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Boneshaker | [Cherie Priest]

Boneshaker

In the early days of the Civil War, rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest. Anxious to compete, Russian prospectors commissioned inventor Leviticus Blue to create a great machine that could mine through Alaska’s ice. Thus was Dr. Blue’s Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine born.
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Publisher's Summary

In the early days of the Civil War, rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest. Anxious to compete, Russian prospectors commissioned inventor Leviticus Blue to create a great machine that could mine through Alaska’s ice.

Thus was Dr. Blue’s Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine born. But on its first test run the Boneshaker went terribly awry, destroying several blocks of downtown Seattle and unearthing a subterranean vein of blight gas that turned anyone who breathed it into the living dead.

Now it is 16 years later, and a wall has been built to enclose the devastated and toxic city. Just beyond it lives Blue’s widow, Briar Wilkes. Life is hard with a ruined reputation and a teenaged boy to support, but she and Ezekiel are managing. Until Ezekiel undertakes a secret crusade to rewrite history. His quest will take him under the wall and into a city teeming with ravenous undead, air pirates, criminal overlords, and heavily armed refugees. And only Briar can bring him out alive.

©2009 Cherie Priest (P)2010 Macmillan Audio

What the Critics Say

"Intelligent, exceptionally well written and showcasing a phenomenal strong female protagonist who embodies the complexities inherent in motherhood, this yarn is a must-read for the discerning steampunk fan." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (1152 )
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4.1 (810 )
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Performance
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  •  
    DabOfDarkness Ojo Caliente, NM, United States 06-17-15
    DabOfDarkness Ojo Caliente, NM, United States 06-17-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Seattle at it's most interesting!"

    Briar Wilkes is the widow of a mad man and great inventor, the late Dr. Blue. She and her teenage son, Ezekiel, must live with the everlasting shame of the horrible disaster Dr. Blue’s mining engine (Boneshaker) caused to downtown Seattle. Blight gas was released all those years ago, turning hundreds of people into the walking dead before that section of the city could be walled off. But now Ezekiel, on the cusp of manhood, goes in search of answers and Briar is hot on his heels. Set in the 1860s Pacific Northwest, this alternate steampunk history will keep you glued to the story.

    This was my first Cherie Priest book but will not be my last. The story opens by dropping us into Briar’s life and we pick up the history as we go along. Briar has secrets and lots of folks want to know if her husband, Dr. Blue, is truly dead, including her son. Hence, Ezekiel heads off on his own to find some answers. Of course, this means going into the walled off, deadly gas zone. The folks outside the wall have so many stories about those stuck on the inside, but Ezekiel and his mom are about find out the truth of the matter.

    And that is when it gets really interesting. The folks inside are rotting slowly. And there are those who have gone completely zombie. But for the most part, there is still a society of folks trying to scrape by living in underground Seattle. There’s all sorts of requirements to staying save, taking in as little gas as possible, so it’s complicated. It was fascinating to see how this society worked, and the response to Dr. Blue’s widow.

    Eventually, Briar has to make a tough trade with guy who runs the underground gas zone. Plus she then has to decide whether or not to tell her son the truth. It was so intense! Toss in some airships, a few crazy weapons, a few handicap folks with mechanical bits, and you have a great story.

    The Narration: Wil Wheaton and Kate Reading did a great job. Most of the story is told through Briar’s eyes, so we hear more of Reading. Wheaton was awesome as a confused, somewhat angry teenager. Both had distinct voices for both female and male characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    david 04-04-15
    david 04-04-15
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    14
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    "many directions"

    the story did not seem focused at first. but it coellesked soon enough. the good narrators helped. it left an obvious opening for a sequel. which I will read want to read of course.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gray Ottawa, ON 04-02-15
    Gray Ottawa, ON 04-02-15 Member Since 2015
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    3
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    "It didn't shake my bones but it was a good listen."
    If you could sum up Boneshaker in three words, what would they be?

    Fun Entertaining Predictable


    What did you like best about this story?

    Well paced, good character development (as far as it went)


    Which scene was your favorite?

    None stand out to me but the atmosphere throughout was excellent.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Nope - but I did enjoy the story.


    Any additional comments?

    A good introduction to the steampunk genre. The story is a good one but to me it had a bit of a juvenile fiction feel. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the book and will probably listen to it again. I did leave the book wanting to know more about the fate of the characters but not quite enough for me to follow up and purchase the next book (yet).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe 03-30-15
    Joe 03-30-15
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    2
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    "Outlawsyn"

    awesomeness steam punk zombie airships need I say more I think not awesome awesome great good wonderful the best

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt Hodge 02-18-15
    Matt Hodge 02-18-15
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    10
    6
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    "Worth your time."

    Tired zombie genre with a bit of fresh ideas. Strong female protagonist makes for a compelling listen. Recommended but not in my top 5 zombie books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie Hope, BC, Canada 01-11-15
    Connie Hope, BC, Canada 01-11-15 Member Since 2013

    Science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction...take me away!

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    "Well narrated Seattle Steampunk"

    I picked this title because I like the narrators, then I discovered it took place in Seattle and had a strong woman protagonist so I jumped in.

    Good enough story about a Seattle ruined in a freak or not-so-freak accident and a mother's journey to rescue her curious son in a hostile environment. I'm not a zombie fan, but these weren't too distressing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda 12-22-14
    Amanda 12-22-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Trying to be too many things"
    Would you try another book from Cherie Priest and/or Wil Wheaton and Kate Reading ?

    Probably not.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Cherie Priest again?

    I doubt it, maybe if it were free


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Wil Wheaton and Kate Reading ?

    I was really disappointed. I really am a huge fan of Wil Wheaton and I expected so much more!


    Any additional comments?

    I hated it all. It was a dystopic, zombie, frontier, steampunk story without the clothes, romance and fun of a steampunk story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lenna Seattle, WA USA 12-17-14
    Lenna Seattle, WA USA 12-17-14 Member Since 2001

    magdalennarose

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    "loved it!"

    The female narrator put me to sleep a few times, not a good thing when driving! But as I got into the story, that was no longer a problem...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bernard 05-10-14
    Bernard 05-10-14
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    5
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    ""Zombies chasing people" sums up the plot Boring."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A plot that was half-way interesting. There were lots of hints about alternate history and other good stuff, but they were all ignored in favor of a "oh we are trapped in a city full of Zombies".

    The gaping holes in the plot were also annoying, as was attitude of the 15 year-old brat who was one of the central characters.

    I do not understand how this won the prizes that it did. I guess that some people will vote for anything labeled "Steampunk", even if that is only about 1% of the story.


    Have you listened to any of Wil Wheaton and Kate Reading ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. Their performances were just fine, though. If only the story was worth performing.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Not really, it was the first one in a long time that I did not bother to finish.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Herndon, VA, United States 05-03-14
    Kevin Herndon, VA, United States 05-03-14 Member Since 2011

    Checking out Brandon Sanderson's work

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    "1860 Zombie Book - not quite what I expected"

    The book is an okay read. The context of a gas resulting from a drilling machine punching a whole in an inactive volcano allowing a gas to come up that either kills those affected or turns them into zombie types is sort of hard to believe. If you suspend your believe, the story is interesting. The characters are pretty well developed. The story is a little weak in its development. The main protagonist could be the husband of the lead character or an impostor - but the problem here is that after ten years, what difference did it make.

    The reader is great. Does a good job acting out the various parts and makes an okay book a good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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