Mainspring (Clockwork Earth #1)
Jay Lake's first trade novel is an astounding work of creation. Lake has envisioned a clockwork solar system, where the planets move in a vast system of gears around the lamp of the Sun. It is a universe where the hand of the Creator is visible to anyone who simply looks up into the sky, and sees the track of the heavens, the wheels of the Moon, and the great Equatorial ge...more
It's time for the next review in my Jay Wake Pre-Mortem Jay Lake Read-a-thon! And today, Lake does what so few others in my 53 years have done: Used the word "God" and not made me screechingly furiously attack-mode angry. MAINSPRING, reviewed at Shelf Inflicted, is a good book for many reasons. That one is mine. Others include elegant phrasemaking, deft plotting, and a re-imagining of the laws of the Universe that's breathtaking.
I'm very happy I've ...more
The premise is excellent, as is the cover. The execution, however, is amateurish at best and laughable at worst. There were some 4 star moments, though - the journey, to be fair, proceeded as follows:
3 stars, 4 stars, 3, 4, 2, 2, 1...
The second half of this book is so unsatisfying, and the ending so trite and faux-didactic that I had trouble not throwing it across the room. As a massive sf/fantasy literary snob (China Mieville is my hero), I was ac ...more
Yet the question of a divine creator’s existence is only one among many, and it’s all t ...more
I've heard it claimed that Isaac Newton changed the way natural philosophers viewed ...more
Moreover, there is no ambiguity whatsoev ...more
The principal conceit of the story is that the world of the story is truly the clockwork orrey ...more
First, I liked this book. It's an entertaining read.
That said, I was disappointed with it. I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. That's not to say it's bad, because it's not. It's more a case of it's not anywhere near as good as it could be.
The main problem I had with it is that Hethor, the book's protagonist, never does much of anything. The book sort of happens to him.
In a way, instead of the Victorian Era flavor Lake was going for, he ends up invoking an e ...more
The book starts off with a decent amount of potential, setting it up with a classic YA "chosen one" scenario. Then it spirals into what I can only describe as the ninth circle of hell. This ...more
The problem is that Hethor's world is like a clock, the Earth revolves around the sun on a giant brass track, and the Earth's mainspring is winding down. Hethor ...more
It is more than Hethor's story, it is the story of the Brass Christ, and the mysterious sorcerer (or not) Wi ...more
Add to that the problems raised in other reviews, and I ...more
The author did some excellent world-building. I really wanted to know more about the various cultures and climes that Hethor, the main character, came into contact with.
On the other hand, the originality of idea could not overcome for me the blandness of the main and side characters. I don't mind books where the main character is somewhat more of an Everyman so that the reade ...more
But I liked the world building. I just didn't get as much of what I really ...more
Mainspring takes place in an alternate universe with a Clockwork Creator. The religion bears similarity to the Christian tradition but the actual differences are never explained to my satisfaction. Some of that may be due to trying to only reveal what is known to the main character but it leaves the reader's understanding of the world lacking. It was clear that there was some really interesting world-building bei ...more
Jay Lake takes this unlikely premise and makes it work, and what's more, makes it the setting for a journey of spiritual realisation by the extremely hapless main character. (Poor guy, he keeps getting falsely accused, cast out, beaten up, robbed, imprisoned, abducted, whipped, abducted, abandoned to die, starved, dropped off cliffs, beaten up, attack ...more
Why, why is it so hard to find good steampunk?
I had high hopes for this one. It certainly had potential--a great premise, a truly original world, a little theology, and a couple of surprising twists.
Unfortunately, none of those things can make up for the amateurish writing or the incredibly bland protagonist. Hethor lacked personality, conviction, and most of all, passion. Even during his not-infrequent emotional outbursts, I never got the impression that he truly cared about what he ...more
If you imagine this as a pocket u ...more
Good story about a boy eho get a call from the angel Gabriel that he must save the world, on his way he meet some strange ...more
Jay Lake lived in Portland, Oregon, where he worked on multiple writing and editing projects. His 2007 book Mainspring received a starred review in Booklist. His short fiction appeared regularly in literary and genre markets worldwide. Jay won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, Endeavour Award, and was a multiple nominee for the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards.
Other Books in the Series
He could hear the smile, even in her answering yell. "Certainly we are. It is only that our bodies have not yet learned the truth.”