So I've waxed lyrically about the album, gone nuts about the live show now I've read the book too.
Brilliant. The book is an expansion of the story line that the album first brought out. Essentially a fantasy novel set in an alternative Steampunk reality. A young man Owen Hardy lives in Albion a beautiful and ordered country run by the Watchmaker who makes sure all runs to time, including the weather as his alchemists ensure that rain arrives on the very minute it is forecast. However Owen dreams, he dreams of going to Crown City to see the Clockwork Angels perform under the orchestration of the Watchmaker, he dreams of far off lands like Atlantis and the legendary Seven Cities of Gold.
One night he is swept up by a helping hand and starts his epic adventures to visit these places. He also finds he is a pawn in a dangerous power struggle between the Watchmaker and his Nemesis The Anarchist.
Written superbly by Kevin J Anderson with huge input from Neil Peart and Hugh Syme (illustrator) this is a story that draws you in and you ride the waves with Owen from this his hopes and loves, his losses and betrayals.
The ending is lovely and I can't help slightly give the ending away but it ends with Owen still hoping that he gains from at least one person love and respect that will then mean his life has been a success. I can't help having a big amount of agreement with that really - who needs riches and power if those things are bought at the expense of love and respect.
Lovely book which I'd highly recommend even if you are no fan of Rush it stands up well on it's own as a work.
I'm glad I was reading it this week - I have had another addition to my crap 2013. An old colleague sadly died suddenly - at the age of only 42. Love and Respect.