Boneshaker by Cherie Priest is a steampunk book follows the Briar Wilkes into the ruins of alternative history Seattle to rescue her son. 16 years earlier her husband, inventor Leviticus Blue, invented a powerful drill that destroyed the banking district and created a massive rupture in the earth. From that crevasse erupted a yellow gas called “Blight” that kills the people that breath it and turns them into zombies (or rotters). That’s a lot to take in. Steampunk, zomibies, alternative history Seattle (the Civil War still rages on even in 1880) family drama, oh and there are airship pirates and a mysterious crime boss.
I enjoyed the book, I think despite the fact that I felt like it took a bit to pick up steam. It’s a long 450 pages, but the last half really breezes by. It’s fascinating the amount of different things that Priest has working together. There are so many strange and new facets to this world. There is even a book long mystery of what happened to Leviticus Blue. I really enjoyed Briar Wilkes. She’s a tough character that has had a tough life since she is the only one left who can take the blame for the destruction of Seattle. Her son on the other hand is a bit annoying, however he is a 15 year old boy so that’s pretty realistic. He storms in brashly to a decaying Seattle full of zombies and almost dies about 1,000 times. Briar is a truthworthy narrator and she tells him not to go digging in the past. It’s frustrating to see him do just that. Plus it felt jarring to have two different stories. I enjoyed reading what Briar was up to, but the narrative would switch back to Zeke’s perspective. I loved the ingenuity of the world, there is a sound cannon called a “Daisy” an assortment of masks and goggles and an animatronic arm.
Besides Zeke, who actually grew on me, the only other thing I really didn’t like was some of Priest’s writing style. There are some amazing action packed scenes but I felt like I had a hard time following the action. I would read a paragraph and not really have much of an idea what had happened. I guess sometimes the writing didn’t feel clear enough to me. Perhaps I just wasn’t paying enough attention.
I haven’t decided if I’ll read the next few books in the series. Perhaps I will, but I think I can wait and I’ll work through a few other things first.
Over all I give it 3 out of 5 pairs of goggles.