Book Review: Clockwork Angels The Novel

Heather Hanenburg

Regarded as a new steampunk adventure, ‘Clockwork Angels:  The Novel’ is an expressive read containing alchemical elements and becoming very esoteric in style.  With help from the band Rush’s drummer and chief lyricist Neil Peart, science-fiction author Kevin J. Anderson has written an exciting narrative based on the band’s new concept album, ‘Clockwork Angels’.

Based on lyrics composed by Peart, this novel tells the story of Owen Hardy, a young man in the center of an alternate reality where citizens of a dystopian empire run by the clock.  The clock dictates your every action and even goes as far as to schedule the rain.

The elusive ‘Watch-maker’, who runs the cities on a chain of gears and steam-powered gadgets, is seen by the people as a savior that has granted the world ‘Stability.’  On the other side of the spectrum there is The Anarchist, whose sole purpose is to disrupt the Watchmaker’s dictatorship.  The Anarchist represents liberty and freedom, while the Watchmaker is a shadow government, the essence of absolute power.

Clockwork Angels: The Novel

Tired of the meek and dismal life Owen has come to know, he leaves his father’s apple orchard in search of the Clockwork Angels.  Delicate characters who turn the gears of the universe while perpetuating the notion of utter control.

The story takes one through imaginative realms of the land in which the Watchmaker obtains absolute control.  The novel is full of a kaleidoscope of interesting characters that are relatable and entertaining.

The book reads more like a film; its descriptive storytelling makes it the perfect blend of fantasy and sci-fi.  It is visually stimulating, both in style and artwork.  Hugh Syme conveys the dark aspects of the novel as the illustrator.

Whether you prefer “2112” to “By-tor And The Snow Dog”, or would much rather sit through the exaggerated synthesizers in “Subdivisions”, there is no debate that Canadian power-trio, Rush has been one of the most creative and powerful forces in the music business.