Sharon's Reviews > The Boneshaker

The Boneshaker by Kate Milford
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's review
Aug 27, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: juvenile-fiction, supernatural, historical-fiction

Not to be confused with the similarly steampunk Cherie Priest book. In a way I feel like this book was tailor-made for me with all its pieces: Natalie is a young girl interested in automata and the bizarre stories her mother has always told about their small town, Arcane, circa 1913 : including the classic American Jack tales and a tale about an old man in town who met the devil at the crossroads. When Dr. Jake Limberleg brings his mysterious traveling medicine show into town, Natalie uses her knowledge of machines and her town's residents to realize something eerie is going on, and to expose them for the menace they are.

There were moments I loved in this book more than I have loved anything in children's literature recently---really brave, ambitious, and beautiful moments, where the horror of discovering the reality behind stories you've been told your entire life seemed to gel perfectly with the horror of growing up. That's why it's with a heavy heart that I say the book as a whole never really gelled or coalesced for me, and several other areas just seemed to drag with florid description. Still one of the more interesting and unique books I've read this year, but not everything I had hoped it would be after geeking out over the original description.

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