Publisher: Tor Books
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Cherie Priest's much-anticipated steampunk debut has finally arrived in the form of a paperback original. Its plot features the sort of calibrated suspense that readers of her Four and Twenty Blackbirds would expect. Boneshaker derives its title from the Bone-Shaking Drill Engine, a device designed to give Russian prospectors a leg up in the race for Klondike gold. Unfortunately, there was one hitch: On its trial run, the Boneshaker went haywire and, long story short, turned much of Seattle into a city of the dead. Now, 16 years later, a teenage boy decides to find out what is behind that mysterious wall. Can his mother save him in time? Zombie lit of the first order.Boneshaker was a wildly imaginative retelling of American history! Taking place during the 1800's, it is the story of a boy's struggle to prove his father's innocence and a mother's desperation to protect her son. Being my first experience with the steampunk genre, I was not disappointed one bit.
The story was filled with plenty of action; not at all what I expected. For the most part, the plot to Boneshaker was fast-paced and attention demanding. It lost momentum about halfway through for me, but quickly resumed pace over the course of a few chapters. What really kept this book moving was the constant perspective changes from Briar, the mother, to Zeke, the son. Cherie made each character stand out with their own original quirks and defining traits.
Being my first steampunk novel, I was worried I would have trouble imagining the world, machinery, and weapons Cherie created. That worry of mine was quickly discarded once I took in her descriptions! They were beautifully written and required little imagination on my part. I was quickly immersed in her Blight-filled Seattle. Not only did the characters have to worry about getting eaten alive by the "rotters," but also about breathing in the gas that could turn them into one; a constant struggle to stay alive.
The ending was epic to say the least, but left me wanting more. I'm not sure if the plot will be resumed in the next installment of the series or not, but I certainly hope so. I was disappointed to see the airships, kick-ass weapons, and crazy characters go. We went through so much together! It was as if I was saying goodbye to some very good friends. So sad. Boneshaker has left me itching to pick up another steampunk novel!