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Dreadnought by Cherie Priest

Dreadnought (edition 2010)

by Cherie Priest

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6573914,860 (3.97)50
Authors:Cherie Priest
Info:New York : Tor, 2010.
Collections:Audio Book, Calibre, Your library

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Dreadnought by Cherie Priest

  1. 40
    Boneshaker 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.
  2. 30
    Soulless by Gail Carriger (jlparent)
    jlparent: Another strong heroine; solid alternate history, great pacing
  3. 00
    Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (SunnySD)
  4. 01
    Corsets & Clockwork: 14 Steampunk Romances by Trisha Telep (SunnySD)

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Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Read this as a book club pick. I must say I'm beginning to suspect I don't care for Steampunk as a genre - the books usually get low ratings from me.

I never connected with Mercy Lynch so I didn't care if she made it from Virgina to Washington or not in order to see her long lost (and dying) father. This seemed more plot than character driven to me. There's nothing wrong with that, but the plot couldn't keep my attention either.

If you're a fan of air ships, metal walkers, armed war trains, and especially zombies this might be for you. ( )
  astults | Nov 4, 2013 |
Steampunk Civil War with zombies, continuing the world of Boneshaker. Our protagonist this time is an apolitical Confederate nurse (but don’t worry; in this timeline, the technological capacities of the South have dragged the war out so long that most of the slaves have been freed! /sarcasm) who undertakes a journey to Seattle to see her father, on his deathbead. The journey occupies the entire book, so we get a tour of airships and cross-country trains, along with some looks at the complicated politics of a continent that includes, along with the North and the South, a Republic of Texas and a Mexican government that wants to know what happened to a large group of its soldiers who disappeared. Hint: it involves the drug that’s been turning soldiers into wrecks on the war front, and the zombies of Boneshaker, though Mercy doesn’t know anything about that last bit. I will read the third book because I got it for free, but I can’t say I’m in love with the world she’s built. ( )
  rivkat | Sep 9, 2013 |
Mercy Lynch works as a nurse at a Confederate hospital. Her days are filled with endless bleeding young men, different only in manners and closeness to death. Mercy is smart, quick-mouthed and skilled. She’s damn good at her – constantly overwhelming – job. But when she gets two bad news in one day: her husband’s death in a prison camp, and a telegram begging her to try and make it to her estranged father’s deathbed way out west, she has no choice but to leave the hospital behind.

The trip west wasn’t easy even on paper, with travel by dirigible dangerously close to the front, and long train hauls through bandit country. But pretty soon Mercy finds the travel even rougher than she expected. After a series of unforeseen disasters, she has to board the Dreadnought, the Union’s most fearsome war machine. That it is hauling civilians is strange enough, and Mercy understands there’s more to this journey than meets the eye. Both the first and the last car in the train are completely off limits. What’s in there?

I don’t know. I guess I have to realize Cherie Priest just isn’t for me. Because this book has so much going for it: a light handed steampunk touch, not bogging the story down with too much machinery. A high pace, full of suspense. The rather clever take of looking at battle from the nurse’s perspective (which, true, does become a tad tired towards the end, when Mercy patches up the ninehundredth brave lad with led in his gut, but works brilliantly in the beginning). The saving of the inevitable zombie action until the very end of the book.

And yet I find the negatives bogging down my experience: Priest’s endless, anxious repetitions of information (at one point I wanted to strangle Korman with my bare hands rather than have him explain one more time how he only wants to get to Salt Lake City). Her winded dialogues, of the “There’s a wall/ A wall? / Yes, a wall” variety. Her random descriptions of characters we only meet once – do I really need three lines describing the looks of a ticket clerk? And her heavy-handed using of tropes, especially in her villains.

The pages keep turning themselves here, but I also kind of want the book to be over with. An alright read, in the end, but I think two books might be enough of Priest, for me. ( )
1 vote GingerbreadMan | Jul 12, 2013 |
This is the second book in Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century series, set in an alternative 1800 world of steampunk, airship pirates, zombies and wild inventions. Like the first book, Boneshaker, this book features a strong female protagonist that I immediately took to.

Mercy Lynch, a nurse in a Confederate hospital, gets word that her soldier husband has died at almost the same moment that she gets a message that her long vanished father is very ill and wants to see her- in Seattle. She surprises herself by making the decision to go and visit him, a trip that, given the war, isn’t easy. Her trip across the continent by airship, steamboat, and train – no regular train- is a wild adventure full of disagreeing Confederates, Union soldiers, Texians, missing Mexican troops, zombies, gold, and a mad scientist. Mercy is a tough woman, though, and deals with it all with courage and inventiveness, her nurse’s training standing her in good stead what with the bullets flying almost constantly.

One of the things I love about this book, and Boneshaker, is that the protagonist is not just strong, but that she is not a stunning beauty that men fall instantly in love with. In fact, there is no romance in the books. Nor are they genius inventors; they are average women doing what needs to be done. One can identify with them easier than with some fantasy women- or at least I can!

The universe that Priest has built for this series holds together well. Dreadnought is a can’t-put-it-down, fast read that is full of action and has just enough creepiness- not enough to slow the story down, but enough to ratchet the anxiety level way up. ( )
  dark_phoenix54 | Apr 2, 2013 |
Vastly inferior to Boneshaker. I was bothered, more in this book than the other, by the historical revisions of this world--the lengthened American Civil War, changing its motives from a war over slavery, doesn't sit quite right with me: it's fantasy, I know, but it treads the line of diminishing the cultural and historical import of the real event. This issue aside, Dreadnought was simply a poorer book: where Boneshaker was rollicking, with a well-drawn, engaging setting, Dreadnought was clunky and anonymous. Weak characters combined with absolutely no sense of place--they're traveling through the whole of 19th century America and there's nary an interesting instance of setting description, not even on the weird train that the book takes place!--weakened my interest almost to nonexistence. I found it incomprehensible, episodic, and rather dull: a slog rather than a romp. I doubt I'll pick up any further entries in the series. ( )
  aliceunderskies | Apr 1, 2013 |
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Down in the laundry room with the bloody-wet floors and the ceiling-high stacks of sheets, wraps, and blankets, Vinita Lynch was elbows-deep in a vat full of dirty pillowcases because she'd promised-she'd sworn on her mother's life-that she'd find a certain windup pock watch belonging to Private Hugh Morton before the device was plunged into a tub of simmering soapy water and surely destroyed for good.
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Haiku summary
endless civil war
a brave nurse crosses the country
zombies are hungry

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Mercy Lynch is just a frustrated nurse who wants to see her father before he dies. But she'll have to survive both Union intrigue and Confederate opposition if she wants to make it off the Union-operated, Tacoma-bound "Dreadnought" alive.

(summary from another edition)

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Average: (3.97)
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