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Boneshaker (Sci Fi Essential Books) (edition 2009)

by Cherie Priest

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,4561602,504 (3.64)341
Member:donalbane26
Title:Boneshaker (Sci Fi Essential Books)
Authors:Cherie Priest
Info:Tor Books (2009), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library, Read
Rating:****
Tags:e-book, alt-history, Goodreads_20140630Import, Goodreads_20140630import

Work details

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

Recently added bykvrfan, zkazy, private library, Xleptodactylous, altairalex, simd, dyfdd1
  1. 100
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» See also 341 mentions

English (156)  Polish (1)  French (1)  All languages (158)
Showing 1-5 of 156 (next | show all)
This is a book I started ages ago, but I lost track of it on my Kindle (I keep forgetting that it stores galleys as documents, not books). When I managed to unearth it, I was thrilled to be back in the world of Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. It’s set in the wild and woolly Seattle of the 1880’s, with some major revisions. The city, its population swelled from the Klondike gold rush, has been devastated. The Boneshaker, a mining machine designed to dig through the Klondike ice, has malfunctioned and run wild beneath the city, collapsing buildings, creating tunnels, killing hundreds, and releasing deadly gas from deep underground. The gas, called Blight, boils up from the tunnels and clings like a thick fog. It kills plants and animals, corrodes metal, and turns the humans who breathe it into a sort of zombie, called Rotters. In an attempt to save what they could, the city was walled up, trapping the Blight and the rotters inside. The walls created a lost city, crumbling into ruin, inhabited by the walking dead and those hearty souls who have carved out a living in the basements, vaults, and any place that offers a little clean air.

Briar Wilkes has gone back to using her maiden name, because being the widow of Leviticus Blue does not endear her to her neighbors; Leviticus Blue invented the Boneshaker, after all, and many still hold him responsible for the devastation in the city. She has tried to shield her son, Zeke, from his awful history, but the curiosity of a teenage boy is a powerful force. Zeke has decided to sneak into the walled city, find his mother’s home, and bring back evidence that his father was innocent. When she realizes what he’s done, Briar has no choice but to go in after him.

Their adventures in the city make for a great read. There are pirates and villains, the Chinamen who built and maintain the machinery that keeps the underground inhabitable. There is a good-hearted woman, Lucy O’Gunning, with her strange mechanical arm, and a mysterious villain named Dr. Minnericht, who hints at an even more villainous past. It’s about a mother’s love for her son – all that she’s done, all that she’s tried to do, and all that she is still willing to do to protect him, even if he hates her for it. It’s about how you keep going after tragedy strikes and find a way to live with yourself. And all through the book there are great stories of underground palaces, murderous rotters and shifting alliances – enough to keep you turning pages well past the time you should blow out the candles and turn in for the night. The ending was great (and I’ve had too many disappointing endings lately) and makes me want to pick up the next book right away. It was a great story and my only regret is that I didn’t finish it sooner. The bonus is that the sequels are all lined up for me! ( )
  LisaLynne | Mar 7, 2015 |
This engaging steampunk novel takes place in mid-to-late 19th century Seattle after a gigantic machine called the Boneshaker ravages the underground portions of the city, resulting in a poisonous gas leak that causes both a zombie and a drug epidemic. Basically, this is a non-stop action-adventure story that has Briar Wilkes searching for her teenage son Zeke within the walled off city, as Zeke seeks the truth about his father (who happens to be Leviticus Blue, the inventor of the Boneshaker.) I'm honestly not a huge fan of action-adventure stuff and usually find it a bit nerve-racking, but this novel is oddly sweet and hopeful as well, particularly in its depiction of the dilapidated and dangerous city's residents (well...the non-evil ones), who band together and look out for each other, as well as strangers in need. I'm not sure I've ever come across so many genuinely nice, yet also believable, humans in one novel! There's a lot more going on too, but warm and fuzzy was my major takeaway for some reason, and I see that as a positive. Recommended. ( )
  DorsVenabili | Feb 20, 2015 |
I passionately love this book. It's weird, it's steampunk, it's SEATTLE (my home) in the 1800s, it's zombies, and it's ladies who are truly kickass and fascinating. The story starts out so dark and dreary, perfectly evocative of Seattle weather, and it chases its way to hope and goodness (but not without a little bit of bittersweet, a trace of shadow). There is so much adventure and risk in this story, don't let the depressing beginning fool you. I fervantly hope that Cherie Priest writes another in this universe! ( )
  Xandylion | Jan 19, 2015 |
This book had a solid start that sucked me in right away. It is a blend of the West during the Civil War with steam punk alterations. It is written really well with an interesting cast of characters. The two main characters, mother and son, were great to start out with, but I got more attached to the supportive roles. The book is gripping the whole way through. My only complaint is that there is a build up at the end, but then it feels like it just ends. ( )
  renbedell | Oct 30, 2014 |
I don't know what to say about this book. It was enjoyable enough to finish and to keep it above the one star rating, but I can't quite see why it has gotten the attention it has. Maybe the zombie-steampunk genre just isn't my thing. ( )
1 vote tlockney | Sep 7, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 156 (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 editionsconfirmed
Foster, JonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reading, KateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wheaton, WilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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)
Dedication
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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Book description
(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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