Audie Award Finalist, Package Design, 2014
I can’t stop thinking big....
International best-selling author Kevin J. Anderson teams up with Rush lyricist and drummer Neil Peart to expand the story set out in Clockwork Angels, the 20th studio album by the legendary rock band.
All the journeys of this great adventure -
It didn’t always feel that way
For more than two centuries, the land of Albion has been ruled by the supposedly benevolent Watchmaker, who imposes precision on every aspect of life. Young Owen Hardy from the village of Barrel Arbor dreams of seeing the big city and the breathtaking Clockwork Angels that dispense wisdom to the people, maybe even catching a glimpse of the Watchmaker himself.
I was brought up to believe....
He watches the steamliners drift by, powered by alchemical energy, as they head toward Crown City - never dreaming that he is already caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos, between the Watchmaker and his nemesis, the Anarchist. Owen’s journeys begin at a fabulous carnival with clockwork wonders beyond his imagination, and take him aboard airships, far into the Redrock Desert to seek lost cities, through storms at sea to encounters with pirates...and give him a chance at love.
Clockwork Angels: The Novel is a remarkable, innovative story unlike any other.
The basis for this novel, Clockwork Angels: The Album by Rush, is available now at rush.com.
©2012 Kevin J. Anderson (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I need to start by saying that I've been a Rush fan since the late 70's. I love their music, and the Clockwork Angels album is one of their best ever. It's the reason I bought this book, but I'm reviewing it as a stand-alone work rather than as part of the larger production.
Clockwork Angels is a traditional coming-of-age story set in a fantasy universe that incorporates elements of steampunk and alchemy. As the authors note in the afterword, many influences were drawn from classical stories and pulled together to create an adventure that will seem very familiar to anybody who has completed an English Lit class or two. In short: boy is raised in humble beginnings but craves adventure, runs away to the big city, has life-affirming adventures and finds that he can never return to the pedestrian life where he started.
As a 40-something adult, I was ultimately left wanting more sophistication from this story. The characters generally lacked the depth I wanted and played to fairly well-established archetypes. Many of the plot turns went unresolved in favor of moving on to the next stage of the book, and I felt they could have been explored further to add a bit more weight to the world building. There were some pretty significant events portrayed in this story that would have had a huge influence on the way the world worked, but we never heard more about them. Too bad.
As a Rush fan, I noticed lots of references to song titles and lyrics throughout the book. I agree that people unfamiliar with their music probably won't notice anything's up, and it's kind of fun to discover the easter eggs. But some of the references felt a bit forced or contrived. It was obvious in several cases that the phrase used was not really the best choice, but was tweaked to include a hidden bit of lyric.
Neil Peart's narration was pretty good, and it was easy to be pulled in to the story - always a plus for an audiobook, and not a guaranteed experience. Definitely very solid.
Ultimately, I would recommend this book to a younger audience. I think 10-15 is probably about the best age for a book like this, and would have enjoyed it a lot more as my 12-year-old self. As an adult, I liked it but was ultimately left feeling like I had listened to an abridged version with much of the detail omitted.
Yes Absolutely Great story, and Great Reading
The story is in the same archetype as Name of the Wind.
All are excellent, this one is the equal of any other
As Rushfan this just made happy...and dreamy
1. As a Rushfan(tm)
2. As a Standalone book
Either way is one of the best books I have read in years.
1. As a Rushfan(tm) this book is an incredible expansion of the "Clockwork Angels" album and of the band's entire body of work. The book's Primary focus is of course on bringing an expanded version of the albums concept to life. However it goes further, it brings out an expansion of all of the Rush's work. It brings in concepts from the entire history of the Band's albums and songs. These are not just cheesy planted references, but ones that enhance the naritive and even the understanding of such.
2. As a standalone book the story itself is vibrant and clear. There isn't a wasted word in the book. The story could have easily ran on as 500-1000 pages dragging out the concepts of the narative. However Anderson (and Peart its made clear this was a very tight colaboration) keeps the story running on the same steel wheels of the Steamliner's that figure centrally to the narative.
The story is so complex with so many references to songs and other great works of art that I would love to read again to catch all of them.
The main characters decision to hide an achievement to keep other people's dreams alive.
The clockmaker, although all the characters had unique voices that fit how you think that character should sound. The distinctness of the individual voices made the story very easy to follow.
Yes, unfortunately it was broken up into three sittings for me and when I was not reading the book it was all I could think about.
I felt the same way after reading this book as the first time I read Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.
