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The Clockwork Dynasty

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  2,656 Ratings  ·  526 Reviews
An ingenious new thriller that weaves a path through history, following a race of human-like machines that have been hiding among us for untold centuries, written by the New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse.

Present day: When a young anthropologist specializing in ancient technology uncovers a terrible secret concealed in the workings of a three-hundred-year-o
Hardcover, 309 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Doubleday Books
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Daniel Wilson I don't have a sequel in the works, yet... I have written a short story about Elena Petrovna that will appear in my collection GUARDIAN ANGELS &…moreI don't have a sequel in the works, yet... I have written a short story about Elena Petrovna that will appear in my collection GUARDIAN ANGELS & OTHER MONSTERS (Vintage, 2018). It's available for pre-order now... Also, the film rights went to Fox and they are in the screenplay writing stage... I also want to share more of this world!(less)
Aristotle Interview With The Vampire, Spielberg's A.I., with a splash of Blade Runner.
I really liked this book. Inventive, original, violent, and at times sad.

Community Reviews

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Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing

This review is going to sound crazy if you are not a bibliophile, just a warning.
There are times when a good book can be akin to a lover. At first glance you find the cover attractive and the synopsis peaks your interest and you feel an instant attraction. When you read the first few pages you feel a certain type of chemistry, it is either there or it isn't, it can not be faked. Once you are hooked you want more and more. You think about the book whe
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun read.

Every other chapter is from the past and does such a perfect job filling in the blanks for the chapters in the present time. It was ultimately a look through history, and what might be hiding among us today.

Also, this cover is seriously one of the most beautiful I've ever seen.

Last few pages had left me wanting more; however, the author has said this is a standalone for now which broke my heart. (please don't let this be the case)

I could definitely see this story as a movie too! This ju
Nov 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bwahahahahaha - all this massive build-up through the ages and THIS is how it ends? Now THAT's what I call anti-climactic.

But first things first: this book is about avtomats, machines that can look very similar to humans but above all can talk and are conscious just like us!
Apparently, they've existed for thousands of years and IF any human ever got wind of their existance (which wasn't often), they snuffed his or her light out. Nevertheless, they aren't exactly subtle because those that haven'
Sometimes I find a book that I *want* to love more than I do when I actually read it. It's a shame this has to be one of those since I've really enjoyed the other three novels I've read by D. H. Wilson. I mean, what's not to love? Ancient clockwork robots hanging out and consuming each other for the anima to keep them going a bit longer, all of whom are hidden from sight from the rest of us fleshbags. Sounds a bit like Highlander, others have said. Robot Highlander. And sure, it shares that as a ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

When I first heard about A Clockwork Dynasty, I confess I was intrigued. With its mix of steampunk and robotics and history and magic, it sounded like quite a departure from Daniel H. Wilson’s previous novels and I was curious to see how the author would tackle something different.

Well, I’m happy to report that it turned out great. Weaving together the past and present, this story actually works on two levels, alternating
Scott  Hitchcock
A historical fiction, sci-fi, steampunk and urban book taking place over milenium. The automat are steampunk cyborgs who are fighting their own battle between themselves and humanity for survival. Some of them have been alive so long they've died, been revived but at the expense of memories.

The concept is interesting enough and the overall story was ok. The first problem for me with this book is I didn't care about any of the characters. There was no connection to them. No empathy for them or f
1 star

I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not persuade my actual opinion of the book.

I'm sorry, I just couldn't get through this - and I feel so bad! I'm the only person who gave this book one star, and I hate doing that. I hate being the one to bring down a great overall rating. However, this book just had so much lacking. And when I mean 'so much' - I'm not exaggerating.

First of all, I never knew what was going on. I tried to understand by re-reading an
In Moscow, 1709: Giacomo Giuseppe Favorini or 'Favo' is the last mechanician to the Tsar Pyotr Alexeyevich. Ten years before, the tsar traveled throughout Europe and brought back many treasures and craftsmen, including mechanicians and a special artifact from which to build an avtomaton. The tsar's wife Catherine, who doesn't like the idea, has managed to have the other mechanicians exiled, but Favo has remained and has succeeded in creating an avtomaton in Tsar Pyotr's likeness and named him Pe ...more
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
June is a specialist in ancient mechanical devices who stumbles across a race of mechanical beings who won't hesitate to kill to protect the secret of their existence. Protected by one and hunted by another, June's eyes are opened to way these centuries-old creatures have lived among humans and manipulated our civilizations. Meanwhile we get the backstory of her protector, Peter Alexyevich from when he and his sister Elena were first brought back from oblivion by the mechanician of Czar Peter th ...more
Sep 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, overdrive
It seems that automatons have been "living" among us for ages. This book has an interesting concept but suffered in the execution. The story is told in alternating chapters by Peter, an automaton, and June, a young, American anthropologist. I much preferred the Peter chapters. All of the chapters are written in first person present tense (which I generally dislike), but the Peter chapters start in the 1700s while the June chapters are in the present day. Dual time period books usually don't work ...more
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, stars-4-0
The cover art was the first thing that attracted me to this novel, but it was the premise introduced in the blurb that had me intrigued. A ‘race’ of avtomats, sentient beings made from ‘clockwork’ mechanics, are trying to survive in our world and discover the mystery behind their creation, while keeping their nature and existence a secret. This is of course not always possible and a woman finds her life linked to theirs.

