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Clockwork Angels

September 13, 2018

It's my birthday and I'll write what I want to. Write what I want to...

[[nid:3576]] My birthday is in 10 days, which means that I get to write about anything I want. A few months ago, I totally geeked out about the rock band, Rush. It’s ok, it happens. But then I went further down the rabbit hole. Drummer Neil Peart started writing travel books – which I mentioned during the Summer Challenge. They were good, but I kept going. Down and down and down, until I found the best party ever.
Clockwork Angels is the 20th and final studio album of Rush, and it was released in 2012. (Just for fun, part of it was recorded here in Nashville at the Blackbird Studio and mixed at the Sound Kitchen in Franklin. Go Middle Tennessee!) All the songs on the album had a narrative behind them. Set in a steampunk world, Rush gives us great songs like “Caravan” and “Clockwork Angels.” 
Long-time lyricist/writer Peart wanted to take his material a step further, though. He teamed up with sci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson to work on a full-length novel based on the album. That’s where I get a little squee. How cool is it that there is an album and a novel set in the same world, using the same basic words and characters? You can listen to the novel while you read the book. 
Happy birthday to me!
The basic story: young Owen Hardy lives in the benevolent world of the Watchmaker, but he’s not happy with the strict schedule everyone is forced to observe in order to preserve the Stability. He longs to explore and leave his small town to see the magical Clockwork Angels in Crown City. One day the opportunity presents itself to leave, but when he does, he finds the world is not quite the marvelous place he thought it’d be. 
I didn’t know what to expect when I started the book because I was never a big steampunk fan. But honestly, I liked it. The story drew me in right away and I thought the characters were well-written. It was fun to listen and read at the same time. The songs totally set the mood for the book. You gotta try this!
There is a graphic novel based on the book. It cut out quite a bit of the material from the book, so I wouldn’t rely solely on it, but it was still a good read. Because Neil and Kevin couldn’t say goodbye to their fictional world, there is also a sequel called Clockwork Lives. The library has both books, but you’ll have to ask ILL for the graphic novel. 
I think every book should have an album of music dedicated to it. That would be so awesome!
Happy dreaming big…
:) Amanda

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Amanda is a classically-trained pianist who loves to read. Like any good librarian, she also has two cats named after Italian cities. Amanda spends her free time sitting in Nashville traffic, baking, and running the Interlibrary Loan office at the Nashville Public Library.