Steampunk book review: Boneshaker

#2 is totally scheduling this post to see if that helps #1 to commit to writing about it for her challenge.

If not, here is #2’s report:

I read the book Boneshaker by Cherie Priest.  It was about a steampunk woman in steampunk glasses.  They were kind of like goggles.  The book made me feel very grey.  It had a beginning, a middle part, and an end.  It was very good.  There were zombies and Seattle was destroyed.  By, #2.

Boneshaker
by Cherie Priest
Powells.com

Actually, #2’s review is so nice that I’m going to leave it there.  But now I will give you mine, because I have finally sorted out how I feel about this book.  (Lately I have been having much ambivalence about things!)

Overall verdict:  It’s good, you should read it.

Longer:  The beginning of this book really sucked me in.  Seattle being destroyed happened about 15 years before this story starts, and there are indeed zombies (and airships and goggles) but they mostly start to show up in the middle of the book.  The world is very richly detailed, but very grim.  There is an innovative method for turning people into zombies, called the Blight, which is the main force shaping the current world.  Cherie Priest wedged a good deal of backstory in there but made it totally interesting, not info-dumpy, for which, props.

Fifteen-year-old Zeke goes inside the walls of Seattle, and his mother Briar goes in after him.  After that, surprisingly, I slowed down a lot.  The middle of the book is extremely action-packed, but it actually got sort of redundant.  It was exactly like one of those silly, ridiculous movie scenes where two people are running around frantically looking for each other and missing each other by only seconds around every corner… but it went on for like 30 pages.  Yes, you’re afraid, tired, dirty, wheezing, running for your life, feeling sick, uncertain, etc.  I get it already.  It was just chapters and chapters of people running back and forth to little purpose except escaping peril and separately meeting ever-more-colorful characters.

The two main characters, Briar and Zeke, were wonderful.  I just hated most of the other people they encountered and didn’t want to spend time with them, which slowed me down.

However, (SPOILER ALERT) once Briar and Zeke find each other and are in the same scenes again, it’s great.  I loved the action from that point on, once they can work as a team together with some of the less-annoying secondary characters.  Near the very end we learn a crucial fact from Briar’s past, which really opens doors to a better or deeper relationship between her and Zeke.  Based on some bits of stage business near the end with a twice-stolen warship (did I mention there are airships?), I can see a direction where I think and hope the next book will go.

I’m looking forward to the sequel.

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5 Responses to “Steampunk book review: Boneshaker”

  1. everyday tips Says:

    I love the reference to ‘grey’. (Ouch, that hurt to type.) Thank you for that!

    I think my husband would probably really enjoy that book!

  2. MutantSupermodel Says:

    Sounds fun. #2 should write more book reviews more often. They are the awesome. Actually, the two book reviews together are the perfect. Do it again!


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