Pros: Interesting world-building and story
Cons: Some discordant tones
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Release date: May 7, 2013
Review book courtesy of Penguin Group
The clockwork plague reduced some people to mindless plague-spreading zombies, while elevating others to empathy-free brilliant mad scientists called clockworkers. As the clockworkers fall deeper and deeper into plague-fueled fugues, they lose touch with their humanity, often hurting, torturing, and killing people in their mad quest to build ever-stranger devices. Thaddeus Sharpe has dedicated himself to hunting and killing clockworkers, often destroying their automatons and devices in the process. When a mysterious young woman, Sofiya, working for an even more mysterious man named Mr. Griffin, hires Thad to steal a device from a clockworker, things inevitably go wrong. Thad cares more about killing the clockworker and rescuing a young boy than he does obtaining the device, and soon he finds himself forced further and further into Mr. Griffin’s dangerous schemes.
Those schemes take him, the circus he travels with, Sofiya, and the boy he rescued (Nikolai) to the palace of the tsar, embroiling him in court politics, assassination attempts, and one great, horrific clockworker plan that threatens everyone.