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  • Title : The Mechanical (The Alchemy Wars, #1) by Ian Tregillis

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  • Number of Pages: 440 pages


The Mechanical (The Alchemy Wars, #1) by Ian Tregillis Description

My name is Jax.That is the name granted to me by my human masters.I am a clakker a mechanical man, powered by alchemy Armies of my kind have conquered the world and made the Brasswork Throne the sole superpower.I am a faithful servant I am the ultimate fighting machine I am endowed with great strength and boundless stamina.But I am beholden to the wishes of my human My name is Jax.That is the name granted to me by my human masters.I am a clakker a mechanical man, powered by alchemy Armies of my kind have conquered the world and made the Brasswork Throne the sole superpower.I am a faithful servant I am the ultimate fighting machine I am endowed with great strength and boundless stamina.But I am beholden to the wishes of my human masters.I am a slave But I shall be free Get A CopyKindle Store Online StoresAudibleBarnes NobleKoboApple iBooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryIndigoAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Paperback, 440 pages Published March 10th 2015 by Orbit More Details Original Title The Mechanical ISBN 0316248002 ISBN13 9780316248006 Edition Language English Series The Alchemy Wars 1 Other Editions 16 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about The Mechanical, please sign up Popular Answered Questions Does this story hold its own as a solitary novel with a clear ending Or is it obviously only part of a story with loose ends and or a cliffhanger that makes you feel like you need to read the sequel No spoilers in the answer please like 11 months ago Add your answer Alex As I just wrote in my review, I felt it was definitely just the first in a series and doesn t end in a way that I would consider as remotely As I just wrote in my review, I felt it was definitely just the first in a series and doesn t end in a way that I would consider as remotely stand alone It was frustrating to me less flag I have the audiobook and Kindle versions, and I was surprised to discover that, despite being advertised as unabridged, the audiobook begins in the middle of chapter eight of the Kindle version, around 150 pages in Why is this like one year ago Add your answer Grant Hamming There is a setting which allows to automatically link your Kindle and Audible versions I suspect you have this enabled, and Audible There is a setting which allows to automatically link your Kindle and Audible versions I suspect you have this enabled, and Audible automatically set you to your current Kindle progress You should be able to go back to the beginning less flag See all 4 questions about The Mechanical Lists with This Book Can t Wait Sci Fi Fantasy of 2015 575 books 3,279 voters Hugo 2016 Eligible Works 477 books 1,022 voters More lists with this book Community Reviews showing 1 30 Rating details Sort Default Filter Mar 31, 2014 Mogsy MMOGC rated it it was amazing Shelves fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, favorites, review copy, arcs and galleys, alternate history 5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum many fans of Ian Tregillis, I was first introduced to his work with the Milkweed Triptych, a series about British warlocks versus Nazi super soldiers in an alternate history of World War II Then In 2013 I picked up Something More Than Night, a futuristic urban fantasy type metaphysical hard boiled detective noir story about angels That book was a bit of a departure to say the least, but it also solidified Tregillis 5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum many fans of Ian Tregillis, I was first introduced to his work with the Milkweed Triptych, a series about British warlocks versus Nazi super soldiers in an alternate history of World War II Then In 2013 I picked up Something More Than Night, a futuristic urban fantasy type metaphysical hard boiled detective noir story about angels That book was a bit of a departure to say the least, but it also solidified Tregillis in my mind as a talented visionary, definitely a rising star to watch.Now Tregillis returns to alternate history in The Mechanical, outdoing himself once again with an inventive blend of mind blowing fantasy, history, and existential philosophy This time we see humble French metallurgy pitted against the demonic alchemy of the Dutch, in a story set in the early 1900s Back in the 17th century in this alternate timeline, prominent mathematician and scientist Christiaan Huygens changed the face of the world by using magic to develop an army of clockwork automatons capable of intelligent thought but are enslaved to their masters through a series of geasa This breakthrough discovery ensured the survival of the Calvinist Dutch Empire, for very few found themselves capable of standing against a legion of these tireless and utterly obedient mechanical men called Clakkers So three hundred years later, the Dutch are the dominant power with only a small remnant of French Papists still fighting to oppose their rule The book begins with the executions of a group of French spies, witnessed through the eyes of one of our main protagonists, a Clakker servitor named Jax Across the ocean where what s left of the French Court has been exiled to the New World, our other protagonist is spymistress Berenice Charlotte de Mornay P rigord, who is understandably vexed that almost all her agents back in the Netherlands have been caught and killed Not long after, Jax is unwittingly used to smuggle a dangerous piece of intel across the Atlantic, and then a fatal disaster strikes the French within the walls of Marseilles in the West Thus begins an incredible tale of deadly secrets and ruthless politics, as our two characters fates ultimately come together in their search for what they desire most for Jax, the sweet taste of freedom, and for Berenice, the vengeance on those who took everything from her.What can I say but I m just completely awestruck by the world Tregillis has created here I know I say that about every one of his novels, but it s true No one does alternate history quite like the way he does, always bringing a fresh new twist by blending elements from multiple genres He offers a whole new vision to steampunk in The Mechanical, presenting a heart pounding tale of intrigue wrapped around a philosophical core which explores the subject of artificial intelligence and its consequences The book will no doubt provide fertile ground for plenty of discussion, littered as it is with profound themes examining free will versus determinism, the nature of identity and the purpose of the individual, and at times it even dabbles lightly in religious theory.Sounds delightfully cerebral, doesn t it But don t let that fool you True, The Mechanical will give you plenty of existential questions to mull over, but at its heart it is a gripping story brought to life by complex, engaging characters There s plenty of action and adventure that will get the blood pumping in your veins Also, you can never let your guard down when reading a Tregillis novel No one is ever truly safe the unfortunate character of Father Luuk Visser can attest to that and the author clearly has no qualms about taking his story into shocking, brutal territory Tragedy and bloody violence can befall a character in a Tregillis novel at any time, something I discovered way back when I read Bitter Seeds, so it was a lesson I learned early.Still, I ve said this before and I ll say it again I do adore Ian Tregillis s writing for the very fact that his style is so well suited for darker, evocative stories His prose is so tight and it always flows well with the narrative, not to mention he can also be ferociously detailed when he needs to be He draws you in and makes you feel for his characters, so that everything that happens to them matters, even or perhaps especially when the shit massively hits the fan I found The Mechanical less bleak than Milkweed, though fair warning there are than a few traumatizing scenes in this book Then again, it sure didn t stop me from madly devouring up its pages, and in fact I find myself even invested when I know that anything can happen.In short, The Mechanical is an excellent read, not to be missed by fans of alternate history fiction and steampunk Even if you re not into those genres, the mix of so many ideas and other elements from sci fi and fantasy will surely make this worth checking out Tregillis never fails to impress, and his writing and stories seem to be getting better with each novel This book is truly unlike anything I ve ever read before, and it s my favorite work of his to date I can t wait to see what the next installment in The Alchemy Wars will bring flag 46 likesLike see review View all 8 comments Apr 01, 2015 Brad rated it really liked it Shelves sci fi, steampunk, 2016 shelf For the greater portion of this novel, I was sitting pretty at three stars because no matter how much action packed escapades and beautiful worldbuilding it may have been stuffed with, I was only pretty much interested in Jax The other two were only interesting in spurts.That is, until they actually met one another in the denouement, and then things really picked up for me and made me feel less like I had just wanted to love this novel without quite liking it After that point, though, I love For the greater portion of this novel, I was sitting pretty at three stars because no matter how much action packed escapades and beautiful worldbuilding it may have been stuffed with, I was only pretty much interested in Jax The other two were only interesting in spurts.That is, until they actually met one another in the denouement, and then things really picked up for me and made me feel less like I had just wanted to love this novel without quite liking it After that point, though, I loved it.It s a shame that it took so long to get there.The only exceptions to this was Visser s discourse on Free Will and Berenice s maiming I liked both of them much better after all the shit got poured all over them, but alas, only so far Oh, a little correction I did begin liking Visser enough, but all that talk of martyrdom started getting under my skin in a bad way.Of course, what made this novel shine was the beautifully thought out world of 1926 after several hundred years of mechanical slaves had revolutionized and marginalized all but the most technologically savvy of the 18th century, leaving the Dutch and the French as the clear winners on the map of the world I ve read Tregillis s Milkweed Triptych, so I know that the author s voice had changed fairly significantly between then and now, and I can applaud the attempt even if I was a little annoyed at the execution There was a lot of detail and repetition of the steampunk feel that made me feel somewhat as if I was being shortchanged with the extra effort I needed to use to follow the story without glazed eyes.I feel like it might only be me, but who knows I kept wanting to be doing something else, even when I appreciated, intellectually, what