Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Review: Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

Finished: September 14, 2011

Synopsis: In the early days of the Civil War, rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest. Anxious to compete, Russian prospectors commissioned inventor Leviticus Blue to create a great machine that could mine through Alaska’s ice. Thus was Dr. Blue’s Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine born. But on its first test run the Boneshaker went terribly awry, destroying several blocks of downtown Seattle and unearthing a subterranean vein of blight gas that turned anyone who breathed it into the living dead.
Now it is sixteen years later, and a wall has been built to enclose the devastated and toxic city. Just beyond it lives Blue’s widow, Briar Wilkes. Life is hard with a ruined reputation and a teenaged boy to support, but she and Ezekiel are managing. Until Ezekiel undertakes a secret crusade to rewrite history. His quest will take him under the wall and into a city teeming with ravenous undead, air pirates, criminal overlords, and heavily armed refugees. And only Briar can bring him out alive.
[from goodreads]

Thoughts: Boneshaker was the first Steampunk book that I’ve read. It was definitely very action packed. I could not put it down. I found the character of Briar to be very interesting and likeable. I also loved the side characters and would love it if they popped up again later in the series. I found Zeke’s character to be very realistic. In a lot of books nowadays fifteen year old boys are written to seem older than they really are. Zeke was appropriately scared when he should be and looked to his mother for guidance. He made several stupid decisions that irritated me but that is to be expected of a teenager. Though I did think that his bad choices were at times a bit too convenient for the story. That was my only real complaint with the novel, and the only thing that keeps me from calling this book a favorite, or giving it a five star review, is that I felt a bit disconnected from the two main characters, and cannot say that I cared about them a lot. I cared more for the side characters than the main two.

Putting the characters aside, the world building was great. I could really imagine this town and the wall that surrounded it. I also found the end to be satisfying and did not predict the twist. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an introduction to Steampunk novels.


Four out of Five Coffees


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