Note: This is a review of the audiobook, my notes on the narrators are at the end.
Boneshaker is one of the more creative novels I've read recently - tNote: This is a review of the audiobook, my notes on the narrators are at the end.
Boneshaker is one of the more creative novels I've read recently - tying together zombies, dirigibles, mad scientists, steampunk weaponry and an overall western feel takes skill to do right, and Priest definitely delivered in her world building.
The story kept me on my toes. I was never entirely sure what Dr. Blue's fate was. I thought I knew and then something would change my mind - something that happened many times throughout the book.
There was a very fun cast of secondary characters, all with their own personality quirks.
I'm interested to see how Priest continues to build her Clockwork Century world, and will be continuing with the series.
Audiobook Review The audiobook was narrated by Kate Reading (Briar's POV) and Wil Wheaton (Zeke's POV). I really enjoyed Wil Wheaton's reading on Zeke's point of view, but Kate Reading left me wanting more and she didn't quite seem to fit with the world as well as Wheaton did.
As I read through some other reviews, I note that some people complain that they couldn't connect to the main characters or didn't really care about them. I didn't feel this way, and I think the audiobook may have helped lend to that emotion that others didn't feel while reading. ...more
Leviathan is no great feat of literature and definitely falls on the younger end of the YA spectrum, but it was a fun adventure none the less.
I thoughLeviathan is no great feat of literature and definitely falls on the younger end of the YA spectrum, but it was a fun adventure none the less.
I thought the alternate-history was well crafted and adored the imaginative ideas behind the Darwinist's fabricated animals, especially the Leviathan which is an entire ecosystem in and of itself.
Keith Thompson's illustrations were a welcome addition to the book. There aren't so many that it distracted, but I liked the nudge in the right direction for visualizing some of Westerfeld's more bizarre creations.
Definitely going to finish out the trilogy....more
The Clockwork Century is quickly making it's way to the top of my favorite series list. I love how each of the books is tiedAudio Comments at the End
The Clockwork Century is quickly making it's way to the top of my favorite series list. I love how each of the books is tied to the next through character cameos, it's an interesting way to introduce the world without taking one character on an epic journey - though Mercy does go on her own epic journey in Dreadnought.
The adventure packed into this book is incredible. Whether she's warding off confederate soldiers, fighting diseased humans or healing wounded men Mercy never slows down. She's a great female protagonist that fits in well with Briar Wilkes and Maria Isabella Boyd.
Story components aside, I adore Priest's writing. I found Dreadnought to be beautifully written but not overly-flowery or otherwise too over the top. Several passages had me thinking about how I wished I could come up with the metaphors and descriptions she uses when I'm writing.
Audio Comments Kate Reading really surprised me as the narrator for Dreadnought. I had been previously unimpressed with her as the voice of Briar Wilkes in Boneshaker - but she was a fantastic voice for Mercy Lynch. I wonder if it wasn't the alternating narrators that threw off the presentation of Boneshaker. I'm definitely recommending this in audiobook if you're a listener. ...more
I was looking all over for a copy of this limited edition story in the Clockwork Century universe when I finally foundAudio Comments at End of Review
I was looking all over for a copy of this limited edition story in the Clockwork Century universe when I finally found it in Audible form. Connected to Boneshaker by Croggon Beauregard Hainey and his dirigible Clementine - both which make appearances in the first novel. Clementine also introduces us to Maria Isabella Boyd who is a quick-witted, independent southern woman who works for a detective agency.
Clementine is a fantastically written novella with the thrill of a western and all the propriety of the steampunk era.
Clementine is the second book in the series to be dual-narrated. I thought both narrators fit their part and made each of the characters come alive....more
This book didn't quite live up the expectations I had based on the first three books in the series.
My favorite parts of The Clockwork Century have beThis book didn't quite live up the expectations I had based on the first three books in the series.
My favorite parts of The Clockwork Century have been the strong willed, no-nonsense heroines. Josephine Early is the newest addition to the line-up and she didn't quite hold up for me. She was strong willed for sure, but more in a whiny 'I-get-what-I-want' kind of way. I wanted to smack her more than I wanted to root for her.