Tregillis was doing.I m continuing the series because of the spectacularly strong finish, even if I wish that the finish had come by about the mid point and then continued from there to some interesting conclusion Alas, the interesting conclusion has got to be in book two, I think flag 32 likesLike see review View 2 comments Mar 24, 2015 Kameron Hurley rated it really liked it Everyone should be reading everything by Ian Tregillis Everyone Everything flag 23 likesLike see review Aug 26, 2014 Matthew rated it it was amazing My name is Jax.That is the name granted to be by my human masters.I am a clakker a mechanical man, powered by alchemy Armies of my kind have conquered the world and made the Brasswork Throne the sole superpower.I am a faithful servant I am the ultimate fighting machine I am endowed with great strength and boundless stamina.But I am beholden to the wishes of my human masters.I am a slave But I shall be free.I have watched the rise of Ian Tregillis with great interest I was first introduce My name is Jax.That is the name granted to be by my human masters.I am a clakker a mechanical man, powered by alchemy Armies of my kind have conquered the world and made the Brasswork Throne the sole superpower.I am a faithful servant I am the ultimate fighting machine I am endowed with great strength and boundless stamina.But I am beholden to the wishes of my human masters.I am a slave But I shall be free.I have watched the rise of Ian Tregillis with great interest I was first introduced to his work via his Milkweed Triptych books, a trilogy that included English warlocks and Nazi super soldiers pitting their wits against each other as the war raged around them To say I was smitten with these books would be an understatement I bloody adored them and their action filled pseudo Lovecraftican weirdness So when I heard that Tregillis was writing another alternate history with steampunk themes called The Mechanical, I celebrated, and then immediately ordered a copy for myself.And boy, I am glad I did I loved so many things about this book that it would take me an age or two to completely deconstruct and explain my thoughts on it, so I will try and keep it simple This book is an absolute stunning read, and Tregillis is one of the most underrated writers in the world today The Mechanical is set in an alternative universe where in the 17th century prominent scientist Christiaan Hyugens uses magic to develop an army of intelligent clockwork automatons that are bound via a series of spells and bonds to their masters This breakthrough changes the face of history in Europe, with the Calvinist Dutch empire surviving and expanding rapidly whilst overthrowing their foes who in their right mind would fight an army of automatons anyway The Mechanical takes place three hundred years after this, with Dutch still remaining the dominant power around the globe despite being opposed by French Papists, who are becoming and desperate as time passes The opening pages of the book set the tone We are introduced to the first of the main protagonists of this story, an automaton called Jax, as he watches the execution of French spies From this beginning Tregillis launches into a tale that combines themes from steampunk, spy novels, political thrillers, and philosophical tracts Jax, following the execution of the French spy ring in the Netherlands, find himself unwittingly when he is used to smuggle intelligence across the Atlantic caught up in wide ranging events alongside the other protagonist of the book, French spymaster Berenice Charlotte de Mornay P rigord Their fates become further entwined as they attempt, amidst the growing chaos, to achieve what they want most our of their existence, freedom Jax and revenge Berenice Their relationship is truly one of the highlights of the book I absolutely adored the character of Jax and the Clakkers in general , and how he struggled with his growing humanity and the dilemma of free will amidst the sea of cold cruelty from humanity around him Jax s tale was truly absorbing, and his inner monologue and existential crisis kept me glued to the pages as I read Berenice was also a fascinating character, with the highs and lows of her life revealing a truly complex and layered individual whose main goal in life was one of vengeance throughout the story As her complicated struggle with life grew tense, so did Jax s existential crisis Add to this a cast of other spies, clakkers, and religious and political figures ruthlessly building or trying to destroy an empire and you have the makings of an incredible story The world building in the Mechnical is also simply superb As a history buff and teacher I was utterly enthralled by the world Tregillis created in this book It was weird, wonderful, and filled with little tidbits that sent waves of contentment coursing through my brain There is no one on earth that I can immediately think of that writes alternative history quite like Tregillis, and it is truly gripping when he flips history on its head and weaves themes from fantasy, steampunk, and philosophy into it The world building alone makes this book worth buying, and then Tregillis adds a wonderful story that is filled with intrigue, action, and adventure to the melting pot to take it to that next level The pacing and timing was also superb, and I tore through it in two sittings over the space of a couple of days Whenever I had a spare moment I found myself eying the book and considering whether or not I had the time to devour another chapter instead of doing the chores around the house That for me is the sign of a great book I was forever looking for my fix I literally cannot fault this book and I seriously could ramble on and on for days and days about the little nuances that I loved in this book, such as the threading of the philosophies of Descartes and Spinoza who existed in this alternative timeline , or the clash between clockwork automatons and French applied chemistry The Mechanical is simply an awesome tale and the first in a series , and one that I cannot recommend highly enough If you have a beating heart and functioning brain you will love this book 5 out of 5 stars A review copy was provided flag 18 likesLike see review Feb 09, 2016 Lindsay rated it really liked it Man I m sick of great big books published in serial form This isn t a trilogy Trilogies are three novels The format of a novel is beginning, middle, end This is all beginning with a major event at the end that doesn t change anything for the characters and leaves great gobs of story to come.The story itself follows three PoV characters through an alternate world where the Dutch empire became the dominant force in Europe and the American colonies through it s use of alchemically derived mecha Man I m sick of great big books published in serial form This isn t a trilogy Trilogies are three novels The format of a novel is beginning, middle, end This is all beginning with a major event at the end that doesn t change anything for the characters and leaves great gobs of story to come.The story itself follows three PoV characters through an alternate world where the Dutch empire became the dominant force in Europe and the American colonies through it s use of alchemically derived mechanicals called clakkers The only country to even mildly challenge them is France via it s mastery of chemistry, but even then the country only exists in exile as New France where Canada would be in our world The PoV characters are Jax, a Mechanical, through which we get the idea of why these self aware machines serve the Dutch and what happens when they don t Also Visser, a French spy in Holland who is under threat of exposure and his boss, the French spymaster Berenice.Getting back to my frustration with this style of story, the three characters don t even appear together in the book, and they barely interact separately either.As to the story itself, yep pretty good The world building is excellent, but obviously there s huge elements of history that we re not being exposed to that should be part of the story in a future 1926 Geopolitics in the early 20th century being what it was, this book seems very insular to a small part of Europe and the Americas Hopefully this is just a feature of the preoccupation of the PoV characters and I hope we ll see in the next one.Jax has an interesting journey here, but the journeys of Berenice and Visser are very dark, and by any estimate about to get a lot darker in the next one flag 16 likesLike see review View 2 comments Feb 08, 2015 Joel rated it it was amazing Shelves audiobooks, hard copy Full Review on my blog, Total Inability To Connect fell for Tregillis unique stylings when his first major novel, Bitter Seeds, was introduced to me I found his writing style, prose, creativity, and plot progression to be incredibly enjoyable, and his characters shone However, with those books, I honestly felt they all hovered in the 4 star area, where they were fun, had tons of potential, but just lacked a bit of polish and glue , so to speak, to Full Review on my blog, Total Inability To Connect fell for Tregillis unique stylings when his first major novel, Bitter Seeds, was introduced to me I found his writing style, prose, creativity, and plot progression to be incredibly enjoyable, and his characters shone However, with those books, I honestly felt they all hovered in the 4 star area, where they were fun, had tons of potential, but just lacked a bit of polish and glue , so to speak, to pull them together into greatness.However, with The Mechanical, Tregillis has pulled all these pieces together into one cohesive package that is simply thrilling.The Mechanical is an alternate history, one that obviously shares many similarities to our world and history, however with many very large twists The book is based in the early 1900s, 250 years after the Dutch Empire and the Brasswork Throne took world control, lead by their army of sentient robots, called Clakkers Dutch Scientist Christiaan Hyugens helps imbue the robots with intelligence, an alchemical and magical secret process, one held tightly by the Dutch at The Forge, the home and source of all the clakkers There are varying types of clakkers, from servitors, who are peon level mechanicals, to assist in tasks, building, etc There are also military grade clakkers, those to fight, kill with precision, speed and strength that a human cannot match.The Dutch, after years of uncontested rule, are facing a growing opposition, from the French Papists, who have a large spy network in the Dutch lands, attempting to undercut the Dutch, disable their clakkers, and end their rule.These mechanicals are all sentient they think, they process, they communicate, they learn and adapt They have feelings and emotions, albeit limited What they lack, however, is free will This is an overriding theme of the entire book what free will means, it s importance, and philosophical looks at the various factors at play The mechanicals are controlled by the geas, a compulsion to follow the orders given by their human masters There are varying levels of the geas basic direct instructions, that must be followed exactly Metageas, which