequels. READ THIS BOOK! As of today's date 10/27/2017 I'm predicting that this book series will become a major motion picture trilogy or a critically acclaimed TV series. "When" it does I only hope they do the books justice, and I'm glad I can say I read the books even before they were announced that they would be films!
There are a few perspective characters, but the one who is also the primary "football" is Jax, a Mechanical (android) who escapes Holland for New York.
This is as much a book about the nature of free will as it is about Jax's adventures, and Tregillis makes that work. Much of the adventure contrasts the Dutch clockwork and alchemical science (and Mechanical slave labor) with the French/New World chemistry and engineering as we know it.
Note that this book does not stand alone. Two volumes of The Alchemy Wars are published at this writing, with the conclusion expected in December, 2016.
I enjoyed this book a lot. The philosophical questions help add a dimension to this book which was nice but not over the top. I found my self taking some time to look up philosophers and really think about my own philosophy of life and free choice. This philosophical questioning was a dimension I was looking for in a book (as well as action and plot ect..).
Things I liked:
+ Jax (protagonist)
Things I did NOT like:
-convenient plot points (only a few and this is being nit picky).
-very end of book. I can not tell if this is my own pulling for certain characters or annoyed at a character flow surfacing a an inopportune moment.
Overall, I will be reading book two (eventually) and I have liked this book enough to try to recruit my friends/family to give it a try.
I will be moving on to book two..eventually.
Characters are well enough drawn to be both distinct and memorable. The fantasy/magical portions of the setting aren't overly explained, which is fine, as the point of the narrative for me isn't about science or magic, but the nature of consciousness/existence/free will. The mechanicals in the book are well envisioned and their use/abuse contemporary in light of current issues of human enslavement, the power of the church, and the fear of non-human intelligence. While there are times I found one of the main character's actions, or lack of action, intriguing (do I use my knowledge to free others or simply work at my own escape) - it could very well be part of the character's growth.
I wish the author well in sustaining his level of intrigue, thoughtful prose, clever use/twist of alternate historical ideas, and general plotting. I await the next in the series.
Most recent customer reviews
An action fantasy that also struggles with philosophies like what is free will, who has a soul, and the pragmatic nature of evil.Read more