Boneshaker (The Clockwork Century, #1)
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Boneshaker (The Clockwork Century #1)

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3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  20,570 ratings  ·  3,018 reviews
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 wen...more
ebook, Humble Bundle Edition, 356 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Tor Books
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Michael
``Miss Eliza Bennet, let me persuade you to follow my example, and take a turn about the room. -- I assure you the anti-gravity hoverchannel is very refreshing after sitting so long in one attitude.''

Eliza was surprised, but agreed to it immediately. She unstrapt herself from her leather seat restraints and stood, careful to maintain her balance as the airship encountered turbulence. When she entered the hoverchannel, she activated the polarity redistribution magnets within her combat suit and b...more
colleen the contrarian  ± (... never stop fighting) ±
(1.5)

Steampunk and zombies and mini-apocalypse, oh my. How could you go wrong?

For starters, you could have lead characters that I never really connected with or cared that much about. Protagonists whose most active role was to get themselves into the city, and then who became fortunes of fate, as things happened to them.

I did like some of the secondary characters better, especially Swakhammer. (Though it seemed weird to me that Briar called calling him Mr. Swakhammer. It was probably meant to b...more
Nancy
Dazzling inventions, air pirates, evil bad guys, underground vaults, goggles, daring rescues, gold, Blight gas, a one-armed bartender, a princess, zombies. Oh, what fun!

The setting was vividly described and rich in details. The main characters were well developed and fascinating. Briar Wilkes, widow of Leviticus Blue, eccentric inventor, searches for her teenage son, Zeke, in a walled-off section of Seattle, where a dangerous yellow gas shrouds the city, forcing the remaining inhabitants to liv...more
Dan Schwent
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 prett...more
Brad
I dug Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker, but I wanted so much more.

I dug Blighted Seattle and the Outskirts, but I wanted more detail in the former and more time in the latter.

I dug the Rotters, but I wanted more rot, more zombie madness, and more exploration of their potential ability to communicate and problem solve.

I dug the pseudo-history and Hale Quarter, the fictional biographer, but I wanted more installments of his history.

I dug the back story of Leviticus Blue, but I wanted to be convinced th...more
Felicia
1) Best cover art I've seen in a LONG TIME!

2) Very specific style of writing that too a while to hook me. It reminded me of Red Dead Redemption in book form with Steampunk. I definitely got into it when all the zombie stuff took off, cool details there.
3) All the Steampunk stuff was awesome, and well detailed and realized. The world definitely grew on me a lot.
4) Main problem was that the characters didn't hook me until WAAAY into the book. I really feel like the main character could have been f...more
Stephen
2.5 stars. I liked the set up of this steampunk story and I thought the characters were well developed (especially Briar who I thought was great). That said, for some reason I did not get "hooked" on the story and found myself just getting through the book. For me, I would have liked to have learned more about the "alternate" world in which the book is set in and have the story tie into (or at least hint at) bigger issues to come. There were some nice tidbits about the larger world but I would h...more
Carol. [All cynic, all the time]


Started off slow, but I fully realize that was a miscalibration with the story compatibility recognizer. I don't really do the mother-hen story line, and I often get the urge to slap headstrong teenage boys. I started this on vacation in NYC, and we just weren't getting along. Plus, NYC is all busy and distracting and such. Once home, I picked it back up and had a little better luck, but soon got distracted with shinier books life. Finally opened it again today and finished the last 250 or so pa...more
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Is there anything a mother wouldn’t do to save her son? Even if they are mostly estranged and angry at each other? Would she willingly walk into a place where the air is poisonous and hundreds of zombies roam about?

Of course she would. I would, too.

That’s the choice Briar is forced to make, and it really isn’t a choice at all. Sixteen years ago, Seattle was destroyed by one of her late husband’s inventions, and she became an outcast, a poor, single mother with no one to rely on. From that poin...more
Clouds

Christmas 2010: I realised that I had got stuck in a rut. I was re-reading old favourites again and again, waiting for a few trusted authors to release new works. Something had to be done.

On the spur of the moment I set myself a challenge, to read every book to have won the Locus Sci-Fi award. That’s 35 books, 6 of which I’d previously read, leaving 29 titles by 14 authors who were new to me.

While working through this reading list I got married, went on my honeymoon, switched career and became
...more
mark monday
engaging but decidedly minor yarn featuring brave women, pirate airships, a zombie plague, and a battered & barricaded alternate seattle. the steampunk elements are of the american west variety, so as far as the atmosphere conveyed, this is more muggy days than foggy nights. enjoyable for the most part, although the highly tedious & annoying character of the son made the last third tough-going at times.

i really don't have much else to say. this was a pleasant and forgettable way to pass...more
Joel
I really wanted to like this one - my first real foray into steampunk, which I've always found aesthetically amusing, at least - but somehow, it just didn't do it for me.

I mean, it's bursting with cool stuff and sounds like it should be really fun to read: a brilliant mad scientist, an inventor of a clockwork horror that ravaged a city; an isolated alternate Seatlle surrounded by a giant wall that keeps in a deadly gas; said gas turns people into flesh-hungry zombies; the only way to get over s...more
Cassy
This was my first foray into steampunk – unless Golden Compass counts. This may not be my genre. I am willing to keep going for a book or two, but the prospects are poor. And according to the clerk at the bookstore, Soulless must be my next read.

I was on the fence about reading this one. It was officially on my to-read list, but the ho-hum reviews were making me doubt the placement. Then I heard Cherie Priest was coming to a local bookstore, Murder by the Book (great name, right?) in a week. I t...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com:]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

Ah, steampunk! The very definition of a literary subgenre, steampunk tales fit not only within the general category of science-fiction (in that the storylines usually hinge on technology that has not yet been invented), but then bury this uninvented technology within a past that never was, usually th...more
Dav
I almost stopped reading this book 20 pages in when I realized there was going to be zombies. It was bad enough that it was a steam punk novel, but OMG zombies? Um, the Bandwagon came by, and it wants its memes back. Steam punk (which is "what happens when goths discover brown") has been strangely annoying to me since it exploded a couple of years ago. Strange because I should be into it as I do dig the aesthetic, but I just can't enjoy it because it turned into such a mindless hipster thing so...more
Rob
Executive Summary: A surprisingly fun and quick read that has me rethinking this whole "steampunk" thing.

Full Review
When the novel was described to me as "Steampunk and Zombies, What's not to love?" my reaction was "Ugh. All of the above?"

I just don't "get" steampunk. And I'm certainly not big on the whole zombie craze. I've had this book for awhile from Humble Bundle 2, but wasn't planning to read it anytime soon.

I was pleasantly surprised. This is why I try to always read the monthly Sword &...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Oct 30, 2010 Shannon (Giraffe Days) rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shannon (Giraffe Days) by: Erika
Seattle, 1879. Fifteen years ago a clever and talented inventor created a machine dubbed the Boneshaker, designed to mine for gold in the Yukon. Instead, he tunnelled under the city right into the banking district, causing whole sections of the city to cave in. After looting the banks he drove the machine back through the tunnels and into the basement of his fancy home, and was never seen again, leaving his pregnant wife with the stigma of Leviticus Blue's escapade.

Not only did the boneshaker de...more
Erika
There are several really cool things about Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker: the first is the eye-catching cover; the second, that it’s steampunk; the third--only noticeable when you peek inside--is the brown- (née, sepia) colored font. Reading Boneshaker is like looking into an old Victorian photograph--the exact effect I’d want if I was writing a book to fit a genre influenced primarily by that era. This isn’t the first book I’ve read with a font color other than black (an edition of Michael Ende’s...more
Stephanie
No longer a vital city, Seattle is now completely walled off to contain a poisonous gas that now seeps from the city's underground areas after a man-made disaster caused havoc to the city center. The gas, called Blight, killed thousands of Seattle's inhabitants then caused them to be resurrected as flesh-craving zombies. A giant wall was erected to contain both the zombies and the gas.

Briar Wilkes lives with her son in the Outskirts, a dreary, poisoned place on the fringes of what used to be the...more
Jonathan
3.5 Stars

Boneshaker is a steampunk novel that promises much but unfortunately proves to be rather flaccid. The novel droops, when it should rise to a crescendo and the final revelation proves to be delivered in a way that is anticlimactic. Yet, that said, this YA steampunk still has several positives that place it a step, stylistically, above other competitors.

Cherie Priest's novel centres around an accident triggered by inventor Leviticus Blue which released a poisonous gas into a fictionalised...more
Mpauli

Arrrr, matey! Yield all ye plunder to me!

What did you say? This isn't the Red Seas under Red Skies review? Well, but I'm still wearing me pirate costume. Okay, okay...here we go. I'm a steampunkin' Sky Pirate now. So get ready to be boarded!
What do you mean with "Be careful"? Zombies? There are Zombies in this novel? A'ight, I'll bring me some muskets fer them, aye? Heads or tails, aye! Probably heads would be better with them zombies, har!

And me heard that the lovely Briar Wilkes is in town as...more
David Sven
Light and easy reading. It's Zombies and Steampunk that reads like a Western. Set in the last half of an alternate nineteenth century, this story takes us to zombie infested Seattle where mad inventor Leviticus Blue wreaked havok "testing" his new invention the "Boneshaker" - a steam powered drilling rig which he took for a joy ride underground all across town and struck gas instead of gold.