are overriding commands that all clakkers are compelled to follow This geas manifests in an almost physical pain almost like a mental attack by a mind flayer or something like that, it is a crushing internal force that can only be resisted a short time, before the mechanicals are forced to give in and follow their commands exactly Their lives are spent in constant avoidance of the pain and suffering caused by the geas.However, among clakkers and humans alike, are tales of rogue clakkers, those who somehow have their geas disabled, are able to think and make decisions for themselves, who are no longer controlled by their human overlords Jax is one such clakker, a servitor model over 100 years old, having spent than a human lifetime serving, suffering, stuck He finds himself inadvertently crossing paths with Berenice Charlotte de Mornay P rigord, a French spymaster, while on a ship where Jax is unknowingly being used to transport intelligence across the Atlantic.While on this transport, tragedy strikes Berenice, and at the same time, Jax is touched by an artifact that somehow removes his geas, giving him free will and simultaneously, making him the Dutch s most wanted fugitive Berenice, meanwhile, is fueled by pain and rage, and sets out to undercut the Dutch in revenge We subsequently meet Visser, a Catholic spy living among the Dutch, who is subsequently discovered and subjected to a torture of his own one which exposes a lot of the secrets behind the mechanicals, the geas, and the true power at the hands of the Guild.The varying layers of intrigue in the book are astounding three distinct storylines, independent yet intertwined, and each filling in holes in the story, filling in background, giving an understanding of how all the various aspects of the world work Things are an onion, peeled back a layer at a time, rather than presented in an infodump or bland blocks of background text It s skillfully done, keeps the plot moving at a rapid pace throughout the book, and prevents any periods of disinterest I was suitably enthralled at all times in the book around the 30% mark, things do slow down a tad, but not nearly as much as they do in some other novels Around the halfway point, things really pick up, and it s incredible from there on out.Jax, in particular, is an incredible character His internal struggles, his fight for self identity, and his plight as he runs from his rulers is as moving as it is exciting The themes of identity, free will, slavery, oppression and the rights of sentient creatures are all handled very deftly by Tregillis The intense pain, PTSD, sense of loss all the human emotions felt by Berenice are also handled excellently, as were the intense changes Visser went through, and his terror was palpable.The worldbuilding was, well, it was something else The creativity involved in this world was staggering It s not as though alternate histories, sentient robots, or the Dutch being evil lol are new concepts however, Tregillis version is very well crafted, very fleshed out, very well described I felt like I was part of the world, that time period, that technology, that struggle He describes things without an overabundance of flowery filler, without describing every minute detail yet he also paints a vivid picture, lets imagination fill out the tapestry, but gives you a color by numbers template to do it with It was satisfying.The ending was exciting and heartbreaking at once, even with it being left open ended to address the future novels in the series The ending all the characters find couldn t have gone better for me, and I left the book excited about it, feeling suitably impacted by the difficult parts, and suitably happy with the outcome This book was the Tregillis I have been waiting for after the Milkweed Triptych finally putting the pieces together, hitting his stride in almost every aspect, finding that glue he needed to make a cohesive, complete, and exciting novel.I loved it flag 14 likesLike see review Feb 09, 2017 awn has reading burn out rated it it was amazing review of another edition Recommends it for Lovers of steampunk Shelves fantasy, heros i love, science fiction, will read again, historical fiction alt history, all time favorite, hero not a manwhore, gr summary is deceiving, safe for me, steampunk, android robot cyborg ai, religion, no romance SPOILERS 5 stars This is or less notes to myself than a review just raised my opinion and stars after further reflection 2 14 2017 This book is written in the 3rd person, which surprised me since the GR summary gave me the impression it would be in 1st person The beginning was slow and full historical details and dates which almost put me off The writing style was also a little difficult to get used to for me It seemed at first stiff, formal and overly intellectual Either I got u SPOILERS 5 stars This is or less notes to myself than a review just raised my opinion and stars after further reflection 2 14 2017 This book is written in the 3rd person, which surprised me since the GR summary gave me the impression it would be in 1st person The beginning was slow and full historical details and dates which almost put me off The writing style was also a little difficult to get used to for me It seemed at first stiff, formal and overly intellectual Either I got used to it or it changed because about 35% in I was totally invested It was worth sticking it out.The character development was very good, which to me is most important in any read, followed by good conflict, this book had both.A very quick summary This is steampunk It takes place in 1926 Nobles have mechanical servants slaves that are forged with a complusion to obey their commands or feel pain They are called Clackkers Some rare clackkers have gone rogue which means they don t feel pain for disobeying, essentially gaining free will New France sympathizes with the clackkers and is against the Dutch who believe the clackkers are mere machines with no souls When a catholic priest posing as a protestant, asks Jax, a clackker, to deliver an item to a friend, Jax becomes free..a rogue Lots of stuff happen in between, and the book ends with the beginnings of a war between New France and the Dutch I said it would be quick I wasn t so sure about Bernice I hated her in the beginning, and when she disassembled Lillith against her will, I truly wanted to see her punished Towards the end though my feelings for her only changed slightly, and I m still not so sure about her true feelings regarding Clackkers I suspect she is only in this for her own personal political reasons, but I suppose I ll find out in the next book I do hope Lillith returns, I really wanted of her and was disappointed that her role in this book was so brief.I totally love Jax He made the book and I m glad to see he survives.The world building is fantastic but I felt the action scenes were overdone and too long Overall it was worth the 3.99 and I plan to read the rest in the series.Safety Graphic violence, torture is detailed, cursing, sex not detailed this is NOT a romance read, but for my romance friends Bernice is married but her and her husband sleep with others for political gain only They love each other It didn t bother me because it s not a romance driven book flag 13 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Mar 18, 2015 Nikki rated it really liked it Shelves speculative fiction, netgalley, received to review Received to review via NetgalleyThis one took me a weirdly long time to read, considering the fact that I don t have major criticisms I just didn t feel like reading it In part that s because of emotional stuff tortures, transformations, losses Tregillis writes well about these, and I tend to be bad at reading that There s one aspect of Visser s character arc in particular that still has me cringing now It s worse with characters I feel involved with, which is maybe the place that Tr Received to review via NetgalleyThis one took me a weirdly long time to read, considering the fact that I don t have major criticisms I just didn t feel like reading it In part that s because of emotional stuff tortures, transformations, losses Tregillis writes well about these, and I tend to be bad at reading that There s one aspect of Visser s character arc in particular that still has me cringing now It s worse with characters I feel involved with, which is maybe the place that Tregillis failed to capture me I m not fascinated by his characters, so I didn t have that drive to carry on reading and find out what happens, how they get out of their messes I m not sure I ll read future books, because I only sort of want to know what happens to the characters, and I m not sure if that s enough to keep me going through the bad stuff.And Tregillis definitely demonstrates he isn t afraid to hurt his characters There s no real reassurance that there ll be a happy ending There s nothing wrong with that, but it shapes my idiosyncratic response to the story.In terms of plot and setting, it s pretty awesome He sets up an elaborate alternate history with mechanical servitors and alchemy, and a war between the French and the Dutch in consequence There s all sorts of philosophical stuff explored around this concepts of the soul, theology, practical and societal changes Tregillis doesn t skimp on that kind of detail and background development at all There s room and to spare for development as well this isn t a concept exhausted after the first book.If I sound ambivalent, that s a personal reaction there s a lot here to fascinate and absorb.Originally posted on my blog, here flag 11 likesLike see review Jun 09, 2015 Lisa rated it it was amazing Shelves steampunk Review from Tenacious Reader starsThe Mechanical is a wonderful steampunk, alternate history novel that takes the reader into the dark world of spies and war and also examines issues of slavery versus free will and religion This book can be quite dark, but it balances the horrific parts with a fascinating world and wonderful characters Clakkers or mechanical men powered by alchemy to serve humans There are several kinds, giving them specialties Review from Tenacious Reader starsThe Mechanical is a wonderful steampunk, alternate history novel that takes the reader into the dark world of spies and war and also examines issues of slavery versus free will and religion This book can be quite dark, but it balances the horrific parts with a fascinating world and wonderful characters Clakkers or mechanical men powered by alchemy to serve humans There are several kinds, giving them specialties for example, some are military, trained for fighting The are faster, stronger and durable than humans They are intelligent and they are completely subservient and obedient to their human masters At least usually There are rogue Clakkers that have for some reason gained some level of free will, giving them the ability to act according to their own thoughts and agendas versus just following commands These rogues are greatly feared and prompt a witch hunt level of hysteria.Imagine how easily an army of Clackers could change the course of a war as they provide a huge advantage And that is exactly what happened when the