The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication date: October 2010
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 34Things 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
BOOK CONTENT RATINGS:
a little action and some frightening stuff, but nothing much
Overall rating: ****
Have you read any good genre blend books lately?
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