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Clockwork Heart

(Clockwork Heart #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,847 ratings  ·  189 reviews
A steampunkish romantic fantasy set in Ondinium, a city that beats to the ticking of a clockwork heart. Taya, a metal-winged courier, can travel freely across the city's sectors and mingle indiscriminately among its castes. A daring mid-air rescue leads to involvement with two scions of an upperclass family and entanglement in a web of terrorism, loyalty, murder, and secre ...more
Paperback, 390 pages
Published March 31st 2008 by Wildside Press (first published March 1st 2008)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,847 ratings  ·  189 reviews

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Gail Carriger
May 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Gail's Review:

I enjoyed this book very much, particularly for the main character's personality and the world-building. I wouldn't call it primarily romance (although people keep categorizing it as such), although it has a strong romantic thread. Not that I object to romances, just that I didn't feel like the romance drove the plot. In fact, I think it a pretty clean mix of steampunk alternate (future?) world (and a beautifully well built one at that) meets light romance (don't expect nookie), me
Well. It took me quite a while to finish this book, and although it wasn't bad at all, I have to say that it didn't really manage to hold my attention for longer spans of time. I would read a chapter or two and then be absolutely content with putting the book away. Sometimes, I even found myself leafing through the book to see how many pages I had until the next chapter break. This is normally not a good sign. I also thought that some passages would have needed a good editor.

At the same time, th
The first 300 pages I would have rated 4-5 stars, the last 70 or 80 only 3. [downgraded in hindsight from 4 stars to only 3 five months later, because the book faded so quickly from my mind.] Maybe I'll have the time to write a proper review later on, but I quickly state my reasons for the downgrading now:
- The solving of the crime was quite unorganized, zickzacky and holey. I had the impression as if the author had to bridge a big gap between the wonderful first three quarters of the plot and t
Oct 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book a lot. The world building was interesting and the writing was excellent. It doesn't have a lot of action going on, but I was still glued to the pages. It almost reminded me a little of Tamora Pierce's writing, only replace a little magic with a little steampunk. My only complaint is towards the end, it sort of felt like Taya (the main character) was sort of pulled from one thing to another and it felt kind of disjointed. The romance was really sweet though and the author ...more
Jun 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
steampunkish romance novel, without much romance...or steampunk. basically, this is set in a steampunk world and the main character is an icarus. she dons wings made of the metal ondinium, metal lighter than air. which helps them fly around. her caste is the only one that can interact with the other three and are rumoured to be very promiscuous.

this book is dialogue driven, which is okay, but three pages of straight dialogue sometimes gets confusing cuz i didnt know who was saying what...i was j
Apr 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio, sf-fantasy
Two thirds of the way into the book, when the heroine has discovered who the villain is and that he has murdered several people, the villain asks the heroine to lie for him, to corroborate his version of events. He is high caste, good looking, charming. He can guarantee that her career advances.

Right answer:
Yes, that's a good idea. I find you sexy and I appreciate that you will help me in my career. (She surreptitiously unsheathes her knife so she can stab him and get away).

Wrong answer:
Never! I
I don't know guys. This book took me a while to get into, I then inhaled the bloody thing until the last 10% and then took a month to finish it because I JUST. DIDN'T. CARE.

Why you say? There just wasn't a lot to hold on to. There was romance, but then again, it was more of an idea only. There was steam-punk, buuuuuut wasn't really. There was sabotage and mystery that was super interesting, until it wasn't.

On the plus side, the cover is gorgeous and I like the idea of Icarii.
*** Review available by request for those on my Friend list ***
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I am beyond glad that I picked up this book in my recent enthusiasm for steampunk; to my pleasant surprise, it turned out to be absolutely delightful and left me with a warm sense of satisfaction. I was torn between giving it the full 5 stars or docking points because the mystery of the Great Engine and the threats against Ondinium could have been better set up. As far as characters, worldbuilding and the enjoyment I got from the story, however? Dru Pagliassotti nailed it on the head on all coun ...more
Apr 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
This debut novel by Dru Pagliassotti is being billed as a steampunk romance/urban fantasy. And it is all of these. But it transcends each of them as well, making it IMO an incredibly enjoyable cross-genre read. I'm sitting here trying to think of someone I wouldn't recommend this book to and I'm coming up blank.

