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Clockwork Angels: The Novel | [Kevin J. Anderson]

Clockwork Angels: The Novel

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. He watches the steamliners drift by, powered by alchemical energy, as they head toward Crown City....
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (135 )
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3.7 (125 )
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Story
3.9 (125 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Mooresville, NC, United States 09-18-12
    Amazon Customer Mooresville, NC, United States 09-18-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great with the album, decent YA novel alone"

    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.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heat-Rae Charlton, MA USA 09-12-12
    Heat-Rae Charlton, MA USA 09-12-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Incredible Story of a Fantastic Adventure"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes Absolutely Great story, and Great Reading


    What other book might you compare Clockwork Angels to and why?

    The story is in the same archetype as Name of the Wind.


    Have you listened to any of Neil Peart’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    All are excellent, this one is the equal of any other


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    As Rushfan this just made happy...and dreamy


    Any additional comments?


    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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 10-29-13
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 10-29-13 Member Since 2010

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A STATUE HAS STABILITY"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis Los Angeles, CA, United States 11-21-12
    Dennis Los Angeles, CA, United States 11-21-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Amazing Story and Narration"
    Would you listen to Clockwork Angels again? Why?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Clockwork Angels?

    The main characters decision to hide an achievement to keep other people's dreams alive.


    Which character – as performed by Neil Peart – was your favorite?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    I felt the same way after reading this book as the first time I read Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill Eagle, Colorado 11-10-14
    Jill Eagle, Colorado 11-10-14 Member Since 2009

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I really enjoyed this book!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell Bernard Salt Lake City, Utah United States 07-29-14
    Russell Bernard Salt Lake City, Utah United States 07-29-14
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    "Rush fans will love this maybe,"

    I am a huge Rush fan having all their albums. I was underwhelmed by this book. and found all the references to rush lyrics to be stupid and uninspiring.
    OK, I know Rush fans will love this book and that Neal Peart is an amazing drummer that can do no wrong. This book left me uninspired and disappointed in the simpleness of the characters and the pour plot development.
    what ever happened to the Anarchist and the Timekeeper? I guess they just went on doing there stuff.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer StL 04-08-14
    Kindle Customer StL 04-08-14
    ratings
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    6
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    "I have stoked the fire on the big steel wheels..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Clockwork Angels to be better than the print version?

    I prefer the audio version because where else can you have a rock legend like Neil Peart read a story to you, honestly!


    What other book might you compare Clockwork Angels to and why?

    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.


    What does Neil Peart bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The true meaning of tending ones garden.


    Any additional comments?

    Great story with an incredible soundtrack!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel DES MOINES, IA, United States 10-22-13
    Rachel DES MOINES, IA, United States 10-22-13 Member Since 2011

    rah1_isu

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    "Corny as hell but some interesting ideas here"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The lyrical references were fun but I feel like there were too many. If I was reading a dead-tree edition of this book, I might have thrown it out the window!


    If you’ve listened to books by Kevin J. Anderson before, how does this one compare?

    I read one of his X-files books back in the day and I remember liking it. But I was much younger and less of a cynic so it's hard to compare.


    Have you listened to any of Neil Peart’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no but I would like to get one of his own travel books to hear him read it.


    Was Clockwork Angels worth the listening time?

    Yes I think so. I feel it added to the album.


    Any additional comments?

    I was really intrigued by the parallel universe/multiple world stuff. I wish there could have been more of that. It's sad that Lavinia got totally left in the dust.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandyn Midvale, Utah, United States 09-08-13
    Brandyn Midvale, Utah, United States 09-08-13
    ratings
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    "A story most Rush fans can enjoy!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Clockwork Angels to be better than the print version?

    Couldn't Tell you didn't read the book


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Neil is a good reader but I am not sure if Neil's voice is the problem of the qualit of the recording but sometimes it sounds like Neil has some marbles in his mouth and the sound drops out a little. but I like how neil reads the book.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes it was exciting enough that I wanted to keep listening to it.


    Any additional comments?

    Good book typical story but I still enjoyed it a great deal and would recommend this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Fullerton South Texas 06-24-13
    D. Fullerton South Texas 06-24-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This review is difficult for me"

    As a long time Rush fan I was looking forward to more insight of the book with the album. Unfortunately I found the story underwhelming as well as the narration by Mr. Peart. I'm still a huge fan, but honestly I was a little disappointed in the book. It seemed aimed at a preteen audience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • b
    Abertillery, United Kingdom
    3/1/13
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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