Jenny T's Reviews > Dreadnought

Dreadnought by Cherie Priest
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's review
Nov 20, 2010

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bookshelves: read-in-2010, fiction, steampunk
Read in November, 2010

In an alternate history in which the Civil War is still raging after 20 years, cross-country dirigible transport is picking up steam (ahem) and a mysterious yellow gas is turning people into flesh-craving zombies, widowed nurse Mercy Lynch is traveling from a military hospital in Virginia to see her dying father in Washington. Her transport is the Union military steam engine, the Dreadnought, carrying a mysterious cargo that attracts Rebels and bandits... and perhaps a spy?

This sequel to Boneshaker (which I loved) was a little disappointing. The historical details were brilliant, and Mercy was a great character: intelligent and self-sufficient. The cast of supporting characters was varied and colorful. Unfortunately, in spite of taking place on a speeding train, the story moved very slowly, as the author choreographs every move made in each confrontation; and the dialogue uses dialect to great effect but there's just so *much* of it. Fantastic ending, though. 3-1/2 stars, really.
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