Jonah and The Clockwork Goblin

Matthew Edwards

202 pages
129mm x 198mm
ISBN: 9781532619991

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Jonah is a fifteen-year-old orphan who thinks he already has enough problems in his life. He’s failing all his subjects at school, frequently tormented by the school bully, and can count the people who care about his life (including his cat) on one hand—with fingers to spare. When he faces losing his older brother, he’s convinced things couldn’t get worse. Then he is awoken in the middle of the night by a clockwork cyborg goblin who robs him of a cherished opal pendant and departs through a magical portal. In his pursuit of the goblin thief, Jonah finds himself cast into a world beneath his own where he must pick his friends wisely, grow up quickly, and choose between an eight-foot evil seductress queen and a thousand-year-old tree nymph if he is to survive —and save the world in the process.



About the author

Matthew Edwards has written and published several short stories and poems. He holds an MA in Creative Writing, and lives in Mt Barker, South Australia, with his wife Rebecca and his cat Buddakhiin.  Jonah and the Clockwork Goblin is his first novel.


  1. Jodie George (University of South Australia)

    …a grand adventure that explores significant issues of identity, in particular masculinity, through the reluctant hero, Jonah. The novel shows particular strengths in its descriptive passages, the use of humour, the pace and timing of climatic moments within the narrative, and the complexity and originality of the plot… A pleasure to read.

  2. Julia Archer (author)

    Edwards has produced a fine story with well-defined and believable characters, clever cultural settings and, most of all, characters and situations we care enough about to keep reading.

  3. Rosanne Hawke (author of The Leopard Princess, Across the Creek and The Wolfchild Tales)

    Jonah will take you on a thrilling, action-packed journey through Godenow, the steampunkesque land within the Earth. You’ll battle mechanical creatures, ride steamers and even have a laugh or two as you try to stay alive. This innovative coming of age story will resonate with teens seeking to make sense of their world.

  4. Stella Lees for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Reading Time (verified owner)

    Jonah lives with his aunt and brother, Shaun, but Shaun has just joined the army, and Jonah is angry that he is now alone with Aunty. One night a monster arrives and Jonah finds himself involved in some very nasty business in quite another place.

    Godenow is a country within our world, inhabited by a variety of oddities. The most powerful people are the Sitnalans, but there are Dryads, Goblins, Riggers and Trolls, among other creatures, often with some of the characteristics of Australian animals. Jonah is aided by Eponae, a very old woman, Gregol, a Baldurian and Igraine, a Dryad, who all have a colourful past, all because an opal pendant was stolen.

    There are so many odd creatures that the reader may become confused but, if that happens, the glossary at the end of the book is useful.

    The writer displays imagination and pleasure in the strange, and there is plenty of action. Emotional life is less well invoked.

  5. S J McKenzie – author of The Ballyman Waits (verified owner)

    Matthew Edwards’ debut novel gives us High Fantasy with a notably Australian tone; if you’ve never imagined that dwarves could be like wombats, or that the Kelly Gang could be humanoid Tasmanian Tigers, now’s your chance. The titular Jonah, a lonely and reclusive orphan, is drawn by circumstance into a magical world within the earth, and is well versed enough in fantasy literature to cite Jules Verne as soon as he discovers this. Jonah is an avid reader, unlike his older brother Shaun, who is cast as a soldier and a protector. As Jonah travels throughout the fantastic inner world of Godenow, he must learn to emulate his brother, to fight for and care for his new-found family, without losing his own sense of self. The blend of Australian and European motifs provides an interesting backdrop, and the host of folkloric encounters is reminiscent of Alan Garner’s Moonstone of Brisingamen; there’s plenty to keep the pages turning. But the novel’s true originality is its use of the fantasy world journey to explore Jonah’s reality back home, where Jonah once felt an outsider, but to which he now longs to return.

  6. Claire Belberg – author of The Golden Hour (verified owner)

    This was a very enjoyable read, a rollicking fantasy coming of age. Jonah is fifteen, feels useless and resentful of his older brother whom he looks up to but whom he feels abandoned him. On his way to wrecking his young life, Jonah finds himself falling down a hole, like Alice, to a world no less extraordinary. Here he meets various races of beings – Baldurain, Sitnaltan and immortals among them – and with the help of his ‘adoptive parents’, learns to fight for those he loves and to push against all odds to combat the evil immortal, Lorelai, who threatens this and his own world.

    Edwards has written a lively, imaginative and thoughtful novel which will make you lose track of time as you read it to the last, satisfying page.

  7. Morton Benning – author of Playing God (verified owner)

    Jonah and the Clockwork Goblin is a lovely fusion of uncommon elements to make a story that feels decidedly different from what can be a run-of-the-mill experience in young adult coming of age fantasy novels.

    While Jonah is a fairly standard whining teenager who needs to grow up, this is not a standard story about elves, dwarves and wizards. The world of Godenow is a fantastical subterranean Steampunkesque Australiana. It is a hollow Earth realm with a mix of ancient myths and traditional folklore, Celtic elements, distinctly Australian characteristics, a steampunk aesthetic and a spiritual angle on the nature and use of magic. When a clockwork-cyborg-magpie-goblin shows up to steal from Jonah and the ensuing chase ends with Jonah being cast into a strange world, Jonah finds himself dealing with a very different life – without any training wheels, Jonah has to put on his big boy pants and take some responsibility for himself and his future.

    An enjoyable debut novel for Matthew Edwards, and an enticement to see what he will produce next.

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