Do Clockworks Dream of Gear-Toothed Sheep?: Tales of the Robot Nika, Volume One Kindle Edition by E. Isaacs (Author, Illustrator)
Imminently quotable—-a dear introduction to a fascinating world and a lovely protagonist, Do Clockworks Dream of Gear-Toothed Sheep is not only a lovely work for middle-school and YA readers, it is an excellent novel for those who’ve wiled away hours in literature classrooms or English majors: it has so many wonderful allusions to childhood tales, canonical literature, and folktales, but they are neither smug nor twee. Instead, Do Clockworks… is fascinating, funny, and a fast read. I also read it in a single sitting and plan to harass most people I know to read it.
Although this Volume One primarily introduces characters, situations, and develops context for more intricate future works, it is an enjoyable ride. The references and allusions to other works are lovingly crafted, but they never drift into irony, satire, or self-indulgent “meta”narrative [there’s nothing wrong with the “meta,” just the self-indulgent kind].
Nika is an excellent protagonist, and many lines will tug at the heartstrings. I’ll admit to spending the first 70 pages enraptured in a state of bittersweet immersion; honestly, my room could have been ignited, the world could have collapsed, and talking beetles could have taken over, and I wouldn’t have noticed.
I’m ready for E.P. Isaacs to hurry up on the next installment. This is a MUST for those who enjoy steampunk, Victorian Literature, youth/children’s literature, whimsy, and solid editing. I’m considering using this to introduce allusion and literary analysis at the high school level. This would be an excellent addition to a late elementary or middle school curriculum for many reasons, but primarily because one could do a lot with analysis and connection to modernity. (review by Dr. G)
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