Prehistoric Clock by Robert Appleton
Author: Robert Appleton
Series: The Steam Clock Legacy #1
Format: e-Book Galley ARC
Source: Carina Press via NetGalley
Release Date: February 6, 2012
Dates Read: January 27-31, 2012
Airship officer Verity Champlain is well-respected by her crew. But after a vital mission nearly goes wrong, she is having second thoughts about her career.
Lord Garrett Embrey is on the run. The Leviacrum Council, the secretive scientific body that holds sway over the Empire, executed his father and uncle and now they want him dead too.
Professor Cecil Reardon is consumed by grief. Since his wife and son died he’s been obsessed with his work, and now he is on the verge of an extraordinary scientific breakthrough: his machine is about to breach time itself, to undo fate’s cruel taking of his loved ones.
But the time jump doesn’t go according to plan, and part of London winds up millions of years in the past. Verity and her crew—Lord Embrey, Professor Reardon and others stranded with them—must pull together to survive in a world ruled by dinosaurs…and to somehow get home.
This book was obtained freely from the publisher, Carina Press, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I requested this book for review based on the interesting cover and premise, and was excited to get to read it. The first thing I noticed about Prehistoric Clock was that it was surprisingly well-written. Although I am a big fan of steampunk books, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to get from a London-based steampunk novel with time travel and dinosaurs. It could be great fun, executed smoothly like Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century series, or it could have left much to be desired. I am happy to report that Prehistoric Clock was far from a disappointment.
The novel follows the stories of three different protagonists, each very different from the next. First, you have your the strong female figure, captain of an airship in a time when male dominance presides. She is beginning to question the motives behind some of her life decisions, and whether she truly wants to follow in the footsteps of her family. Then, there’s the son of a marquess. His uncle and father were executed after a false trial rife with judicial conspiracy and forged evidence. He is doing his best to keep his enemies at bay and find out the truth behind the secret that led to his father’s death. Finally, you have a jaded scientist devoting his time into developing a method of time manipulation to save his family à la The Butterfly Effect. Their paths become intertwined through a simple case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Prehistoric Clock has a lot going for it. The action scenes are heart-pounding. The suspenseful sequences are thrilling, leaving the reader with an appreciable growth of dread to rival the characters’. The mysterious elements of the plot leave you with niggling questions pricking at the back of your mind . The romantic scenes are sweet, not unnecessarily forced or over-the-top. It is a well-crafted, adeptly compiled and thoroughly entertaining novel. Fans of science fiction, steampunk, and time travel will delight in this wonderful gem. I know I am anxiously awaiting the next installment in the series.