Customer Reviews


108 Reviews
5 star:
 (60)
4 star:
 (18)
3 star:
 (12)
2 star:
 (11)
1 star:
 (7)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Joshua Joseph Spork is a name that will be with me for a long time, if not the rest of my life. He is an antique dealer, expert repairer of things clockwork, son of a submachine toting crook, and the main character in Nick Harkaway's spy adventure novel, "Angelmaker".

When I reviewed Nick's previous novel, "The Gone-Away World", I described it as "a fast paced...
Published on 31 Jan 2012 by P. McCLEAN

versus
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A frustrating mixed bag
There are some wonderful, inventive ideas in here. The Ruskinites are a great creation, and rather touching with it; the effect of the Doomsday machine is frightening and original.

On the other hand, there's also a lot of annoying whimsy and juvenilia. It's trying far too hard to be cool.The main characters are cyphers, spouting identikit 'snappy'...
Published 17 months ago by January


‹ Previous | 1 2 311 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Angelmaker - Nick Harkaway, 5 Aug 2013
This review is from: Angelmaker (Paperback)
Fantasy is not a typical choice for me, so Angelmaker was an unusual experience. It's true to say that the genre has changed in many ways: this was more like Artemis Fowl on speed than Lord of the Rings. It was modern in setting and characterisation, packed full of adventure and excitement, full of improbable events and stuffed with bonkers science described in fantastic detail.

A universal doomsday machine; a 90 year old granny secret agent; the London sewers, the London gangs - the hero a 40 year old reclusive clock repairer with typically adolescent relationships - a nod to the readership possibly.

This book has everything - and more besides. What kind of imagination, what powers of determination, could lead to anything as vast and mad as this? Villains as wild as crazy dogs: cruel and heartless; Welsh and Oriental. Torture chambers filled with horrors, beautiful, independent women, sexy and powerful, a hero finally armed with his phallic Thompson machine gun, wreaking havoc and bedlam on all the powers of state authority and repression. It's an adolescent's dream of machinery, madness, mayhem, and revenge on all the sand-kicking bullies of all time. Brilliant!

One thing though - I won't be reading the sequel, should there ever be one. This was a holiday read suggested by a short bearded salesman burrowing around in the Newton Abbott branch of Waterstones. He may have been around the age of 40, probably had big hairy feet - oh and I think he was called Bilbo.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it and improved my vocabulary, 17 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Angelmaker (Kindle Edition)
I bought this after seeing it at the bookshop and liking the look of the cover - most unusual for me. I had never heard of Nick Harkaway but the reviews on the back were from reputable sources. When I got home I looked at the Amazon reviews and saw that he is clearly like Marmite - you either love him or hate him. I can see why some readers found his style irritating but I chose to love it. I pride myself on good use of English and I abhor sloppy grammar and paucity of language. I really enjoyed having to look words up in the dictionary! I also enjoyed the story and the characters he created could not put the book down. It is a bit like a modern day Dickens (only not quite so long or with quite so many unrealistic coincidences). I shall definitely buy anything else he writes.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not one of my favourite books, 7 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Angelmaker (Kindle Edition)
It was difficult to keep track of past and present events. Style of writing and language was very Cockney and would be confusing for a non-British reader to understand. I'm afraid i found the book hard going.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cracking read, 24 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Angelmaker (Kindle Edition)
In the rather crowded urban fantasy/steampunk/sci-fi/comedy market, Nick Harkaway has the potential to be one of the best.

Following on from The Gone Away world, he has produced another cracking adventure fizzling with verve and excitement. The writing is excellent with strong characters and an undercurrent of humour throughout.

There is room for improvement, as is only to be expected from a fairly new writer still learning his craft. The structure of the book is a little off, with the lengthy discursions into backstory having a negative impact on the pacing of the story. The plot itself and the machine central to it are a bit hard to follow - so much so that Harkaway needs a character to artificilly summarise the state of play in dialogue.

But these are quibbles. If you like Stephenson, Gaiman or Aaronovitch you really should try Harkaway.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 18 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Angelmaker (Kindle Edition)
Very original, beautifully written. Author has lovely turn of phrase and the plot is exceedingly well contrived. Absolutely loved it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Joe and the bees..., 15 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Angelmaker (Hardcover)
Having already read Nick Harkaway's previous novel, the Gone Away World, I was really looking forward to this one and I wasn't disappointed.

In Angelmaker, he has allowed his imagination to once again run riot and created a tale that doesn't let up for one moment and which always keeps you wondering what on earth could possibly happen next. Joe Spork, a man who wants to just keep the head down and quietly get on with his life, also happens to inhabit an exceptionally dangerous but colourful world which intrudes on his peaceful existence. He is then forced to meet it head on and face up to where he came from and who he really is.

