The Mechanical – Ian Tregillis (Re Read)

Published: 10 March 2015
Publisher: Orbit
Pages: 440
Series: The Alchemy Wars #1
Format Read: Audible
Duration:  15h 45mins


My name is Jax.
That is the name granted to me by my human masters.
I am a clakker: a mechanical man, powered by alchemy. Armies of my kind have conquered the world – and made the Brasswork Throne the sole superpower.
I am a faithful servant. I am the ultimate fighting machine. I am endowed with great strength and boundless stamina.
But I am beholden to the wishes of my human masters.
I am a slave. But I shall be free


I am not a person that does a lot of re reading, but seeing as there is a book two in this series and having read it back in 2018 amidst preparations to relocate to The Netherlands, to say I had a lot going on would be no further from the truth. After getting married that year in March and basically having to go back to S.A after our honeymoon, for an unknown time period, it was a bit of a chaotic time. Well, its been three years later now and I finally got around to re reading this masterpiece. Having read this book 3 years ago I think my review for what I put down then was pretty decent you can go here to see how I used to just add book blurps and just write my thoughts on them, where now, I spent age getting past blokbulshit editor and then end up forgetting what I wanted to write…

The Mechanical was a diverse delve into how machines could become near perfect thinking things that far outclassed the humans who were becoming more and more heartless unfeeling things. It is a story about war between two nations, one being very superior to the other and the trying to overthrow the former through clandestine cloak and dagger tactics. It is an Alternative History novel, it has as much Sci/Fi as well as Steam Punk elements in it. Although to say there is sci/fi in a historical novel does not seem right. I do not care too much about the genres this book combined. I had a great time revisiting it. I think I also subconciously use this novel when rating other books where ”A.I” plays a role. Look at Sea of Rust and Day Zero for examples.

The fact that I have now been in both Dutch and French countries in the last few years and have been lucky enough to see the way they built their homes and buildings in the past and the technological advances on both sides made me enjoy this novel even more. The fact that I am married to a Dutch woman who is incredible in everything she does, made me feel guilty for wanting the French to succeed in their overthrowing the Dutch tyrants. They were portrayed as inherantly evil in most cases, even snobs because of their Clakkers. This book portrays the Dutchies in another view that they are also all too well known for, that being of slavers. At least no black people this time, but the Clakkers. Formed through the Dutch’s intricate knowledge of clock making and using alchemy (read some form of magic) to bring these beings to life. A life of servatude that is.

Jaxx was a great protagonist, I could feel his pain with the ”gesh”, the programming that went on in his framework with each new assignment given to him by his masters. I felt the world was well fleshed out as well as the lore regarding the clakkers and their makers. I could feel the fear he must’ve exibited regarding the way his plot line evolved and boy did it evolve. From the opening scenes of the burning, or rather melting of a Rogue, too where he gets free will and gets hunted down by clakkers he called his friends, purly because that his how their programming is set to do im the case of a rogue I.A. Jaxx has an amazing journey and ends up having to befriend an enemy of his enemy to get to his ultimate goal was done pretty cool.

Some people get a few raw deals in this book and man was it great to read of people you despised that got their just deserts. Some people trying to screw their way into power, literally get fucked. There was a very voilent scene that people were part of an A.I that just went bezerk and killed nearly every one in the room. There was a person that thought they were clever, yet got caught and had a very difficult humble pie to eat. With this read I felt more sympathetic for a priest that was part of the movement that wanted to see the clakkers set free or given their own rights in the least. That guy gets the rawest deal of all and I hope he will be returning in book two and either see to it that h gets some kind of revenge, a contradiction for him being a priest and all, but he does end up less of the man he was, let us leave it at that. There was a lot of set up and a few plots that will be woven in book two it seems, but the way this book ends was fine.

In my first review of this novel I gave it a 4 out of 5 and said it would probably turn into a 5 with a re read and if I would pay more attention, easily enough I have given it a 5 out of 5 on GR. I highly recommend anyone to give this a go. If this short review has not sparked some interest, I daresay go see if there are other reviews out there.

That is as much as I could say out of the top of my head.

Hope you have a good day.

6 thoughts on “The Mechanical – Ian Tregillis (Re Read)

    1. Its well worth a try Id say. As you might even know more of some of the places mentioned in the novel. I do not know if it was actual amsterdam or a made up version of it. I did like the lore around the setting tho


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