Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
Author: Cherie Priest
Series: The Clockwork Century #1
Release Date: September 29, 2009
Dates Read: January 2011
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.
This was the first of Cherie Priest’s books I read, and let me tell you, she hooked me. If you’re interested in steampunk, zombies, pirates, adventures, horror, alternate history, strong women characters, post-apocalyptic/disaster, science fiction, or Seattle, this is the book for you. Did I mention zombies? Steampunk with zombies. I admit, I mainly picked up this book because 1) steampunk with zombies sounded like it could be spectacular 2) I’d read rave reviews from several sources 3) Scott Westerfeld’s review on the front cover: “A steampunk-zombie-airship adventure of rollicking pace and sweeping proportions, full of wonderfully gnarly details. This book is made of irresistible.” The book definitely lived up to my expectations, and surpassed them. It’s certainly in my top 5 favorite books, and I have a new series to fall in love with. Thank you, Cherie Priest, for this marvelous gem.