Alison Randall reads The Clockwork Three (and gets depressed)
Often when I read a book I think, I can do this. I can be a writer. Other times, especially while reading certain authors, I despair. Am I crazy? There’s no way I can write this beautifully. Shannon Hale and Carol Lynch Williams are two authors who do that to me (really, Carol). And a few months ago, I found another.
It happened while I was reading THE CLOCKWORK THREE, by Matthew J. Kirby. First I was pulled in by the realness of his setting. I could see it, feel it. Then I was struck by his fresh descriptions, this one, for example: “you’re white as a plucked turkey.” What a vivid imagine, so relateable, but something I wouldn’t have thought of myself. Thus I began to wallow. But not enough to keep me from getting lost in the story.
THE CLOCKWORK THREE follows three children, a busker—a boy who’s compelled to play his violin on the streets—an apprentice clockmaker, and a hotel maid. Each tale is intriguing on its own, but they’re woven together over the course of the novel to form a delightful tangle that’s part mystery, part treasure hunt and part history—with a hint of magic. It’s the kind of book I would have loved as a girl and I wasn’t surprised to find my own 13-year-old taken with it. She did have one complaint, though. It needs a sequel. Can you get on that, Matt?
If you’re prone to author envy leading to feelings of inadequacy then read this book at your own risk. If not, read it with a light heart and enjoy. Of course, you could always attend one of Matt’s classes and hope that some of his prowess will rub off. That’s what I’ll be doing.