Sunday, May 1, 2016

Matthew J. Kirby's "The Clockwork Three"...A Book Review


Three years ago, or there about, before I began attending writing conventions and functions, I knew very few published authors. But as I've come to attended more and more of these events, I've gotten to know more and more of the stable of local writers more and more. At the last Salt Lake Comic Con FanX, I met Matthew Kirby.

I'd seen his name from time to time. Many of my friends on social media are also friends with him. When I took time and spoke to him at his FanX book signing, I didn't know much about Matthew. I certainly didn't know how successful he's been. Getting a book published by a reputable publishing house is a major accomplishment. Getting multiple books published, well, that shows the man has talent as well as dedication.

I found the The Clockwork Three audiobook at our local library. I quickly downloaded it and began listening. In short, I really enjoyed this story. It's YA, which is something I find myself reading all the time. Many of the local authors I know write YA and they're quite good at it.

The Clockwork Three revolves around three main characters in a fantastical world set in the Northeastern coast of the United States. Giuseppe is an orphan who must earn enough income by playing on street corners to avoid being beaten by his evil master. Hannah works in a hotel to support her family now that her father has serious health concerns. And Frederick is an apprentice clockmaker who is building his own mechanical man. The genius of this story is how Kirby weaves three main characters into one story. This EASILY could have been written as three separate stories. Though each of the children's stories intersect with each other, Giuseppe's story could fill a novel by itself. The same goes for Hannah and Frederick.

Using their collective talents, as well as help from benevolent adults, the three change their fortunes. It's a story of magic, of steampunk, and of intrigue. The audiobook is just over twelve hours long. I listen to audiobooks on 2X speed, but even at that, it felt much shorter. I can imagine it would be a fast read, too.

It's the first of Matthew's books I've read. Luckily for me (and for you...), there's a lot more to read.

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