by Kevin J Anderson from a story and lyrics by Neil Peart
Clockwork Angels is an unprecedented collaboration between the well established and very prolific writer Kevin J Anderson, and Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist with Canadian rock band Rush.
The book itself is based on a idea by Neil that became Rush’s most resent album, Clockwork Angels. Kevin Anderson worked with Neil to turn his vision into a book.
Basically, this is a story about Stability versus Anarchy, not too dissimilar from an earlier work by Neil – Hemispheres. So with Neil’s ideas and Kevin’s storytelling ability this book couldn’t fail to be anything other than a damned good read.
This is the story of a young man, Owen Hardy, who’s dreams and wishes find him caught between two opposing sides. One the one hand there is the Watchmaker, ruler of Albion, who provides stability through regulation and conformity. On the other side is his nemesis, the Anarchist who wants to bring freedom through anarchy. Two extremes that tear at young Owen as he tried to find his own way and reaches for his dreams.
Set in a world driven by alchemy, where travel is through dirigibles and steam ships, Owen’s story is all too familiar to many. His desire to seek answers, to reach for his dreams, drives him on. But, as is so often the case, the reality is often a big disappointment His search for the fabled Seven Cities of Gold, and desire to see the Clockwork Angels, lead him to discover much about himself, but also open his eyes to the realities of the world around him.
A great tale, well told. And for the Rush fan, a not inconsiderable sprinkling of Rush lyrics and references throughout the book.
And to help bring the whole thing to life, there are plenty of illustrations by Hugh Syme, who has also illustrated every one of Rush’s albums.
A must-read for Rush and fantasy fans alike (probably the same thing anyway).