Regular price: $35.93

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    423
  • 4 Stars
    599
  • 3 Stars
    377
  • 2 Stars
    112
  • 1 Stars
    38

Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    496
  • 4 Stars
    433
  • 3 Stars
    182
  • 2 Stars
    44
  • 1 Stars
    21

Story

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    323
  • 4 Stars
    434
  • 3 Stars
    293
  • 2 Stars
    92
  • 1 Stars
    38
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Katherine
  • St. Johns, FL, United States
  • 02-27-14

A zombie story in an interesting setting

Zombies aren’t my favorite thing, but I did enjoy the story and the non-zombie characters in Boneshaker. Interesting setting — a mist-filled walled-off portion of Seattle.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting story but...

I liked the story, I thought it was engaging and interesting. Wil Wheaton was great and I enjoy everything he does, but the way Kate Reading reads make me want pull my eyes out and shove them in my ears. In my opinion she gets every character wrong except maybe the jermey guy. Overall it's listenable but her parts made me want to stop listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • S
  • Chicago, IL
  • 10-01-15

Protagonist never takes agency

Briar could have solved a lot of problems right from the start by telling people core information. she also loses all initiative once she is in the walled city... asking pointless questions and never taking control.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

this is an award winner?

i'm sorry but this is just not very good. the most interesting aspect of the story, the Boneshaker device, basically appears for a split second. then there is an unfortunate novel length digression into zombie chases etc. and the steampunk element is rather unapparent also but for a few places. I kept thinking how much more i enjoyed Pynchon's underground "boat" and his "chums of chance" airship episodes in Against the Day. Admittedly Pynchon is not for everyone, but this pales in comparison and that was only one element of Pynchon's massive tome. and the narration did not impress me either, passable at best, I got so tired of it all I put replay on 2x and missed nothing, realizing only then how slow and tedious the narration was, not crisp and exciting at all. I'm sorry but a dud and have no intent to go one with any more by this author. and i think it won a nebula award or something, or was nominated, which does not speak well for the state of scifi today.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A Standard Mill and Chase Which You've Read Before

The author managed to turn steam-punk zombies, zeppelin fights and walled-off poison gas filled cities into a book that was just plain boring. Like the un-dead that populate it, the plot just runs on inertia with no spark of life.

And that's too bad because the basic elements were promising. But Cherie Priest squandered the nice setup and wrote a story which you've read many times before: two people try to find each other in a hostile land but - dang it all - they keep running into obstacles while all the time being chased by various bad guys and firing weapons.

This humorless and predictable mill and chase goes on for a long time but In the end nothing of interest is really answered. And that's too bad because there were intriguing questions that could have been explored if only the author had pumped a little more life into her book about the dead.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Pekka
  • Helsinki, Finland
  • 09-27-11

Captivating!

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • George
  • London, Ontario, Canada
  • 05-11-10

Great... but inconsistencies in voice

I thoroughly enjoyed Boneshaker. The plot was fantastic and the characters were well-developed (steampunk + zombies, what's not to like?). I only have one small quibble. The audio book used two different narrators throughout the work. This tactic was effective for the majority of the book since each narrator provided the perspective of one of the main protagonists. When the protagonists meet up towards the end of the book there is some conflict with the narration. A character that was voiced by one narrator was suddenly voiced by the other narrator. The discontinuity is jarring. It would have been worth a bit of post production to overcome this small problem in what was otherwise a fantastic read.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Orin
  • Endeavour Hills, BC, Canada
  • 05-12-10

Go with Wil or Kate, but not both

Wil Wheaton and Kate Reading are both great narrators. In this case their styles and approach to the text give their interspersed chapters more of a clashing than complimentary feel. This made the presentation feel disjointed and the unique voice and approach of each narrator to the text made it feel like there were two separate but related texts.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Excellent

I've always been on the fence about steampunk but this book is so well written it wouldn't matter what genre it was in. The characters are easy to love and the setting is detailed but not overly so. While I've had issues with Kate Reading's narratives in the past because she can only really do one male voice the way the narration switches between Wil Wheaton and Reading resolves the issue to satisfaction. Each reader perfectly suits their role. This work is one of the best all around audio books I've listened to in ages.

13 of 21 people found this review helpful