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BOOK REVIEW: Boneshaker

Title: Boneshakerboneshaker
Author: Cherie Priest
Series: The Clockwork Century (Book #1)

Fifteen years ago, Leviticus Blue's giant drill engine, known as the Boneshaker, went loose below Seattle, releasing a toxic gas from beneath the earth that, if inhaled, turns its victims into mindless killing machines. Since then, Seattle has been blocked off from the rest of the world with its high walls. Blue's widow, Briar Wilkes, does her best to live a normal life with her fifteen-year-old son Ezekiel, but Zeke has questions about his father that Briar just can't bear to answer. Believing that Leviticus Blue was not the monster that everyone makes him out to be, Briar ventures into Seattle for answers. Fearing that this will be the death of him, Briar sets off after him. Will either of them be able to survive the horrors which exist inside of this forgotten city?

Boneshaker is the second book I've read by Cherie Priest, the first being her urban fantasy novel, Bloodshot. And while both books are fast paced reads, Boneshaker, a steampunk filled work of alternate history, reads very differently. I admire authors who are able to write different styles with more or less equal rates of success, which is something that Priest can accomplish. On top of being simply a well written novel, Boneshaker is just chock full of interesting stuff, including quirky characters, more action than you can shake a stick at, and plenty of steampunk gadgets.

I found Briar Wilkes to be a very well grounded heroine. She doesn't have a big, flashy personality, but there's a directness to her that I find very refreshing. She gets scared just as anyone else would in her situation, but continues to push forward out of love for her son. I enjoyed the portrait of mid-nineteenth century Seattle that Priest has crafted for us. The people that have chosen to inhabit the closed off city tend to be tough minded survivor types, which results in a lot of interesting side characters. even if some feel a little better developed than others. Priest also successfully blends two very popular tropes right now: zombies and steampunk. Some of the scenes with the “rotters” are pretty terrifying. I also enjoyed the books steampunk trappings, which includes everything from soaring airships, to clockwork limbs. I also must give Boneshaker credit for its villain. Despite his short time on screen (only a handful of scenes), he manages to make a real chilling impression.

Final Thoughts: If you're looking for an exciting work of alternate history, filled with zombie chase scenes, steampunk gagetry, and compelling characters, look no further then Cherie Priest's Boneshaker. I look forward to reading furthur in this series so I can see how Priest develops her world. Four and a Half Stars


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 28th, 2013 12:01 am (UTC)
Dreadnought, the immediate sequel, I found to be much better. :) I liked Boneshaker okay, but it was the second book that really sold me on the series.

Still waiting for you to find Four and Twenty Blackbirds!
May. 28th, 2013 01:38 am (UTC)
Oh, Four and Twenty Blackbirds is on my wishlist. This one just happened to already be on my shelf.

Is Clementine worth checking out as well? I saw there was an ebook version available.
May. 28th, 2013 01:57 am (UTC)
It is. It introduces an awesome heroine that I finally get to read about again in Priest's installment this year. It's a good idea to read Clementine before Dreadnought, but not imperative.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )



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