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Clockwork Angels

(Clockwork Angels #1)

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3.68  ·  Rating details ·  2,871 ratings  ·  536 reviews
A remarkable collaboration that is unprecedented in its scope and realization, this exquisitely wrought novel represents an artistic project between the bestselling science fiction author Kevin J. Anderson and the multiplatinum rock band Rush.

The newest album by Rush, Clockwork Angels, sets forth a story in Neil Peart’s lyrics that has been expanded by him and Anderson in
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Hardcover, 315 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by ECW Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Daniel Rochinha No. While there is a romance - which is very relevant to the story - you won't see any reference to sex whatsoever.

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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  2,871 ratings  ·  536 reviews


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Rebecca McNutt
Clockwork Angels was a bit difficult to follow along with, and although I wouldn't go so far as to say I disliked it, I just found that it read as a very forced and scattered sort of story. Based upon the lyrics of the final album of the Canadian band Rush (yes, I'm a very bad Canadian; I don't personally listen to Rush music very often myself and if you asked me what my favourite Canadian band is I would probably say The Box), Clockwork Angels is an interesting take on turning powerful lyrics i ...more
T. K. Elliott (Tiffany)
Sep 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, steampunk
Clockwork Angels is the companion book to the new Rush album of the same name. It's a steampunk fantasy describing a young man's dissatisfaction with his safe, ordered life in the Watchmaker's precisely ordered realm (even the rain arrives on time) and his embarkation on an impulsive adventure that rapidly spirals out of control. Through the book, the hero - Owen Hardy - changes from a naive boy to a young man.

However, if you are expecting complex plotting and multi-layered characters, you will
...more
Lyn
May 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Gotta say Kevin did a good job with this one. I’ve been pretty hard on Anderson over the years, but I’ve also liked his work with Brian Herbert on the Dune expansions, and my most frequent complaint is that he apparently gets paid by the word – he kind of goes on too long.

This 315 page relatively slim volume tells the story and wraps it up and was fun to read.

In an afterward by the late Rush drummer, we learn that the collaboration between the two began even before lyrics for Clockwork Angels wa
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David Spencer
Sep 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Disappointed in this one. "It was okay" about sums it up -- it's a fairly bland coming-of-age story with some inspired elements, but it's dragged down by the attempts to shoe-horn Rush references everywhere he could.

A novella that fleshed out the story of Clockwork Angels, the album, would have been fine. By making it a full-length novel we end up with the author spoon-feeding us way more than we need of the protagonist's mental state, along with clumsy Rush lyrics thrown into just about every c
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Jeff LaSala
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a short review of only the first few chapters of Clockwork Angels. As a longtime Rush fan, a sci-fi/fantasy novelist, and editor-in-training, I was honored to have receive a teaser copy from KJA to scope out.

To be clear, there is absolutely a certain level of bias feeding my opinions. From the moment I heard Fly by Night as a kid, I'd been won over by the musicianship, lyrics, and imagination of Rush. I've thrilled at the darkly wondrous "2112" and "Cygnus X-1," the epic fantasies of "Xa
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Tim Hicks
Apr 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
2.6 stars, rounded up. Peart says in the Afterword that Anderson sometimes dictated book chapters while mountain climbing. I'm not surprised. I've read other books by him that left the impression he wasn't giving it all his attention.

The book is a collection of Young Adult adventure tropes, stitched together over Peart's frame. I remembered Mieville's Railsea, and a whole bunch of other "young man talks his way onto a ship" books.

I've started thinking of Anderson as more of a carpenter than a
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Dillon Hills
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was one hell of a fascinating journey. I started it before leaving on a trip to Seattle and could not put it down. I planned on it lasting me til I got back home but I still have two days before I head back!

From the first sentence I was hooked. It's a classic coming of age adventure filled with all the excitement and terror one would expect from the minds of Kevin J Anderson and Neil Peart.

I love the latest Rush album, Clockwork Angels. So was more than pleased when I heard they were
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Craig
Feb 02, 2020 rated it liked it
This was fun, but I believe it could have been better. It's a rather simple coming-of-age story, based on Neil Peart's lyrics for the final Rush album, but I thought it also owed quite a bit to Robert Silverberg's Lord Valentine's Castle, Harlan Ellison's Repent Harlequin!, said the Tick-Tock Man, and perhaps even Isaac's Asimov's original Foundation trilogy. Anderson went to great lengths to place bits and pieces of Rush lyrics throughout the narrative, which was mostly fun but occasionally fel ...more
Kathryn
Jun 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
2 1/2 stars


