I read Jay Lake’s blog for months before I finally got to reading one of his books. I finally read Mainspring this week. It was okay but kind of pointless. In a cover blurb John Scalzi calls it a wind-up toy and I think that’s what bugged me about it. It was very very plotty. This bit leads to this bit leads to this one, which makes sense when it’s about a clockwork world, but it felt like it didn’t have anything to say. It wasn’t about anything except this kid’s chosen one quest.
But. The world was very neat. There’re airships and the church of the Brass Christ. The archangel Gabriel shows up as a Clockwork. It’s kind of a really alternate Earth, but still with an Africa and Britain and the geography and sort of history of our world except that it was obviously created as clockwork. You can see the tracks in the sky that the Earth follows around the sun and there’s a giant equatorial wall where the gearteeth of the Earth’s rotation hit those tracks. So yeah, very “created,” which gives religion a bit more oomph.
Anyway, I’m glad I read it, but it was basically just something neat to occupy a couple of days. Like a wind-up toy.