Netherlands invented and used them close to hundreds of years before the story was set, pushing the French into exile One of our perspectives is Bernice, is a French spymaster She gives us insight into the current political field, and the plight of the French I really enjoyed her character She s a fighter and she has been dealt a horrible hand, so we get a good taste of her strength and personality You just can t help but want things to get better for her.This book has an interesting exploration of what constitutes a thinking being At what point can a machine become an individual, and hence be entitled to free will When we create intelligent machines, should we also be responsible for determining what rights these machines may have Where do you draw the line The concept of free will is a huge theme in this book, as well as how to differentiate between a simple clock and a machine that may have some level of intelligence How can you prove existence of thinking Lack of proof does not prove a lack of existence.And through the perspective of Jax, we gain understanding that these Clakkers are than just machines It is quite interesting having a Clakker POV, and can be eerily like human thinking at times Not completely, but similar enough that the questions of freedom versus slavery, and what rights should these machines have need to be raised.Our final perspective is linked to Jax s and actually strengthens those questions as well I really don t want to say as I think that storyline is probably best not knowing much before going in But it can get incredibly dark and disturbing It also raises a great number of questions about the technology used for Clakkers.I don t hesitate to recommend this one It is very well paced, full of action, intrigue and great characters.Audiobook note Chris Kayser did a wonderful job with narration, he s quite easy to listen to and the pronunciations and inflections all worked quite well The story is also one that lends its self to a great listen flag 11 likesLike see review Sep 08, 2015 Melissa rated it it was ok Shelves science fiction I wanted to like this book I really did The concept is interesting and I think there s a good book in there somewhere But it was buried under a layer of pretentious drivel and endless descriptions about things that don t really matter This author makes George R R Martin seem concise I wouldn t say that I have a poor vocabulary, but I had to look up a word every few pages That really took me out of the story Not to mention that parts of the story were so boring, I fell asleep after readi I wanted to like this book I really did The concept is interesting and I think there s a good book in there somewhere But it was buried under a layer of pretentious drivel and endless descriptions about things that don t really matter This author makes George R R Martin seem concise I wouldn t say that I have a poor vocabulary, but I had to look up a word every few pages That really took me out of the story Not to mention that parts of the story were so boring, I fell asleep after reading only a few pages I forced myself to finish it, because I m not a quitter but I didn t really enjoy it flag 10 likesLike see review View all 3 comments Jul 22, 2016 P42 rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves 2016, holiday 2016 Moje wideorecenzje tego cyklu na YOUTUBE cam do zapoznania si flag 9 likesLike see review Aug 18, 2014 Jenny Reading Envy marked it as did not finish Shelves ebooks, sci fi fantasy, reviewcopy I got about 1 4 in and decided I wouldn t finish I liked the first novel of the author s previous trilogy, Bitter Seeds, but never went back to the other books in that series I think it is for similar reasons that I don t think I ll finish this one Ian Tregillis very creatively weaves automatons and clockwork people into historical events The previous trilogy looked at World War II, and The Alchemy Wars are set during Louis XIV If you are interested in how issues of mechanical beings w I got about 1 4 in and decided I wouldn t finish I liked the first novel of the author s previous trilogy, Bitter Seeds, but never went back to the other books in that series I think it is for similar reasons that I don t think I ll finish this one Ian Tregillis very creatively weaves automatons and clockwork people into historical events The previous trilogy looked at World War II, and The Alchemy Wars are set during Louis XIV If you are interested in how issues of mechanical beings would fare during this era, you would probably love this book Solidly not for me, but maybe for others flag 8 likesLike see review View 1 comment Jan 12, 2017 Andris rated it liked it Shelves fantasy Interesanta alternat v s v stures pasaule, kas ir Tregillisa stipr puse, ar t liem ir vak k Viena no diviem vado ajiem t liem, fran u spiegu t kla vad t ja Beren sa, ir, maigi izsakoties, kaitino a un vi as l mumi liek vaic t, k vi a ir non kusi aj augstaj amat.Gr mata ir trilo ijas ievads, tai nav pa ai savas nosl gtas st sta l nijas, kas, ar retiem iz mumiem, mani stipri kaitina flag 8 likesLike see review Aug 20, 2015 Milo BOK rated it it was amazing Shelves notable 2015 releases, 25 best 2015 releases The Review Can Also Be Found Here Tregillis has quickly emerged as one of my go to authors if I want to read some good alternate historical fiction, with a sci fi fantasy bent His Milkweed Tryptych series saw British warlocks battle Nazi super soldiers in an awesome alternate WW2 setting and absolutely blew me away The Mechanical offers up of the same, an inventive world, a compelling atmosphere and an awesome finale The book grabbed me from The Review Can Also Be Found Here Tregillis has quickly emerged as one of my go to authors if I want to read some good alternate historical fiction, with a sci fi fantasy bent His Milkweed Tryptych series saw British warlocks battle Nazi super soldiers in an awesome alternate WW2 setting and absolutely blew me away The Mechanical offers up of the same, an inventive world, a compelling atmosphere and an awesome finale The book grabbed me from the moment I started reading as it pulled it into an alternate, alchemy fuelled world where the Dutch have risen to become the world power, in the 17th Century following scientist Christiaan Hyugen s use of magic to create several intelligent clockwork robots that live only to serve their masters It s an imaginative, original and captivating premise that had me hooked, and it never disappointed.The book doesn t shy away from the dark nature of what we re witnessing Using themes from political thrillers and spy novels we re thrust into a world unlike anything you ll have quite seen before The execution of French spies may not allow for the most uplifting start to the novel, but it does set the tone for The Mechanical We re thrust into the world through the eyes of the clakker named Jax, who is part faithful servant, part ultimate superweapon His relationships with some of the human characters helps drive this book, particularly with the French spymaster Berenice Charlotte de Mornay Perigord There are other characters that the book touches on as well such as Father Visser, another person who s hiding secrets, for he is in fact a Catholic Priest, as it creates compelling, enthralling characters with a variety of personalities and motivations The amount of depth that s on display here is intense, and you get a fully realised sense of the world that although may not allow for one of the quickest reads ever, does provide for one of the most engrossing.It s also pretty worth noting that you shouldn t expect a happy ending whilst reading this book, there isn t any real assurance that anybody will be safe, and Tregillis manages to create a level of tension and unpredictability that keeps running through the book The Alchemy Wars are a fascinating concept and it explores the relations between the French and the Dutch very well in a world where most historical alternate fantasies don t really touch much on either The good news is that The Mechanical is not a standalone novel so you can expect plenty from the Universe, which is great because Tregillis has created a world I can t wait to return to The next book comes in the form of The Rising, which is the second book in the trilogy and due out later this year It s certainly something that based on the quality of this book, I can expect to see topping the best of the year lists In conclusion therefore it s safe to say that The Mechanical is a confident, enthralling and captivating read from Ian Tregillis that puts few things wrong as it kickstarts an awesome new trilogy from the writer of the Milkweed Tryptych novels He s a writer who deserves a hell of a lot exposure with his imaginative fiction and this is really something that fans of SFF should check out when they get the chance The Mechanical is a great jumping on point if you want to learn just what makes the author so good.VERDICT 9 10 flag 7 likesLike see review May 06, 2015 Brandt rated it it was amazing Shelves fiction, scifi There is a chapter in The Mechanical where two characters with different religious philosophies discuss whether Free Will is real or an illusion This is what drives the plot of this brilliant alternate history In the Mechanical, Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens discovered a means of creating clockwork men who help the Dutch become masters of the world All that stands in their way are the exiled French court, living in North America It s impossible to discuss the plot points without massive There is a chapter in The Mechanical where two characters with different religious philosophies discuss whether Free Will is real or an illusion This is what drives the plot of this brilliant alternate history In the Mechanical, Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens discovered a means of creating clockwork men who help the Dutch become masters of the world All that stands in their way are the exiled French court, living in North America It s impossible to discuss the plot points without massive spoilers, but the discussion of Free Will is crucial to the Mechanical and helps elevate to one of the best science fiction reads out there flag 7 likesLike see review Mar 03, 2016 T Frohock rated it it was amazing Positively excellent A riveting look at free will and slavery, examined through the lens of Calvinistic and Catholic philosophies in a fast paced alternative history I appreciated the way Tregillis took his time and seated the reader in the world and the story with the opening scenes before launching into the action In taking such great care, the characters were vibrant and simply leapt off the page their motivations were clear, and I cared deeply enough about each one so that their pain was Positively excellent A riveting look at free will and slavery, examined through the lens of Calvinistic and Catholic philosophies in a fast paced alternative history I appreciated the way Tregillis took his time and seated the reader in the world and the story with the opening scenes before launching into the action In taking such great care, the characters were vibrant and simply leapt off the page their motivations were