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Boneshaker (Sci Fi Essential Books) by…

Boneshaker (Sci Fi Essential Books) (edition 2009)

by Cherie Priest

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2,8131752,070 (3.61)354
Title:Boneshaker (Sci Fi Essential Books)
Authors:Cherie Priest
Info:Tor Books (2009), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library, Read
Tags:e-book, alt-history, Goodreads_20160414import

Work details

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

  1. 100
    Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (ahstrick)
  2. 60
    Dreadnought by Cherie Priest (iamiam)
    iamiam: "Boneshaker" precedes "Dreadnought" in the series by this author, plus their time-lines follow this order, but neither is dependent upon the other for comprehension of story.
  3. 50
    Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (jseger9000)
  4. 73
    The Affinity Bridge by George Mann (lorax)
    lorax: Steampunk with zombies.
  5. 40
    Clementine by Cherie Priest (7hir7een)
    7hir7een: If you liked the character of Croggon Hainey, and the atmosphere of Priest's alternate history, you'll like this read. It's short, but if you can find it, it's worth it! Be aware, the print books are hard to find, so check out other formats.
  6. 30
    Changeless by Gail Carriger (GirlMisanthrope)
  7. 30
    Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (clif_hiker)
  8. 20
    Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear (reconditereader)
    reconditereader: Similar setting, similar level of butt-kicking awesomeness.
  9. 20
    The Inexplicables by Cherie Priest (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: A very creepy Seattle is home to may people . . . and things.
  10. 20
    The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (ahstrick, andreablythe)
  11. 10
    Odd Men Out by Matt Betts (yarmando)
    yarmando: Steampunk + zombies
  12. 22
    The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 1 by Alan Moore (kraaivrouw)
  13. 00
    Lightborn by Tricia Sullivan (AlanPoulter)
    AlanPoulter: Both are rattling adventure yarns but with a common flaw of poorly developed 'worlds'
  14. 00
    The Family Trade by Charles Stross (AlanPoulter)
    AlanPoulter: Both are first series novels, set in alternate America's, with conflicts involving mixes of old/new technologies.
  15. 00
    World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks (sturlington)
  16. 01
    Hollowland by Amanda Hocking (clif_hiker)
    clif_hiker: YA zombie stories...
  17. 02
    Dead Reckoning by Mercedes Lackey (SunnySD)

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» See also 354 mentions

English (172)  Polish (1)  German (1)  French (1)  English (175)
Showing 1-5 of 172 (next | show all)
Humble eBook Bundle 2
  GoldenDarter | Sep 15, 2016 |
Recommended as young-adult steampunk by my book pusher, and well worth the read. It took me a couple of reading sessions to realize that the type/font was a dark brown, not black, and that choice by the publisher made my opinion of this book grow exponentially.
So, it is steampunk. Obviously with goggles on the front cover. The action is set in Seattle in the 1880's, in an alternate universe where airships are the norm, the Civil War is still going on (hint: key figure did not die and the East is still embroiled in war so there is limited exploration), and Seattle is a walled-off city due to a poison gas. My first surprise with reading it was the believability of the characters: the opening dialogue between the writer and Briar makes him sound ultra-pushy and gives a bit of the background to the novel's premise. Then you get a little more in and realize the abject poverty in which the main character lives, tries to raise her son, and attempts to find enough to eat on a daily basis. Everywhere is the Blight: a poisonous yellowed substance that was released into the atmosphere by Briar's late husband who created a machine that went out of control.
There are zombies (ech), but they're more of the evil backdrop part. There are machines that clean the air, airships that fly into and out of Seattle, gas masks with filters, and an evil overlord who shows up bit by bit in the plotline. And that's the main part that I enjoyed about this book: it's not heavy handed in its background to what happened to make us get here. It starts slow, builds a mystery, then the characters do things within that mystery. Then more stuff happens, and there is more background shed, and then the characters have a widening world in which to find each other.
The author almost got bogged down into my son! where's my son?!", but then I think her editor must have stopped her from going down that highway and a bit of history was thrown in instead, and Briar had to deal with that history. And the 15 year old son?? Definitely a teenager complete with whining, "I can do it on my own" and arguments that again, go almost too close to the "enough!" brink, and then something happens and he has to deal with something or someone and he realizes he doesn't know everything.
No spoiler alerts; I'll just say I was intrigued enough by the mystery and history and how will it all resolve that I am interested in reading the sequels to this book. If I can find them! ( )
  threadnsong | Jun 18, 2016 |
A fun read (especially for steampunk and zombie lovers). The highest praise I can lavish is that Cherie Priest's detailed Seattle feels overhelmingly real and historically accurate. The typeface was set in sepia rather than black which added grit to the oily steampunk flavor of Priest's 1880.

