A remarkable collaboration that is unprecedented in its scope and realization, this exquisitely wrought novel represents an artistic project between the bestselling science fiction author Kevin J. Anderson and the multiplatinum rock band Rush. The newest album by Rush, Clockwork Angels, sets forth a story in Neil Peart’s lyrics that has been expanded by him and Anderson into this epic novel. In a young man’s quest to follow his dreams, he is caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos. He travels across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy with lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life. The mind-bending story is complemented with rich paintings by the five-time Juno Award winner for Best Album Design, Hugh Syme.
An emotional retelling of a stellar album
From page one of this book, I was hooked. I sat myself down and put my earbuds in, while the album itself played into my ears. I had listened to the album countless times. After reading the novel, however, not only do I know the songs, I /understand/ them. "BU2B" isn't just the singer expressing dismay for order, it is Owen Hardy's words about the Watchmaker, and a slight echo of the Anarchist within him. "Halo Effect" and "The Wreckers" evoke a unique sadness, as you recall Owen having his heart broken, and encountering death in a massive scale. I am an avid Rush fan, in fact I usually play their songs while I sleep for some white noise, so the innumerable references to their songs filled me with a childlike glee when I encountered them. However, this is definitely not a story that can be enjoyed exclusively by Rush fans. The story is captivating, with an immense focus on character and setting. Every character is memorable and unique; in so many books I've read (and I've read quite a few) I have gotten characters confused, or forgot who was speaking. Never in this book. Every character speaks differently, and they all have their own personality which is clearly expressed through their words. Overall, I recommend this book for anyone seeking adventure and excitement without ever leaving your own home, though I advise against that. See the world for yourself, as Owen did. Experience life, and go where you want, instead of where you should. Always remember, "A life without risk is a life without life."
A great companion piece
I loved this read. But the author put in a bit too many lyric references. It started getting distracting. But still really really enjoyable, and it caught my imagination
A Truly Wonderful Book!
This is a fantasy-type story that is based on the lyrics to the Rush album of the same name. It follows the lifetime of a dreamer that “can’t stop thinking big’. His travels and experiences - and ultimately life lessons follow the entire history of the rock band Rush, with many references to lyrics from their albums of the last 40 years. The quotes actually accentuate the professed beliefs of the band, beliefs that have deeply influenced several generations of listeners - profoundly influenced my life with hope and direction when my life was adrift like a flimsy raft in a hurracane.
I recommend this book to readers (and listeners) of all ages. It encapsulates a belief in the type of life, well lived, with challenges met, and reflection of satisfaction. It holds the virtues of Love, Respect, Perseverance, and Freewill in the brightest light, and gives us all an example of how to live life to the fullest and still be the very best we can be.