Mainspring is the third novel from writer Jay Lake. It is a clockpunk science fiction novel. This novel is followed by the sequel Escapement and the All in all, Mainspring has a marvellous and highly original world, and the Jay Lake is the winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Mainspring is a grand and glorious adventure, an epic journey of imagination the likes of which I haven’t often seen. Campbell winner Jay Lake takes the.

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Jay Lake is the winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He is the author of more than short stories and has been nominated for the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award.

He lives in Portland, Oregon. If he does not, the planet will wind down and live will cease. In Mainspring, Hethor Jacques, a Clockmaker’s apprentice is visited by the Archangel Gabriel and charged with an quest… He must rewind the Mainspring of Earth before time runs out and the world will stop.

In order to achieve his goal Hethor must find the Key Perilous, the only key that can be used on the Mainspring. When Hethor enquires about the Key Perilous in New Haven he is not taken serious and an argument between the son of the Clockmaker and Hethor forces him to leave and find new allies.

Hethor’s quest to find information about pake Key Perilous leads him to Boston, where he is imprisoned and forced to join the crew of the Basset, a mighty airship, which will hopefully lead him to the Key Lzke. Mainspring is the first steampunk novel that I have read although I have always loved the concept.

The universe that Lake has created in Mainspring, an alternate 19th century, is just marvellous and original I cannot compare it with other steampunk-themed novels I do not have any referencesI never would have thought of this idea. In Mainspring the Earth is powered by a system just like a giant clock, with gears, lever and sprockets all included.


There are also religious references in the book which make God the Clockmaker of the earth, and several paragraphs in the book feature a short Bible phrase which Lake has converted to fit into his ingeniously created world. As the story progresses there are also alternate views, by other characters in the book, who throw away the hypothesis of God the Clockmaker and impose different ones.

SF : Mainspring / Jay Lake ★★★½

These different views really make you think twice about all that happened in the book. The story in Mainspring has a nice steady pace, with just enough action to keep you happily reading. There is just the one storyline, told through the eyes of Hethor, the Clockmakers apprentice, but I think, if there were more adventurers added to his party things could have been livelier.

The whole story revolves around the rewinding of the Mainspring and I, personally, would have liked it to have been more a race against time, in which the effects of this slowing down of the Earth would become apparent.

All in all, Mainspring has a marvellous and highly original world, and the story was great to read.


Lake has a good writing style that really involve you in the novel. An original blend of science fiction and fantasy set in an alternate 19th century Earth.

This Mainspring book review was written by Jasper de Joode. We’ve found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they manispring additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them.

Mainspring by Jay Lake book review

So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader’s review. You left out the human-monkey sex. The book was great until that suddenly showed up.

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Ives — brilliant but eccentric scientist and explorer — is at home in Aylesford with his family. A clockwork mechanism that powers the Earth, just brilliant!

Allison from Canada You left out the human-monkey sex. Write a reader review Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.

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Twilight of the Aspects Christie Golden Fire: Read a free preview of Mainspring by Jay Lake.