Friday, September 12, 2014

Manga Review: The Clockwork Sky, VOL 1

The Clockwork Sky 1 by Madeleine Rosca, September 14, 2012. 160 pages. Published by Tor Books. Source: publisher.
London, 1895: Riots in the streets! Erasmus Croach’s miraculous factory, Ember, has flooded London with steampowered automatons. The already suffering working class take to the streets to protest the jobs lost to these machines, and to quell the riot, Captain Thorn of Scotland Yard calls in Ember’s latest and greatest creation, the automatic police boy, Sky! Meanwhile, Sally Peppers, Croach’s headstrong and brilliant niece, dreams of a life beyond manners and marriageability. When she escapes her overbearing governess on a motorized velocipede and joins a no-rules road rally through the slums, Croach sends Sky to bring her back, preferably alive. Together, the impulsive Sally and the naive Sky crash headlong into a mystery involving rogue automatons prowling the sewers, children disappearing without a trace, and a dark secret so big it could overturn all of London. But the biggest mystery of all is why Sky is the first robot who can dream...
First Sentence:
This place...





Long time no manga review here on the blog. A little too long in my opinion but what can one do when getting access to them is hit-and-miss.

Story:

So, The Clockwork Sky is not my first manga by Madeleine Rosca, yet, it may just be my favorite work of hers yet. What really made this one stand out from the other series, Hollow Fields, as the story and characters pulled me in more than the other series. It just felt more, well, more.

I pretty much new I was going to like this one when the villain had a scar near their eye. Yeah, I'm weird like that. Scarred villain aside, one of the reasons I found myself enjoying this manga so much would have to be the mystery surrounding the Ember Steambot Factory and what the villain was hiding in his dealings. While the mystery was one of the reasons I enjoyed this one, it was the character interactions the really pulled me in. I loved the craziness that developed when Sky was sent to bring Sally in and the adventure the unwittingly became entangled in.

For me.

Characters:

Sally and Sky, now these two characters are what makes The Clockwork Sky such an exciting read.

What I liked about Sally was her spitfire personality and how she was nothing like the what her Uncle and parents expected her to be- prim and proper. With her rebellious ways and taste for speed, Sally is one girl who will keep you guessing as you watch her stumble upon the secrets of her uncle and his dubious work ethics. There was just something about her that pulled me right into the story as she did not quite fit into the role assigned her.

Now, Sky, I liked because as one of the steambots created by the Ember Steambot Factory, you could see that his quirks, or as the creator would say imperfections, leads one to notice that there is more to not just his story but to the overall plot line. I'm afraid I can say no more on this subject, but I think you'll like Sky because while he tried to do the job he was programmed for, he is starting to see that things are not what they seem. Plus, he is stuck dealing with Sally which is going to create some crazy situations the further they delve into the mystery,


Artwork:

Okay, while I really enjoyed the artwork and how well it captured the steampoweredness of the world, there were a lot of similarities in design between Clockwork Sky and Hollow Fields. I was a little surprised at how much the artwork reminded me of Hollow Fields, especially the characters.

Even though the artwork was very reminiscent of her previous work, I found myself enjoying the art more this time around because it was sharper and more, I guess you could say, polished than the last manga I read of hers as the characters seemed to have more depth to their expressions and differentiated more from each other.
   It was nice to see how her drawing improved from one series to the next.

Final Verdict: Clockwork Sky-  Fun and mysterious.
 
The Clockwork Sky earns
This book was received in exchange for an honest review

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