Story wise it seemed slower than the other books. It was still fun and I love how she ties in characters from all the books and I love the world of The Clockwork Century, but this one was disappointing.
Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini. Average. Was a decent performance but nothing to write home about and I wouldn't go searching for him specifically....more
As if I wasn't already enamored with Westerfeld's alternate history of World War I, this book gave meAnother fun installment in the Leviathan Series!
As if I wasn't already enamored with Westerfeld's alternate history of World War I, this book gave me more reasons to be. There are more Darwinist fabricated creatures, more Clanker creations, and a beautiful rendition of Istanbul that showcases the melting pot of cultures that were present there during WWI.
New characters Zavven, Lilit and Nene who lead the CUP in Westerfeld's novel add a great deal of heart to the book. Dr. Barlow's "perspicacious loris," a new fabricated creature made to be, well, perspicacious (which is a word I definitely plan to use in my daily vocabulary now) is both adorable and mysteriously creepy all at the same time. Now if only we knew what Dr. Barlow's plan for the war is...
There isn't much I can say about Goliath that I haven't already said about Leviathan or Behemoth, other than to say that it was a great conclusion toThere isn't much I can say about Goliath that I haven't already said about Leviathan or Behemoth, other than to say that it was a great conclusion to the series.
The series has a great setting and I would love to see more books set in the world Westerfeld has created, though I unfortunately don't see that happening....more
Note: I listened to the audiobook of Soulless, and I'll be continuing with the books in physical form. See comments at the end on the narrator.
In a sNote: I listened to the audiobook of Soulless, and I'll be continuing with the books in physical form. See comments at the end on the narrator.
In a steampunked Victorian England we have vampires, werewolves, scientific intrigue, and preternaturals - being who can negate the powers of a supernatural being. It is rare to see this many genres and ideas fused together so seamlessly, but Carriger's world is thoughtfully crafted to ensure that the components mesh very well.
The narrative is written with a Victorian flair that really brings out the setting of the story, and the characters are well-crafted.
I loved reading about Alexia. It was refreshing to have a 26 year old heroine, in a world where many heroines are in their teenage years. Not only that, but she clever, independent and not afraid to speak her mind.
My only qualm with the story was in the romance. It seemed forced and childish (in the we're-five-years-old-and-are-going-to-hit-each-other-on-the-playground-to-show-that-we-have-a-crush-on-each-other way) to me. I liked where the relationship went in the end, but it didn't seem like a believable path for the relationship to take. Ah well...
I'll definitely be continuing on with the series, I'm excited to see where the next book takes us.
The Audiobook was... okay. The majority of the narration was in Emily Gray's native English accent, and it was fantastic. She has a very high air that was appropriate for the writing style and the novel itself.
However, Lord Maccon's Scottish and Mr. MacDougall's American accent made me cringe every time they spoke. To be fair, I seem to have a problem with all audiobook narrators who use American accents and I also just listened to Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber - the narrator of these books has a fantastic Scottish accent, so maybe I'm a bit spoiled? Either way, I think I'll be continuing with this series in book form....more
I wanted to like this book, I heard nothing but good things about all over the place, and I didn't like it. I made myself finish it, but I didn't enjoI wanted to like this book, I heard nothing but good things about all over the place, and I didn't like it. I made myself finish it, but I didn't enjoy it.
The story was definitely unique and there were some beautifully written passages, but the whole thing just dragged on and felt noncohesive. I finished eight other books in the time it took me to work my through this one. It didn't keep my attention and the only character I was midly interested in was Yagharek.
It took entirely too long for the story to ramp up - two hours into the audiobook I felt like the only thing that had been established was how dirty, racist and drug-addicted New Crobuzon was.
Overall, I felt the book had an okay concept behind, but it needed a good edit and needed to be tightened up a LOT.
Unless someone has a really convincing reason why I should try again, I think I'm done with Mieville. ...more
2/5 Stars - Overall Rating 3/5 Stars - Audiobook Performance 3.3/5 Stars - Average Story Rating
If you are looking for a good collection of Steampunk sto2/5 Stars - Overall Rating 3/5 Stars - Audiobook Performance 3.3/5 Stars - Average Story Rating
If you are looking for a good collection of Steampunk stories - this isn't it. The book claims to stretch the Steampunk vision (inspired by Gail Carriger's Steampunk Vampires and Cherie Priest's Steampunk Zombies) but for me, it totally missed the mark, which is why I've rated it so low - it seemed almost like false advertising.
