Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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. Furthermore, 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.
View all my reviews