Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Book Review: The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby

Posted as part of Tween Tuesday, hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen.

The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication date: October 2010
ISBN: 9780545203371
Source: Library

The Clockwork Three

When Giuseppe, a street musician who was sold away from his family in Italy, finds a magical green violin, his life is about to change forever.  It leads him carefully into the lives of Hannah and Frederick.  Hannah is working as a maid to support her family and becomes friends with a mysterious and wealthy woman.  Frederick is a clockmaker's apprentice, secretly working on a clockwork man that he hopes will propel him into his own practice.  Their lives intertwine in unique and complex ways that will lead them all to a very different future than what they imagined.

Things I Liked:
I really liked the atmosphere and characters.  This book is a true genre blend with historical fiction being the most prominent, but a bit of fantasy and steampunk thrown in.  It was so beautifully crafted that the world felt real and I could picture the three kids all living their lives and watching them slowly intertwine.  Kirby has a way of making us care deeply for the characters and I found myself sucked into their struggles and triumphs.  Also, because it is fairly unique, I really had no idea what to expect or what turns the book would take next.  A surprising and very well written debut.  Here's a great quote to give you a taste:

On the far side of the room, beneath a wide window curtained with lace, a large woman reclined on a chaise longue like an Egyptian princess, but not a beautiful one.  The woman might have been attractive underneath her roundness, but her girth filled up whatever space her beauty might have occupied. p 34
Things I Didn't Like:
The ending was a little disappointing to me.  Mostly I thought that some of his initial pieces of the story had no real importance to the story, including the clockwork man.  There was a lot going on and I don't think the many plot lines were quite tied up.  It felt, in fact, like there would be a sequel, but I'm not sure what would happen in a sequel, since it sort of ended their stories.  I guess I just wanted to know more about some of the minor characters who were mysterious and didn't appear to have a purpose other than to save the kids from one disaster or another.  Still, I enjoyed reading it a lot.

Candle Man, Book 1 by Glenn Dakin

A bit like Leviathan and Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->
a little action and some frightening stuff, but nothing much

Overall rating: ****

Have you read any good genre blend books lately?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage

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