This book wraps up a trilogy, and does it in a moving and satisfying way. Go have a gander. It won't kill you. View all 7 comments. Aug 31, Ben Babcock rated it liked it Shelves: I seldom read an entire trilogy consecutively. Although it's nice to read the books relatively close together, I usually intersperse a series with other books, just to give me time to absorb the latest instalment.
I didn't do that with the Clockwork Earth trilogy, and that has thrown a certain emphasis on the series I might otherwise have missed. It has made more stark the separation between Mainspring and the final two books; Pinion as a direct sequel to Escapement makes Mainspring seem that mu I seldom read an entire trilogy consecutively. It has made more stark the separation between Mainspring and the final two books; Pinion as a direct sequel to Escapement makes Mainspring seem that much more like some kind of distant prequel. Furthermore, the entire trilogy just seems lighter —in terms of plot, not mood—than your average fantasy series.
My experience overall, despite the utter failure of Mainspring , has been positive. Yet I have to complain about how little happens in these books. In Pinion , Jay Lake continues with his multiple third-person perspectives that he began in Escapement. There's an entirely new character, Gashansunu, who comes from Southern Earth. Oh, and Hethor's back—but don't worry, he's just an NPC! As a wise mentor figure, he's less annoying; maybe it's the added amount of cynicism about God's involvement in the world. The character perspectives may have multiplied, but the amount of action has not. Once again, the characters are bouncing back and forth across and around the world, at the mercy of a slightly hyperactive plot.
Paolina arrives in Southern Earth but promptly returns to find Boaz, commandeer another airship, and help Kitchens with his particular duty. Childress, al-Wazir, and Wang are the most purposeful of all the characters. The former two are still aboard the Five Lucky Winds , bluffing their way toward Valetta and the council of the Feathered Masks.
Wang is following them in a ship crewed by "dead men" while he's plagued by a "ghostly" monk. Boaz, like Paolina, is a little bit all over the place. He's near Mogadishu, then he's back near the drilling station … he's found the Sixth Seal, and he considers bring it to Ophir, but then he reunites with Paolina. I don't insist on having a linear plot, or even a plot that makes much sense. But I need something that doesn't feel like a pseudo-random patchwork quilt, and Pinion doesn't deliver that. Getting inside the perspective of Gashansunu, a woman of the Southern Earth raised to be a sorceress since birth, couldn't have been easy.
She is the Other, but unlike the Correct People from Mainspring , we aren't learning about her through the perspective of another Northern Earth inhabitant like Hethor. Nevertheless, she reminded me too much of Arellya, Hethor's lover and resident Correct Person smartass from Mainspring.
Both are smug and sure of their own mystical models of the world, which causes a certain amount of insouciance toward naive Northern Earthers. Both attach themselves to a wielder of power from Northern Earth, Arellya to Hethor and Gashansunu to Paolina, mentoring that person even as they themselves learn about their worlds through the eyes of aliens. And again, there's that uncomfortable vibe—in Gashansunu's case, she is literally subsumed into Paolina.
That's a little creepy. I think my favourite parts were those with Kitchens. He was a very minor character in Escapement , and I really didn't give him a second thought. It was a surprise to see him have a major role. He's more than just a bureaucrat; he also works with a blade, if you catch my drift.
Maybe it's just my penchant for absurd British humour, but I love his interactions with Boaz once they're aboard the Erinyes and later the Chinese airship they rename Stolen. And Kitchens is a perfect example of something I began to appreciate in Escapement that became integral to Pinion. All the characters in this book have one thing in common: With Paolina it's obvious; she leaves the only home she has ever known for an inclement outside world that cares more about wielding her power than teaching her how to control it.
Childress has spent the past decades as a university librarian. She serves the white birds in a minor capacity—and now she finds herself impersonating a Mask, learning Chinese, and persuading a Chinese captain to go AWOL for the sake of seeking peace. Talk about a turnaround!
Wang the Cataloger, also a librarian of a kind, turns into a kind of bounty hunter searching for Childress and chatting up ghosts. Kitchens is emblematic of being pushed beyond his ordinary boundaries. He's a special clerk for the Admirality, and we learn he has some skills beyond pushing papers.
