Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Review: Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

Summary: Cherie Priest's much-anticipated steampunk debut has finally arrived in the form of a paperback original. Its plot features the sort of calibrated suspense that readers of her Four and Twenty Blackbirds would expect.Boneshaker derives its title from the Bone-Shaking Drill Engine, a device designed to give Russian prospectors a leg up in the race for Klondike gold. Unfortunately, there was one hitch: On its trial run, the Boneshaker went haywire and, long story short, turned much of Seattle into a city of the dead. Now, 16 years later, a teenage boy decides to find out what is behind that mysterious wall. Can his mother save him in time? Zombie lit of the first order.

Review: Steampunk, zombies, and a strong woman character? What could go wrong? Unfortunately, it did go wrong. I was expecting to like this book much more than I did so I must admit to being let down.

A few people have mentioned in their reviews that this book would be better as a movie and I agree. It's a somewhat simple story that involves a lot of action and fighting zombies, perfect for the big screen, but not so much in movie format. I thought that Briar was a strong character (I hesitate to say strong female character since that implies that most female characters aren't) although she seemed on the verge of losing it a number of times. It felt like there were underlying issues with her. Zeke was downright idiotic at times in his behavior. He didn't want to listen to his gut, which got him into many messes and forced people to recognized him. I liked Lucy and Jeremiah the best.

I found it a bit hard to believe that people except for those developing and smuggling the drug lemon sap to actually live in Seattle, especially since air ships docked on a regular basis. And I know this book came before Dragon Age, but I kept thinking of the Blight in Dragon Age (awesome game). The plot moved fast enough, but it felt without substance. The ending felt melodramatic and was something of a let down when compared to all the build up so far. 


Recommendation: I would only recommend this book to big fans of steampunk and zombie fans who don't mind a bit of steampunk with their zombies.

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