Friday, November 20, 2015

Clockwork Lives by Kevin J. Anderson


Clockwork Lives is a follow-up volume to Kevin J. Anderson’s excellent Clockwork Angels. I do recommend that readers purchase Clockwork Angels first in order to familiarize themselves with the amazing steampunk world that Kevin has created. Inspired by the band Rush and created in conjunction with Neil Peart, both Clockwork Angels and Clockwork Lives offer a literary smorgasbord of the highest quality. I purchased Clockwork Lives directly from a link that Kevin offered through FaceBook and received my autographed copy of Clockwork Lives within a week. Books like this are the reason I love reading. In Clockwork Lives we are greeted by a collection of stories framed by a larger story about Marinda Peake. When Marinda’s father dies he bequeaths his fortune to her but only under the condition that she fills a book with special alchemichically treated pages with stories. In order to do this she needs but a small drop of blood from a volunteer splashed onto the page which results in that person’s life story being summed up in text. As Marinda begins her journey to collect stories she learns and important lesson, namely: “Some lives can be summed up in a sentence or two. Other lives are epics.” Marinda’s adventures are fascinating, often dangerous, sometimes sad, but always enlightening. The individual stories she collects are also fascinating and have a direct impact on her quest to collect stories, many of which are connected. This is a great book, and one of my favorites this year. KJA writes smooth, flowing prose, and I am always swept along by the tales he tells. This first edition hardcover from ECW Press is a collector’s item featuring beautiful illustrations by Nick Robles. Clockwork Lives came along when I really needed to connect with some great stories and the timing couldn’t have been better. Marinda’s quest becomes an epic unto itself and I guarantee you won’t be able to put this book down. Kudos!

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