Beth Cato's Reviews > Clementine

Clementine by Cherie Priest
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's review
Apr 10, 12

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bookshelves: in, 2010, fantasy, steampunk, historical, fiction, clockwork-century
Read in September, 2010

Boneshaker, Priest's first book of her Clock work Century series, set an awfully high standard. It used the background a steampunk-style Seattle overrun by noxious gas and zombies, all while the Civil War continues to ravage the rest of the United States well into the 1880s. Clementine takes place immediately after the first book, though following different characters across the country. While I enjoyed the setting, the emotional punch simply wasn't there. Part of the appeal of Boneshaker was the sense of danger with every step, especially as a mother sought out her missing teenage son in the ruins of Seattle. No such motivation drove this plot.[return][return]Clementine is a short action-adventure novel involving dirigibles, a former-Confederate spy named Belle Boyd, and a escaped slave pirate who just wants his flying ship back. The characters are fun, but the stakes didn't feel high enough. It was implied that Very Bad Things could happen, but nothing did. Belle Boyd and Captain Hainey are both ruthless and shrewd, but not endearing in the slightest.[return][return]In all, it's not a bad story, but it doesn't have the luster of the first book. Maybe I set my expectations too high. If you enjoy steampunk and alternative histories, it's a good read--but wait until it's out in paperback.
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