mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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"Bone Shaker" by Wreckx-n-Effect (68)

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest.

Brass fittings & glass;
the goggles of my mask-- ZOMBIES!
Is all that I see.

The first book of hers that I read was Fathom, which I took a little while to warm to but ended up sort of gushing over; with that in mind, I gave this one a pretty long lead, but I didn't really need to. Here is the pitch, simple as pumpkin pie (the simplest of pies): Steampunk plus Zombies. There you go, there you have it. Course, if you leave the book on the hooks the story is hung on, you don't have anybody to blame but yourself. Also in the mix are a strong female lead (who isn't strong by virtue of needing a "strong female lead" but is rather a strong lead, who is female) & a kid who manages to be the requisite teenager-brand kind of dumb-dumb, but still shows some smarts & gumption. There are a wealth of minor characters as well, & frankly I can't quite see any way out of the mess she's made but a sequel. At over 400 pages, she has plenty of room to write the yarn, but she's got a mess of big personalities in the book, any given handful of which could float their own novel.

I've read a whole passel of steampunk (dieselpunk, whatever such ilk) lately, with Leviathan, Dream of Perpetual Motion, & Jay Lake's Mainspring & Escapement. This is right up there, & here is where it excels: detail. I don't think I've ever been able to picture the clothes a character was wearing as well as here; just the simple touches of leather & beltbuckles & hats. Everybody gets enough colour swathed on them to stand out; gun-cane! Only one arm...a robo-arm! Seven feet tall! All this, that, the other thing. The inside of Seattle, over-run with Zombie-Gas (tm) & all that, is basically a Fallout game. I mean, you've got Jeremiah in his big Brotherhood of Iron mask & with his gadgets, you've got the mad scientist, the fringers, all that jazz. & of course, zombies. Back to detail: Priest doesn't let you forget that the characters are wearing gas masks, when they are. & they are, almost all the time. Hard to breath, smell of sealant, can't throw up, everything. Evokes the claustrophobia while you know what? Evoking paranoia. The "rotters" aren't a casual threat, aren't an environmental hazard you can ignore for the purpose of easy plot. Nope! Here are a couple hundred of them, running in packs at you. Enjoy, hope they don't interrupt the scene. Fun!
Tags: books, clockwork century, haiku, priest, steampunk

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