Boneshaker by: Cherie Priest

Book: Boneshaker
Author: Cherie Priest
Genre: Fantasy


Cherie Priest’s much-anticipated steampunk debut has finally arrived in the form of a paperback original. Its plot features the sort of calibrated suspense that readers of her Four and Twenty Blackbirds would expect.Boneshaker derives its title from the Bone-Shaking Drill Engine, a device designed to give Russian prospectors a leg up in the race for Klondike gold. Unfortunately, there was one hitch: On its trial run, the Boneshaker went haywire and, long story short, turned much of Seattle into a city of the dead. Now, 16 years later, a teenage boy decides to find out what is behind that mysterious wall. Can his sister save him in time? Zombie lit of the first order.

 Why I read this book:

I had heard good things about this steampunk book and one of the members of my writing group highly recommended it. I purchased it for my Ipad and read it while doing cardio at the gym.


Maybe it was because I only read this book at the gym and therefore it took me almost a month to get through it that I found it kind of had a slow pace.

The story rotates POV between the Mom and her son Zeke.  Zeke for all intents and purposes is a 15 year old boy who reads like a 12 year old boy.   I would expect these antics from a 12 year old out to prove his family’s innocence, but from a 15 year old I would just expect them to stop caring and move on with the selfishness.  At 15 I would have expected the boy to have more bravado and to not lean on those around him so much for help.

The Mom, Briar, is kind of okay.  It bothered me the secret that she kept.  Coming to the end and getting it all revealed sort of felt uneventful.  If your main POV insists that a man can’t be her husband and she is deadest in her ways that he isn’t her husband without giving concrete answers then the whole plot of is this your husband and trying to get the reader to believe that it is to create dramatic tension really doesn’t measure out so well.  At least not with me.  I believed her.  I suspected what was the truth.  Trying to convince me otherwise, well that didn’t happen.

It’s an interesting concept for a book.  Zombies in a steam punk San Francisco setting. Parboiling the plot down to a Mother/Son relationship and their family members who ticked off the whole mess to begin with. But overall I didn’t find it earth shattering.  The science of it doesn’t quite measure up and the story isn’t so completely moving that I can look past this and just let it go.

Final Thoughts:

I felt mostly underwhelmed by this story.  I wanted it to be great, but instead I felt like we were going on a wild goose chase with the authors hand firmly in the story to see it leading us where she will, without the characters being able to take off and be themselves.   It had potential but personally the outcome at the end felt flat and wasn’t worth the hassle of the rest of the story.

Rating: 6/10


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