Clockwork Lives by Kevin J Anderson is a sequel to Clockwork Angels. The blurb presents this book as a steampunk Canterbury Tales. To bring the analogy up to date, it is a steampunk series (like a TV series): a collection of independent stories loosely tried together with a continuing narrative.
The protagonist is Miranda Peake who has been sent on a quest by her father's will. Before she can inherit his considerable wealth, she must fill a magical book with life stories. Each story merely requires a drop of blood, after which the book writes the true story of that person's life. Some lives are written a a few lines, while others take many pages. The longer stories are the content of this book.
As Miranda travels the steampunk world, she not only collects stories, but also finds herself. In her quest, she broadens her few from her small village childhood to a world view of differences and what might be important to her. Her home in Albion is governed by The Watchmaker's Stability. Her travels give her the opportunity to consider whether she likes stability.
If you like steampunk, this volume offers plenty of gears and steam engines, with mechanical people, balloon travel, and lots of alchemy. A fun read.
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