Tag: best novel of 2012

Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway

Posted July 14, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literary Fiction, Thriller / 0 Comments

Angelmaker by Nick HarkawayTitle: Angelmaker (Goodreads)
Author: Nick Harkaway
Published: Knopf Doubleday, 2012
Pages: 482
Genres: Literary Fiction, Science Fiction, Thriller
My Copy: Paperback

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Joe Spork is the son of an infamous gangster “Tommy Gun” Spork, trying to live a quiet life fixing antique clocks. His plans were uprooted when he finds an unusual clockwork mechanism. Turns out that device is a doomsday machine and Joe has triggered it. Now Joe Spork has to face the wrath of both the British government and the diabolical villain Shem Shem Tsien. Angelmaker is an adventure unlike anything I’ve read before, featuring a mystery involving Joe Spork and his quest to stop the evil villain and his doomsday device.

Angelmaker blends elements of Steampunk with some literary writing into the story; while reading this book I kept thinking how much this book reminds me of an old Victorian novel, with the prose and style. The back drop to this story is the criminal underbelly of London which is packed with atmospheric charm. All this is mixed with an action adventure that would remind you of a James Bond plot. Never have I read a book that blends so many genre elements so masterfully to make my pick for Best Novel of 2012 (so far).

I’ve heard this book being called a Charles Dickensian romp and while I’ve not read enough Dickens to accurately agree with this statement, I do feel that the writing does resemble the Victorian era nicely. I think this is what makes the Steampunk elements of this book feel more authentic. I know a lot of people can argue this book isn’t really true Steampunk but when I think of this genre, I think of Victorian alternative history and this book does fall under that style.

Angelmaker is either a literary Steampunk novel or a Cold War-style espionage adventure, either way this is definitely a book worth trying. I had so much fun reading this story; it pleased the genre and literary reader inside of me. I hope to find more books like this that would please both types of readers, so if you have any recommendations I would love to hear about them in the comments below.