Yet he's never left England, much less gone to the Wall. He's not a smooth political operator, nor is he much of a leader, as we see from his interactions with Boaz and McCurdy. Then, of course, there's Kitchens' meeting with Queen Victoria and the chain of events set into motion by that. I knew there had to be something weird going on with Victoria the moment Kitchens visited Blenheim.
But in spite of all that I did really enjoy it. It doesn't strike the right tone. Paolina and Boaz, in particular, become insufferable and dull due to their newfound co-dependence. Sep 21, Ryan McArthur rated it really liked it Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. Oh, and Hethor's back—but don't worry, he's just an NPC! I adore Jay's clockwork earth, and the characters.
And when the started talking about the smell of morgues, it was obvious something ickily steampunkish was involved. I was already picturing tanks and cables and oddly-coloured fluids. Still, Lake does a great job capitalizing on this anticipation and realizing it in words. Kitchens' meeting with Victoria is one of the deepest, most dramatic moments in the book. And it highlights how different this Clockwork Earth is from our own. That being said, I really would have liked to learn more about who made the decision to prolong Victoria's life in such a ghastly way.
It's implied or at least I inferred that the Prime Minister, while aware of the status quo, was not the prime architect of it. Once again, the details that I yearn for about this alternative Earth are missing, and I have to make do with what Lake gives me. It's frustrating, especially because what he does make available is just so good, so tantalizing. Pinion has a lot of good qualities going for it, and it also suffers from flaws similar to the previous two entries in this trilogy.
It's almost tied with Escapement for my favourite of the three books, but if I had to choose, Escapement would win, because Pinion 's conclusion is hurried and disappointing. It doesn't strike the right tone. Instead of being triumphant, it's messy. Instead of being tense or suspenseful, it's boring. Lake scattered plenty of foreshadowing throughout the book, but when we finally realize the culmination of all the hints, I was just waiting for the story to finish. I wish I could be head-over-heels about the Clockwork Earth.
It's a lovely premise, but like so many premises, the actual execution is lacking. It's about a divided planet, a war between the rational and the spiritual in a world where the craftsmanship of a Creator is apparent. And some of Lake's characters—Paolina, Childress, al-Wazir, Kitchens—are entertaining and manage to earn my sympathy. I liked the characters, and I liked the world … but those alone did not manage to carry me through a less-than-satisfying story.
Escapement and Pinion entertained me, but they didn't really engage me. Your mileage might vary, though. My Reviews of the Clockwork Earth series: View all 4 comments. Jul 13, Blake added it. Great view of a "steampunk" world, and I love how the chapters are broken into characters, much like George R. Martin writes his novels. The creepy introduction of the Queen of England made me cringe, but was awesome all the same and reminded me of some of the Anime I've watched, the way Jay Lake wrote it. Love it thus far. Nov 09, Graham Crawford rated it did not like it. After dragging myself screaming and kicking to the end of this trilogy I'd have to conclude Jay Lake is a light-weight writer who came up with one heavy weight idea and didn't have the expertise to stretch it across three novels.
The first book was nearly unreadable, he fluked the second one - that was a fun read - but number three was just dreadful. I am guessing he could be OK as a short story writer - coming up with a few big ideas to drive a plot, but this is not enough to justify writing a After dragging myself screaming and kicking to the end of this trilogy I'd have to conclude Jay Lake is a light-weight writer who came up with one heavy weight idea and didn't have the expertise to stretch it across three novels.
I am guessing he could be OK as a short story writer - coming up with a few big ideas to drive a plot, but this is not enough to justify writing a long-form novel - let alone a trilogy.
One of the biggest problems with this one was its Attention Deficit Disordered structure. I am guessing that after book 2 his fans said they loved the point of view alternating between three characters.
Lake decided you can never have enough of a good thing, doubled his POVs, and halved their effectiveness. Many of the chapter sections are less than a page long and few exceed two pages. This is not enough space to write a scene that involves a reader emotionally. Kitchens and Wang really don't add anything meaningful to the story - as characters, they are barely ciphers so it's hard to know why he went down this road. The fragmented structure only highlights the deep flaws in the plot.
