I’ve read yet another awesome indie novel. I’m excited to share my thoughts with you on The Unicorn and the Clockwork Quest by my good friend, Lou Wilham, today.
I got to be a beta reader for Wilham earlier this year, so I got to enjoy this story a lot sooner than the rest of y’all. I hope you enjoy my book review but know that I essentially got a free copy of the book in exchange for my feedback and a review.
Rating: 4 Stars
A tale of espionage, unicorns, and love lost.
Welcome to Daiwynn where magic is dangerous, but hope is more dangerous still.
Agnes has lost count of the years he’s been a double agent for the Uprising. Between the constant lies and deceptions there isn’t much left of the unicorn he was in his youth.
But when the one thing he holds dear—the one person—is captured by MOTHER, and tortured for information, Agnes must make a choice. Does he come out of the shadows and turn himself over to MOTHER to protect Sully? Or does he continue to play the game?
Sullivan, the always smiling kelpie, has been around long enough to know sometimes there are no good choices, and that he would do anything to save Agnes from the chains that bind him to MOTHER. Including going against the Uprising.
To save Agnes, Sully will have to convince Agnes that he needs saving, survive a little torture, and bust out of one of MOTHER’s labor camps. What could possibly go wrong?
It’s death or freedom for them, and in the end there was only ever one choice.
What I Enjoyed
Wilham created a fantastic world around her Rapunzel retelling. This book stands on its own as a continuation of her story and worldbuilding without having to lean on another fairy tale to keep readers entertained.
Sully/Sullivan is a great addition to the Clockwork Tower cast. His banter, charisma, and determination really drew me into the plot. As you see the world through his POV, you get to learn more about the world and issues at large that were briefly mentioned or explained in the first book. His relationship with Agnes is funny and charming. While Persi is still my favorite character, Sully comes in as a close second.
My Final Thoughts
Wilham doesn’t shy away from the consequences of the first book, The Girl in the Clockwork Tower. This novel really looks into what it’s like when you live a lie for decades and it’s time to acknowledge your actions. With that in mind, there are some gritty scenes that depict torture, assault, and homophobia. I’d say that this is still appropriate for teen readers if they’re okay with these trigger warnings. But Wilham has a great way of paving the way to some kind of happily ever after that matches this fairy tale cast. And of course, readers can enjoy interesting and fun LGBTQTIA+ characters—almost an expectation I have of Wilham’s work.
Hopefully, I shared enough to pique your curiosity. Want to get reading? If so, I highly recommend you look up Lou Wilham on social media: