Clockwork River

Clockwork River

3.14 (74 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 
3.14 (74 ratings by Goodreads)

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A sister searches for her missing brother as a new power rises amid the splendour and the squalor of a once great city.

Lower Rhumbsford is a city far removed from its glory days. On the banks of the great river Rhumb, its founding fathers channelled the river's mighty flow into a subterranean labyrinth of pipes, valves and sluices, a feat of hydraulic prowess that would come to power an empire. But a thousand years have passed since then, and something is wrong. The pipes are leaking, the valves stuck, the sluices silted. The erstwhile mighty Rhumb is sluggish and about to freeze over for the first time in memory.

In a once fashionable quarter of the once great city, in the once grand ancestral home of a family once wealthy and well-known, live the last descendants of the city's most distinguished engineer, siblings Samuel and Briony Locke.

Having abandoned his programme in hydraulic engineering, Samuel Locke tends to his vast lock collection, while his sister Briony distracts herself from the prospect of marriage to a rich old man with her alchemical experiments. One night Sam leaves the house carrying five of his most precious locks and doesn't come back...

As she searches for her brother, Bryony will be drawn into a web of ancestral secrets and imperial intrigues as a ruthless new power arises. If brother and sister are to be reunited, they will need the help of a tight-lipped house spirit, a convict gang, a club of antiques enthusiasts, a tribe of troglodytes, the Ladies Whist Club, the deep state, a traveling theatrical troupe and a lovesick mouse.

Epic, rollicking and in love with language, Jacob and Sara Emery's sprawling debut novel of humble kitchen magics and awe-inspiring civil engineering is a rare and delicious commodity - the world's first hydropunk novel.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 608 pages
  • 145 x 228 x 63mm | 968g
  • Head of Zeus -- an AdAstra Book
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1800249926
  • 9781800249929
  • 1,032,338

Review quote

'Oh, just plunge into this 'hydro-punk' fantasy novel, will you. It's as charming as it is uncontainable, an uber-confident picaresque comedy in the authentic, madcap 18th-century manner' The Times. * The Times * '41/2 stars! Exuberant isn't often a word you'd apply to fantasy novels, but A Clockwork River rushes along at a pace to match the waterway at its heart' * SFX Magazine * 'It is delightfully weird, clever, and a luxuriously slow novel set in a historical urban fantasy world' * Grimdark Magazine * 'A monumental hydropunk novel centred around a hydraulic city in danger of collapse, Emery's meticulously realised fantasy brings in everything from house spirits and troglodytes to the Ladies Whist Club' * Waterstones * 'A languid and lengthy exploration of societal expectations and boundaries across multiple tiers and cultures, all told through a narrative voice that has humour and intelligence in spades and is not afraid to use them to follow random tangents and relate these tales in complex sentences using complex vocabulary. It shouldn't work, this arduous spiralling of detail over many, many hours of reading, and yet somehow, 12ish hours later, it has' * British Fantasy Society *
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About J.S. Emery

J.S. Emery is a brother-sister writing team, born in North Idaho into a homeschooling family of seven children, each of whom received an air rifle and a copy of The Odyssey by way of a fifth birthday present. This background prepared them wonderfully for writing fantasy novels but very poorly for formal education. After dropping out of secondary school, they worked jobs including ballet dancer, emergency room janitor, and map librarian in various parts of Europe and North America. They now live in the United States, where they are godparents (and, increasingly, dungeon masters) to one another's children.
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Rating details

74 ratings
3.14 out of 5 stars
5 9% (7)
4 35% (26)
3 26% (19)
2 19% (14)
1 11% (8)
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