In which Daniel Waterhouse, fearless thinker and courageous Puritan, pursues knowledge in the company of the greatest minds of Baroque-era Europe -- in a chaotic world where reason wars with the bloody ambitions of the mighty, and where catastrophe, natural or otherwise, can alter the political landscape overnight.
"Be aware of what you're getting into"
In the year 1689, a cabal of Barbary galley slaves, including one “Half-Cocked Jack” Shaftoe, devises a daring plan to win freedom and fortune. A great adventure ensues that will place the intrepid band at odds with the mighty and the mad, with alchemists, Jesuits, great navies, pirate queens, and vengeful despots across vast oceans and around the globe.
A chronicle of the breathtaking exploits of "Half-Cocked Jack" Shaftoe - London street urchin-turned-legendary swashbuckling adventurer - risking life and limb for fortune and love while slowly maddening from the pox...and Eliza, rescued by Jack from a Turkish harem to become spy, confidante, and pawn of royals in order to reinvent a contentious continent through the newborn power of finance.
"Less Math Fiction, More Action"
Daniel Waterhouse finds himself embroiled in a dark conflict that has been raging in the shadows for decades. It is a secret war between the brilliant, enigmatic Master of the Mint (and closet alchemist) Isaac Newton and his archnemesis, the insidious counterfeiter Jack the Coiner, a.k.a. Jack Shaftoe, King of the Vagabonds.
"Imp of the Perverse Embodied in Brilliant Fiction"
The year is 1714. Daniel Waterhouse has returned to England, where he joins forces with his friend Isaac Newton to hunt down a criminal gang attempting to blow up Natural Philosophers with "Infernal Devices," or time bombs. Unbeknownst to Daniel, however, Newton has an ulterior motive: to wrest the Solomonic Gold from the control of his arch-enemy, the master counterfeiter Jack the Coiner, a.k.a Jack Shaftoe, King of the Vagabonds.
"My favorite in the series so far"
The trials of Dr. Daniel Waterhouse and the Natural Philosophers increase one-hundred fold in an England plagued by the impending war and royal insecurities - as the beautiful and ambitious Eliza plays a most dangerous game as double agent and confidante of enemy kings.
In this concluding volume of Neal Stephenson’s epic work, “Half-Cocked Jack” Shaftoe must escape the noose of Jack Ketch; the rivalry between Newton and Leibniz comes to a head; and Daniel Waterhouse pursues his dream to build the Logic Mill
"So good, I want to start the whole series over"