There are some writers who speak directly to my thought patterns. I love the cadence of their writing, the storyline progression, concepts, characteri...moreThere are some writers who speak directly to my thought patterns. I love the cadence of their writing, the storyline progression, concepts, characterizations. They write people that reflect a little bit of me – the way I see myself, or the way I want to see myself.
Cherie Priest writes people. Yes, she writes zombies and dirigibles, soldiers, and poison gas... but she also writes deliciously complicated women, who are forced to live up to their potential, whether they want to do it, or not. And maybe they're proud of what they accomplished, or maybe it's just the next thing that happened to them. She might tell us... or not.
Dreadnought is an unusual story. Once again, we're visiting the Clockwork Century by means of an odyssey. Mercy Lynch starts her adventure because somebody asks her, she's tired of where she is at the moment, and she doesn't have a good reason to say no. In fact, she has only the barest of good reasons to say yes.
Most of the time, I prefer my “for fun” novels to have a proportionate beginning, middle and end. Dreadnought is ALL middle. It has a beginning that's little more than a set-up, and a teeny little ending that gives us a teeny bit more ending for one of the characters in Boneshaker (yay!) but in this case, it just works. It's like one of the classic chase movies – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,The Great Train Robbery, or Cool Hand Luke.
These are people who drift into quickly unfolding action, and they have to react. Maybe they change and grow, and maybe they don't, but things still happen. At the end you know they have to be changed, they just have to. And like the movies, you might want to know “what happened next,” (well, except for the part where some of the characters are dead, heh,) but still, there was an ending, and it was satisfying, kind of, and when is the next book coming?
Because ultimately, there are just some writers who strike exactly the right chords in your mind, and nearly anything they write becomes pure pleasure to read. For me, Dreadnought strikes those chords. (less)
Clementine is a pure chase novel. The main story is the cross country chase of a stolen dirigible, using, naturally, another stolen dirigible. Her lea...moreClementine is a pure chase novel. The main story is the cross country chase of a stolen dirigible, using, naturally, another stolen dirigible. Her lead characters really make the story, especially the female main character, Belle Boyd. She's smart and capable, but not anachronous.
There is some world-building in the short novel, (more if you were lucky enough to also receive the bundled short "Tanglefoot," which I HIGHLY recommend,) this story is really about this single adventure, the pursuit of the Clementine.
Clementine is labeled as "The Clockwork Century #2," and although it is part of a larger whole, it doesn't suffer from reading out of sequence. Priest tells her story, whole, and if you read in sequence, you'll have a somewhat richer experience of the tale, but the previous story is not necessary to the enjoyment of this one. (less)
Steampunk with actual steam, what a concept! Boneshaker was unlike other steampunk I've read; it was not a far-future, or post-oil, or really much of...moreSteampunk with actual steam, what a concept! Boneshaker was unlike other steampunk I've read; it was not a far-future, or post-oil, or really much of a fantasy novel (in spite of the zombies!) It's really more of a "what-if..." Plus, zombies!
Steampunk and tech-fiction fans should note that Boneshaker is also a book about relationships - mostly the relationship between a mother and her willful son, who needs her help when he tries to find out the truth about his father. But never fear, within its pages are dirigibles and other fantastical devices to satisfy your steampunky little heart. (less)
Read this when it first came out. I remember starting it at about 10pm, thinking I'd read for just a few minutes to get a feel for it. I couldn't put...moreRead this when it first came out. I remember starting it at about 10pm, thinking I'd read for just a few minutes to get a feel for it. I couldn't put it down until I finished, at around 4 in the morning! This was the first Crichton book I read, and continued to read everything he wrote, up until the ridiculous "Timeline." (less)