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 BornBut 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 DeadNow 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 HistoryHis 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


10 thoughts on “Boneshaker

  1. says:

    Miss Eliza Bennet, let me persuade you to follow my example, and take a turn about the room I assure you the anti gravity hoverchannel is very refreshing after sitting so long in one attitude Eliza was surprised, but agreed to it immediately She unstrapt herself from her leather seat restraints and stood, careful to maintain her balance as the airship encountered turbulence When she entered the hoverchannel, she activated the polarity redistribution magnets within her combat suit and began floating comfortably around the perimeter of the foyer.Miss Bingley s attention was quite engaged in watching Mr Darcy s progress through his book, so much so that at one point she nearly navigated the ship into the side of Pemberley and she was perpetually making some inquiry.At length, finally exhausted by her tenacious attempts to force a conversation regarding his book, Darcy relented It s entitled Boneshaker An American novel What do you think of it Eliza said as she drifted by A bit nonsensical, really Steampunk claptrap about the Civil War going on much longer than it actually did, which caused technological advances that didn t really happen until much later And a zombie infested city called Seattle It has been blocked off from the rest of the country, and our heroine must go in to rescue her foolish son Mr Bingley crossed the room, his steam powered mechanical legs stomping their way across the carpet to the cabinet where he refilled his glass Zombies in America That does sound quite silly Everyone knows that zombies are native to Britain That s how I lost my legs Please, Bingley, don t tell us that old story again, Mr Hurst said, adjusting himself on the sofa before falling back asleep.Darcy said, The plot moves along at a good pace, but the characters are a bit uninspired A teenage boy constantly doing something inadvisable the protective mother, blasting zombies and trying to save him Eliza smiled Darcy, certainly you aren t saying literature is full of strong female characters who run around rescuing male characters Nor should it be, Mr Hurst said, drifting slowly in and out of consciousness.Ignoring Mr Hurst s interjection, Darcy said, I suppose the fairer sex aren t shown in powerful roles that often, even in these books written in the far future about the distant past er, or perhaps about the same time as now When were we written Miss Bingley inquired, Are you sure the dinner agreed with you I feel fine, thank you, Darcy said Admit it, Sherlock Holmes said, standing in the doorway, Watson at his side You enjoy all the fashionable gimmicks flying left and right, and the pace keeps you entertained Yet you wonder why nothing surprising was done with any of these elements Darcy moved over as Holmes sat on the sofa beside him, lighting a pipe You re right, Holmes The whole reinvention of the Civil War is fascinating in theory Then the author does nothing with it The book has nothing to say No reflections on the civil war, racism, or politics Nor does it say anything about the true nature of zombies In fact, it says little about love, which is the very heart of the story J K Rowling, refilling her glass of zinfandel, said, And it s practically a young adult novel, isn t it Other than one or two mildly violent zombie moments and one four letter S word, this could be the next film from Pixar There s not even a gay sorcerer to throw off the prudes Darcy met Eliza s eyes as she orbited the room Have you read it as well, Miss Bennett Braaaains, Mr Hurst moaned softly I found it diverting, Eliza said I always read the books nominated for the Nebula awards But, like you, I found the novel didn t meet my expectations When you look beyond the stylish trappings, you have a run of the mill adventure story written in a workmanlike fashion I imagine the query letter was spectacular, though Darcy was on the verge of speaking when Mr Hurst lunged up from the sofa, saliva splattering from his vicious maw, his eyes sunken in and rolled back into his head He lurched across the room toward Bingley, whose back was facing him.Eliza kicked off of the wall and rolled over to Darcy, pulling his pistol from his belt, and fired several rounds through Mr Hurst s head A splatter of blood, brain and skull chips showered down on Harold Bloom Well, Mr Harold Bloom said, wiping blood from his face and wiping it on the sofa, that was entirely unnecessary, but what HASN T been The whole book review is sound and fury, signifying nothing And how many times is this hack going to parody Pride and Prejudice He seems to think it s much funny than it is, just as Oscar Wilde thought himself hilarious, when he is in fact highly over esteemed Holmes puffed his pipe, a gray cloud of smoke rising above him I can t believe I didn t notice Mr Hurst was turning Usually I m so attentive to details Nobody s perfect, Darcy said Would you mind putting that pipe out We are in a zeppelin, you know Holmes sighed and stood up, pulling on his overcoat I m going next door to the Kurt Vonnegut review Pipe smoking is encouraged over there And as Holmes left the room, suddenly the review stopped.


