Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Book Review: The Clockwork Three

Here's another review of a Middle Grade Fiction. It's called "The Clockwork Three" by Matthew J. Kirby.

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Dawn’s Recommendation: 4 out of 5 Stars

Overview (taken from Amazon):
An enchanted green violin, an automaton that comes to life, and a hidden treasure . . . THE CLOCKWORK THREE is a richly woven adventure story that is sure to become a classic!

Giuseppe is an orphaned street musician from Italy, who was sold by his uncle to work as a slave for an evil padrone in the U.S. But when a mysterious green violin enters his life he begins to imagine a life of freedom. 

Hannah is a soft-hearted, strong-willed girl from the tenements, who supports her family as a hotel maid when tragedy strikes and her father can no longer work. She learns about a hidden treasure, which she knows will save her family -- if she can find it. 

And Frederick, the talented and intense clockmaker's apprentice, seeks to learn the truth about his mother while trying to forget the nightmares of the orphanage where she left him. He is determined to build an automaton and enter the clockmakers' guild -- if only he can create a working head.

Why I liked it: I loved how the three separate stories were woven together. I enjoyed Frederick, Hannah, and Guiseppe and all the characters (good and evil). They were nicely developed and their lives were believable. The story was set in early 1900's in possibly New York City and it had the feel of life for immigrants, child workers, tenement living, and the struggle to survive. Each child had a goal and they moved through the story trying to reach their goal. Their jobs were also very interesting (clockmaker, hotel maid, and busker - street corner musician).

What I Didn't Like:  
1. The overuse of similes and metaphors. There seemed to be at least one per page and it got old, like a worn out newspaper (yeah, that bad). Luckily, after a bit, I was able to tune them out.

2. Believability was really good until 3/4 of the way through. Then, Hannah did something I thought her character wouldn't do and then something else happened that wasn't believable at all (but I won't spoil it for you). 

3. The ending was okay. It's biggest problem was with so many story lines, the author tried to tie up every loose end, and some of it seem forced.

All in all, though, I was glad I read the book. It was refreshing and fun, a fantastic first book for the author. I also read "Icefall", his second book and it was FANTASTIC!  It had none of the problems I found with this book and I think the author learned a lot from writing "The Clockwork Three".  


  1. Interesting! The overuse of similes and metaphors is not funny. I don't love it too.

    1. They are fun to use, but need to be used sparingly.


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