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
"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)
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.
Huntress of Dirty Socks
Good story, but I found the switch of narrators distracting. In some books it works well ("The Help" comes to mind) but not this one. There was just no reason to justify it.
Of the two narrators I found Wil Wheaton's reading preferable and I think I would've enjoyed it more if he'd read it all the way through.
Reading's reading (dang... I'm probably the millionth reviewer to use that phrase) makes Briar's personality too drained and dispirited to listen too for very long.
Probably try it. Maybe the author hits their stride later on. The readers were great.
The characters were largely uninteresting and the steam-punk and zombie elements seemed to me like the author had written a late 19th century novel and their publisher asked, "Say... Zombies and steam-punk are big now. Think we could throw some of those in?"
Also the characters were kind of one dimensional. Each of them felt like they could be defined in a single paragraph and a short one at that. No one displayed any complex emotions or ever seemed to be more than just a card-board cut-out of a person.
I liked this book, but with some reservations. I am not a fan of the genre (this is my first steampunk and first zombie book), but my mind was open. I felt that the story was good enough and the main characters were believable. I also felt that Kate Reading phoned it in a little (or her accent was just weird) and that Wil Wheaton just didn't click for me. If I were to change something to improve the story I would like for the characters to enter the city sooner and for Mrs Blue to go to the bar immeadiately (so we know by contrast that her son is in deep trouble sooner). Also the Doctor could have twirled his moustache some more, I felt.
Here's the book that totally turned my mind around about Steampunk. It even had zombies and for once they did not make me yawn.
But in contrast to many other stories this one does not rely on witty comments about stiff Victorian gentlemen or basic romantic plot. Its about family or rather about a mother and her son with a long unspoken history lurking somewhere in the past.
The world, characters and nuances feel very real and plausible. People are actual persons and the absence of absolute good and evil feels very good for a change.
I swore to myself a long time ago that I would never read any steampunk novels or any zombie novels, yet here is a novel with both. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed this book. Living in Seattle it was prertty cool reading about the history of the city and seeing how the changed it.
I remember hearing about this book when it forst came out but I kept putting it off... well after audible had it on one of there monthly sales I finally got around to picking it up. Now I see what the buzz was all about, and I wish I had not waited so long to pick it up. I hope the rest are as well written.
I also loved the Narration of the book.
I loved the mix of Steampunk & Zombies.
I've never read the printed book, but I find many of the modern Audio books better then the printed book. Older audio books were dry reads but today we have more voice acting done. They are almost to the quality of a radio drama. I wouldn't say this one goes that far but the narrator does well with the accents and subtle voice changes for different characters. Wil Wheaton and Kate Reading brings the characters to life. If you don't have a mind that will give them 3D from reading a audiobook may and in this case Wil Wheaton and Kate Reading did just that.
I think this book was very good for the first in a series. I can't wait to get to the second book. I've always found the weakest book in a series is the first book. From the fact the writer becomes better at writing to the fact that we already know much of the back ground story. Sadly this isn't true of Movies.
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