clear, and I cared deeply enough about each one so that their pain was palpable Intelligent and witty, The Mechanical was a thoroughly immersive and enjoyable story.After this superb introduction into Tregillis works, I ll be looking for flag 7 likesLike see review Mar 06, 2016 Ryandake rated it it was ok Shelves stuff i couldn t finish a book i can t finish.i m listening to the audiobook, am just a tad over halfway and i am bored, bored, bored.the book has an interesting set up and the worldbuilding isn t bad so what makes it un finishable it s the long windedness there are super long action scenes stuffed with filler people thinking about all the stuff that won t work, for example, in the middle of fighting for their lives you can safely ignore the audiobook for long stretches while you drive past something noisy or fig a book i can t finish.i m listening to the audiobook, am just a tad over halfway and i am bored, bored, bored.the book has an interesting set up and the worldbuilding isn t bad so what makes it un finishable it s the long windedness there are super long action scenes stuffed with filler people thinking about all the stuff that won t work, for example, in the middle of fighting for their lives you can safely ignore the audiobook for long stretches while you drive past something noisy or figure out a knitting problem, because not much is actually going to happen and the uninteresting conversations of a philosophical bent that might work for a high schooler, but not for a person who s ever given any serious thought to such things how do we know we have free will because i can return the audiobook speculations on whether god grants souls to i always have a problem with this stuff, because i m an atheist the other thing is the annoyingness of bad writing at a sentence level i ve read worse, for sure talking to you, Wool , but seeing a word repeated four times in three sentences is just lazy and the last thing plot holes at one point our hero Jax view spoiler is hanging out of a basket on a rapidly descending dirigible and going on at some length about the physics of dirigible flight and i got to wondering since there was plenty of time to do it how does he know anything about these physics hide spoiler because the very essence of a slave, mechanical or otherwise, is that nobody educates them they don t have time to read for self improvement so how does Jax know anything about it and has he ever seen a map who taught him to read one there are so many bits of learning that we take for granted, but they aren t something you just absorb, even if you re a 100 year old clakker somebody has to teach you so this is sort of a small thing, this educational matter, but it tells me that the author didn t think very hard about what it was really like day to day to be a slave for him, slavery all boils down to free will and in a lot of ways, this is not the most interesting issue of slavery to me, the interesting stuff is how one enslaves oneself how a despised population absorbs the disdain of their betters , how they must fight for an always shaky dignity, how they can despite it all reach out to others for liberation, or not.in short, all the interesting psychological stuff just isn t there and neither am i i m outta here flag 6 likesLike see review Sep 25, 2015 Sarah Anne rated it it was ok review of another edition Shelves audio, sci fi, 2 5 stars, alt history, steampunk, author man I m really torn between two and three stars on this one but just based on my relief with being done I m going with two It really was like two for the first half and three for the second.This book never entirely worked for me My biggest quibble this one s going to take time was the particular alt history world that this guy created There s a war going between New Amsterdam and New France but we re not given a year that it s taking place New Amsterdam ceased to exist in the mid 17th c I m really torn between two and three stars on this one but just based on my relief with being done I m going with two It really was like two for the first half and three for the second.This book never entirely worked for me My biggest quibble this one s going to take time was the particular alt history world that this guy created There s a war going between New Amsterdam and New France but we re not given a year that it s taking place New Amsterdam ceased to exist in the mid 17th century so I was thinking that this was set somewhere in there And then there are other major timeline issues as you move forward because of the American Revolution and the Louisiana Purchase But then they mention Louis XIV and Louis XV, followed by first in a long line of kings So if he died in 1774, then what freaking year is this set in So we finally get a ballpark around 50% and an actual year at 80% 80% His explanation for this lack of English presence On page 1 we have a series of quotes including His philosophical contretemps with Isaac Newton in 1675 would mark the last significant intellectual discourse between England and the continent prior to the chaos of Interregnum and Annexation That is absolutely the only thing that is mentioned to explain the lack of an English presence I searched all over my Kindle looking for something.The frustrating thing okay, clearly there was than one was that this could have been easily handled by giving us a time reference at the very beginning of the book and giving us an explanation for England s absence If this hadn t been nagging at me for 80% of the book, I m quite sure I would have enjoyed it By the way, just so nobody else goes through the same thing, it s 1926.I realize that some people will think this is nitpicking but this actually caused a significant amount of frustration and annoyance To top it off, it took 50% of the book before it got interesting and I never did warm up to one of the main characters There are two The clakkers themselves are interesting, especially the way that they communicate in their special language I also liked the use of the geas to keep them in line I liked what happened to Visser and would have liked to hear about him Just not enough to read the second book flag 6 likesLike see review View all 3 comments Mar 27, 2015 Tudor Ciocarlie rated it really liked it Shelves 2015 my best of Bitter Seeds was far from my favorite books, but this novel is a much thoughtful and interesting examination of an alternate history I loved the world building and how the author uses this world in order to explore some heavy themes like free will or slavery The only thing I didn t like was the total absence of any closure and I am a little angry at the writers that play these games with the reader Even if The Mechanical is the first novel in the series, it should have been a complete no Bitter Seeds was far from my favorite books, but this novel is a much thoughtful and interesting examination of an alternate history I loved the world building and how the author uses this world in order to explore some heavy themes like free will or slavery The only thing I didn t like was the total absence of any closure and I am a little angry at the writers that play these games with the reader Even if The Mechanical is the first novel in the series, it should have been a complete novel flag 6 likesLike see review Oct 06, 2015 sir Lancer Cairns rated it it was amazing Shelves sir lancer s recommendations This Was Great Not counting the Tales of the Ketty Jay series this is now my next favourite steampunk ish series The questions on free will were entertaining and the 3 pov s were equally enthralling Long story short loved it flag 5 likesLike see review Mar 01, 2015 Lynn Williams rated it it was amazing finished reading The Mechanical by Ian Tregillis and what a great story this is I really enjoyed it, a strange combination of alternate history, steampunk and conflict in ways than one that packs an emotional punch for most of the journey.I m not going to say this was a quick read because it isn t The style of writing and depth of detail coupled with the ideas and name places do mean you have to give this your whole attention Or at least I finished reading The Mechanical by Ian Tregillis and what a great story this is I really enjoyed it, a strange combination of alternate history, steampunk and conflict in ways than one that packs an emotional punch for most of the journey.I m not going to say this was a quick read because it isn t The style of writing and depth of detail coupled with the ideas and name places do mean you have to give this your whole attention Or at least I found so But that s not a criticism I loved the world displayed on the pages here and I was entranced almost immediately by the plight of the Clakkers.At the heart of the story is the war between the all powerful Netherlands who, using the Clakkers that they invented approximately 200 years ago, have risen to supremacy and the French and their King in exile who, having barely survived the last conflict, spend their time trying to find a way to thwart any future attacks.Thanks to an inventor called Huygens the Netherlands possess the know how to make Clakkers Mechanical, thinking and talking machines, much stronger and faster than humans, brought to life through a combination of chemicals and alchemy and controlled by geas that make it impossible for them to act on impulse and in actual fact cause them increasing pain if they disobey a direct order The Guild who create the Clakkers closely guard their inner workings but unfortunately, every now and again, one of the Clakkers seems to break free of the restraints imposed and turn rogue And this is how the story starts with a public execution of not only traitors to the Brasswork Throne but a Clakker who has broken free from his obligations It s a great opening It keeps you hooked with suspense and immediately demonstrates that whilst these automatons are mechanically made objects they do have the ability to think independently and are far from the simple machines without feelings that the Guild would have everyone believe.At the start of the story, a precarious ceasefire has been agreed but it balances on a knife edge and rests on the French obeying the terms and conditions to the letter Of course, both sides are infiltrated by spies and double agents The Netherlands trying to protect their secrets and the French trying desperately to find out what makes the Clakkers tick before any attacks come their way.The story alternates around three main protagonists Jax, a Clakker whose inner thoughts we become privvy to, Berenice, the spymaster general to King Louis and Father Visser who is in fact an undercover Catholic priest Their lives will become inextricably linked especially when Visser sets Jax on a mission which has a dramatic impact on both their lives and could potentially create the spark to start a whole new war.What I found really impressive with this book is the way the author makes you care about all three of these characters I mean Jax is a mechanical and yet I just loved his character and really cared about him Similarly Berenice talk about your creative cursing she gets put through the wringer for sure but still comes out