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Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway

01/04/2012. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy Angelmaker in the USA - or Buy Angelmaker in the UK

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pub: William Heinemann/Random House. 576 page hardback. Price: GBP12.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-43402-094-2.

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Joe Spork is a clockmaker, a mender of mechanicals, that’s all he is, until he meets the Angelmaker. It sounds like a whimsical notion until you consider the breakdown of that world as it’s about to explode and it’s all Joe’s fault. Joe is the grandson of a craftsman and the son of a gangster but just who was the biggest villain?

With a nonagenarian spy, an arthritic dog with marbles for eyes, a fantastical train and some curious coves, this is a right clever tale which harks back to earlier times of non-digital gadgets and derring-do.

Joe is just trying to make his living pay but at his lonely little workshop, he starts getting curious visitors and odd requests. His long term mate, Billy Friend, has a client who wants something very special mended. Trips to Cornwall, a little bit of flirting later and before you know it the world's going to end. So now it’s just Joe who has to put everything back together with only his criminal knowledge and a pretty woman to help him.

As Douglas Adams memorably said, ‘Drink up the world's about to end.’ Full of gadgets, characters and explosive action, this boy's own adventure (in which girls also have their own adventures) has its own moustache-twirling villain. Our helpless hero becomes his own man as the end of the world is nigh and his life will never be the same again.

I absolutely love this book. It has all the elements of mystery and adventure that make a great read. Our hero is charming and almost an innocent abroad. His friends and enemies are also beautifully created and it has me lining up actors ready to transform this into a spectacular screen adventure. Bring it on, baby.

Sue Davies

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This book has 78 votes in the sci-fi charts

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