Taya is an icarus--a member of the messenger class. Every day she straps on a pair of metal wings and soars across the city of Ondinium delivering messages. Life in Ondinium is extremely
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-written steampunk with a strong h and a quirky, slightly nerdish H. I liked that it had an original setting and wasn't just another steampunk set in an alternate universe Victorian England. Overall, this was an enjoyable read and a good start to this series.
Kari Chapman
Nov 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: steampunk
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maureen E
Aug 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
by Dru Pagliossotti

The story of Taya, the icarus (basically just a winged messenger), and the unexpected turns her life takes after she rescues an Exalted.

I wasn’t expecting to love this book. The cover art was bad, it seemed like it might veer in a kind of trashy direction. Anyway, whatever the reasons, I was expecting to read it and not be highly impressed.

I was wrong. While it never astounded it me, it was an entirely enjoyable story, with some very well-written bits. I especially enjoyed the
May 31, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk, fantasy
2 1/2
A great world-building and a nice plot didn't save this book from being nothing more than an ok read for me. Characters were both unbelievable and incoherent. They were flat, and sounded way too young for the age and role they portayed, too.

In many reviews you'll read how absurd the setup was, and unfortunately I cannot disagree. It takes a lot of strength on an author's writing to pass off a USP delivery guy as a detective, and this is what the author attempted. She worsened the situation
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-read, steampunk
Once I got past the fact that the figure on the cover, shirt open to her navel, in no way resembles Taya Icarus (who dresses modestly unless kidnapped by Jayce the rogue straight n’ sassy dressmaker, and who has short, curly hair which makes sense for stuffing under a flight cap), I was able to enjoy the dickens out of this book.

But I’ll admit I’m picky that way.

There’s really so much to like about this book, and it made me wish that English had a word for re-reading a book you tend to think of
I just can't read this book any longer. It's a really unique and interesting concept but the plot is slower then a sloth climbing up a tree. I find myself becoming more and more reluctant to pick up my Kindle because I have no interest in reading this any farther. I can see other people greatly enjoying this novel, but unfortunately I'm not one of them.
Apr 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing

I'd seen this book mentioned a couple of times online but for some reason I had labelled it in my mind as not so intriguing until I read a review at the Book Smugglers blog (they gave it a 9 - "damn near perfection"). I put it on my books to read list at that point but I wasn't salivating over it like some other books.

A couple of weekends ago, my husband and I decided to go for a walk and ended up at Barnes and Noble. I saw a copy of Clockwork Heart and p
Kat  Hooper
Mar 31, 2012 rated it liked it
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

The city of Ondinium clings to the side of a mountain where the rare and precious metal that the city is named for is mined. This substance is lighter than air and is used to create the marvels that the city is known for, including the huge clockwork engine that lives in the heart of the mountain. The castes of Ondinium live on separate tiers of the mountain with the lower castes occupying the sooty smog-filled expanse at the bottom. But Taya, whose family
Jan 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Chachic by: Jai
Originally posted here.

I was confused for the first few pages of Clockwork Heart because it took me a while to be fully immersed in the worldbuilding and to understand the terms that go with it. This steampunk novel is set in a fictional country where there's a strict caste system. Only the icarii, couriers who can fly using metal wings, can move freely across all castes. It's funny because I'm afraid of heights but I would love to try flying using those icarus wings. Taya is an icarus who sudde
Katrina Patton
Sep 02, 2010 rated it did not like it
I know it sounds stupid but I abandoned this book 60 pages from the end. Why? Because there was no reason to finish. The way to kill the plot is to give the readers what they want before the actual end has arrived. The bad guy was caught and the two people who acted as romantic partners for each other had already kissed. Everything after that dragged on and on. I'm sure something else dramatic must happen in the final pages but honestly, after the 'climax' of the book had been reached, which, ho ...more
Very entertaining steampunk adventure with a dash of romance and mystery.