When I first heard Neil Peart would collaborate with author Kevin J. Anderson on a fiction project connected to the latest Rush album, I was intrigued. For about two years, since the release of the band's single "Caravan," we waited for something - anything - resembling a larger project that might necessitate a tour for support. The hardcore fan base saw that wish realized with the release of Clockwork Angels the album (which I do enjoy) and the corresponding novel of the same time, w
...more
David Matta
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Clockwork Angels: The Novel
Kevin J. Anderson, Neil Peart Review

The only reason I ever had any profound interest in this book was because I am a loyal Rush fan, and following the release of the album, Clockwork Angels, the main thing I was drawn to was the story, and the lyrics that illustrated it. It told of the story of a young boy, his yearning for adventure, how he met his true love, and other generalities. But the story was incomplete and many questions arose, such as what was the story be
...more
Jim Razinha
Sep 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Disappointing, but not wholly without value.

A novelization of the band Rush's latest album (with the same title), it expands on the songs of that album, but is a flatly rendered and weak story with little depth to the characters or the world they inhabit.

Disclosure #1: I've been a fan of Rush since the late 1970s.
Disclosure #2: I've listened to Clockwork Angels four times now and it still hasn't grabbed me, though the latest time was at the halfway point in this book, and the context provided b
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Mark
Aug 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Don’t know how much of this is known, but I am a big fan of RUSH, the Canadian rock band recently celebrating over 35 years of activity. As I type, I have a signed album copy of their album Hold Your Fire over my desk. (It’s not their most exciting cover, but I like it, even more so the album, and the signatures stand out all the more because of its simplicity.)

There’s been quite a bit of excitement in the fact that their latest album, their twentieth, is a full-blown concept album. Their most f
...more
Wayland Smith
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
A place for everything, and thing for every place. All is as it should be. All is for the best. They sound like such innocuous phrases, don't they? The Clockmaker has taken over Albion, and everyone has their place in his grand scheme. He's gone beyond establishing order to making a realm where even the rain falls in accordance with a printed time table.

In this straight-jacketed world is Owen Hardy, an assistant orchard manager, who isn't sure he wants to live his life out in the small village
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Becky Carr
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, steampunk
This is the first time I’ve ever read a novelization of a music album, and it does not disappoint. Neil Peart of the band Rush wrote the album Clockwork Angels with each track being a characterization or expression of an idea or experience in this steampunk world. It’s told in third person in the perspective of Owen, a young man who dreams and imagines. He’s tired of his small town life and jumps a train to adventure. He falls in love, travels, explores, and learns about the world and his place ...more
Steven
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I’m a Rush fan and an avid reader. That is the main reason I wanted to read this book. After listening to the latest Rush album, Clockwork Angels, it was obvious that the song lyrics told a story. Although typical to many albums of this nature, it did not tell the complete story, only what would fit lyrically along with the music in order to make a coherent musical recording. So when I heard that Kevin J. Anderson was writing a book based on the story told by the songs on the album, I naturally ...more
Jackie B. - Death by Tsundoku
Clockwork Angels tells the story of everyman Owen Hardy, a disillusioned 16-year-old who wants more from life than what he has. Breaking all expectations and traditions, Owen sets out into the world and get caught in a battle between the Watchmaker's strive for The Stability and the Anarchist's "freedom extremism"-- or, in simpler terms, Order versus Chaos. Told in beautiful allegory, Owen's journey to maturity reflects back on the reader quite clearly.

To anyone familiar with Candide the parall
...more
Adam Light
Full disclosure: I'm a big fan of Rush, especially the pro-rock albums they gave us in the 70's. I discovered them when I was in my early teens, and I still listen to them today. Their latest release, Clockwork Angels is their first "concept" album in a very long time. I thought it was very good, and got better with every listen. When I heard Neil Peart had coauthored a novel which expanded on the album's themes and fleshed out the story, I went into paroxysms of giddy delight at the very though ...more
Karen
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be an absolutely amazing, emotional, beautiful piece of literature! I am familiar with co-writer Kevin J. Anderson's work and I think this is a very strong effort from him. That being said, as an avid fan of Rush and an equally avid fan of Rush drummer Neil Peart's books ("Masked Rider: Cycling in West Africa," "Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road," "Traveling Music: the Soundtrack to My Life and Times," "Roadshow: Landscape With Drums -- A Concert Tour By Motorcycle," ...more
Joe Santoro
Nov 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: steampunk
I love the concept of this book... take one of the most creative guys out there in one medium (Neal Peart) and have him try his hand at another. Who doesn't love the idea of a concept Rock album.. here's its taken to the next level.

Sadly, he hooked up with Kevin Anderson instead of a good author... the epilogue tells me they live close to each other, so I guess it was fate or something.