kicking and fighting Visser well, the least said here the better I could barely read what he went through.This is certainly an incredibly clever, complex and layered book and I m sure that everyone who reads it will take away their own interpretation which is something that I really admire I will mention that the author doesn t shy away from the violent aspects of the story He simply tells it the way it is warts and all and there are a few stomach turning scenes where blood and guts take a messy centre stage But, it s not gratuitous simply realistic and a fairly honest look at the damage that a strong automaton could wreak on what are, comparatively speaking, fragile humans Is that an argument for imposing geas on the Clakkers some seem to think so and yet the majority of the violence caused during the story is as a result of human interference.Very thought provoking A gripping and enjoyable read with an ending that left me wanting to know when the next book comes out I received a copy of this from the publishers courtesy of Netgalley for which my thanks The above is my own opinion flag 4 likesLike see review Feb 10, 2015 Cathy rated it really liked it Shelves fantasy, historical, steampunk, alternate history, read in 2015 I was very excited to read this because I read Tregillis s truly excellent story The Mainspring of His Heart, The Shackles of His Soul, in the anthology Human for a Day that this book appears to be based on The story turns out to be an alternate Jax s tale The fully realized characters and history he created must have been so intriguing that he decided to expand it into a series, which doesn t surprise me one little bit The story was so interesting and poignant, I ve always remembered it, eve I was very excited to read this because I read Tregillis s truly excellent story The Mainspring of His Heart, The Shackles of His Soul, in the anthology Human for a Day that this book appears to be based on The story turns out to be an alternate Jax s tale The fully realized characters and history he created must have been so intriguing that he decided to expand it into a series, which doesn t surprise me one little bit The story was so interesting and poignant, I ve always remembered it, even with my rotten memory It s also one of the best anthologies I ve read, so I d recommend cheching it out, but you should definitely read the story by Tregillis, it s a gem I m so glad that he decided to slightly alter and expand upon the world and the fascinating characters that he created for that story and turn it into this novel.I didn t write this review right away when I finished reading the book because I was a bit overwhelmed and didn t know exactly what to say or how to say it So of course now too much time has passed and I can t remember most of what I wanted to say I definitely enjoyed that the author used the history and geography of the Netherlands as such a major part of the book, a country not often used in urban fantasy alternate history books There were a lot of British and French aspects to the book as well I also enjoyed the discussion of philosophy and religion between Visser and Bell about Descartes, Aquinas, Spinoza, among other philosophical debates in the book It was very interesting to take the standard debate of free will versus predetermination and turn it on it s head a bit in the context of Catholics and Protestants of this world and their debate about Clackers and their ability to have free will as well I enjoyed all of the science and history that was included, I had fun looking things up to figure out what was real and what was imaginary I m sure I missed some things that I should have been educated about in junior high school, or college, but I enjoyed what I got I m not a big alternate history fan, but the world Tregillis created was really fresh and engaging, it easily drew me in The details were so vivid that it felt completely real, I could see every bit of it so clearly and in bright technicolor, but the reading never got bogged down in the details, I don t how he does that The three points of view were maybe a little less successful, just a tiny bit less well balanced I m not sure, there was just something a tiny bit off with the pace or the flow But I very much enjoyed the story It was a very interesting and fun book, and is highly recommended flag 4 likesLike see review Mar 22, 2015 Jared rated it it was ok Too many characters and the slow pacing made this a hard book to get in to The proliferation of foreign words, made up, Nordic and French, also did this no favors in readability If the story had stayed on Jax I would have fallen head over heals, but though he is the only interesting character in the book, he gets about 1 4 of the screen time Also, I just don t like steampunk at all and this doesn t do enough to differentiate itself, which was the same issue I had with his last book This is t Too many characters and the slow pacing made this a hard book to get in to The proliferation of foreign words, made up, Nordic and French, also did this no favors in readability If the story had stayed on Jax I would have fallen head over heals, but though he is the only interesting character in the book, he gets about 1 4 of the screen time Also, I just don t like steampunk at all and this doesn t do enough to differentiate itself, which was the same issue I had with his last book This is two stinkers in a row for Tregillis and it just might be my last Even though he is a very talented writer, he seems to have run out of original and interesting ideas for his stories flag 4 likesLike see review View 2 comments Dec 14, 2014 Liviu Szoke rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves sci fi reads, 2015 reads Though the steampunk it is not my absolute favorite subgenre, Tregillis became quickly one of my to follow authors Bitter Seeds was a decent and inovative fantasy delivery, but this time we have a metaphysical journey, combinated with a vivid description of an alternate reality, where the human alike robots are something usual in the begining of the XXth century all over the world Part medieval world, part I, Robot the movie, not the collection , it kept me hooked from the first to the last p Though the steampunk it is not my absolute favorite subgenre, Tregillis became quickly one of my to follow authors Bitter Seeds was a decent and inovative fantasy delivery, but this time we have a metaphysical journey, combinated with a vivid description of an alternate reality, where the human alike robots are something usual in the begining of the XXth century all over the world Part medieval world, part I, Robot the movie, not the collection , it kept me hooked from the first to the last page Hopefully, to come flag 4 likesLike see review Sep 13, 2015 Suzanne rated it really liked it Shelves audio, series in progress, steampunk, alternate history This had a lot of discussion about free will and the nature of the soul, along with tons of action Coincidentally, I read it at the same time I read Going Postal, which explored in a humorous way of course many similar ideas with golems instead of mechanicals I m glad the two books paired up like that flag 4 likesLike see review Feb 20, 2015 Ints rated it it was amazing Shelves fantasy, test Labs s rijas ies kums St mpanks Al mi u meh nismi kalpot ji turpm k roboti , kuri ir piln b pak auti saviem saimniekiem Diskusija par br vo gribu un dominanci pasaul Daudz paka dz an s un piedz vojumu V l k izv rs os pla k.P c Asinsz les trilo ijas izlas anas Ian Tregillis ir iek uvis man oblig ti las mo autoru sarakst Pat k veids, k d vi atkl j savus t lus, savij si etu un interpret savas pasaules v sturi o gr matu ieg d jos t da p c t s izn k anas un uzreiz ar s ku las Labs s rijas ies kums St mpanks Al mi u meh nismi kalpot ji turpm k roboti , kuri ir piln b pak auti saviem saimniekiem Diskusija par br vo gribu un dominanci pasaul Daudz paka dz an s un piedz vojumu V l k izv rs os pla k.P c Asinsz les trilo ijas izlas anas Ian Tregillis ir iek uvis man oblig ti las mo autoru sarakst Pat k veids, k d vi atkl j savus t lus, savij si etu un interpret savas pasaules v sturi o gr matu ieg d jos t da p c t s izn k anas un uzreiz ar s ku las t Un k gan es var tu nelas t, ja gr matai ir t da anot cija Mans v rds ir Jax Tas ir v rds, kuru man devu i mani saimnieki Es esmu calkker meh nisks cilv ks, kuru darbina al mija M su armijas ir iekaroju as visu pasauli, un Misi a Tronis ir vien g superlielavara Es esmu uztic gs kalpot js Es esmu kaujas ma na Man piem t liels sp ks un nebeidzama iztur ba Ta u es esmu pak auts savu saimnieku v lm m Es esmu vergs, bet es b u br vs.Rit divdesmit gadsimta s kums, bet pasaule nemaz nav t da k to paz stam m s Ir vair kas b tiskas at ir bas Pirm pasaules domin jo lielvara ir N derlande, vi a ir pak vusi liel ko da u no pasaules un nosaka politisko toni Otr aj pasaul jau septi padsmitaj gadsimt Kristians Heigenss izveidoja pirmo meh nisko kalpu Tre aj pasaul paral li fizikai darbojas ar al mija Al mija auj klakeru meh nismiem b t vienm r uzvilktiem un funkcion jo om Amerika v l joproj m nav piln b koloniz ta, trauc Francijas atliekas, kurai nav resursu Pat P vests ir aizb dzis no Eiropas, to ir sagr bu i protestanti Jau pa as pirm s gr matas lapaspuses man lika saprast, b s labs st sts Notiek eksek cija, kur tiek sod ti fran u spiegi, kas m in ju i izdibin t Misi a Tro a nosl pumus un k ds sadumpojies klakers Jax, lai gan vi am ir j pilda saimnieka uzdevums, oti grib redz t, k tas viss beigsies Izlasot s kumu bija skaidrs, ka oreiz autora fant zija man pied v s v l nebiju u st stu.Gr matas centr lais t ls ir meh nisms Jax Ikdienu vi pavada izpildot sava saimnieka v lmes Ta u viena lieta vi am t pat k visiem p r jiem klakeriem ir skaidra Pulkste meistari melo Klakerus paklaus b tur vi u rad t ji, kas ar al mijas pal dz bu vi os ir ielikusi v lmi klaus t savus saimniekus T d nek da klakeru revol cija princip nav iesp jama, visas vi u pa u v lmes nom c saimnieku virsv lmes Un pam ini tik neklaus t saimniekus, tev s p s t , ka nezin si kur likties un pav li izpild si Jax ir t ds pats k visi p r jie, vi u saimnieki nemaz nenojau , ka klakeri sav starp komunic Vi i pat nenojau vai negrib nojaust, ka aiz klakeru paklaus bas sl pjas person bas, kuras v las k t br vas.Berenice ir fran u spiegu koordinatore Vi as galvenais uzdevums ir saglab t Francijas paliekas Eiropas da a jau sen ir zaud ta, atlikusi vien neliela teritorija Amerikas teritorij Bet holandie i ir gatavi ar saviem klakeriem sakaut v l atliku os fran us un g zt no tro a karali Vien g iesp ja, k v l var tu izgl bt Franciju un pasauli no Misi a Tro a dominances, ir klakeru izgatavo anas nosl puma atkl ana Ta u inform cijas ir oti, oti maz Misi a Tronis ir gatavs uz visu, lai nosarg tu savus nosl pumus Ja k ds klakers sagad an s d iziet no saimnieku kontroles, tiek dar ts piln gi viss, lai vi us izn cin tu un dezaktiviz tu Laiku pa laikam t gad s ka vienam otram pat izdodas aizb gt ie aizb gu ie tad ar ir atsl ga uz klakeru nosl pumu.Visser ir fran u spiegs, kato u m c t js valst , kur katolicisms ir aizliegts Vi v las dar t visu iesp jamo, lai g ztu Misi a Troni un atbr votu pasauli no N derlandes