The narration takes the form of two strands, one set in Peter’s past, the ot
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
to say i dont have the words seems like a cop out. yet after finishing such a beautifully written, suspenseful and action filled (ok not filled but enough action to excite me) novel its true. Wilson has created a world where hidden throughout history automata, kind of steampunk androids walk amongst humans. he has infused them with intelligence and personality making these clockwork beings almost i distinguishable from us and this is their story. the prose is so mature and descriptive, yet not d ...more
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
4,5 stars.

So basically I don't know much about steampunk, but I LOVE the the whole aesthetics of the style. I've read a couple of books of the subgenre, namely The Aeronaut's Windlass and Retribution Falls and its sequels, had a ton of fun, so it's obvious I wanted more.
Here comes this book, with a cute cover and I was basically sold on it.

in the 1700's Russia the Tsar has some of the most brilliant of his scientists repair two ancient robots, both wonderfully complex and fantastic.
On the ot
I was looking forward to reading this, and while the plot was quick-moving, I didn't really feel interested in the characters. I never got a good feel for June's character beyond her curiosity, while I found myself mostly irritated by super mono-focused and obstinate Peter/Pyotr. I was intrigued by Elena, but I found her flat. I found the idea of avtomats interesting, though I didn't buy the ancient beings or incredible engineering and tech developments living so under the radar thing. Pleasant ...more
Lauren Stoolfire
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Now: June, an anthropologist who specializes in ancient technology, discovers a hidden world that lurks just below our own when she comes across a secret inside a three hundred year old mechanical doll. Before she knows it both her career and her life are at stake, and she finds herself on a worldwide adventure with a brand new ally in her corner. Russia, 1725: The Tsar's mechanician brings to life Peter and Elena, two human-like
Book of the Month
If you prefer your Russian history with a steampunk twist, The Clockwork Dynasty is for you. Robotics expert Daniel H. Wilson has used his vast knowledge of the field to write a variety of fictional nail-biters, and he’s at his best here, where he introduces robots into more than a few unexpected settings. The Clockwork Dynasty shifts between Russia in 1725 and the present day, as one woman unravels the centuries-old secrets about a war that’s raged between humans and machines.
— Book of the Mont
Γιώτα Παπαδημακοπούλου
Ένα εξαιρετικά καλογραμμένο βιβλίο, το κείμενό του διαθέτει υπέροχη πρόζα, ωραίο αφηγηματικό ρυθμό που σε κρατάει σε εγρήγορση και που δεν σε κάνει να βαριέσαι ούτε για μια στιγμή, μα και εξαιρετική δόμηση πλοκής.
Η ιστορία είναι εξαιρετικά έξυπνη, αν και όχι ιδιαίτερα πρωτότυπη, αλλά ευφυής στον τρόπο που παρουσιάζεται και αναπτύσσεται, έτσι ώστε να ιντριγκάρει τον αναγνώστη. Παράλληλα, τον βάζει σε μια διαδικασία σκέψεις και προβληματισμού, ίσως και «φιλοσοφικών» αναζητήσεων, αφού πραγματεύεται
A quick note to say I really enjoyed this book. Mr. Wilson took a very unique path in his love of artifical intelligence.

Wish the next book was available to read RIGHT NOW.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was fun. It's my first read by this author and I really enjoyed it. It felt like an Indiana Jones meets Terminator meets vampire kind of story. In fact...I'd like to see one of these clockwork motherfuckers go toe to toe with a Terminator. Can we make that a crossover event?

There are two points of view in this tale. One takes place in the past and the other is in present day time. Both characters are interesting enough and the chapters are super short so you flick back and forth through dif
Aug 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley, sci-fi
This is a very quick read. There were a lot of wonderful things about it. To give a brief summary: the premise of this book is that there was a race of ancient humans that came before us, that utilized technology beyond our capability. They created clockwork automatons, powered by relics that basically gave them thoughts and feelings, and allowed them to do more than simple tasks like writing/copying letters. Each automaton has a word that defines their actions in the world. One of our main char ...more
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lena by: Sword & Laser Podcast
Shelves: steampunk, audio

"Leizu wears the anima of the vanquished. If she finds you, she will consume your soul.”

