Tracy Riva's Reviews > Clementine

Clementine by Cherie Priest
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Clementine
by Cherie Priest
copyright 2010 by Cherie Priest, published by Subterranean Press, PO Box 190106, Burton, MI 48519 http://www.subterraneanpress.com ISBN 978-1-59606-366-2 available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble for $4.99 for the eBook

Clementine is the second installment set in Cherie Priest’s “Clockwork Century” world. It is a world where the American Civil War still continues, great and terrible machines are being made and the city of Seattle, Washington is walled in and quarantined.

Clementine picks up the story of Croggon Hainey, a runaway slave who years before stole a Union war dirigible he renamed the Clementine. The Clementine is stolen so Hainey sets off in another stolen airship to try to recapture the Clementine and a race across the country, from Seattle, Washington to Louisville, Kentucky is on.

As Hainey races to recapture the Clementine, Maria Isabella Boyd, better known as “Belle” Boyd, a former Confederate spy has just gone to work for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, her job, to make sure the Clementine makes it safely to her destination. She’s given the information that Hainey, a man wanted by the Confederacy Belle used to serve, is hot on the Clementine's tail. Belle is given a free hand to deal with Hainey any way she wants, including turning him over to her former pals within the Confederate Army.

Clementine is a really good read, although I didn’t like it as much as the first Clockwork Century novel Boneshaker. There is plenty of action in Clementine, but I didn’t feel as though there was enough tension in the book. It’s there in places, but it builds and releases coming to only a moderate climax at the end of the book. I personally prefer novels that continue to build their tension throughout the book without any of the periodic drop-offs that I experienced while reading Clementine.

I really enjoyed the characters in Clementine and the interplay that takes place between them. I was already slightly acquainted with Croggon Hainey through Boneshaker. To me he is the Civil War equivalent of a Rambo, rushing in guns blazing saying to hell with the consequences. He knows he wants his ship back and he’ll run over anyone or anything that gets in his way.

Clementine is worth the time it takes to read it. It’s relatively short. It’s fun and it’s a definite must read if you are a fan of Priest and her Clockwork Century world.
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