Nick Harkaway
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Feb 11, 2015

Over the top! There's just no better way to describe Angelmaker

The core plot is nothing new: A cautious lead character gets swept into a wild adventure that transforms him into a bold hero ... but with a lot more bells, whistles, and mechanical bees. It's a fun fantastical story, plus you get to figure out the connections among clockmakers, British secret intelligence, the gangster underground, elite craftsmen and plans to end the world as we know it. Take a gander at the book trailer. See what I mean?!

The ordinary Joe Spork is our hero, forced to intervene in a plot set to motion decades before by his grandfather Daniel, mathematical genius Frankie, super spy Edie and ceaseless villain Shem Shem Tsien. Be warned, so many interwoven story arcs and flashbacks can make it tricky to follow. I occasionally zoned out while listening to the audiobook, but there are some real gems – characters, action, turns of phrase (love those Brits!) – that lured me back. It reminded me a bit of Jedediah Berry's The Manual of Detection, and I think fans of Neil Gaiman would get a kick of out this as well. If you're looking for an escape from reality, give this book a try.

As a bonus, after reading the book I stumbled across a neat video series meant to be Frankie's recorded messages to Daniel. (Warning: Some of these could be spoilers, although without context from the plot, you're pretty safe.) I love how these recordings add to the era and tone of the book. Enjoy!

Reviewed by Hope H.
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