Monday, November 11, 2013

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

Why I read this book?
This was the October pick for the Sword and Laser book club. It was also my second attempt with steam-punk influenced books.

What's the book about?

In an alternate history, the Civil War is still ongoing. Seattle was home to Leviticus Blue, an inventor, a scientist. With the Gold Rush still active, the Russians asked for a machine that would be able to help them to win the Klondike race and hence Leviticus invented the Boneshaker...but the machine got out of control and at the same time that it destroyed the city's downtown it released the Blight gas a compound that seems to kill people and then bring them back again. 

16 years have passed and Blue's old wife, Briar, has been struggling, working her hands to the bone to raise her son Zeke. But he is determined to go back to the city and clean his father's name, as he is convinced that he is being accused unjustly. The book follows both mother and son as they go inside of the city and encounter more that they bargain for.

What about the main character?

For me the main character was Briar. She is a strong, resolute woman that is at odds with her past for more reasons that I as a reader could imagined, and in fact some of the new information I learned at the end caught me by surprise. I liked her a lot; the way she will deal with the bullies at her job, the way he dealt with the people in the city that pretended to know more about her than herself. The only thing I would say she could work on a bit was her way of dealing with her son, but I think that this will change after the end of the book (no spoilers, don't worry)

Final thoughts

My first attempt at reading Steam-punk was with Knife of Truth and it was not a great experience. However I have to say that I quite enjoyed Priest's world building. The Steam-punk elements were there, but I didn't felt overwhelmed about them so this part of the story built nicely. I liked Briar as a character, Zeke not so much but I think he is not meant to be liked, but just to act as a teenager. I found it to be an interesting story but I was not really caught by it. I never got at a point where I NEEDED to know what was happening next. I won't be reading the next installment of The Clockwork Century series, but it did make me more interested on the genre in general.

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