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Jay Lake
Adult Fiction LAKE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Lake (Trial of Flowers) envisions the universe as an enormous clockwork, put in motion by God, complete with gears and a mainspring hidden at the Earth's center, in his intriguing first trade hardcover novel, a fantasy set in the magic-tinged late 19th century. Archangel Gabriel charges clockmaker's apprentice Hethor Jacques with a quest: he must find the lost Key Perilous so that the Mainspring of the World can be rewound. Hethor leaves New Haven, Conn., for Boston, where he boards Her Imperial Majesty's Ship of the Air Bassett and travels south to the towering Equatorial Wall, along the top of which run the great gears that rotate the earth. Hethor soon discovers opponents who don't want the mainspring rewound. He must deal with dark magicians, monstrous winged savages, mechanical men and other wonders during his epic journey, which takes him over the wall and into a land of wonders. The author of more than 200 short stories, Lake demonstrates his enormously fertile imagination in this unusual book, marred only by some sluggish pacing. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

The world is a giant clockwork mechanism powered by hidden gears and moving along a track through the sky. When the Archangel Gabriel visits apprentice clockmaker Hethor, instructing him to take the Key Perilous and use it to rewind the Mainspring of the Earth lest the world come to an end, Hethor embarks on a journey that takes him to unexplored lands and sets him against many in high places who believe him to be deluded or heretical. Lake's first trade hardcover novel presents an original and intriguing vision of an alternate Earth during its period of Enlightenment. As Hethor and his companions find their faith in the Divine Clockmaker both challenged and justified, so, too, do they discover the humanity that both blesses and curses them in a mechanistic world. All but the smallest libraries should consider this for their sf or speculative fiction collections. Highly recommended. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Hethor Jacques
Visited by the archangel Gabriel; charged with finding the lost key that rewinds Earth; clockwork apprentice; journeys to the South Polar Axis.

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