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[Book Review] Clementine and Tanglefood

The Clockwood Century continues with Airships, Spies and crazy scientists…

When Clementine went on sale back in March or so, I didn’t expect it to arrive after SDCC.
Taking place after Boneshaker, Clementine is a short story about Captain Croggon Beauregard Hainey and his crew chasing after his stolen airship The Free Crow now named Clementine by it’s kidnappers transporting a deadly cargo across the US meanwhile Pinkerton National Detective Agency has sent Confederate Spy and new Agent Marie Isabella Boyd after the Clementine since any bridges she previous had have now been burned.
At a shy 200 pages, this short story expands on the universe Boneshaker introduced. The Civil War is still on. Airships rule the skies and scientists have been up to obviously no good. The book starts off with Hainey trying to bash The Free Crow out of the sky with his unnamed ship (and continues to be unnamed until it’s given up the ghost).
Unfortunately, Hainey does not get his wish and continues to bounce across the United States on a collision course with Boyd. Each chapter is aptly named for the characters in it. Hainey and Boyd, their plot and their polar opposite beliefs alternate chapters until both plots merge just in time for Hainey and Co. decide turnabout is fair play and steal another airship right out of the Docks at Kansas City and high tail it after slow moving Free Crow to a Sanitarium in Louisville, Kentucky. Even though his fate was spell out in Boneshaker, Minnericht’s plans continue on without him with the construction of a simple and destructive weapon.
While Clementine was fun to read, I found the chapbook entitled Tanglefoot was a more interesting read at 50 pages or less since it delves into the science behind this alt. universe. The characters in Tanglefoot are introduced in Clementine but were only footnotes towards the end of Clementine. The best part is the two page introduction of where this alt. Clockwork Century Universe started. I hope the introduction finds it’s way into the next novel since it really set the tone for me.
Tanglefoot is a short story about an aging inventor and his young helper in the same Louisville, Kentucky Sanitarium from the Clementine’s final scenes. If you enjoy reading novels in chronological order,Tenderfoot should be read first before Clementine.
The plot is fairly straightforward: What happens when a boy’s creation gets a mind of it’s own. No, it does not involve Krusty and a Malibu Stacy.
Instead, it is a fun and horrifying merge between steampunk and mythical themes.
Dreadnought, the next novel in the Clockwork Century will be out in September 28, 2010.

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