• Mainspring

  • By: Jay Lake
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 13 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 12-10-07
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio
  • 3 out of 5 stars 3.1 (122 ratings)

Regular price: $31.47

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Publisher's Summary

Jay Lake's first trade novel is an astounding work of creation. Lake has envisioned a clockwork solar system, where the planets move in a vast system of gears around the lamp of the Sun. It is a universe where the hand of the Creator is visible to anyone who simply looks up into the sky and sees the track of the heavens, the wheels of the Moon, and the great Equitorial gears of the Earth itself. Mainspring is the story of a young clockmaker's apprentice, who is visited by the Archangel Gabriel. He is told that he must take the Key Perilous and rewind the Mainspring of the Earth. It is running down, and disaster to the planet will ensue if it's not rewound. From innocence and ignorance to power and self-knowledge, the young man will make the long and perilous journey to the South Polar Axis to fulfill the commandment of his God.
©2007 Joseph E. Lake Jr. (P)2007 Macmillan Audio
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Critic Reviews

"A dark, wild mix of machine and magic: an impressive debut novel from short story maestro Jay Lake." (Greg Bear)
"In Mainspring, Lake has created a grandiose, thoroughly engaging blasphemy. This book blends the best of nostalgic adventure fiction with a genuinely fresh voice and ideas. An instant steampunk classic." (Cory Doctorow)
"From the sweeping mechanisms of his clockwork world, down to the subtle movements of his characters, all drawn with a clockmaker's eye, Lake gives us a story both grand and intimate, smart and savvy...and a whole lot of fun to boot." (Hal Duncan)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 12-14-07

Journy well started, but unfullfiled

This book was very enjoyable for the first half; the second half became a bit tedious. The Audio was well done, the story could have been better written.

The world the author creates on the northern hemisphere is vivid, imaginative, and full of intrigue. Earth is an enormous clockwork machine, part of a gigantic clockwork solar system, with a miles high wall running around the equator. The USA is still a part of the British Empire. It is a world full of zeppelins, horse drawn carts, and British troops.

The adventures of the main hero after an angel appears to him are interesting. Political, religious and social intrigues move the hero along his journey.

Until the Hero crosses over the Equatorial wall, then the author changes the style of the book. It changes from a quasi adventure story, to a man against nature survival story, and ends up a hero discovers he can do magic story.

For me, the tedious part was the authors repeated dialog about a scripture verse that is given to the Hero as He crosses the Equatorial wall. Over and over again the verse is repeated as the Hero trudges toward the South Pole, and the super clockwork spring that he’s trying to repair.

The conclusion was marginally satisfying, though I am still unsure of the main villain’s role in the wrap up.

The potential of the first half was not carried through to the end.

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29 of 30 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Bruce on 01-03-08

This book fell apart halfway through.

This book started out as something wonderful, new and exciting. About halfway through it fell completely apart and I had to force myself to finish it. I would happily buy this book a second time if the author would go back and re-edit/re-write it. The idea of the clockwork world, Angels, the bronze Christ, and the unfulfiled promise of some of the characters that were so skillfully drawn and then forgotten by the plot are still nagging my memory. The erotica, to me, had no place in this book and the golden tablets kept making me think about the very little I know about the LDS church. I won't say don't read Mainspring. I will say you may be disapointed.

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7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By George on 04-03-16

Tedious and religiously dogmatic

An interesting concept, with some curious and fun ideas. However, there are huge gaping plot holes and the author is constantly asking huge leaps of faith from the reader. I lost count of the number of times the protagonist "knew" something without any apparent evidence, or the number of times he solved his problems through yelling prayers. Read China Mieville instead.

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