There were a handful of stories that sprinkled clockwork or zepplins into the mix to give it a Steampunk flair but I felt the stories could have been stripped of these references and stood as their own - not really the mark of Steampunk, in my opinion. Not to mention, I think Steampunk is equal parts an aesthetic and a mood - many of these stories felt closer to fantasy to me. Link's "The Summer People," for instance, focuses on a modern teen girl who looks after a mystical race of fairy-like beings - who happen to make clockwork toys (which happen to play a very SMALL part in the overall story). Knox's Gethsemane (as far as I remember) might have referenced a steam-powered drill and a zeppelin. There were however some really great examples of Steampunk.
Audiobook Review (2/5*) I listened to the audiobook version of Steampunk! and it was ok, as far as audiobooks go. There were five different narrators and I wish I knew who had narrated each piece so I could give a better review - I don't.
The stories in Steampunk! take place all over the world, so the accents were all over the place. Most I could deal with - but some were very thick and very fake.
Story Run-Down I'm going to do a little assessment of each story with their own star rating, if you don't want to read about each story then this is the end of the review - I'll save you a scroll. :)
3/5* "Some Fortunate Future Day" by Cassandra Clare. A quirky tale about a young girl falling in love with a wounded soldier that she rescues. The main character is pretty whiny and I didn't connect with her at all, but there were some themes that I really enjoyed.
4/5* "The Last Ride of the Glory Girls" by Libba Bray. This wild west tale about a group of female outlaws was one of my favorite in the bunch. The characters were strong and driven and there was some very interesting clockwork technology underlying the whole thing.
5/5* "Clockwork Fagin" by Cory Doctrow. This was my favorite in this anthology. It follows a group of orphans who create a clockwork man so they can control their own lives. Not only did this story have clockwork technology - it had the gritty themes of anti-establishment and oppression that I love in Steampunk.
4/5* "Hand in Glove" by Ysabeau S. Wilce. This story's "steampunk" aesthetic comes from a Frankenstein style experiment and the revolutionary idea of forensics in a small town police force. Not the best steampunk example, but I loved this story anyway. You can never go wrong with a good sassy female protagonist.
3/5* "The Ghost of Cwmlech Manor" by Delia Sherman. Started off slow, decent wrap-up but pretty meh overall.
1/5* "Gethsemane" by Elizabeth Knox. I don't even remember what happened in this story - it was that memorable.
2/5* "The Summer People" by Kelly Link. I hated that this story was branded as Steampunk and there were a lot of things that just felt unnecessary in the story.
4/5* "Peace in Our Time" by Garth Nix. Another good example of the darker Steampunk themes. This story started off quite strange, but I ended up really enjoying it.
3/5* "Nowhere Fast" by Christopher Rowe. This was the most stretched steampunk story in the bunch. Nowhere Fast is pseudo-post-apocalyptic. It's set in a world where humans live a more basic life to heal the environment of the damages done in the past. The steampunk aspects include a car built from scraped pieces, some flying machines used by the government, and some supercharged mechanical horses used by the police. Interesting concept and I probably would have enjoyed it more if it wasn't trying to be Steampunk.
4/5* "Steam Girl" Another fun story with some unexpected twists. This was the most human story of the bunch - focusing on a relationship between a boy and the new girl at school who shares her stories of Steam Girl, an alternate-reality daughter of an inventor who travels through space. Some aspects of this story were rough - but it was overall a fun read.
3/5* "Everything Amiable and Obliging" by Holly Black. This was a steampunk take on the classic question of whether an artificial intelligence can learn to have feelings and to love. Outside of this main conflict though, it was a bit boring.
4/5* "The Oracle Engine" by M.T. Anderson. I love a good alternate-history, so bringing the Steampunk idea back to ancient Rome was fun for me. This is also another good example of the darker side of steampunk. ...more