Author: Cherie Priest
Page count/Size: 416pp
Release date: 2009
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
Brimming with historical integrity (though Priest does admit to playing around with dates), Boneshaker is a Steampunk novel set in Seattle following a gold rush in the Klondikes.
Inventor Leviticus Blue is commissioned to create a new invention, the Boneshaker, a massive drill to help get to the gold buried deep within the ice. On its first use it all goes horribly wrong as the drill breaks through the ground releasing a gas, the Blight, which permeates Seattle turning its citizens into the living dead. The city of Seattle is swiftly walled up along with its dead.
Fifteen years later, Blue’s widow Briar Wilkes lives in poverty with her son Zeke on the Outskirts. Taking it upon himself to find out more about his father, Zeke runs away into the walled up city and Briar soon follows him to get him home safe.
The Blight district is filled with a myriad of interesting characters including giant Swakhammer, one armed Lucy O’gunning and the strange and powerful Dr Minneracht, who some believe to be Levi Blue. The walled city is also filled with a number of rotters (zombies).
Priest is an engaging and talented writer. Her characters are fully fledged, Briar is a strong and forceful woman and the action is plentiful. Like most modern Steampunk, this is a historical action adventure that keeps the pages turning. Well worth a look.