The main plot device in this series is literally a deus ex machina - the "gleam". With her magical clockwork devise, Paolina can do literally anything she thinks of, so the plot is utterly arbitrary. One moment we have life and death airship battles, the next she remembers she is the little finger of god and can teleport the opposing team half way around the world. This is the superman without Kryptonite problem. The only thing you can do with this type of "drama" is to give the protagonists some emotional problems to wrestle with - but when you are limited to scenes of a page, "character" is reduced to a cartoon trait.
Lake feels he needs to mention the traits once per scene. Paolina hates men every 12 pages, Boaz's gut quotes the bible out of context, Wang chases Childress, Childress pretends she's a mask, Gashansunu does something cryptic with her Wa, and Kitchens fiddles with dusty bowler and reads his cyborg queens soggy note. Add random scenery and repeat like clockwork. This arbitrariness is also found in the connections between the characters.
When you couple this emotional superficiality to a totally arbitrary plot, it makes a deeply foolish novel. There are flashes of interesting writing - Lake's prose is descriptive, at it's best when describing big dumb objects, and there are a few memorable scenes such as Queen Victoria in her Steam Punk sarcophagus. I'll give my one star for dropping a yellow? Apr 02, Janet added it Shelves: The third and conclusion? I adore Jay's clockwork earth, and the characters.
This one introduces the stoic, loyal, and dangerous Bernard Forthright Kitchens. That name is second in wonderful only to Threadgill Angus al-Wazir. I love the strong women in these books.
In addition to the monk, Paolina Barthes and Emily McHenry Childress are both back -- the teenager and the older librarian who are changing the world. Not to shortchange the men, which are interesting, too.
“Political conflicts and philosophical arguments find closure at last in this splendidly baroque whirl of geomancy and Victorian clockwork Lake wields big . Pinion (Clockwork Earth) [Jay Lake] on linawycatuzy.gq *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The delight is in what's seen en route, as Lake has configured his.
Cataloger Wang is another librarian caught up complex politics and war, doing the best he can. Boaz the Brass is wonderfully realized whatever-he-is, transforming into a something richer I hesitate to say human , and falling in love with Paolina. There's a climactic battle that is too, too wonderful, but I don't want to reveal any spoilers. BTW, these books have the most beautiful damn covers out there.
Of course, the artist had good material to work with. Oct 22, Brian rated it liked it.
But in spite of all that I did really enjoy it. Heck, I might even read the first book or two The fantasy steampunk thing really doesn't work for me. I can accept ice breathing dragons a lot quicker than steam powered submarines capable of 30 knots for days at a time yeah, I'm weird that way but never ever 1 Book three in a series, none of which I'd read before this one 2 Steampunk 3 Fantasy 4 Romance I gotta say, if I'd known it was all that before I got it, I probably wouldn't have bought it.
I can accept ice breathing dragons a lot quicker than steam powered submarines capable of 30 knots for days at a time yeah, I'm weird that way but never ever knowing where the heck the plot was leading kept me almost engrossed enough not to care. My only real complaint was the the large number of characters and sub plots made it long winded without spending enough time with the characters I liked.
If any or all of points one thru four sound appealing, you'll likely really enjoy this.
Or maybe you'll like it in spite of them. Either way, probably worth your time. Dec 21, Jessica Ebacher rated it liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Another good read from Jay Lake, but not without its problems. This adventure in Lake's Clockwork Earth continues the tale begun in Escapement.
Lake has a ball transporting his characters up and down this magnificent world, subjecting them to all sorts of perils and escapes in a wild variety of settings. His three main protagonists all exhibit distinct and memorable personalities that allow us to filter their world through three prisms of intelligence and attitude Fantasy has always been "escapist" in the best sense of the word, and Lake engineers a fine tale of humans in search of liberation from the clockwork and customs that ensnare them and us as well. Clockwork Earth Series, Book 3 by Jay Lake Overview - "The delight is in what's seen en route, as Lake has configured his world-dominating empires, one British, the other Chinese, with huge and devoted attention to the last detail.
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