I'm a layperson who has always considered philosophy to be interesting but I've never gotten around to studying it before this.
During the first hour, I almost abandoned the book. The author spends 25 minutes desperately trying to convince the audience that philosophy is relevant and important and then proceeds to spend the next 40 minutes describing and analyzing some ancient conversation by Socrates. I couldn't help but think "If anything, this enforces my stereotypes about how far the philosophers are from real world issues".
After that, however, everything changes. The author begins explaining different schools of thought, the basic tenets, and - perhaps most importantly - their historical context and significance. The rest of the book is thought-provoking and provides a good starting point to delve deeper into the subject. (I certainly intend to read more from some of the philosophers the author recommends towards the end)
Boneshaker is an interesting mix of cool gadgets, survival horror and eccentric characters. Even so, all those elements exists simply to provide an exciting framework for what the book is really about: The character development of two very realistic people (a 15 year old boy and his mother), both of which are very easy to identify with. For the first hour I felt that the plot started out too slowly but when I now look back, I realize that it couldn't have been any other way.
This is one of the highest quality steampunk stories I've read/heard.
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