Monday, September 24, 2012

The Clorkwork Sky-Madeleine Rosca

The Clorkwork Sky

Madeleine Rosca

Tor, Sep 4 2012, $10.00

ISBN: 9780765329165

In 1895 London, the Ember factory, owned and operated by Erasmus Croach, produces steampowered automatons. The technological change leads to mass firing of labor, which consequently turns to protests and riots. Scotland Yard’s Captain Thorn deploys the police automaton Sky to end the civil unrest.

Croach’s niece Sally Peppers flees from the Victorian ideal of upper class females marrying peers or those of a higher station. Concerned Croach sends Sky to bring home dead or alive though preferably breathing his obstinate relative. Meanwhile Thorn realizes working class children are disappearing while Sally and Sky team up into investigating whether her uncle’s factory is cutting costs at the expense of safety since reports of rogue automatons owning the sewers beneath London. At the same time the youthful looking Sky dreams of a future.

The Clockwork Sky is an enjoyable steampunk manga fantasy starring two likeable heroes who respect one another while trying to prevent a calamity from occurring. The storyline is fast-paced though plots as expected while the B&W art enhances the tale. Although the dialogue lettering can be hard to read at times due to the font size, fans will enjoy mayhem and mad technology running amuck in Victorian London.

Harriet Klausner

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