  2. says:

    1.5 Steampunk and zombies and mini apocalypse, oh my How could you go wrong For starters, you could have lead characters that I never really connected with or cared that much about Protagonists whose most active role was to get themselves into the city, and then who became fortunes of fate, as things happened to them I did like some of the secondary characters better, especially Swakhammer Though it seemed weird to me that Briar called calling him Mr Swakhammer It was probably meant to be an affectation to remind us of the time period, when men and women were formal, but since these characters are so informal, it was just kind of weird Just another layer of distance in a book which keeps you at yoursI think, really, that s what it is The characters are never really developed it s an actiony adventure type story, which could be fine, except it seemed like it almost wanted to be a deeper, thoughtful story at times, it just never quite managed to be so.Oh, and the brown font on the off white paper killed me at first, but I did mostly get used to it.Anyway, I never felt truly frightened or saddened for these characters and their exploits, though I did sometimes feel annoyed that they seemed so ingrateful for the help people were giving them Briar , and that they kept running off and getting themselves in trouble without finding out what was going on first Zeke And I never really connected with them, so didn t much care.And the whole thing with the big bad was meh And I don t just mean the anti climactic end, I mean everything about it The build up, the reveal, everything There s something which happens at the end which Briar is said not to care about because her focus is on something else Well, I didn t care, either Wow do you think I could say I didn t care any The only thing I did sort of care about is the fate of Swahkhammer, which we re left not knowing I read somewhere that this is the first of a planned trilogy, but I doubt I ll continue unless I hear really good things about the follow up All that said, I do agree with one reviewer who said that this story could make a good movie, though Visually it would be pretty awesome, and you can get away with less develoepd characters and haphazard happenings in movies.


  3. says:

    Sixteen years after Leviticus Blue reputedly robbed a string of banks and released the Blight using his drilling machine, the Boneshaker, his son Ezekiel goes back into the walled remains of Seattle, braving rotters and Doornails, to clear his name His mother, Briar Wilkes, goes into the walled wasteland to bring him out Can she find Zeke before Dr Minnericht finds him I ve got mixed feelings about this one For one thing, the writing doesn t tickle my innards and the characters are all pretty weak It also feels like it could have been 70 or 80 pages shorter A steampunk book with zombies and airships shouldn t have so many dull spots Also, there was a 35 page block missing from my copy but I don t think I missed a whole lot due to the aforementioned pacing issues Further, Boneshaker is a misleading title since the Boneshaker doesn t make an appearance until the very end.However, I did manage to enjoy myself while reading it I love the idea of a walled up city infested by zombies as well as the culture of those that stayed behind to live off of what was left, the Doornails The concept of zombies being created by subterranean pockets of gas was interesting, as was lemon sap, the drug made from said gas The steampunk tech was nicely done, complete with artificial limbs and a sound cannon The airships were also good, even if under utilized Zeke and Briar s struggle to find one another was well done, even if it dragged for my tastes Dr Minnericht was a Darth Vader ish enemy but the reveal of his identity was pretty good, as was his death.I wouldn t exactly say I d recommend buying this but if you could find someone to lend it to you, I don t think you ll be very disappointed.


