Cherie Priest's Boneshaker is well-told, well-narrated, and despite the zombie gore, manages to tell a rather sweet story about mothers and sons. I decided to download this novel after listening to the first two books in the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld because I felt the need for more steampunk in my life, and I wanted to see what it might look like outside of YA-novel-world.
I was not disappointed. Both Kate Reading and Will Wheaton do an excellent job with narration, and even though they don't use exactly the same voices for the same characters, it wasn't hard to follow who was speaking because there are good cues in the text itself. Besides the quality of narration, the story arc is well-plotted and has a good mix of action and dialogue. Briar's quest to save her son, and his quest for the truth about his father, avoids schmaltz and sentimentality but is still moving.
My only caution is that you should avoid listening while eating once the action of the novel moves into the sealed-off section of Seattle. I was eating a snack and listening when zombie mayhem broke out in the story, and the descriptions of what exactly happens to a zombie's head when it gets shot made my snack much less appetizing. Other than that, which was my own fault for not knowing better, I wholeheartedly recommend this book!
With all the hype surrounding Cherie Priest's books, I was really looking forward to this one. But I was sorely disappointed by what it really is: a lame mishmash of Star Warsy "Are you my dad?" and zombies. Even the zombies were extremely uninteresting.
Overall this was a fun listen, it had potential to be great, but needed to be longer so as to further develop the characters. Zombies, guns, and action, don't expect it to be anything more and you will not be disappointed.
Seemed like more or less an excuse to trot out both the zombie and steampunk tropes. Liked the narration by Kate Reading and Wil Wheaton, but I just kept expecting more from the story. Cause of zombie curse - was left hanging. Explained in maybe two sentences. Wasn't really satisfied with it. All those buildings in Seattle had foundations, no? Why no mysterious gas released then? Perhaps I'm picking at nits.
Felt as though it could have been deeper seemed mainly travelogue with zombies and airships. If I could give it a 5/10 - that's where it would stand. Didn't deserve a 40% rating (2 out of 5) so it gets 3 stars (grudgigly at that).
And now I am sorry I do. This was really boring and if you aren't into the gimmick of the genre, you may find it so as well.
Tell us about yourself!
A solid story performed by two solid narrators. This is the book about a mother and a son with a difficult past, how the revisit this past in the slum glum zombie-infested centre of a fictitious "steampunk" Seattle and how they, by overcoming mountainous obstacles, reinvigorate their own relationship. A thoroughly enjoyable listen.
If you love Steampunk, the Civil War era, science fiction and the macob, and a bit of mystery, you will love Boneshaker. If you can believe in the probable, and not the possible. Subterranean boring machines. Gases from the earth that cause deformities. Airships, zombies, and gadgets reminiscent of the Wild, Wild West. And one of those great endings that is left for you to write for yourself. If you love all of this, you wil love Boneshaker.
Excellent performance by both narrators. They were both able to set the mood and inject their own enthusiasm for the story into their performances.
This is the first alternative history type novel that I've listened to. I wasn't sure if I would take to the genre, but Boneshaker has definately left me ready for more.
This is my first review, but I just have to weigh in to contradict some of the people who have been suggesting that the narration of this book is somehow inferior. Don't believe it. There's room for personal preference, certainly, but both narrators were excellent, and I didn't notice or mind any minor discrepancies in how they voiced some of the overlapping characters. In fact, I thought that both Kate Reading and Wil Wheaton did a great job of bringing their characters to life.
As for the book itself, I loved it. The genre lives in its own category--it isn't really sci fi, it isn't a bookified zombie movie, it isn't history, and there isn't any romance. I haven't read much Steampunk, but I'm guessing this is a pretty good example of it. The city of alternate-history Seattle lives and breathes in the story, almost like one of the characters, and you can't help but fall in love with the hellish place. The characters are realistic and interesting, and the story keeps you wanting more.
I hope you listen and enjoy!
The book started out okay, and the switch from male to female narrator was fine with me. The only problem is that as the book moved along, I just lost interest. The characters and their struggle were too generic, and the situation they were in was not explained adequately enough for suspension of disbelief. I'm a big fan of steampunk, so I probably held on longer than someone who might not be into the genre. I figure the last third of a book should keep you hooked, and this one most definitely did not.
Not a bad book by any means, but there are other books out there that better deserve your time.