Wednesday 22 September 2010

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

Pages - 414
Published in 2009 by Tor Books.

In the aftermath of the Drill Engine's astonishing trail of destruction, a peculiar illness afflicted the reconstruction workers nearest the wreckage of the bank blocks. By all reports this illness was eventually traced to the Drill Engine tunnels, and to a gas which came from them. At first, this gas appeared odorless and colorless, but over time it built up to such an extent that it could be discerned by the human eye, if spied through a bit of polarized glass.
I coveted this book from the moment I laid eyes on it. I knew that I had to have it before all others and Father Christmas kindly answered my wishes and placed it under my tree wrapped in pretty paper and sparkling ribbon. I fell in love with the cover and imagined this book would be the one that would be read over and over again in the future. Oh how I wanted this book to be all I imagined. Alas, it was not to be! To me, this book was a complete disappointment. I am now ducking very quickly as all the fans of this book throw things at me in disgust. All I can do is apologise but I really did not enjoy this book at all.
The book sets the scene with a fictionalised chapter from a history book, explaining the reason for the invention of the Boneshaker machine by Leviticus Blue. Russian prospectors had commissioned him to create a machine that could mine through the ice. Unfortunately on it's trial run it destroyed large parts of Seattle and opened an underground cavern which allowed a deadly gas to invade the city which turned the inhabitants into zombies if they breathed it in. A wall was quickly built to keep the gas from spreading any further through the country.
The book then moves forward sixteen years to life outside the walled city. The story focuses on Blue's widow Briar and their teenage son, Ezekiel. Ezekiel is desperate to clear his father's name and decides to enter the gas ridden city to rewrite history. Once Briar discovers his quest, she follows him to try and bring him back alive.

The story line appealed to me so much, yet as I read it I found I had no enthusiasm or excitement for the story. I found the storyline took forever to get going and I really was bored with the book. It actually took me weeks to read it and I just kept plodding on. All the action seemed to occur at the end of the book. I didn't connect with any of the characters, as I just kept thinking they were daft to enter such a dangerous area, especially as there seemed no love lost from them for Levictus Blue.
After having a few weeks to think over the book, I just think that steam punk and zombies are just not for me. It is a genre that doesn't rattle my cage! I know a lot of other bloggers loved this book and I would highly recommend others to read it, but personally it just wasn't for me and I couldn't see what everybody else loved about it. I will be steering clear of steam punk for the foreseeable future.
Other reviews of this book.


  1. Such a shame when you were so looking forward to this book. I loved the cover.

  2. What a letdown! Sorry this didn't work for you.

  3. I was really excited about this one too, and Jason bought it for me during last year's Readathon. I tried to read it earlier this year and just couldn't get into it. So you're not alone! I ended up giving it to one of Jason's coworkers who is a huge steampunk fan.

  4. I do wanna read this one, but all I am saying Gail Carrigers books are nothing like this one

  5. Oh what a shame that this one didn't work for you, with that fab cover as well?

  6. Very disappointing - I guess we really shouldn't judge a book by it's cover.

  7. Steampunks and zombies don't do that much for me, either. Not every book can be your cup of tea. :)

  8. The cover is cool and the author is cool, but I've never been interested in this book. Glad I'm not missing much.

  9. Great and honest review, Vivienne.

    I'm not so sure if the Steam Punk genre is meant for me either. But I'm reading(and enjoying) the second installment of Gail Carrigers Parasoll Protectorat series now and that is labled SP. I've read that a lot of SP fans think that particular series is wrongly labled SP.

  10. No reason to duck. I, for one, loved the book and really enjoyed it and am currently enjoying the sequel. This kind of book certainly isn't for everyone and, even though I liked Boneshaker, it is a kind of book that I would only connect with during a certain time of year, if that makes any sense. I love steampunk, but it isn't something I want to read all year long.

  11. I heard lots of good things about this book and bought it sometime ago. I'm going to read it but not sure when. Thanks for your review. I'm sorry it wasn't your type...

  12. Just had to come search out your review Vivienne ;)

    See now this does speak to me, am on a real zombie kick at the moment - I don't know why - perhaps I had vamp overload? *shock, horror* Still love my vamps but finding zombies an interesting interlude.

    You might like Trekkies as the action is from the very beginning and there is quite a bit of humour in there. I've lent (loaned?) it to my nephew at the mo but if you'd like to borrow it when he's finished with it you are more than welcome.


Hiya, thanks for stopping by, it is always nice to hear what you have to say, so do leave a comment if you have time.