Reviews

Clockwork Boys, by T. Kingfisher

neonsmile99's review against another edition

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4.0

This was an entertaining read, even though it wasn't a mind boggling one.

It was refreshing and hilarious. The audiobook narrator was phenomenal.

T. Kingfisher takes tropes and spins them just slightly before tossing them all in a blender.

doritoreads's review

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adventurous funny fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

trenchcoatfullofbees's review

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adventurous dark funny fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

This book feels like the novelization of someone's home d&d campaign in a good way. There's comedy! There's existential horror! There's fantastic deconstruction of paladin tropes! My one complaint is that this duology was apparently originally one book cut in half, and you can tell. 

sabouha's review against another edition

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adventurous funny fast-paced

3.75

booksthatburn's review against another edition

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adventurous dark funny medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

Bleak and humorous, CLOCKWORK BOYS follows three convicted criminals and a scholar sent to find out what they can about the terrifying and murderous "Clockwork Boys" who have been devastating their towns and villages.

As a journey narrative, CLOCKWORK BOYS focuses on the dynamic between the members of the party, as well as the internal struggles of the two point-of-view characters. Slate is a forger, Brenner is an assassin, Caliban is a paladin who has a dead demon rotting in his skull, they're on this trip in hopes of a pardon if they survive. Learned Edmund is a formerly cloistered misogynist from an order who prizes learning and instills a fear of mere proximity to women. There's a mix of genuine character growth and learning each other's edges, the kind of forced intimacy which is fostered by a suicide mission with terrible travel conditions in the middle of a war. The worldbuilding is conveyed through a mix of exposition, character reactions, and things encountered as they travel. Slate and Caliban think about themselves and their companions, often thinking things they don't dare or don't know how to say out loud. 

CLOCKWORK BOYS ends on a cliffhanger, as the characters joined together and undertook a journey to a particular city, and the narrative abruptly ends when they arrive at their destination. The story is continued in THE WONDER ENGINE. Since it's the first book in a duology, it doesn't completely tie off anything before it ends, except perhaps that stage one of the plan (the journey there) is done and what remains is entering the city and maybe surviving (maybe not). The characters have been changed by the journey, now it remains to be seen whether they'll survive their destination.

I loved this and am excited to read the sequel!

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

selenium_g's review

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adventurous dark funny lighthearted mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

souloftherose's review against another edition

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4.0

'“Would you like to go on a suicide mission?” she asked instead.
He smiled. It was the first genuine smile she’d seen all day.
“I would be honored,” he said.'


This fantasy tale really hit the spot for me - an angst-ridden paladin, a forger, an assassin and a misogynistic cleric are sent on a suicide mission (not entirely by choice for the most part) to discover a way to defeat the strange and apparently unstoppable army of creatures known as the Clockwork Boys who are attacking their land. There's a lot more joy and humour in the story than the plot makes it sound and a dash of romance but this is definitely only part one of the story (apparently the author split this into two novels due to the length). I have already started the second and concluding part, [b:The Wonder Engine|38352077|The Wonder Engine (Clocktaur War #2)|T. Kingfisher|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1517810851s/38352077.jpg|58381662].

In terms of similar authors this reminded me of Bujold's books, especially the Penric stories and [b:The Curse of Chalion|61886|The Curse of Chalion (World of the Five Gods, #1)|Lois McMaster Bujold|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1322571773s/61886.jpg|1129349] (in fact one of the reasons I bought this was because Bujold gave it a positive review) and also Adrian Tchaikovsky's [b:Spiderlight|28765741|Spiderlight|Adrian Tchaikovsky|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1454623315s/28765741.jpg|48957766] in the way the book riffs on typical fantasy tropes.

perfektionaise's review

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adventurous funny lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

achablani's review

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adventurous funny lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

simaris's review against another edition

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1.0

Wow. This was a waste of my time.

This whole book reads as an introduction to the actual adventure, which we never get to experience. I feel I could've just read the second book and not be confused about what happened before. There's no ending to this book, the characters are supposed to take out the bad guys bad that we, either, never get to see and will only show up in the sequel, I feel.
Also, there's cringy interactions between the three main characters. My lord, why?! Love triangle - boring! Come up with something new, for once. And there was a lot of creatures that just felt like fillers - I don't care about indigenous animals or whatever if they don't contribute to the story. Make them relevant.

So. Big nope from me.