I love writers who can create entire worlds, populate them and keep you interested in what's happening in a seemingly effortless fashion; Harkaway has done this in both his books to date, managing to include elements of a spy thriller, gangsters and even sci-fi which generally does not interest me in the slightest. Well worth the read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Six stars!!!!!!, 16 May 2012
By 
Steve Benner "Stonegnome" (Lancaster, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Angelmaker (Hardcover)
Nick Harkaway's first book, "The Gone-Away World", was a blockbuster tour-de-force that defied categorisation and displayed a unique combination of a versatile, far-ranging imagination, with a highly developed sense of storytelling which made the incredible seem more than plausible and the impossible almost mundane. His second book, "Angelmaker", feels to been quite a long time in coming. Happily, it has been well worth the wait and the author's fans will be relieved to know that it is every bit as wild and wacky (and yet just as utterly believable) as the earlier work.

In a change from the futuristic setting of "Gone Away World", "Angelmaker" is a contemporary tale of terrorism, counter-terrorism, fanaticism, organised crime, state-sponsored paranoia and plain, honest horology, tempered with family issues, romance, religious fervour, psychotic mass murderers, more fanaticism, honour, love and the triumph of good over evil (eventually). It features the most amazing contribution to Britain's secret service ever to appear in literature anywhere (Nick Harkaway's parentage notwithstanding). Oh yes, and of course, an elderly and bad-tempered (mostly) toothless pug (which gives new meaning to the word "pugnacious") and a tremendous quantity of clockwork golden bees, out to alter the human race's receptivity to truth.

In short, "Angelmaker" is yet another blockbusting tour-de-force, guaranteed to blow the mind and captivate the reader through every single one of its 570-odd pages and still leave you begging for more! The writing is, if anything, even better than in "Gone Away World", the characters even more loveable and laudable, and the plot even more convoluted and bizarre. (Although, be warned, it is also more brutal and savage, especially in its portrayal of scenes of torture and human abuses which, while sickening, add to the poignancy and power of the protagonist's eventual realisation and acceptance of his inheritance. So don't let it put you off!)

This is definitely my book of the year so far and I cannot believe there will be anything along to rival it for a very long time -- probably not, in fact, until Nick Harkaway writes his next book!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tall Tale of Awesome, 8 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Angelmaker (Hardcover)
With Angelmaker, his second novel, Nick Harkaway proves that he has a distinct 'voice' - both in the way he arranges words on the page and the ideas that his writing explores - and it's a voice I definitely want to hear more of. Like it's predecessor, Gone Away World, Angelmaker is a book that celebrates and refuses to simplify language, as seems so very modern and terribly dull.

Don't worry, you won't need a dictionary, but you will be utterly engaged in this dangerous and nostalgic version of London where the gloriously imagined old criminal underworld and horrors of modern government/policy collide spectacularly.

As with writers like Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, who seem familiar presences here, Nick presents an ultimately optimistic view of the nature of man, and in a literary world where this view seems increasingly rare, I am grateful for writers who give us complex characters like Joe Spork, who can face the darkest of our world without becoming it.

Not quite the swashbuckling tale of Gone Away World, where our hero is already a soldier who must learn what it is he is fighting, Angelmaker presents a quieter sort of hero, who must learn what it means to stand up and how it is that he must fight, his way, the way that only he can.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars London Gangsters, Clockwork and Zombies., 7 Feb 2012
This review is from: Angelmaker (Kindle Edition)
I first discovered Nick Harkaway the author when I was browsing through the Seattle's excellent, Elliot Bay Book Company, and stumbled upon his great The Gone-Away World. I loved this book immensely. I loved the blend of post-apocalyptic setting, with Nick's humor and excellent story telling. Nick defies description and Angelmaker is no different.

This time the setting for Angelmaker is more current and accessible but instead of post-apocalyptic, he manages to work in elements of Steampunk and the clockwork world. He even works in flesh eating zombies, although they're not proper zombies like we typically think of them, they're the kind of zombies only Nick could create.

As enjoyable as the story, plot and characters are (I even fell in love with the old blond pug dog hero, and I hate pug dogs), the book is a marvel to read because Nick loves to write. He loves words and always finds the most amazing words to use. I would guess Nick had more fun writing this book than any writer should because it's apparent in his writing.

This is the best book I've read in years. If this book doesn't make several top selling lists and win several awards then it will be a great travesty.

The greatest surprise about Nick thought is probably the fact that he's so accessible online. He's all over the place on his blog, on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A story in dire need of a good editor, 12 Sep 2012
By 
cgp (London, UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Angelmaker (Kindle Edition)
I bought this book following a recommendation by William Gibson on Twitter, and the generally good reviews on Amazon. If you are thinking of buying this book, have a look at some of the less positive reviews, and you will see a common theme: the story is about 30% too long, with meandering dialogue and descriptive passages that should have simply been excised. I forced myself to finish reading it, in the hope of convincing myself that I had not been wasting my time.

In the Acknowledgements section at the end of the book, he writes that without the assistance of his wife and 'her finely tuned drivel detector' this story would make a great deal less sense. I disagree. He needs a good independent editor.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 311 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Angelmaker
Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway (Paperback - 3 Jan 2013)
5.59
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews