Nick's Reviews > Clementine

Clementine by Cherie Priest
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M 50x66
's review
Dec 20, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: alternate-history
Read in December, 2010

** spoiler alert ** I was a little disappointed at the lack of care in crafting the world and its components. This left too many plot holes for my taste. After all the great reviews for Boneshaker, I had expected better of this spinoff novel. I started here because it seemed like a short entry point, to try Priest's work.
I found the armored dirigibles and the 25-year war very hard to believe, based purely on the world as shown in this book. As described, these war dirigibles simply couldn't fly, and it didn't seem like the author thought that mattered. If the Civil War really did drag on for an extra 20 years or so...where was the South getting manpower, raw materials, food or any of the other necessities? They couldn't even manage to keep one observation balloon operational at their peak, so how were they building higher-tech dirigibles? The fabric alone is a major obstacle. If these things are somehow changed in the alternate world of these stories, a hint would be nice, even if the main explanation is in another book.
Key plot points hinge on people being colossally stupid for varying periods of time, like the guy who re-stole The Free Crow, an airship, to carry a heavy piece of cargo. I mean, what part of "chip off the cement and drop the weight, so you can actually fly" was so difficult a concept? And why was the main air pirate so obsessed with that ship, when given the opportunity to steal and keep a much better one?
The good part of the book was the people. I found the characters to be interesting, especially the portrayal of Boyd. I had trouble liking any of the central characters, though, when the "nice" one is a spy and killer.
This book is really a two-and-a-half, but not bad enough to round down to two stars.

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