Ondinium is a city powered by the magic substance that gives its name, has a powerful calculating engine at its heart, and is divided in 3 caste areas at 3 levels on a mountain, one per caste, higher up of course, with the powerful "exalted" actually hedged by so many traditions and customs - in public they cannot show their faces, they have to wear some kind of robes - that the more rebellious ones go outcaste to have th
Toni (U.A.C.)
Taya is an Icarus. Her job is to courier messages. While on her way to make a delivery she ends up rescuing an Exalted and her son from a damaged high wire transport. After being interviewed by the authorities, it appears that the damage was no accident. Soon she can no longer tell who is friend and who is enemy and all she can do is be eyes and ears for her government, to help them solve who is behind these terrorist activities.

Plot: Very Nice
Character Development: Great
Smoking Sex Scenes: Non-
Apr 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I never knew they had a new genre of books called Steam Punk. I picked up this book to see what it was about...and I loved it. I like the story line and the characters. The world development was interesting. It was a mix of different cultural elements without being confusing or unbelievable. I liked how things are not as they all seem, and the book was a little mystery, adventure, and romance. It was a light fun read.
Feb 04, 2017 marked it as to-read
I don't particularly remember why I added this on my TBR - but let's goooo. I haven't read a steampunk in a while - and I'm exciteddddd.
Aug 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
Interestingm, remind me somewhat of Martha Wells. Though I got some serious buts, the crucial dialogue was sometimes lame (believable, but lame, but we expect better lines from fiction than "I hate you, you make me sick!"). The plot also was a little bit disappointing.
May 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009-reads, my-books
My impressions:

Two men, even brothers, struggle for one woman in a steampunk world including sleuth.
This isn't a fast pace story. But it contains action, romance and a good world building.

Sep 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Maria by: Suzanne Lazear
A Clockwork Heart takes place on a different world, one in which there are massive city-states and competing political systems that keep citizens very aware of complex loyalties and the possibility of conflict. Of the city states introduced Ondinium is the most stable and secure: After nearly being destroyed by war two centuries prior, the rulers of Ondinium have created a vast difference machine, known as the Great Engine, to regulate the running of the city and the choices that are made with r ...more
May 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: steampunk
We live our lives between set boundaries, some established by the society in which we live, but most set by ourselves, caught between fear and faith, strength and comfort. When we are overwhelmed by events larger than our own lives, we either retreat to the safety of our own self-imposed limitations or rise above our perceived weaknesses, changing not only our fates but perhaps the destinies of everyone around us, and, in doing so, become someone stronger than we ever thought possible. Such is t ...more
Melissa Bennett
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
As much as I thought I would love this one, alas, it was not for me. It started off interesting enough and I was very excited but it didn't take too long before I was left uninterested. It was too predictable and the main character, Taya, really started to wear on my nerves. After about 2/3 into this book, I just gave up. I don't even care how it ends. I really think it could've been so much more.
Dec 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is the first book in the Clockwork Heart trilogy by Pagliassotti. I have had this book in my to read pile for a very long time and was excited to finally get around to reading it. It was a very enjoyable steampunk fantasy with a lot of mystery and some romance.

I listened to this on audiobook and it was well done. The narrator did an excellent job of conveying emotion and I enjoyed her voice. There were a few spots where it was hard to tell who was talking (the voices just weren’t different
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Gail Carriger Fan...: August Read: Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti (Adult) 23 65 Sep 06, 2014 09:42AM  

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Dru Pagliassotti is a writer in the genres of steampunk, horror, and fantasy. She's also a professor of communication at California Lutheran University, where she keeps her colleagues guessing by teaching courses on Venetian culture and comic books and by researching subjects such as yaoi and steampunk webcomics.

Other books in the series

Clockwork Heart (3 books)
  • Clockwork Lies: Iron Wind (Clockwork Heart, #2)
  • Clockwork Secrets: Heavy Fire (Clockwork Heart, #3)

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