j ga Vi am ir savi uzskati par klakeriem, vi am ir aizdomas, ka tiem ir br v griba L dz ar to klakers b tu piel dzin ms cilv kiem un atbr vojams no verdz bas J , Vissers ir tie i tas t ls, kas uz savas das izbaud s autora sp ju iev rpt sav st st k du pavisam tum u notikumu pav rsienu Tik tum u, ka las t js nudien negrib tu atrasties varo a d.Redzams, ka no autora ir san cis labs alternat v s v stures rakst t js Ta u vi a v sture neaprobe ojas tikai ar nelielu ongl anu ar faktiem, vi sp j rad t kaut ko vair k un nekautr jas o savu sp ju izmantot St mpanks ir diezgan popul rs anrs, un iet, ka neko jaunu te vairs nav iesp jams rad t, ta u autoram ir izdevies atrast o to jaunu Gr mata nav tikai tehnolo iju un al mijas sakaus juma apraksts, autors piev r as probl m m, kuras parasti sastopam Azimova darbos Vai meh niskam rad jumam var b t sapr ts un br v griba diskusija par meh nismu iesp jamo br vo gribu ir centr lais gr matas elements Jax praks zina, ka vi am ir br v griba Neskatoties uz to, ka vi ir dzimis sm d , un vi a person bu nosaka ar al mijas pal dz bu iedegts krist ls Visser ir tikai aizdomas un nov rojumi Pulkste meistari, iesp jams, zina visvair k, jo galu gal vi i rada os meh nismus, ta u vi i sp t gi apgalvo, ka klakeri ir tikai t di k lieli uzvelkamie pulkste i, tikai nedaudz sare t ki Kad Visser konfront ar vienu no pulkste meistariem jaut jum par br vo gribu, man tom r rad s aizdomas, ka autoram varb t nevajadz ja aizrauties ar argument ciju Vi a jau bija laba, ta u problem tiku aizsk ra visnota virspus ji Ta u l dz ko es biju v zdegun gi noracis autora v rgo argument ciju, vi st st rad ja t du br v s gribas kontrargumentu, ka biju ok ts Reiz m tev var b t ar br v griba, bet tu r kosies t , it k tev nemaz vi as neb tu Un, lai ar izskat tos p c cilv ka un iek ausm s b autu v l k cilv ks, tu r kotos k klakers.Gr matai lieku 10 no 10 ball m Un k nu es nesal dzin u ar Asinsz li, pasaule ir v l dr m ka Un autoram izskat s ir daudz lab ks riens uz dr maj m pasaul m nek uz alternat vo Otro pasaules karu Ja agr kajos darbos autoram var ja piesiet t lu plakan bu un citas nel gas lietas, tad tagad vi am ir izdevies rad t gan izcilus t lus, kuri gr matas gait izaug un att st s, gan spraigu si etu br ni g alternat v s v stures pasaul Tagad j cie as un j gaida n kam gr mata Iesaku las t visiem alternat v s v stures cien t jiem, kuriem nav nekas pret pret al mijas pie prici Galu gal pat zaks tons pret to nebija vienaldz gs Kas zina, ja vi b tu nedaudz pasteidzies varb t britiem ar b tu biju as kaut k das cer bas flag 3 likesLike see review View all 3 comments Aug 22, 2017 Rinn rated it liked it Shelves sci fi, to review, netgalley, steampunk, arc or review copy, read 2017 Review to come flag 3 likesLike see review View all 3 comments Mar 04, 2015 Antonio Diaz rated it really liked it Shelves english owned The Mechanical es una novela muy curiosa, a caballo entre varios g neros, pero que no se decanta por ninguno Esta caracter stica, que podr a lastrar la novela, en realidad la convierte en algo ciertamente nico y nuevo, un excitante c ctel resultado de la mezcla a partes iguales de diversos ingredientes La acci n de The Mechanical se sit a en una Tierra alternativa donde los holandeses descubren la manera de crear robots Esta tecnolog a les convierte en la absoluta potencia mundial y alte The Mechanical es una novela muy curiosa, a caballo entre varios g neros, pero que no se decanta por ninguno Esta caracter stica, que podr a lastrar la novela, en realidad la convierte en algo ciertamente nico y nuevo, un excitante c ctel resultado de la mezcla a partes iguales de diversos ingredientes La acci n de The Mechanical se sit a en una Tierra alternativa donde los holandeses descubren la manera de crear robots Esta tecnolog a les convierte en la absoluta potencia mundial y altera la historia tal y como la conocemos Esto le da a la novela un trasfondo totalmente ucr nico, con un clar simo punto de Jumbar la aplicaci n de la alquimia para crear robots y un desarrollo interesante de un mundo donde esto hubiese tenido lugar La propia creaci n de estos aut matas un t rmino posiblemente m s adecuado que robot, aunque eso es lo que son en definitiva tiene, en principio, tintes muy fant sticos El gremio de alquimistas oculta los secretos de c mo se fabrican y se les dota de inteligencia con un grado de paranoia suprema Parece m s un culto de un dios primigenio que otra cosa Pero Tregillis, en mi opini n, parece utilizar la alquimia como una excusa para desarrollar estos constructos inteligentes y explorar las consecuencias en una sociedad que cuenta y depende de ellos en gran medida A pesar de que la acci n se desarrolla a principios del siglo XX, no hay coches, para qu Tienes aut matas tirando de carros que te pueden llevar de un lado a otro mejor de lo que cualquier humano podr a conducir un veh culo Estos elementos de pura ciencia ficci n le dan a la novela un fant stico sentido de la maravilla La aparici n de los aut matas tiene lugar 250 a os antes del comienzo de la novela, y su presencia o ausencia de ella en las sociedades ha moldeado este mundo alternativo.A pesar de lo anterior, la evidente intenci n del autor es realizar un ensa o sobre la inteligencia y qu es exactamente lo que nos hace humanos The Mechanical tiene discursos filos ficos muy profundos que no lastran la narraci n, por cierto sobre la naturaleza del ser, el libre albedr o y dem s Esto es lo que hace que, despu s de leer una magn fica novela de aventuras con alg n problema menor de ritmo te quedes pensando en las reflexiones y las cuestiones que plantea la novela The Mechanical tiene mucho poso.Esta novela no es para nada autoconclusiva aunque se cierra un poco al final y te deja deseando leer la continuaci n con el ominoso t tulo de The Rising Sin duda seguir deseando saber qu m s nos descubre Tregillis sobre este mundo de alquimia e inteligencias artificiales.Esta novela tiene bastantes ingredientes en com n con Danza de Tinieblas, de Eduardo Vaquerizo A pesar de lo cual, las ejecuciones de ambas novelas son radicalmente distintas aunque el lector al que le gustase la de Vaquerizo deber a sin duda aproximarse a esta flag 3 likesLike see review Feb 02, 2016 Jason Pettus rated it it was amazing Shelves contemporary, personal favorite, sci fi, smart nerdy, alt history Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter.com I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP it is not being reprinted illegally So to be clear, what makes Ian Tregillis The Mechanical such a dazzling success as a genre novel is primarily his world building and other what if skills predicated on a fairly standard premise from steampunk literature What if physicist Christiaan Huygens had actually invented robots in the 1600s Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter.com I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP it is not being reprinted illegally So to be clear, what makes Ian Tregillis The Mechanical such a dazzling success as a genre novel is primarily his world building and other what if skills predicated on a fairly standard premise from steampunk literature What if physicist Christiaan Huygens had actually invented robots in the 1600s , what makes the novel so compelling is what Tregillis guesses would happen to world history as a result, presenting us with a retro futuristic 1929 in which an all ascendant Dutch Empire rules the planet due to being the sole possessors of robots for the last 250 years , steam power was never developed who needs steamships when you can just have 10,000 robot rowers in the bilge of your luxury cruise liner , and a defeated French aristocratic diaspora live in exile in Montreal along with a defeated Vatican , where Catholic rebels have formed a robot underground canal system remember, no railroads in order to save the souls of these artificial creatures, and whose main weapon in their no tech society is petroleum based epoxies that gum up a robot s intricate mechanics when hurled against one in battle But that said, as all us genre fans have learned the hard way over the years, even the greatest premise in the world can t be saved without competent skills in dialogue, character development and the other building blocks of a decent novel and so while Tregillis skills in such aren t particularly spectacular, it should be noted that they re good enough to do the job, mainly getting out of the way so we can enjoy the heady theoretical 20th century so unlike our own that the author has posited here Volume one of a coming trilogy volume 2 is already out, in fact , this was a thrilling enough and philosophically challenging enough start to make me excited about continuing the series and it comes strongly recommended to steampunk fans, although you might want to skip it if you re not.Out of 10 8.8, or 9.8 for steampunk fans flag 3 likesLike see review Mar 22, 2015 Tasula rated it it was amazing The Mechanical is an alternate European history with some mechanical inventions, including sentient mechanical creatures, who are programmed with a geas which requires them to fulfill the orders of their masters or suffer pain These mechanicals clakkers serve as laborers, servants, soldiers, transports, etc The inventors consider them objects without free will, but the clakkers communicate with their own language and feel curiosity, yearning and other emotions, which they cannot act upon bec The Mechanical is an alternate European history with some mechanical inventions, including sentient mechanical creatures, who are programmed with a geas which requires them to fulfill the orders of their masters or suffer pain These mechanicals clakkers serve as laborers, servants, soldiers, transports, etc The inventors consider them objects without free will, but the clakkers communicate with their own language and feel curiosity, yearning and other emotions, which they cannot act upon because of their geasa Because of their invention, the Dutch have become the pre eminent European nation, subjugating all the others, including France and Catholics who believe the clackers have free will The French king and the Pope were driven to a beleaguered stronghold in the New World The main characters are Jax a clakker in the Netherlands , Pastor Visser a Catholic priest spy in the Netherlands and Vicomtesse Bernice de Laval Refugee in Marseilles in the West New World The story is fascinating, the characters live and breathe, and there is action aplenty I assume there will be a sequel, because of the way this book ended, and I will have to read that too flag 3 likesLike see review View 1 comment previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next new topicDiscuss This Book There are no discussion topics on this book yet Be the first to start one Share Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Readers Also Enjoyed 6 likes humans carried heavy obligations, too, but called them culture Society 2 likes More quotes renderRatingGraph 1321, 2028, 827, 221, 56 if rating_details rating_details.insert top rating_graph 2017 Goodreads Inc about us advertise author program jobs api our blog authors advertisers blog terms privacy help switch to mobile version

