Release: August 1st 2017
Received: Net Galley
Warnings: Glimpses of animal violence/death, rape
I received a copy of the Clockwork Dynasty from Net Galley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The first thing I would like to mention is just how wonderful the cover is – it caught my attention right away and immediately made me read the quick blurb along with it. It’s pretty much the perfect steampunk cover, between the details, texture, and color palette.
The Clockwork Dynasty blends technology with history into a seamless and interesting read about the purpose we all carry. Two characters with different histories, perspectives, and goals show us that despite these differences they have the same question: “what is my purpose?”
Warnings first: This is a story that crosses centuries at a time, and sometimes that fact results in showing wars or other historical events. Animals are hurt and killed, though you can typically see it coming, if that helps at all. Additionally there are some kidnap scenes, where the kidnapper clearly intends to rape a minor. Unnamed side characters are shown being kept prisoners in a brothel, some of them are children. Thankfully not much detail is provided, but it still happens and is talked about. So please keep this in mind.
I pretty much devoured this book from cover to cover (or whatever the ebook equivalent of that is). I was immediately drawn into June and Peter’s (aka Pyotr) stories. Part of the reason why I got sucked into it is because I really loved the blend of history and technology. I think my favorite quote from the book sums that up pretty well: “We came striding out of the past, yet our bones are made of the future.”
The other reason I found myself enjoying the novel was because of the choice in storytelling style. The chapters rotate back and forth between June (the present) and Peter (the past). This not only kept it from getting dry, but also helped keep things from getting confusing – you know that June’s perspective will always be the present, even without having to be directly told this. Likewise it’s safe to assume that Peter’s will always involve the past.
The Clockwork Dynasty is an experience, one I truly believe you need to have read to be able to fully appreciate what it is trying to say. Any fan of science fiction with a focus on more steampunk elements will likely enjoy this read.