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
This book was really hard for me to rate, but I finally decided on 4 stars. There were some things that were exceedingly well done and some aspects thThis book was really hard for me to rate, but I finally decided on 4 stars. There were some things that were exceedingly well done and some aspects that were not, but overall I was impressed with this book and felt that it was better than my average 3 star rating.
I'll start with the cons.
Exposition. Exposition. Exposition. The world of Terre d'Ange is hugely complex - it's religion, it's politics, it's cultural groups. It's a beautiful world (of which I will speak on more later) but the beginning of the novel is a huge information dump. There are so many things to keep straight and people to remember that the first 30%-ish was really dry and difficult to get through. To put the amount of exposition into perspective, the first third of the book takes Phedre from a young child to 16-or-so while the last two thirds take place over the course of about a year.
So many characters. Part of Kushiel's Dart is a huge political game for the throne of Terre d'Ange. Scattered throughout the book you meet tons of nobles and it's very difficult to keep track of who is good and who is bad and where you remember that guys name from.
Fluffy Prose. Carey's prose is super fluffy. I think there were several sections that could have been cut down considerably to help the prose flow better.
Now for the pros.
World Building. Terre d'Ange and it's surrounding countries are beautifully conceived. Kushiel's Dart takes place in an alternate history where the blood of Jesus Christ, the tears of Mary Magdelene and the womb of Mother Earth birthed a child named Elua. Elua and a group of angels who chose to fall from heaven to be his companions are the deities of the world. The story also takes place within what we know as Europe - with Terre d'Ange being a representation of France. I was really impressed with Carey's ability to take inspiration from the cultures and ideas we know and create such a world that was unique and didn't scream "HEY I'M FRANCE."
Character Development. Though not all characters have the same amount of growth, I thought that both Phedre and Joscelin learned a lot through the course of their journey. Not only did the grow, but their growth was natural - due to the nature of Joscelin's growth (which I will not spoil), I was afraid that it was going to be an abrupt change, but I thought it was very well handled.
I have more cons than pros, but I'm still sticking to my 4 stars. I really had a fun time with this book, and I can't look past how well crafted the overarching story and culture was. I've put the series on my "rainy day" shelf. I'm not jumping at the bit to read the next in the series, but it is a world I could see myself returning to in the future....more
This book did not impress me, which makes me sad because I have been wanting to read some of Harry Turtledove's alt history for some time. I'm hopingThis book did not impress me, which makes me sad because I have been wanting to read some of Harry Turtledove's alt history for some time. I'm hoping this is a reflection of this being a novel geared towards young adults - if anyone can reassure me, please do in the comments!
In the Crosstime Traffic series, the main timeline has discovered a way to move between alternate histories and Crosstime Traffic is an organization that sends employees to live in alternate histories and collect resources to use in the main timeline. Which this is an interesting concept, the execution was not impressive. The characters spend a good half of the book telling the reader about the various differences between the alternate Roman Empire and the historical Roman Empire rather than showing us how this Roman Empire works. I could see the merits for this to get a younger reader interested in history, but as an older reader it felt a bit dumbed down.
My other pet peeve while reading this book was the varying PoVs. The two main characters are brother and sister Jeremy and Amanda. There were a few PoV switches that were very awkward and it took me a minute to realize the PoV had changed. Most of them were smoother, but it gave me a bad taste early on.
There were also some small yet obvious editing errors. Such as a passage where Amanda was talking to Amanda (one of which was another character NOT named Amanda).
I read this book along with the Vaginal Fantasy Hangout. The romance thing is not my normal cup of tea and when I first finished this book I was fairlI read this book along with the Vaginal Fantasy Hangout. The romance thing is not my normal cup of tea and when I first finished this book I was fairly neutral about it - but after thinking about and discussing the past few days I've decided to bump it up to 4 stars.
The book started out slow. I was a 30-40% into the book before I really started to enjoy it and then I finished it in one sitting. It wasn't overly well written, there were some grammatical errors and an over abundance of the word "shag" - which did nothing but make me thing of Austin Powers.
It was confusing to get into. She starts off painting a picture of this world and dropping terms like "frenzy," "bounder," and "bugger" without really telling us that they mean. She eventually explains and opens it up and the tactic works for the book, but did give it a bit of a learning curve.
Character development was a pro and a con for me. The characters both developed over the course of the book and I loved the way their relationship turned out in the end. But it wasn't until I really read between the lines and thought about why the characters were the way they were that I really appreciated how they grew through the story. The intention was there to make really dynamic characters was there, but I felt that in some ways the development could have been a bit more obvious through the course of the book.
All in all it was an enjoyable read, and if I ever get to the point where I feel as though I have time to re-read, I can only imagine this book being better on the second read through.
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
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...
This novella was published in the MMP edition of The Iron Duke that I read. I read it immediately following completion of the novel and I really enjoyThis novella was published in the MMP edition of The Iron Duke that I read. I read it immediately following completion of the novel and I really enjoyed it.
The novella takes place 8 months after the marriage of Mina and Rhys and revolves around the emotions they are both feeling as they adjust to family life. The novella was more romantically driven than the novel and I think it made for a much better ending to their story than the somewhat abrupt ending of the novel. It also delves into some much wanted details about why Rhys is the way he is that made me like his character even more.
If you've read The Iron Duke - this is a must read!...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
I loved the alternate history world that Meljean Brook created in The Iron Duke, so I was excited to finally get back into this series.
In The Iron DuI loved the alternate history world that Meljean Brook created in The Iron Duke, so I was excited to finally get back into this series.
In The Iron Duke, Yasmeen threw Archimedes Fox off of her airship after he tried to take it from her, so I was really curious about how their relationship was going to get from that to the kind of relationship that always happens with the two characters named on the back of a romance novel. I was not disappointed.
Neither Yasmeen nor Archimedes are typical romance characters, but they totally fit here and I love how their characters play off each other. ...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
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
This is a cute short starring Constable Newberry, who appears in The Iron Duke as Mina Wentworth's bodyguard. Fun backstory, but nothing super imperatThis is a cute short starring Constable Newberry, who appears in The Iron Duke as Mina Wentworth's bodyguard. Fun backstory, but nothing super imperative to the overall story. ...more