Review: The Rising by Ian Tregillis
4 Stars , Reviews / January 19, 2016

The Rising by Ian Tregillis continues to explore the rights of the mechanicals and the war between France and Netherlands continues. In fact, the war dominates. This book is much faster and I feel like it featured more action than the first book. While action is good, I have to confess that is not what made me love The Mechanical. I love the exploration of freedom and free will and how that relates to the Mechanicals, I also loved the concept of deciphering at what point a machine may have enough independent thought of its own to be declared a sentient being deserving of its own rights and privileges. I did miss that a bit in this book, but not too much as the groundwork was laid in book one, and it continues to a driving force in book 2. I guess its the difference between the introduction of new ideas which takes longer and the continuing pursuit of them, which relies on your knowledge from the previous book. So while my overall experience with this book was a bit different from the first, it was still very good. From the first book, France and the Netherlands are at war…

Audiobook Review: The Mechanical by Ian Tregillis
4.5 Stars , Reviews / June 22, 2015

The Mechanical is a wonderful steampunk, alternate history novel that takes the reader into the dark world of spies and war and also examines issues of slavery versus free will and religion. This book can be quite dark, but it balances the horrific parts with a fascinating world and wonderful characters. “Clakkers” or mechanical men powered by alchemy to serve humans. There are several kinds, giving them specialties (for example, some are military, trained for fighting). The are faster, stronger and more durable than humans. They are intelligent and they are completely subservient and obedient to their human masters. At least usually. There are “rogue” Clakkers that have for some reason gained some level of free will, giving them the ability to act according to their own thoughts and agendas versus just following commands. These rogues are greatly feared and prompt a witch hunt level of hysteria. Imagine how easily an army of Clackers could change the course of a war as they provide a huge advantage. And that is exactly what happened when the Netherlands invented and used them close to hundreds of years before the story was set, pushing the French into exile. One of our perspectives is Bernice, is a French spymaster….