The Clockwork River is the stunning and riveting debut from J.S Emery. A brother-sister writing team, born in North Idaho into a homeschooling family of seven children, each of whom received an air rifle and a copy of The Odyssey by way of a fifth birthday present. This background prepared them wonderfully for writing fantasy novels but very poorly for formal education. After dropping out of secondary school, they worked jobs including ballet dancer, emergency room janitor, and map librarian in various parts of Europe and North America. They now live in the United States, where they are godparents (and, increasingly, dungeon masters) to one another’s children.
A sister searches for her missing brother as a new power rises amid the splendour and the squalor of a once-great city.
Time is running out for the Clockwork River.
Lower Rhumbsford is a city far removed from its glory days. On the banks of the great river Rhumb, its founding fathers channelled the river’s mighty flow into a subterranean labyrinth of pipes, valves and sluices, a feat of hydraulic prowess that would come to power an empire. But a thousand years have passed since then, and something is wrong: the pipes are leaking, the valves stuck, the sluices silted and the once torrential Rhumb has been reduced to a sluggish trickle.
The fortunes of the Locke family, descendants of the city’s most celebrated engineer, are similarly reduced. In a once-fashionable quarter of the once-great city, siblings Samuel and Briony Locke distract themselves: Sam tends to his vast lock collection instead of finishing his engineering thesis; facing the prospect of a disagreeable marriage, Briony occupies herself with alchemical experiments.
One night Samuel leaves the house carrying five of his most precious locks and doesn’t come back. As she searches for her brother, Briony will be drawn into a web of ancestral secrets and imperial intrigues as a ruthless new power arises. If brother and sister are to be reunited, they will need the help of a tight-lipped house spirit, a convict gang, a tribe of troglodytes, an association of antique enthusiasts, a travelling theatrical troupe, the Ladies Whist Club, the Deep State, and a lovesick mouse.
A Clockwork River is an amazing debut from brother-sister writing team J.S Emery. It’s riveting and a book we started with every attention of reading a few pages before bed, and the next time we looked we’d finished it and it was rather late. But well worth the sleepless night.
It draws you into the world of the characters from the first page making you feel part of it. It’s an exciting, original and compelling read.
A Clockwork River will be released in hardback on 14 October, you can get a copy here!