“The Clockwork Dynasty” By Daniel H. Wilson

32670125The Clockwork Dynasty
By: Daniel H. Wilson
Narrated by: David Giuntoli, Claire Coffee
Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
Release date: 08-01-17
Publisher: Random House Audio

Take a little bit of Steampunk, mix it in with some mythology, maybe a hint of the Terminator, then take out the steam and use clockwork and you have yourself a new form of sci-fi created by Daniel H. Wilson in “The Clockwork Dynasty.”  Okay, I’m not 100% sure he created this new genre, but, until listening to this audiobook, I had never heard of the premise.

The story jumps back and forth between present day and the 18th century telling the tale of a “race” of beings created to maybe help mankind.  I say maybe because some of the even further past events that are visited to me seem a little blurred.  I’m hoping this is because Wilson is planning on writing more books in this world he has created.  Each Automaton has a word which guides their actions and even creates some of their personality.  That word is built into their animus that serves as their soul.

June, a scientist specializing in ancient technology carries an animus with her that her grandfather found after being saved by an automaton on the battlefield in Russia.  While working on a 300 year old doll June soon discovers the underground world and war between the automatons.  She is soon swept into the this world with Peter who once served the Czar.

The narrators swap chapters depending on what time the action is taking place.  Claire Coffee narrates the modern day events while David Giuntoli narrates the past events and the life of Peter.  The two create a time travel experience through the different voices so the listener is never lost as to when is being discussed.

Closing out this review, I have to say that the action in this book ranges from robotic sword fights, to a “Come-with-me-if-you-want-to-live” action sequence that makes this book a great adventure.  After rolling through this book and feeling like I had been on the adventure with the two main characters, I had to look more into the world of the author Daniel H. Wilson.

What first attracted me to the book was the author.  I had read some of his robot books before (e.g. Robogenesis) and knew they were full of adventure.  But what I found out this time around was that he holds a PhD in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as Masters degrees in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.  Now that’s pretty serious background work.

 

Publisher’s Summary

An epic, ingenious new thriller from the New York Times best-selling author of RobopocalypseThe Clockwork Dynasty weaves a riveting path through history and a race of humanlike machines that have been hiding among us for untold centuries.

In the rugged landscape of Eastern Oregon, a young scientist named June uncovers an exquisite artifact – a 300-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 humanlike 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, the centuries, to the modern day.

The Clockwork Dynasty is Daniel H. Wilson’s masterful new novel. It seamlessly interweaves past and present, exploring a race of beings that live by different principles from humans but ultimately value loyalty. As June learns more about these beings, she is quickly drawn into a fierce battle that has spanned the centuries and will ultimately determine the survival or extermination of this ancient race. Richly drawn and heart pounding, Wilson’s novel expertly draws on his robotics and science background, combining exquisite characters with breathtaking technology – and unmatched action. The Clockwork Dynasty is a riveting breakout novel.

©2017 Daniel H. Wilson (P)2017 Random House Audio
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