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Clockwork Heart Paperback – 18 Mar 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Juno Books (18 Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809572567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809572564
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 10.8 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,271,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Persephone on 15 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
'Clockwork Heart' is a steampunkish romantic fantasy set in the city state of Ondinium. A city that beats to the ticking of the Great Engine -- a type of primitive computer that the governing Council feed with information using punchcards. Taya, the protagonist, is a metal-winged courier known (rather appropriately) as an icarus. Taya's city adheres to a very strict social caste system where the poor and the exalteds do not mix. Being a icarus means Taya can travel freely across the city's sectors and mingle indiscriminately among its various social castes. The novel opens with a mid-air rescue where Taya spots a wireferry about to plummet to the ground along with its two exalted passengers inside -- this act of heroism leads Taya embroiled into the messy family business of the exalteds she rescued. She soon meets the two sons of the Forlore family: Cristof and Alister, an involvement that leads Taya into a web of terrorism, murder, and lies. The plot of this novel is pretty intricate and I would not be able to explain it very well. It's something you have to read for yourself -- in a nutshell it's a murder mystery wrapped up in a terrorism plot. Taya is quite the Nancy Drew... fans of Mercy Thompson would like her very much I think.

I enjoyed all the clever hints and touches that were peppered throughout the narrative. The characters all had their own quirks and habits, and were all well rounded -- even the minor background characters had their own lives. They didn't feel like cardboard cut-outs required just to serve the plot; this added a nice realism to the proceedings. Taya is the protagonist of this story, a free-spirited and kind woman who loves nothing more than to fly above the city and hang out with her friends. Among the other main characters is Cristof and Alister.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Helen Hancox TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 26 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
This book was a delight, a very original theme with varied characters and an interesting plot. Our heroine, Taya, is an Icarus, a messenger who flies using special wings impregnated with Ondium to counteract her weight. The world of Ondinium is a semi-mediaeval many-layered one with different castes who live in different parts of the land with sometimes only an Icarus moving between them. When Taya rescues an Exalted, a member of the upper caste, from a damaged cablecar she finds herself mixing with other Exalteds, including the handsome and charming Alister Forlore, as well as his outcast clockmaker brother Cristof. However the accident to the cablecar appears not to have been an accident at all and when other sabotage takes place, and people start to die, Taya finds herself investigating with Cristof and some other people. Could there be a plot to damage the Great Engine, the mechanical computer that is at the heart of Ondinium? Can she trust those with whom she works? Can she keep her Icarus wings despite having to go against the rules and training?

From the start of this book I was hooked, eagerly turning the pages to find out what happened next and to learn more about the interesting world. The terminology, much of it borrowed from Latin (Icarus, lictors etc), is never confusing, although I never quite got a handle on the various Engines and machines and how they worked. The cast of characters widens as the story progresses but it's easy to keep up with who is who and there are some nice touches of characterisation for some of these bit parts. My only reservation about the book is that I didn't always understand Alister's behaviour towards Taya on such a slight acquaintance but it was still an excellent read and I'll look out for other books by this author.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2008
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Book Gannet TOP 500 REVIEWERTOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the mountain city of Ondinium, where the Great Engine determines everyone's future, and society is divided into three rigid castes, Taya is an icarus. These chosen couriers, trained to fly over the city on metal wings, are outside the castes, permitted to go anywhere and speak to anyone as their tasks dictate. Yet following a daring rescue, Taya finds herself drawn deeper into the politics of the ruling uppercaste - the exalted - than she would like, by two exceptional brothers. The brilliant and charming Alister, who programs for the Great engine itself, and his disapproving older brother, Cristof, who exiled himself down to Ondinium's lowest sphere.

As danger and intrigue abound and terrorists attack the city, Taya can't help investigate the secrets that surround both brothers. Something is wrong in Ondinium, and she suspects a Forlore brother might be at the heart. But which? And as she unravels yet more secrets, does she really want to know?

From the smoking Tertius streets, into the heart of the Great Engine, Pagliasotti's story is rich with details that create a fascinating world. Wealthy and vast, Ondinium has many secrets to its success, and many who would kill to steal them. And rising above all this danger are the wondrous icarii, with their ingenious wings and gravity defying skill.

Yet this story is more than its setting, and is populated by an array of great characters. At the centre is Taya, loyal and determined, if too trusting at times. With her unthinking courage you can't help liking her, even when she's being a little dim. Then there are the Forlores, golden Alister and Cris, the gangly crow, so different and yet so similar.
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