The story itself presents a world that is completely ordered by a leader named the Watchmaker, and a rebelliou
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Jen Healey
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I truly loved this book! In fact I would go so far as to say it made my heart sing! No pun intended. Although, each time I came across a Rush lyric, seamlessly woven in, it did make me smile.
A superb story, philosophical musings, nurturing gardens and Rush - what more could a girl ask for?!
And because I can't resist - I will choose Freewill! ;)
Iain
May 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'm a lifelong fan of Rush, and a huge admirer of Neil Peart's lyrics, so when I first heard that their latest album (excellent, by the way) was to be novelised, I was excited... though I must be honest and admit that a considerable portion of that excitement vanished when I heard that it was to be done by Kevin J Anderson. I'm not that familiar with Mr Anderson's work, having read only a couple of his collaborations and a short story or two, but I was aware that he didn't have a great critical ...more
Kevin
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"The Watchmaker says we can't make time stand still. Don't look back, but take the time to look around you now." (31)

"Sprawling on the fringes of the city" (45)

"'Justice against the Hanged Man,' she said, then ... 'Knight of Wands against the Hour' ... 'Hermit against the Lovers'" (61)

" ... mystic rhythms of ... " (69)

"Wheels within wheels in a spiral array ... " (76)

" ... decided that he had to stick it out. The universe had a plan ... " (82)

"'Roll the bones' ... " (85)

"' ... why are you here .
...more
Tobin Elliott
May 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: hard-copy, fiction
I should like this book. I love Rush, and I love the album that serves as the inspiration to this novel. So really, I should like this book. But I truly don't. It's horrible.

I've read (more than) enough Kevin J. Anderson to know he's a prolific, and terrifically lazy writer. He gets the job done, like a Big Mac will quench hunger, but it's all empty calories.

In this story, the protagonist, Owen Hardy, essentially gets led by the nose through all of the areas that were conveniently laid out at th
...more
Ian Thomas
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book is a far cry from the quality of the album.

First of all, I am a tremendous Rush fan, and I believe the album Clockwork Angels represents their finest effort. If it were to be their last, they would leave on the highest note possible.

Unfortunately, they set the bar so high, that a writer as poor as Kevin Anderson couldn't possibly hope to even approach it, much less reach it. His writing style grates, with his immature voice and formulaic structures. Every character, for example, is int
...more
Peter
Aug 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Well, it was a pretty quick and entertaining enough read, anyway. I liked the world building. I've never read Anderson before, but it's really impossible for me to see this book except through the lens of being a Rush fan. I love Clockwork Angels (The Album). Best Rush album in, well, a long time. A concept album, to which this book is the written companion. As a Rush fan it was distracting to see so many Rush lyrics woven into the text, and I'm not talking merely or particularly of the lyrics f ...more
Derek
Jul 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf, steampunk, topia
I'm really torn about this.

I had an argument in the summer about Kevin Anderson's credentials as an author. I think he's technically a pretty good writer, but I'm still not sure he's any good at ideas - after all, a lot of his best selling stuff is actually Frank Herbert's ideas. So, anyway, I expected this should be pretty good, as the ideas are Neil Peart's.

And Neil Peart is one-third of the last of the great prog-rock bands, "Rush" (are there any prog-rock bands left in their original lineups
...more
Steve
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Yes, I'm a Rush fan and that is probably the only reason I read this book. Actually, I hadn't planned on reading it until a friend of mine suggested I read it saying it was pretty good. And it was pretty good. I read it in a couple days and enjoyed the story and characters. Throwing some Rush lyrics in there was fun but I don't think it would detract anyone else from reading it as they wouldn't know anyway. Yeah, the story is a bit predictable in my opinion but that did not detract my enjoyment ...more
Ian Bott
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you like placing things in pigeonholes, this story is going to cause you some problems. The story world is a surreal blend of sci-fi and fantasy, but rather than being an awkward compromise the story is unashamedly its own master, teasing you with hints of both underlying rational mechanism and magical roots and making no apologies for the ambiguity.

Without delving into the plot details, I found it a roller coaster adventure exposing he perils of too much order on one hand, and too much chaos
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Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount)
Nov 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It presents a really cool world, one I wish had more books about it. The concept of intersecting worlds introduced in this story is lovely, and I really love the aesthetics of the clockwork angels. It's also satisfying that while we see in this novel how the seeming utopia of Albion is not perfect, we also see how it does provide a happy, safe, fulfilling lifestyle for most of its people. This is a much more nuanced concept than just criticizing the clockwork society for its r ...more
Louise
May 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
I've never skimmed so hard in my life.
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