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.
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