Saturday, December 19, 2009

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

From the back: 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 teen aged 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.

Quote: She leaned forward on her one el¬bow, laying her mechanical forearm down on the bar. "Now tell me, you don't really think—do you—that there's anything you could've done to keep him out of here?"
"I don't know. Probably not."
Someone behind Briar gave her back a friendly pat. It startled her, but there was nothing salacious about the gesture so she didn't flinch away from it. Besides, this was more friendly human contact than she'd had in years, and the pleasantness of it smoothed the keen, guilty edge of her sorrow.

Why this book, you might ask: I was first attracted to this book by it's cover. Then I read the quote on the front by Scott Westerfeld: "A steampunk-zombie-airship adventure of rollicking pace and sweeping proportions, full or wonderfully gnarly details." After I read the back I had to get it.

My Thoughts: Yes I had to get it and it was all the cover promised. Even though it was almost non-stop action, with zombies, an evil overlord, a larger than life heroic figure, killer fog, airship pirates, it was mostly about the refugees of a ruined Seattle, and a mother and her son, their fight to find one another and their fight to freedom and safety. Wow. I was caught up from the beginning and it kept pulling me along. What a great, fun read. I liked the characters and cared what happened. Briar is terrific, a strong and independent woman. Read it!

I learned a term new to me reading about this book: Steampunk. Very interesting. I blogged
about it here.

The author's website.
Boneshaker at SF Signal

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (September 29, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765318415
ISBN-13: 978-0765318411

Science fiction, steampunk, zombies, alternate history, fantasy, Civil War,


Anonymous said...

I had to laugh at "Yes I had to get it..." I feel that way all the time. Thank goodness I am not alone. :)

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

This looks interesting - one I would not have chosen for its cover... but now hearing your comments on it...

I love learning new words while reading!

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