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The Age of Unreason: Newton's Cannon 1 Mass Market Paperback – 18 Jul 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey Books; 1st Mass Market Ed edition (18 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345433785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345433787
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.6 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,093,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

" POWERFUL." --USA Today " A NEW MYTH-MAKER, A NEW STAR OF THE FANTASY GENRE HAS ARRIVED. Like Ursula Le Guin in the '60s, John Varley in the '70s, and Orson Scott Card in the '80s, author J. Gregory Keyes may well be the leading fantasy writer of the 1990s." --BookPage -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

Book Description

Come on a journey sideways through time, and lose yourself in a world both deeply familiar and wondrously strange. In 1681, Sir Isaac Newton turns his restless mind to the ancient art of alchemy, and successfully unleashes Philosopher’s Mercury, the key to manipulating the four elements. Powerful kings will battle to control it, till London itself is threatened with obliteration by a hellish device – unless a pair of unlikely geniuses can defuse it in time. This is a fantasy woven from the stuff of history, an enthralling quest whose outcome may raise humanity to unparalleled heights … or bring down the curtain of endless night. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm a big fan of alternate histories, sometimes the weirder the better. Usually they're based on some change in a real-world event: what would happen if Stonewall Jackson wasn't killed by his own men? What would happen if Hitler had successfully invaded Great Britain? Some, however, are a bit more fantastical, and those can be even better. J. Gregory Keyes has created just such a series in his "Age of Unreason" books, the first of which is Newton's Cannon. If the first book is anything to go by, it's going to be a fun read.
The first scene is 1681, where Sir Isaac Newton has had a startling revelation in his study of alchemy, unleashing "Philosopher's Mercury" which allows people to manipulate the four elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. This produces things like floating balls of light that make candles obsolete, and powerful weapons as well. We then move to 1720. The French and the English are at war and King Louis XIV of France demands a weapon that will turn the tide, a weapon so devastating that even he doesn't know what he's unleashed. a device known mysteriously as Newton's Cannon. Over in the Colonies, a young apprentice named Benjamin Franklin has stumbled upon the secret. Using the new devices that allow words to be transferred over vast distances, he stumbles upon a mathematical problem that he has the answer for. But is he helping the English, or is he making a terrible mistake?
Newton's Cannon is a great blend of science, a little bit of magic, and a whole lot of "what-if." The historical characters, while much younger than we are familiar with (Ben Franklin starts at age 12), are still fairly recognizable. Ben is very intelligent, a writer and a printer's apprentice to his older brother, James.
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By A Customer on 22 July 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I bought this book, simply because I needed something to read on a long trip. As soon as I started reading, however, I realized this was more than simply a way to kill some time. I read it during every free minute I had, and after finishing it, immediately started reading Book 2: A Calculus of Angels. Both were amazing stories, explaining mystical arts with mathematical formulae, something I had never seen done before. This series is a must-read for the scientific-minded and fantasy-lovers alike.
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By A Customer on 27 Jun. 1999
Format: Paperback
I was utterly amazed at how much I enjoyed this book. I got it as some light reading and finished it in one day. The characters are well-developed, the plot is engrossing and the history and science are easily understandable but accurate. A wonderful book, and an author I'll be watching.
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By A Customer on 21 Nov. 1998
Format: Paperback
I'm not into alternative history at all. As a matter of fact, I normally would have found the subject matter very boring. However, this book was awesome! I'm not a huge fantasy fan, I dabble in it here and there. I actually had to read this book so I could write a book review on it for a newspaper internship I had. But once I started it, I couldn't stop reading. The characters were well develpoed and exciting. There was even a great female character (and that's rare when the author is male). This is a must read.
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By xenofan VINE VOICE on 9 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
Perhaps I should say, first off, that I am not entirely a fan of alternate history. But sometimes, I do like to read something a bit different to traditional fantasy, and I thought Newton's Cannon might well fulfil that desire for me.

It's not that Newton's Cannon is a bad book. The plot is interesting, and moves along at a brisk pace. Some readers might find it annoying that most chapters end on a cliff-hanger, (and then follow with a completely different character's point of view) but I wasn't overly bothered by it.

What failed to win me over, in the end, was simply the characters. I never really grew to like any of them, and eventually I came to realize that it didn't matter to me what was happening to them. Knowing that Newton's Cannon is the first book in a series of four, there didn't seem much point in forcing myself to the end (as I had no intention of reading the rest of the series). I quit at around page 200.
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Format: Paperback
This book was very good. The characters were well developed. I especially liked Crecy, the strong, silent women protector of Adrienne, the "queen of France". The plot is full of all sorts of twists and turns. The setting was illustrated in vivid detail for the reader. My favorite things about the book was that it was a strange form of history that takes an educated mind to write. The other part of the book I liked was all the clever gadgets. Gadgets like the aetherscrieber and the kraftpistol. Over all this book was a beautiful book.
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Format: Paperback
History is a fascinating subject and all of the "what if's" are even more fascinating. In this very well researched and written book we are faced with "what if Newton's genius took him in another direction?" The characters of Newton, Franklin and Louis XIV are extremely well developed. The portrayal of Adriene and her delima of being a woman with a brain is a special touch I appreciate very much. It shows the author's sensitivity of the issues women have faced through history. I reccommend this book and cannot wait for the next one.
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