Dan Schwent 's Reviews > Boneshaker

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
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Jun 12, 12

bookshelves: christmas-gift, steampunk, 2010

Sixteen years after Leviticus Blue reputedly robbed a string of banks and released the Blight using his drilling machine, the Boneshaker, his son Ezekiel goes back into the walled remains of Seattle, braving rotters and Doornails, to clear his name. His mother, Briar Wilkes, goes into the walled wasteland to bring him out. Can she find Zeke before Dr. Minnericht finds him?

I've got mixed feelings about this one. For one thing, the writing doesn't tickle my innards and the characters are all pretty weak. It also feels like it could have been 70 or 80 pages shorter. A steampunk book with zombies and airships shouldn't have so many dull spots. Also, there was a 35 page block missing from my copy but I don't think I missed a whole lot due to the aforementioned pacing issues. Furthermore, Boneshaker is a misleading title since the Boneshaker doesn't make an appearance until the very end.

However, I did manage to enjoy myself while reading it. I love the idea of a walled up city infested by zombies as well as the culture of those that stayed behind to live off of what was left, the Doornails. The concept of zombies being created by subterranean pockets of gas was interesting, as was lemon sap, the drug made from said gas. The steampunk tech was nicely done, complete with artificial limbs and a sound cannon. The airships were also good, even if under-utilized. Zeke and Briar's struggle to find one another was well done, even if it dragged for my tastes. Dr. Minnericht was a Darth Vader-ish enemy but the reveal of his identity was pretty good, as was his death.

I wouldn't exactly say I'd recommend buying this but if you could find someone to lend it to you, I don't think you'll be very disappointed.

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Reading Progress

02/10/2010 page 1
0.24%
02/11/2010 page 75
18.03% "Not bad so far but not awesome either."
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Comments (showing 1-21 of 21) (21 new)

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Miriam I had to work a little to get over the expectation of a different type of book that the cover gave me.


message 2: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent Miriam wrote: "I had to work a little to get over the expectation of a different type of book that the cover gave me."

I agree. The cover was very misleading. A more appropriate cover would have been Briar and the Doornails running from rotters with the image of Dr. Minnericht looming over the whole scene. The existing cover makes it look like there will be a lot of airship action.


Miriam I was expecting it to be about a girl who drove/piloted some sort of steampunk vehicle. But it was kind of cool to have a main character who was a poor, hard-working mom instead of a hot young thing.


message 4: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent Briar being a mother looking for her son is one of the few motivations that make entering a city of zombies make sense.


Miriam Indeed. Given that it didn't seem too hard to get in or out, I really wanted a stronger explanation for why anyone lived there.


message 6: by Nancy (last edited Feb 14, 2010 06:15PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy I had some mixed feeling about this story, mostly pacing issues earlier in the book. Briar was such a well-drawn character, though. I liked her guts and determination and the fact she had a hard life. I also liked that her kid wasn't a spoiled and whiny brat.


Miriam I liked this enough to read another of her books (Fathom). I would say it had similar strengths and weaknesses.


Donna "A steampunk book with zombies and airships shouldn't have so many dull spots."

This is a good way of putting it. Some of the running and hiding and chasing and searching got a bit dull because it didn't feel like it was advancing the plot much. I'd have preferred more character development instead.

I felt like some of the pacing would have worked better in a movie, but that's a common reaction for me when it comes to zombie related fiction.


message 9: by Brandon (new)

Brandon I've been curious about steampunk for a while. I'm guessing this isn't where I should start?


message 10: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent Nah. I'd probably go with The Bookman, although Perdido Street Station, which I notice you're reading, has enough steampunk elements to give you a good taste.


message 11: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Dan wrote: "Nah. I'd probably go with The Bookman, although Perdido Street Station, which I notice you're reading, has enough steampunk elements to give you a good taste."

Yeah, I'm starting to pick up on that. Really liking it so far so it may be a genre I should start exploring more.


Jeffrey Keeten I really struggled with this book for the very reasons you outlined in your review. I was BORED! too much. It was way over hyped I had a half a dozen people tell me I needed to read it. I loved the concept it just had too many issues.


message 13: by Melki (new)

Melki Whew! You made me glad I left this one on the shelf at the library.

If you want to NOT READ another book that manages to screw up the almost surefire combination of zombies and airships, be sure to ignore The Affinity Bridge.


message 14: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent Melki wrote: "Whew! You made me glad I left this one on the shelf at the library.

If you want to NOT READ another book that manages to screw up the almost surefire combination of zombies and airships, be sure ..."


Too late. I already wish I hadn't read Affinity Bridge.


message 15: by Melki (new)

Melki Well, hopefully it's not too late to warn the others.


message 16: by Lea (new) - added it

Lea Boo -- I've been wanting to read The Affinity Bridge. Really not good, huh?


message 17: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent Lea wrote: "Boo -- I've been wanting to read The Affinity Bridge. Really not good, huh?"

It's okay.


Miriam Yeah, I didn't want to throw it or anything, but it was kinda weak. Not painfully bad, though.


message 19: by Gary (new)

Gary Faint hearted praise for a 3 star rating Dan. I picked this up and read the first chapter or so in the store and then put it back on the shelf. Slow and possibly going to be annoyingly so was my estimation. You've confirmed it for me. I also wasn't mad for the Affinity Bridge either.


message 20: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent Gary wrote: "Faint hearted praise for a 3 star rating Dan. I picked this up and read the first chapter or so in the store and then put it back on the shelf. Slow and possibly going to be annoyingly so was my es..."

It was right on the 2-3 border. It had its moments. If someone gives it to you, it's probably still worth a read.


message 21: by Shovelmonkey1 (new)

Shovelmonkey1 Always nice when someone actually explains why there are zombies rather than just having to accept that suddenly the zompocalypse occurred!


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