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.
The Clockwork Dynasty seamlessly interweaves past and present, exploring a race of beings that live by different principles than 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.
Excerpt taken from Netgalley.com
I was pulled into this book right from the first chapter. The June, as a teenager, is caught trying to break into her grandfather’s lock-box. She expects to get in trouble. She doesn’t. Instead, she gets to touch an ancient and beautiful fragment of clockwork. Her grandfather can’t explain how technology this advanced can be so old; he can only explain the extraordinary events of the day he found it. June is captivated.
Flash forward to June as a young scientist studying mechanical figures. When she gets too close to discovering the secrets that lie behind these figures, the plot ratchets into high gear.
The Clockwork Dynasty is one of the best books I’ve received from Netgalley. The pacing is fast and the action scenes are gripping. Both human and automaton characters are written with depth. The interweaving of the historical time periods the automatons live through with the present day action is well done. I highly recommend this book!
Note: I usually review young adult and middle grade books. This is an adult book. Readers of The Hunger Games and other YA novels that have violent scenes will probably be fine with the content, but I wouldn’t hand it to a middle grader “reading up.” If you have questions about content, feel free to ask in the comments or email me.
I received free advanced reader copy of The Clockwork Dynasty in exchange for an unbiased review.
The Clockwork Dynasty will be released on August 1st.
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REBECCA J. ALLEN writes young adult science fiction with heroines much braver than she is and middle grade stories that blend mystery and adventure. She on Twitter at @RebeccaJ_Allen and contributes to TheWingedPen.com.