  4. says:

    Posted at Shelf Inflicted Dazzling inventions, air pirates, evil bad guys, underground vaults, goggles, daring rescues, gold, Blight gas, a one armed bartender, a princess, zombies Oh, what fun The setting was vividly described and rich in details The main characters were well developed and fascinating Briar Wilkes, widow of Leviticus Blue, eccentric inventor, searches for her teenage son, Zeke, in a walled off section of Seattle, where a dangerous yellow gas shrouds the city, forcing the remaining inhabitants to live underground Lots of action, suspense, and vibrant, quirky characters helped move the story along at a brisk pace I thoroughly enjoyed the twists, surprises, and very satisfying ending of this riveting adventure story.


  5. says:

    1 Best cover art I ve seen in a LONG TIME 2 Very specific style of writing that too a while to hook me It reminded me of Red Dead Redemption in book form with Steampunk I definitely got into it when all the zombie stuff took off, cool details there.3 All the Steampunk stuff was awesome, and well detailed and realized The world definitely grew on me a lot.4 Main problem was that the characters didn t hook me until WAAAY into the book I really feel like the main character could have been fleshed out , maybe it was the spare prose style that kept me a bit distanced from caring enough I dunno I never really felt like her backstory with her dad and husband was filled to my satisfaction, it almost felt coincidental that she was tied to two such famous people in this world, maybe it s my fault and I skimmed too much though I did love the fact that she wasn t a cliched peppy go getter lady lead who meets a dreamy airship captain So kudos for a different woman lead there Definitely recommended for an interesting, Western style Steampunk extravaganza.


  6. says:

    Waiting for this book was better than reading itI was so excited to read this one to try a great steampunk novel I read a few top ten lists, and this one made every one of them Within the first few chapters, I knew that I didn t like it Mostly because this was essentially a really long Scooby Do chase sceneWe have Leviticus Blue crazed inventor of the Boneshaker Years ago, he took it for a test run aka drilled underground and into the bank As a result, he accidentally released the blight from the ground and the world hasn t been the same since Figure 1 The Boneshaker We follow Briar, his widow, and Ezekiel, his son Ezekiel desperate to clear his father s name grabs a gas mask, crosses the barrier and enters the blight stricken city Briar, upon hearing this, grabs a different gas mask, enters to bring her son back Commence the Scooby Do ing One runs here, the other runs there Repeat.I eventually lost track of the plot completely I will not be following up on this series.Audiobook Comments Mostly well read by Wil Wheaton and Kate Reading Though, I did notice that everyone speaks completely normal while constantly wearing gas masks There should be a lot of muffled words, huhs and Come again Blog Instagram Twitter


  7. says:

    I dug Cherie Priest s Boneshaker, but I wanted so much I dug Blighted Seattle and the Outskirts, but I wanted detail in the former and time in the latter.I dug the Rotters, but I wanted rot, zombie madness, and exploration of their potential ability to communicate and problem solve.I dug the pseudo history and Hale Quarter, the fictional biographer, but I wanted installments of his history.I dug the back story of Leviticus Blue, but I wanted to be convinced that he was evil rather than merely devastatingly irresponsible because while I can see devastatingly irresponsible as being negative for all, I don t think it can really be called evil.I dug Dr Minnerecht, but I wanted time in his lair, time with his nasty deeds, and way less of his silly petulance.I dug Zeke, but I wanted him to do , to be active.I dug how Briar took responsibility for the killing of Levi Blue, but I didn t like that she did it nor the way that she did it, and I find the general cheering on of her actions a bit disconcerting.I liked the supporting cast, but I wanted of what brought them to where they were, what motivated them, what they cared about, who they were pre post Blight.I dug the technological steampunk elements, and was than willing to suspend my disbelief, but I wanted of the steampunk social criticism to go along with the toys.I dug the hints of a larger world beyond Seattle, but I wish there d been of it here so I wouldn t have to wait for Clementine.I dug that there were three interesting women, but I didn t like their disdain for men nor that they felt like three versions of the same woman I dug the dirigibles, and for once there was enough time with the Skypirates to fulfill my desire.So to recap I dug it, but


  8. says:

