Aug 06, 14
Read from June 26 to July 04, 2011
All right, so maybe I should stop cursing the shelves at the library while I'm there doing printing. I picked up Clementine because I thought Priest's second steampunk novel, Dreadnought, was an improvement over Boneshaker both in its writing and storytelling. Clementine, which some at 200 pages have called a novella, falls into the middle. The writing is better than Boneshaker, but the story falls short.
Preist, in her steampunk books at least, does a much better job of defining her female characters than her male characters. Here, the former confederate spy and now Pinkerton agent Belle Boyd is the best drawn and most interesting character. While Belle seems poised for another appearance, I personally can't see Pinkerton retaining her after her actions in Clementine. She is resourceful and competent, but her true alliegances are very much in doubt despite the Confederates having tossed her aside.
What purports to be the main plot is the air pirate, escaped slave and rebel Hainey's pursuit of his stolen airship. Unfortunately Hainey and his crew are very forgettable as is the chase of their stolen the ship. The book's McGuffin is pretty much a waste, or it was for me.