(It looks nothing like this)


The heavy gas, also known as "The Blight" killed the population with the surv...more
Wil Wheaton
Cherie (disclosure: she's a good friend, and I read the ARC of Boneshaker) has crafted a beautiful and believable world, and filled it with characters who never once rang false to me. The characters, the dialog, and the descriptive prose all come together to create a wonderful novel that is is easy to read and hard to put down.
Craig
Oh boy. What a mess. This book didn't work for me on any conceivable level. The characters were hilariously shallow, the plot contrived, the dialogue wooden and unconvincing, and the prose simplistic and boring.

I didn't understand the point of the novel taking place during the American Civil War in any way. What was that all about? The random and simplistic history allusions sprinkled throughout seem forced and don't lend a shred authenticity to the story. Rather, these either jerked me back in...more
Ellen
Oct 27, 2009 Ellen rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like steampunk and zombies
Steampunk zombies!

That's just so much fun to say.

Okay, the unexpectedly low rating on this book probably deserves some explanation. There were so many good things about it. I love alternate history where it takes you a minute to remember which things actually happened; as always, Priest makes the setting (in this case Seattle) into a character; the concept is pretty damn cool.

And yet... I just didn't care. I was moderately creeped out by the zombies, but other than that, I didn't connect much to...more
Michael Fierce
Aug 01, 2014 Michael Fierce rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Steampunk fans and anyone who likes to have fun while reading
  description

In an alternate history setting of Seattle, Washington, during the late 1880's America, Briar Wilkes, daughter of mad inventor, Leviticus Blue, blamed for the destruction and downfall of their city several years prior, enters the dangerous, walled up, toxic gas infested inner city, by airship, to find and retrieve her runaway son, Ezekiel, who's determination to clear Leviticus Blue's name - while hoping to answer who is father is - could lead him to his death at the hands of zombies or possibl...more
Jyclevenger
I wanted to love this book, I really did. Being a fan of Cherie Priest in particular and the steampunk concept in general, I eagerly awaited the release of Boneshaker. Much to my dismay, it fell well short of my expectations.

The best way to sum up my disappointment is to say that this piece of fiction would make a far better screenplay than a novel. On the big screen the nifty airships and spectacle of ruined, zombie-filled 19th century Seattle could shine, relegating the annoyingly stubborn an...more
Barks & Bites
In an alternate universe brilliant scientist Leviticus Blue created a machine that would help miners more easily locate and drill for gold. On its first test run things go awry and the machine wreaks havoc on bustling downtown Seattle, killing people and destroying buildings and several banks. But that was only the beginning of the terror . . .

Sixteen years later Briar, the widow of Leviticus, is living with the long lingering after effects of the tragedy. Toxic gasses released from the earth c...more
David Major
OK, so I know that Cherie Priest is a highly regarded author in the steampunk world. Her novels are eagerly anticipated, and her ratings on Amazon, of which there are many, are high and enthusiastic. She certainly has her fans.

I can't say that I'm one. I started Boneshaker happily enough, entering a dark world of zombies, ramshackle airships and tough broken down urban environments. It took a while for the action to start, but once it did, it was a roller coaster ride of hacking and slashing, cr...more
Ben Babcock
Cherie Priest comes highly recommended to me from many people whom I respect; Boneshaker has been lauded most of all of her books. I couldn't fathom Fathom, and that made me apprehensive about my next Priest experience. Boneshaker had two difficult tasks: it had to live up to the expectations heaped upon it by so many others, and it had to be better than Fathom. In both respects, it succeeded, and I have no reservations about declaring Boneshaker a fine novel.

There's a certain fullness to the st...more
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CHERIE PRIEST is the author of over a dozen novels, including the steampunk pulp adventures The Inexplicables, Ganymede, Dreadnought, Clementine, and Boneshaker. Boneshaker was nominated for both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award; it was a PNBA Award winner, and winner of the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Cherie also wrote Bloodshot and Hellbent from Bantam Spectra; Fathom and the...more
More about Cherie Priest...
Dreadnought (The Clockwork Century, #2) Clementine (The Clockwork Century, #1.1) Ganymede (The Clockwork Century, #3) Bloodshot (Cheshire Red Reports, #1) Four and Twenty Blackbirds (Eden Moore, #1)

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“She was thirty-five, and she did not look a minute younger.” 9 likes
“In California there were nuggets the size of walnuts lying on the ground—or so it was said, and truth travels slowly when rumors have wings of gold.” 6 likes
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