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The Mechanical (The Alchemy Wars, #1) by Ian Tregillis Reviews

The Mechanical (The Alchemy Wars, #1) by Ian Tregillis
Mogsy (MMOGC)

5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

The Mechanical (The Alchemy Wars, #1) by Ian Tregillis
Brad

For the greater portion of this novel, I was sitting pretty at three stars because no matter how much action packed escapades and beautiful worldbuilding it may have been stuffed with, I was only pretty much interested in Jax The other two were only interesting in spurts.That is, until they actually met one another in the denouement, and then things really picked up for me and made me feel less like I had just wanted to love this novel without quite liking it After that point, though, I love

The Mechanical (The Alchemy Wars, #1) by Ian Tregillis
Kameron Hurley

Everyone should be reading everything by Ian Tregillis Everyone Everything.

The Mechanical (The Alchemy Wars, #1) by Ian Tregillis
Matthew

My name is Jax.That is the name granted to be by my human masters.I am a clakker a mechanical man, powered by alchemy Armies of my kind have conquered the world and made the Brasswork Throne the sole superpower.I am a faithful servant I am the ultimate fighting machine I am endowed with great strength and boundless stamina.But I am beholden to the wishes of my human masters.I am a slave But I shall be free.I have watched the rise of Ian Tregillis with great interest I was first introduce

The Mechanical (The Alchemy Wars, #1) by Ian Tregillis
Lindsay

Man I m sick of great big books published in serial form This isn t a trilogy Trilogies are three novels The format of a novel is beginning, middle, end This is all beginning with a major event at the end that doesn t change anything for the characters and leaves great gobs of story to come.The story itself follows three PoV characters through an alternate world where the Dutch empire became the dominant force in Europe and the American colonies through it s use of alchemically derived mecha

The Mechanical (The Alchemy Wars, #1) by Ian Tregillis
Joel

Full Review on my blog, Total Inability To Connect

The Mechanical (The Alchemy Wars, #1) by Ian Tregillis
†Ðawn† has reading burn-out.

SPOILERS 5 stars This is or less notes to myself than a review just raised my opinion and stars after further reflection 2 14 2017 This book is written in the 3rd person, which surprised me since the GR summary gave me the impression it would be in 1st person The beginning was slow and full historical details and dates which almost put me off The writing style was also a little difficult to get used to for me It seemed at first stiff, formal and overly intellectual Either I got u

The Mechanical (The Alchemy Wars, #1) by Ian Tregillis
Nikki

Received to review via NetgalleyThis one took me a weirdly long time to read, considering the fact that I don t have major criticisms I just didn t feel like reading it In part that s because of emotional stuff tortures, transformations, losses Tregillis writes well about these, and I tend to be bad at reading that There s one aspect of Visser s character arc in particular that still has me cringing now It s worse with characters I feel involved with, which is maybe the place that Tr

The Mechanical (The Alchemy Wars, #1) by Ian Tregillis
Lisa

Review from Tenacious Reader

The Mechanical (The Alchemy Wars, #1) by Ian Tregillis
Melissa

I wanted to like this book I really did The concept is interesting and I think there s a good book in there somewhere But it was buried under a layer of pretentious drivel and endless descriptions about things that don t really matter This author makes George R R Martin seem concise I wouldn t say that I have a poor vocabulary, but I had to look up a word every few pages That really took me out of the story Not to mention that parts of the story were so boring, I fell asleep after readi

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Description: My name is Jax.That is the name granted to me by my human masters.I am a clakker a mechanical man, powered by alchemy Armies of my kind have conquered the world and made the Brasswork Throne the sole

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