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Review: Boneshaker

The Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

Rating: A



Boneshaker by Cheire Priest is a great example of a book that's about nothing that it's actually about. The novel is set in a steampunk area; Seattle is blocked off from life completely due in part to the rampant Zombies. While stuck in the modern area of the 1800's, everyday life is completely with "airships" and other technical advancers found well before their time.

What makes Boneshaker a step above its steampunk counter parts, is not the addition of zombies, referred to as "rotters" by the people. It's the simple fact that even with zombies and airships and this whole fantastic world of steampunks, the novel does not get lost along the way.

The story is about a boy named Zeke who's trying to prove that his father, Levi, is innocent or at least, the real truth behind what happened. Levi, you see, is the reason for the rotters in the first place; having built a machine called Boneshaker and "accidentally" drilled into the Earth releasing what they refer to as the "Blight" turning all humans into the undead. The novel starts 16 years after those events; Seattle has literally walled itself in, keeping the Blight tight inside its walls.

Zeke and his mother, Brier live a seemingly poor life style, unpopular by name and generally looked bad upon. The real adventure beings when Zeke makes his way into Seattle to discover what his Mother refuses to tell him about his father. The novel goes chapter by chapter, describing Zeke's quest into the city for answers and the Brier's quest to find her son. Along the way you're introduced to a new world inside the city along with several interesting and original characters.

What I think the novel does well is it maintains the balance of suspense. There are so many unanswered questions aside from whether or not Zeke will find what he's looking for or if Brier will find her son. You are unaware of who's really friend or foe when the characters met them and the reader isn't privy to any real answers either. Instead of being annoying, the constant unknown is welcoming and makes the novel feel like a real adventure. It feels like you’re taking snap shots of people’s lives, since you aren’t privy to a lot of back stories. It leaves me hoping they’ll be more than three in this series; I really want to know more about the people and the places.

If I had to say one bad thing, it would be the ending. I’m a fan of endings without an actual resolution but I was hoping for a little more than what I was given. I feel like you get a good ending to the stories main plot lines but there is still so much left uncovered. The next two books in her series aren’t about the same characters, just set in the same universe but I can’t help but to hope we learn about some of their fates in those books as well.

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