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The Clockwork Dynasty

The Clockwork Dynasty

Book - 2017 | First edition
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"In the rugged landscape of eastern Oregon, a young scientist named June uncovers an exquisite artifact--a three-hundred-year-old mechanical doll whose existence seems to validate her obsession with a harrowing story she was told by her grandfather many years earlier. The mechanical doll, June believes, is proof of a living race of automatons that walk undetected among us to this day. Ingeniously hidden inside the ancient doll is a lost message, addressed to the court of Peter the Great, czar of Russia. Russia, 1725: Peter and Elena, two human-like mechanical beings, are brought to life under the watchful guise of Peter the Great. Their struggle to serve in the court of the czar while blending in, and to survive amid those who fear and wish to annihilate them, will take Peter and Elena across Russia, Europe, and, ultimately, across the centuries to modern day."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385541787
Branch Call Number: SCI WILSO-D
Characteristics: 309 pages ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Clock-work dynasty


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May 22, 2019

Absolutely excellent. Fast paced. Loved the history. Wish there were more books in this series.

Apr 05, 2019

Gotta say I checked it out because I LOVED the author's Robogenesis series. I was not disappointed. The idea that avtomats have been living among humans for centuries is an interesting one, and I like that each avtomat has a word that supposedly will guide their lives. June is a great human character, thrown in among the avtomats, and dealing with it pretty darn well. As the avtomats learn about themselves through their long existences, June learns about herself, too, as she helps find a way to give the avtomats limitless power supply.

Mar 29, 2019

This is my first novel from Daniel H. Wilson and it won't be my last. This was one of those random needle in a haystack picks (I liked the cover) that I'm so amped I came across!
This steampunk story goes back an forth between two protagonists - a young girl who has an ancient artifact and a grown man (AI) who is on a mission to find out his origins. There are two stories being split with every other chapter and I thoroughly enjoyed this layout by Wilson.
Although it jumps from character to character and from past to present, it just flows naturally and I didn't find myself lost at any point. (It happens!)
I didn't want this book to end and it felt like there will definitely be sequels to follow and I can foresee a movie adaptation in the future.
I don't give 5*'s out easily and this one was easily worth every one (or 5).

Oct 12, 2018

Very entertaining book, even though I was disappointed in the ending.

Jul 08, 2018

Daniel Wilson's best and surely one of the best SF novels of 2017. Mixing robotics, steampunk, alternative history, and spanning millennia and continents with an ancient hidden dynasty of humanoid automata, this gritty and brilliantly original story is, as one reviewer aptly said, a "fantastic hybrid of Highlander and The Terminator". It even recalls that crazy blend of real and imagined history that characterized Tim Power's finest book 'Declare'.

FindingJane Jul 06, 2017

This novel electrifies with its fictional examination of human history and a hidden, shadow world of automatons (called “automat” in the book) that run alongside it. The book winds elements of steampunk, Biblical literature, mythology and fairy tales as Peter tries to answer his purpose (truth and justice) and learn who and what he is. He has been lied to, used, abused, attacked and attacking in turn. He is both master of his fate and slave to it.

Pyotr/Peter and the others are run by a Word, a sigil written on a crescent-shaped piece inside their bodies. Wound up in his perpetual struggle to understand his origins and his creators are a human woman called June and a fellow automat called Elena.

June is a heroine to treasure, blessed as she is with intelligence, learning, skills and curiosity. She eschews finery (it would get in the way of the time-consuming, dirty work she favors) and marches almost fearlessly through the world in quest of an answer to a mystery given to her by her deceased grandfather.

Elena is a complex figure. She is powered by Logic but she has learned to express human emotion. She too is driven to learn like June. But her automat nature and the fact that she is fashioned to look like a child limits her to hiding. Unlike Peter and June, a child cannot march alone through the world without attracting unwanted attention. So Elena’s abilities cause her to go into hiding, learning as much as she can from humanity and, in time, gifting knowledge to human girls.

Both Elena and June are such powerful female creations that their personalities nearly overwhelm the simpler Peter, who spends much time as a warrior and therefore is the more action driven of the trio. Yet the three become wound inextricably in this intricate narrative of pseudo-history, science fiction, art, industry and the fire of war.

This is a grand saga, knotty, riveting (pun intended) and a fantastic whirligig ride of a story. It is so much more than the sum of its parts—much like the automat and humans within it.


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