Clockworkers-cover Samantha Chablon is a self-proclaimed “gadget girl”. She runs the family watch repair shop while her eccentric old father spends his days researching fantastical stories of elves. Sam loves her father, but his odd habits have always been a mystery and a burden on the family. But that all changes after her father dies, and she discovers what he left for her.

Sam has inherited a real elf.

Piv is his name, and he is far older than his boyish face and personality would imply. But he’s also wise, and as an elf he is gifted with a preternatural proclivity for making things. Sam’s father taught Piv everything he knows about making watches, and he works faster than human hands could ever move. Sam, being much more enterprising than her father, sees opportunity in Piv’s talents. Soon Piv is not the only elf working for Sam as she goes about building a luxury watch empire powered by secret elf labor.

But the elves have remained hidden from humans for good reason, and it’s not easy to keep a factory full of territorial elves secret in the middle of a metropolis. One night when someone attempts to break into the factory, the elves take matters into their own hands. The incident gives Sam a glimpse of a dark and twisted side of elves that no fairy tales ever mentioned. Samantha will soon discover that great ambition often comes with great risk, and although her elf partners have agreed to work without pay, there are other costly consequences involved in striking a deal with elves.

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My Thoughts on Clockworkers

First, I love the title of this book. It’s just so intriguing! Second, I want an elf of my own! I would treat it right, I promise! This reminds me a of more advanced and complex version of that old story, I think it was the Shoemaker’s Tale? The one about the elves who make shoes, until something goes amiss. Honestly, I read the story a long time ago, I don’t remember what happened and I may be confusing it with Dobby from Harry Potter.

Clockworkers is far less forgettable than that old tale, and far more engaging. Despite the synopsis, it’s not really a book for kids. It’s kind of dark and twisty, just the way I like it! The main human character, Sam, isn’t a perfect character. She seems to have a hard time connecting with humans. It makes sense though, he life has pretty much been learning the watch making trade. When you’re absorbed by something so intricate and small, it’s sometimes hard to see the big world around you. I have a hard time connecting with people at times, so while some might say that Sam’s lack of ability to connect with humans was a major flaw,  I feel like she was written that way for a reason. She’s driven, and that drive kind of blinds her to the plight of others. It makes sense.

This isn’t your typical fairy tale, and that’s what makes it such a fun summer reading book for young adults and adults. If you love elves or dark fantasy, you’ll enjoy Clockworkers!


About the author:

ramsey_isler-author-photoRamsey Isler is an author, software developer, and designer who lives in Los Angeles. He loves books, anything with circuits and wires, and cats.

For fiction, Ramsey usually writes urban fantasy that blends elements of science fiction and suspense. His stories feature young protagonists that are often unsure of themselves, but they find the strength to persevere when faced with extreme circumstances. Ramsey does not write traditional “evil” villains or black-and-white morality tales; he instead opts for antagonists and anti-heroes who have viewpoints and ideals that pose difficult moral challenges for the protagonists, and the worlds they inhabit.


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