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Boneshaker (The Clockwork Century, #1)
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Group Reads > May/June 2015 Group Read: Boneshaker

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message 1: by Alicja, ἀπὸ μηχανῆς Θεός (new) - added it

Alicja (darkwingduckie7) | 772 comments We are reading Boneshaker (The Clockwork Century, #1) by Cherie Priest Boneshaker by Cherie Priest.

Discuss here!

message 2: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 301 comments I could not read this, for an interesting reason: it is printed with dark brown ink on cream-colored paper. I assume this is to give it that old-timey steampunk look. However, there is not enough contrast for my diminished eyesight. I got through the first page and realized I could never finish reading it.

message 3: by Alicja, ἀπὸ μηχανῆς Θεός (new) - added it

Alicja (darkwingduckie7) | 772 comments Brenda wrote: "I could not read this, for an interesting reason: it is printed with dark brown ink on cream-colored paper. I assume this is to give it that old-timey steampunk look. However, there is not enough c..."

Aww... that sucks. Have you tried the ebook format?

message 4: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 301 comments I could possibly try that, but that involves another step and another purchase...

message 5: by Gary (last edited May 27, 2015 08:40PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gary | 1470 comments I picked this one up last year at some point, read the introduction and put it down again. It rubbed me the wrong way. To a certain extent, I'm sure that had to do with what I'd been reading at the time, and my mood when I started. I'm finding it a lot more palatable this time 'round.

However, I can see what annoyed me the first time. There's a lot of info dumping going on in the narrative. The introduction, of course, is pure info dump, and though it didn't get me to put the book down this time, I still found the exposition there awkward. Much of that material is covered in various ways during the forthcoming dialogue and inner monologues of the lead characters, so I don't think the intro was necessary at all; we basically get it in the story itself. I'm not sure if that Intro was an author or publisher decision.

There are good ways and bad ways to go about giving readers information, and the particulars of how authors do that might be something that stands out more to me.

The world building is the big deal in this book. Steampunk meets zombie apocalypse is a interesting mashup. From time to time I take issue with the "facts" of that world-building, but they are mostly quibbles. For instance, it seems like the existence of steampunk tech would favor the North in the Civil War, doesn't it? So, unless there's some sort of rationale for that, I don't see how that conflict would have lasted as long as she has it go on. I don't know if the Civil War is going to come into play directly (she does talk about it in the abstract) but the book could have been set at any time, so that dynamic took me out of the story for a bit.

I find some of the dialogue a bit affected. Just one example: calling a necrotic drug dealer a "dirty little poison-pushing wharf kitten" struck me as odd. He's at least a "wharf rat" right? Most of those oddities I'd put down to a world-building exercise, but a lot of them just seem extraneous.

The major characters are, so far, interesting and well motivated. I'm not 100% sure why Briar would really stay in Seattle after her family name had been so thoroughly repudiated. I'm guessing we'll get a sort of reveal later that she on some level agrees with Zeke.... We shall see.

Sarah | 71 comments I really enjoyed this book and most of the series. I hate zombies, and a friend helpfully told me roughly where I would run into them in the book so I could time those portions for daytime reading. I like the characters and the alternate Seattle.

message 7: by Gary (last edited May 27, 2015 08:45PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gary | 1470 comments She addresses my concerns about her alt history version of the Civil War. I doubt this is an actual spoiler but: (view spoiler) I could quibble, but I think that satisfies the issue more than well enough for the purposes of her novel. Extending the Civil War makes for an interesting dynamic regarding the culture and independence of her characters and the society in which they live, so I think it was a smart choice.

Some of the dialogue is stilted IMO. For intance, Zeke continually asking "Is she really a princess?" in the middle of an action sequence is probably the kind of "cute" thing that some folks might like in their entertainment. It reads as awkward and out of place to me.

When I read books I often "see" them as a film. According to Wikipedia, the book has been optioned and they are working on a screenplay:

Not to be confused with this 2013 film:

Having only got about the 1/3 of the way through, I can see a few problems with an adaptation, or things they'd likely want to change. I don't think I'd want to watch a whole heck of a lot of conversation between people wearing gas masks, for instance. So, unless they do some sort of thing like in The Abyss in which they used full face/plexiglass thing so we could see the actors, get some awfully expressive gas masks, and/or hire actors who have mastered the V for Vendetta miming in a mask, I think that might not be great to watch. There are--by my not very attentive count--three "action" sequences so far in which the main characters are masked, and lots of dialogue. There are ways around that, but I suspect they might make the Blight less menacing, so kind of a bad trade off.

Gary | 1470 comments Finished this one just a bit ago. I liked it more than I thought I was going to from the introduction, which I thought was a bit ham-fisted and unnecessary. I gave it 4 stars, though I think 3.5 is really about right.

I was a bit confused by the ending. Is the whole thing meant to be told by (view spoiler) How much of it is mean to be that version of the story? Bookending the whole novel with that character confused me. I'd need to do a reread to have a better idea, but I'll likely not do that....

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