I am a clinical psychologist and writer living in Colorado's Vail Valley. I taught myself to read when I was 3 and I have been a voracious reader ever since. I love science fiction, literature, and non-fiction about psychology, business, history, politics, science and biography. I adore audiobooks and my kindle.
This book was clever and well-written. I enjoyed seeing the world through the eyes of the main character and I really liked the author's writing style. The story was straight-forward and deep at the same time. It was fun picking out all the references to Rush songs/lyrics while I listened. I wasn't crazy about the narrator's voice. It wasn't bad, but I think someone with a little more warmth and inflection would have made this a better listen. The additional material at the end gave some interesting insight into how the book got written, so keep going and be sure to finish out the whole audiobook.
I prefer the audio version because where else can you have a rock legend like Neil Peart read a story to you, honestly!
The flow was intentionally similar to Candide. It also reminded me of The Alchemist. I enjoyed Clockwork Angels more than either of these two however because of the pairing with the soundtrack.
Neil brought a real honesty to the reading. It didn't come across as a voice talent but as a friend telling me a great story. I was pleasantly surprised by his work.
The true meaning of tending ones garden.
Great story with an incredible soundtrack!
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
I HAVE NO FAITH IN FAITH
I only gave this a middling rating,but I will have to admit that I did enjoy lots of it. I liked the main character. He is naive and positive. I am a sucker for characters who don't give up. I also was reminded a lot of Robert Silverberg, the writing was very familiar to some of his work.
I rarely listen to music and I never heard this album by Rush. I think they should have included the album with the book. For me this was an adventure book. The book has a cool afterword which explains how the book was written and why. It pretty much explains each and every adventure.
If you like Robert Silverberg, you should like this.
NOTHING COULD STOP HER BEAUTY IN HIS EYES, NOT EVEN A MUSTACHE.
I enjoyed listening to the person who actually had the original idea actually perform the final work.
This is the first book I've read in the steampunk genre, so there's not much that I can compare it directly to. But, it is similar to "The Odyssey" - as the main character is traveling and getting into fantastic journeys.
I liked the scenes where Owen is investigating the Seven Cities of Gold - reminiscent of my backpacking travels in the Southwest (America) looking at the Anasazi ruins.
"All the journeys of this great adventure ... it didn't always feel that way"
It makes the album so much more meaningful when you read the book - you get some additional meaning from the songs.
Great story with an ending that I can relate to. I also liked the author's reference to lyrics in older Rush songs.
Very satisfying read and also enjoyed the reading by Neil Peart.
Tell a story. Don't strive so hard to work in lyrics from 40+ years of source material.
Peart doesn't really have what I would consider an acceptable narrating voice. His pronunciation is somewhat slurred and often mushy (possible speech impediment?). His cadence is almost singsongy as if he were reading to children. Almost every sentence follows the same build up and trail off finish. I'd have rather just listened to him drum...
All of the above. As a huge fan of the band and specifically Peart's lyrical style I was really hopeful that this novelization would capture some of that magic. I now realize that great lyrics, especially ones jammed into every conceivable place in prose, doesn't work. Once I caught the 4th or 5th random lyrical interjection I found myself listening specifically for the next one as if I was on some aural easter egg hunt. This not only distracted from the story but often I lost track entirely because of the ear worm effect. For instance, every time they said "Cold Fire" I'd drift off singing the rest of the lyrics. The result reads like the worst kind of pandering fan fiction written solely as tribute or to garner the attention of the artists.
I'm glad I didn't invest in the rest of the series.
The story seemed to be aimed at a younger audience.
The narrator seemed like he was reading to his daughter and not to an adult audience, which is fine. Wish I knew the audience level before reading.
Loved the references to Rush's song titles and lyrics. There were Easter eggs all through the audio book!
Also, if you enjoyed the Clockwork Angels album that Rush released in 2012, this audio book will fill in the story blanks. Not sure if you will enjoy the album any more or less though.
I love Neil Peart and Rush, but never connected with the characters in this book or the story. I personally would have been much better off imagining the story in my own mind based on the lyrics and music from the exceptional Clockwork Angels Rush album.
"Great Listen By The Pool!"
Been a fan of Neal Peart for a long time and i like his style of writing and now he's teamed up with Kevin Anderson it could only be a good thing; and so it proved. Thoroughly enjoyed the escapism while listening by the pool with a cold one. Pearts imagination has always been prevalent with the writing for Rush and along with Anderson they have put together a great little novel that flows and interlinks smoothly. really enjoyed and am looking forward to the next collaboration between these two.
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