Favorite audiobook of the year! The familiar voices of David Giuntoli and Claire Coffee from Grimm are a rare treat. Point in fact... David's voice is sexy as hell!

The Clockwork Dynasty is an extraordinary and entertaining mix of genres: a legendary/science/shemno/urban fantasy - or simply a lost technology story. But nothing is simple here, nothing is what is seems.

I've heard the past referred to as a
Maxximum Reads
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epic-fantasy, ya
Wow just wow. I try to make my reviews as straight forward as possible but it is really hard with this one. I want to just off on so many tangents… But alas I will restrain myself. And for the record the Wow is wow as in WHOLLY SKITTLES THIS IS AWESOME OSCAR!
Heres a quick low down Past- Present -Past- Present -Past- Present -Past- Present -Past- Present -Past- Present -Past and Present COLLIDE. Only much more epic.
Flashbacks to past events can either be a great thing for a story line or comple
Aug 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
Absolutely dire.

I honestly don't even know where to start with this one. The plot is both paper thin and somehow, simultaneously, very confusing; the characters are so flat they practically don't exist; the writing, which is workable at least on a sentence level, is a giant mess. The Clockwork Dynasty is, when it manages to be anything at all, incredibly trite. I'm a very critical reader, but I've worked in this industry for a long time - I can generally figure out what other people like about a
Wow! It's exciting to find a book with a new premise and absolutely wonderful when the writing is just as good. I received an ARC of this book, but will definitely add the final/finished version to my Kindle library as well as keep my eye out for an audiobook.

The chapters went back and forth from past to present, with the past POV offering a full explanation and understanding of what was going on 'now' in the book. I found the characters engaging and interesting, but I hope the next book, (plea
Sep 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Okay I admit I picked this book up because of the glorious cover; I do that sometimes. I also read about ten pages and said yes, this is for me! I was once a great reader of sci-fi and fantasy, back in the 70's when most girls didn't do that sort of thing. I even joined a sci-fi book of the month club when I was 15, but enough about that...

The book was elegantly written. Seldom have I seen description rendered so purely - simple, swift and succulent. Sense of place, spot-on. The organization of
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
3.5 stars that I’m rounding up. It’s fast-paced, engaging, cool ideas - but also somehow insubstantial, with a somewhat anticlimactic ending.
***Note: I received a copy curtesy of Netgalley and Doubleday Books in exchange for an honest review.

After an engrossing, excellent written prologue, the next three chapters were pretty slow for me, and I got a little harder in the story. After that, all went smooth.
I remember his face now so clearly, lined with wrinkles that could be scary until the old man smiled and you saw where they came from.
The book is a mix of steampunk and clockwork, robots (called here avtomatons), magic and history/
~Dani~ LazyTurtle's Books
Read this review and more at Book Geeks Uncompromised!

Man, how to describe this book... It has automatons, secret societies, ancient history. This is really one story being told over two different time periods.

The first begins with the awakening of Peter and his sister, Elena, in early 18th century Russia. Their remains were found in ancient ruins and put back together at the behest of Peter the Great. After Peter the Great’s death in 1725, they are exiled from Russia and work to cut out an inco
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-reviews
****I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and Doubleday Publishing in exchange for an honest review!****

I was drawn in immediately by the cover and title, because I knew it just screamed steampunk and that's one of my favorite subgenres in fiction. I was definitely not disappointed in this case.

It's a story about humanity and purpose and the true meaning of "Truth" and "Justice" told with mostly inhuman characters. Juxtaposition like that allows us to reflect on what it really means t
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
There are many authors and many novels that try to send you to the past, bring you back to the present, and have every page be a different moment in the timeline, and few do this well; this is one of those books that does it perfectly! Without the use of flashbacks the story probably wouldn't have tied together so well. The combination of landscape description, development of characters, the accuracy of the history, and the utter insanity of the plot combine beautifully to wrap you in this poten ...more
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For Love of a Book: The Clockwork Dynasty - Buddy Read September 31 31 Oct 17, 2017 06:01AM  
The Not a Book Cl...: The Clockwork Dynasty 17 22 Oct 12, 2017 11:27AM  
The Sword and Laser: S&L Podcast - #302 - Why the Robots Need Us 9 81 Sep 12, 2017 03:08PM  
A Cherokee citizen, Daniel H. Wilson grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He earned a Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
More about Daniel H. Wilson

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“A deeper truth exists, waiting to be found... inviting me to go every direction at once, and none.” 0 likes
“Her weight is delicate in my arms, like a leaf carried on the quaking back of this monstrous river. I chose to protect her and I failed. I do not know if the choices we make are ours or not; whether the planets hold any more agency in their orbits than we do in ours. But even if I am a prisoner to clockwork, I cannot imagine leaving her.” 0 likes
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