The only criticism I can lodge is that it felt a little too teenaged (simple) for me. Maybe I was expecting more from a Hugo nominee? In any case, a short 5 day break from 'The Living Dead' anthology (still can't get Dan Simmons's story out of my head) was what I needed.

My slight disappointment may stem from the juxtaposition of this novel's main characters with their similarly flat counterparts from 'Sun of Suns' by Kurt Schroeder (which can happen when you read mulitiple novels in a close time span). Like Schroeder, I never once took Priest's main players seriously...and due to the colorful, well-imagined world I even wanted to. Too often they read like silly, overplayed archetypes: "HELLO, I AM EASILY ENCUMBERED ANGST-RIDDEN TEENAGER! SEE THROUGH MY FACADE AND KNOW I HAVE SELF-CONCEPT ISSUES!!!!" etc. etc.
I don't think I will be picking up 'Dreadnought'...and that may be the most damning critique of all. ( )
  apomonis | Jun 2, 2016 |
Steampunk zombies! Some kind of explosion/accident/nefarious deed happened that caused a toxic fog, called The Blight, to cover Seattle. The townsfolk build a wall around it, but when Briar's son disappears behind the wall, she has to go in and find him. I wasn't that drawn in by this one. The characters were okay but I didn't buy the backstory of the Blight, or even of Briar's dark past. If you're absolutely obsessed with steampunk, you'll probably appreciate the clockwork and airships and other tropes, but otherwise it's pretty forgettable.

A note on the audio: I was not too impressed with the readers on this one. Wil Wheaton was okay, but I think I expected better of his voice acting, and Kate Reading's stilted monotone has caused me to abandon otherwise promising books before. Listening to her read this was a bit of a chore. ( )
  melydia | Feb 29, 2016 |
A generation after a terrible tragedy destroys a town, the descendants of the mad scientist who catalyzed the problem venture back into the town. One is desperate to prove his family's innocence; the other just wants to bring her son home. The world building is cool but I didn't care about either character and was impatient for plot to happen, so I gave up on it. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 172 (next | show all)
Overall, Priest has created a terrific story that will please endless science fiction fans in search of a thrill.
added by sdobie | editSF Site, Katherine Petersen (Jan 15, 2010)
Priest’s latest, very simply rocks: It’s not only the steampunk adventure you’ve been waiting for, it’s the steampunk adventure you can give to friends of yours who wonder what the hell’s up with all those Victorian overcoats and goggles.
added by lampbane | editWhatever, John Scalzi (Oct 13, 2009)
It's full of buckle and has swash to spare, and the characters are likable and the prose is fun. This is a hoot from start to finish, pure mad adventure.
added by lampbane | editBoing Boing, Cory Doctorow (Sep 29, 2009)

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cherie Priestprimary authorall editionscalculated
Foster, JonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reading, KateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wheaton, WilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In this age of invention the science of arms has made great progress. In fact, the most remarkable inventions have been made since the prolonged wars of Europe in the early part of the century, and the short Italian campaign of France in 1859 served to illustrate how great a power the engines of destruction can exert.

-- Thomas P. Kettell, History of the Great Rebellion. From its commencement its close, giving an account of its origin, The Secession of the Southern States, and the Formation of the Confederate Government, the concentration of the Military and Financial resources of the federal government, the development of its vast power, the raising, organizing, and equipping of the contending armies and navies; lucid, vivid, and accurate descriptions of battles and bombardments, sieges and surrender of forts, captured batteries, etc., etc.; the immense financial resources and comprehensive measures of the government, the enthusiasm and patriotic contributions of the people, together with sketches of the lives of all the eminent statesmen and military and naval commanders, with a full and complete index. From Official Sources (1862)
This one's for Team Seattle --
Mark Henry, Caitlin Kittredge,
Richelle Mead, and Kat Richardson--
for they are the heart and soul of this place.
First words
Unpaved, uneven trails pretended to be roads; they tied the nation's coasts together like laces holding a boot, binding it with crossed strings and crossed fingers.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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(from the back of the book) 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 subterranen 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 teenage 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.
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Inventor Leviticus Blue creates a machine that accidentally decimates Seattle's banking district and uncovers a vein of Blight Gas that turns everyone who breathes it into the living dead. Sixteen years later Briar, Blue's widow, lives in the poor neighborhood outside the wall that's been built around the uninhabitable city. Life is tough with a ruined reputation, but she and her teenage son Ezekiel are surviving--until Zeke impetuously decides that he must reclaim his father's name from the clutches of history.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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