Morphic Ice

The Clockwork War Book 1

Fiction - Fantasy - General
347 Pages
Reviewed on 12/06/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Amanda Rofe for Readers' Favorite

Morphic Ice 1: The Clockwork War by Nathaniel Sullivan is the first in a series of science fiction fantasy novels. The world is frozen and life is tough. Cities are run on steam power and reverberate with the sounds of metal, pipes, gears and chains. Nandor is a nomadic warrior with a vision of peace and thinks he can prevent the war between the clockwork cities over the emerging fertile land. However, he first needs to embark on an expedition to find Marr's Palace of Creation, which he hopes will provide him with the knowledge to achieve his aim. He cajoles the help of Nix, a wayward soul who is in training to be a mystic, and together they venture far from the cities into icy lands full of dangerous creatures. Time is not on their side and there is a possibility they may not be successful in their quest.

This is a powerful story in true steampunk style. I liked the mechanical bots, particularly the Jack-Bot imbued with a mystic life force and composed of metal, tubing and glowing lights. I also liked the crystal- and steam-powered skis. I thought these were a wonderful invention. The two main protagonists were very appealing. The wild and wonderful Nandor, the hero of the hour, had great depth of character. Nix, his trusty sidekick, and a feisty young woman, perfectly complemented Nandor's rough masculine demeanor. Nathaniel Sullivan has created a wonderful and fascinating world with a compelling story line. Morphic Ice 1: The Clockwork War is well crafted and lays the foundation for a rich epic saga. I very much look forward to the next book in the series.

Romuald Dzemo

The Clockwork War is the first entry in the Morphic Ice series by Nathaniel Sullivan, and it is an engrossing, lyrical fantasy tale with lovable characters. Set against the backdrop of a frozen wasteland where no signs of civilization exist and where men must brace themselves against inclement weather and face vicious enemies, the narrative follows the adventures of Nandor, a nomadic warrior. He is determined to bring peace to a people obsessed by the rule of power and sheer violence. Can he, with the strange girl, the Jack-Bot with a troubled soul, stop the people from tearing each other apart in the fight for a patch of fertile land between the clockwork cities?

There is originality and sheer elegance in Nathaniel Sullivan’s writing and I loved the poetic character of the prose. The author creates an imaginary world and makes readers believe in it, because the images that accompany the story are clear and compelling. In addition to the prose being poetic, there is a descriptive element in the writing that creates visuals readers will enjoy. The story is filled with action and the unlikely team of the protagonist and his companions enhance the humor and make readers want to know what becomes of them as the story unfolds.

The conflict is phenomenal and it is intricately linked to the setting — the characters live in a frozen wasteland, a world they have been used to for years. But when a new patch of earth appears in this world it becomes a source of conflict. One man is determined to help people put down the weapons of war and learn to live together in peace, a dream that is impossible in this kind of world and in this setting. The Clockwork War is intelligently plotted and gorgeously written, a tale of adventure with powerful lessons on change. While this novel will excite and entertain readers, it answers the question: What does it take to change a mindset developed over thousands of years?

Susan Sewell

A forest emerging from an ice-field set between three kingdoms is threatening the peace among the inhabitants of the cities, and only one man is trying to stop the impending war in the thrilling fantasy novel, Morphic Ice (The Clockwork War Book 1) by Nathaniel Sullivan. Nandor, a nomadic warrior and a follower of Marr, watched as the green appeared to rise out of the ice-encrusted ground. The warm color spreading across the barren landscape meant wealth to the kingdom that owned it. Knowing that the leaders of the three Clockwork cities would stage a war, disregarding the irretrievable consequences of death and starvation to the citizens of the region, Nandor determines to prevent it. Believing the ancient Palace of Creation, lost in the mists of time, holds the answers that will bring peace, unity, and financial balance to the region, Nandor sets out to find the god's place of inception. Does the Palace of Creation really hold the answers Nandor is looking for or is he on a fool's errand? Will Nandor be able to complete his mission in the name of Marr, or will he fail miserably?

Morphic Ice (The Clockwork War Book 1) by Nathaniel Sullivan is a riveting fantasy novel. My interest was caught from the first sentence, and I was held captivated until its thrilling conclusion. With an enthralling story line, fantastic backdrop, and revolutionary characters, this extraordinary book is 'unputdownable.' The writer did an excellent job of creating a story world complete with a couple of different religions. I am impressed with how well the plot and story line came together, and am looking forward to the next two sequels following this one. I recommend this outstanding novel to science fiction fans who love extreme works of fantasy worlds and creatures.