    Started off slow, but I fully realize that was a miscalibration with the story compatibility recognizer I don t really do the mother hen story line, and I often get the urge to slap headstrong teenage boys I started this on vacation in NYC, and we just weren t getting along Plus, NYC is all busy and distracting and such Once home, I picked it back up and had a little better luck, but soon got distracted with shinier books life Finally opened it again today and finished the last 250 or so pages, proving at least one of two things 1 that I am a ridiculous procrastinator that would do anything other than class homework, and 2 Priest can pull it together it just takes awhile Story alternates between the viewpoint of Ezekiel, a young teen, and that of his mother, Briar Wilkes, a hard working widow She was married to an inventor, Leviticus Blue, who built a machine that was supposed to impress the Russians with it s gold mining skill Except before the debut, things go a little haywire and a bank or two is robbed instead, and a mysterious low lying gas released into the local atmosphere Perhaps it was connected to the machine, perhaps it wasn t Blue disappeared, and the gas turned everyone it touched into rotters, otherwise known as coffee deprived Seattleans zombies The rest of the world walled Seattle off and did their best to forget about it, except for two things they still hate Briar, as a stand in for Blue and the yellow gas can be distilled into a drug of course the new drug comes through Seattle Don t they always Zeke decides to find out the truth Mama hen chases him down with the intention of making him safe, and perhaps, telling him the truth.Positives characterization that is fairly multi culti without making it an issue and doesn t treat females like a bunch of sex objects cough, cough, Brent Weeks , but instead like people trying to live how they know, and be as tough as they need to to survive Side characters were particularly interesting and unique, and I rather liked they they didn t always group up and stay together for the rest of the quest search I m particularly fond of the Indian Princess who was oracle like in her advice, and mysterious enough that Zeke wasn t sure if she was going to knife him or save him.Criticisms Blah, airships I suppose they are useful for getting characters in and out of walled cities Personally, I find them to be the steampunk equivalent of the modern car chase, and usually use the time to go fix get a drink Blah fifteen year old boys, who are at once brave, naive, selfish, defiant, clever and obtuse.Of all the characters, the villain was a bit of a trope Build up was scary actuality was a bit like Paul Reubens in the original Buffy I also could have passed on the conceit of the weird dude in the beginning approaching Briar about writing a biography Not sure where it got the story, except some navel gazingness Might have incited the kid to leave, but then again, it might not have Oh wait, I get it It was a way to introduce backstory Ok, I ll scratch that as a complaint Annoyed me at the end, however Speaking of the end, it was a strange mix up of unfinished and happily ever after oh stop, that didn t give anything away Quite a few unanswered questions While part of me likes to have everything explained, it just isn t possible in a book of this length I was left with intriguing questions about the Blight, about the Civil War, and about the people in Seattle.Overall, a middling book that I m glad I read Judging by the way reviews run the star gamut, it might be worth checking out for yourself And I still can t decide if Priest pulled it together or I m a successful horrible procrastinator Cross posted at


  9. says:

    2.5 stars I liked the set up of this steampunk story and I thought the characters were well developed especially Briar who I thought was great That said, for some reason I did not get hooked on the story and found myself just getting through the book For me, I would have liked to have learned about the alternate world in which the book is set in and have the story tie into or at least hint at bigger issues to come There were some nice tidbits about the larger world but I would have liked to have seen All and all, it was a decent read and I will read the next book in the series when it comes out where the story will hopefully expand.Nominee Hugo Award for Best Novel Nominee Nebula Award for Best Novel


  10. says:

    engaging but decidedly minor yarn featuring brave women, pirate airships, a zombie plague, and a battered barricaded alternate seattle the steampunk elements are of the american west variety, so as far as the atmosphere conveyed, this is muggy days than foggy nights enjoyable for the most part, although the highly tedious annoying character of the son made the last third tough going at times.i really don t have much else to say this was a pleasant and forgettable way to pass an evening so here are some things to fill out this so called review fridtjof nansen