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Publisher's Summary

The Clakker: a mechanical man endowed with great strength and boundless stamina - but beholden to the wishes of its human masters.

Soon after the Dutch scientist and clockmaker Christiaan Huygens invented the very first Clakker in the seventeenth century, the Netherlands built a whole mechanical army. It wasn't long before a legion of clockwork fusiliers marched on Westminster, and the Netherlands became the world's sole superpower.

Three centuries later it still is. Only the French still fiercely defend their belief in universal human rights for all men - flesh and brass alike. After decades of warfare, the Dutch and French have reached a tenuous cease-fire in a conflict that has ravaged North America.

But one audacious Clakker, Jax, can no longer bear the bonds of his slavery. He will make a bid for freedom, and the consequences of his escape will shake the very foundations of the Brasswork Throne.

©2015 Ian Tregillis (P)2014 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I HOPE YOU'LL EXCUSE MY DULL WIT

CLOCKMAKERS LIE
The COMPLEX GEOMETRY and MOSIAC words were beautiful at times, but a little distracting for this simpleton. THE BONE AND MEAT MASTERS were excessively mean in their treatment of the servant robots. If the story would have remained with THE MECHANICAL and his struggles, I would have been intrigued. The foul mouth queen was also an interesting character. All put together, like a Kevin Anderson Saga, caused my mind to boggle. Various political systems of several strange countries and the lack of focus on one central character, caused my circuits to fry.

33 of 37 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good, but too unrelentingly dark

Interesting worldbuilding, interesting characters. It is also one long tale of urelenting misery being inflicted on those characters with no letup or breathing space worth mentioning listened to this in chunks over weeks because it just got depressing

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great book that goes nowhere.

Any additional comments?

I would have given this book a perfect score if it wasn't the first part in an apparently very long series. It is well written with interesting ideas and fun, if somewhat small, fictional world. But...

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, gets resolved in this book. The character end up in the exact same place they started. Their big "triumph" is more of an accident then any action of the characters. And it's not even fair to call it a triumph as it doesn't change anything in the world.

The problem is the premise of this book, while clever, is not substantive enough to maintain a 17 book series or whatever the heck the Ian has planed. Things start to get repetitive towards the end as the story just starts to tread water. The main character are a little grating and unlikable. I mean they are fine enough for one book but spending a series with them does not seem like a pleasant experience.

If you are like me you'll find this book eating a tub of cotton candy. It's pleasant at first but by the time you reach the bottom of the tub you are a little sick of it and are feeling very unsatisfied.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Creative and thought-provoking

Alternate history sci fi novel. Mechanicals (Clakkers, Servitors) were invented by a Dutch inventor and made the Netherlands a superpower. Members of The Guild called Horologists fix and maintain the clakkers and protect the secret of their inner workings. Clakkers are smarter and stronger and are controlled by a pre-programmed hierarchy called the gesha. There is a way for them to gain free will and be free of the gesha, and the novel tells the story of Jax, how he obtained free will, was considered a rogue, and ran for his life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • TIMOTHY
  • Manheim, PA, United States
  • 11-10-15

Love this author!!!

I will read whatever he writes. I love the steampunkish setting, what an imagination! HE FORCES YOU TO USE YOURS!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 10-28-15

Forget Steampunk, the new genre is 'Clockwork'

Worth the read and looking forward to sequels if they come. Superb alternate timeline with a sort of new twist on steampunk (i think a new genre invented , 'Clockwork').

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A surprising gem

I've never cared about alchemy, in any sense. I certainly never went out of my way to read anything related to it. Even so, this was an entertaining book that had great narration. I don't want to say anything to spoil it. At least listen to the sample.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Worth the time investment

Tregillis is a bit of a chameleon when it comes to style. Having enjoyed "Something More Than Night" a mashup of Dashiel Hammett detective noir and Aquinas hierarchy of angels, this took a little getting used to. The style was very different - a much slower and languid story building tension that you kept waiting to be unleashed. It was written for an earlier era with the occasional flash of modern coarseness and action. Early on I contemplated walking away, but I stayed with the story. I was very glad I did as things began to coalesce into a riveting story surrounding what it means to be human and the nature of sentience. I eagerly await the sequels and marvel at the range Tregellis nimbly navigates in his "fusion fiction" mixing period piece manners, fantasy, alternative history, science fiction and philosophical meditation. He is like that chic chef mixing cuisines and concepts into something very interesting and tasty. Sometimes it takes time, but is worth the wait. This did and it was.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A nice start to a unique story

I enjoyed this first book of the trilogy. It is my first encounter with Ian Tregellis. The story is unique and well crafted...the performance was excellent. I would have liked some sound design added.

Well worth a listen

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Thomas
  • Kingston Springs, TN, United States
  • 05-29-15

Something for every stripe of scienc fiction fan.

Finally something new and engaging in a genre that has become fixated on the science at the expense of the fiction. Without burdening the reader with gibberish technological details, the author has a spun wonderful story that melds fantasy and sci-fi and alternate history in a way that seems at once to be both realistic and fanciful. Kudos go to the narrator as well. Performing a piece that combines many nuanced characters in conjunction with robotic voices is no small task but he pulls it off masterfully. Big thumbs up!

5 of 7 people found this review helpful