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Audience: All ages, fans of survival stories, clockpunk, steampunk, fantasy, animation, or strong friendships front and center
Updated: Every Few Days
Overall Rating: 01
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"Strong fantasy in a unique and well-developed world."
It might be a little early for a full review of The Clockwork Raven--as of my writing this, five chapters are up, and while the titular raven has been alluded to, it hasn't actually appeared.
With that said, things so far are looking really solid. The author does a great job of balancing the two main characters, and making them both distinct, but equally important. The story also does a great job of finding tension and excitement in small moments. The author does a great job balancing big problems with short-term tensions.
The story's website lists The Martian as an influence, and that's definitely apparent. From the get go, the author, the characters, and the readers are all acutely aware of the hard facts of this world. How much water to the characters have? How much rope? How much fabric or leather? It's a welcome change of pace--in a genre full of questions like "Since when can you do that?" and "Why don't you just shoot Voldemort?", The Clockwork Raven does a lot of legwork to stay aware of the exactly what its characters are capable of at any given moment.
The first few chapters also drop a lot of breadcrumbs for the future--you'll come away with a lot of questions about the broader world of the story, and I'm excited to see how things develop.
So far, I don't have a ton of issues with the story, though there are a few. While the world is really interesting, there are moments where things aren't explained super well to the audience. Fore example, there's a scene in the first installment involving a pulley-based transport system that I had to read over once or twice before I really got what was happening. Each subsequent post seems to handle that better, but it's still an issue here and there.
Overall, I'd definitely recommend it. It's a strong story with well-developed characters and and interesting plot. It's done a great job of laying groundwork for the long game while keeping things interesting in the here and now. A fun read, even if--like me--you aren't normally a fan of fantasy.
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