Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

PriestBoneshakerWhere I Got It: Own it.

Narrators: Wil Wheaton, Kate Reading

Publisher: Macmillan Audio (2010)

Length: 13 hours 42 minutes

Series: Book 1 Clockwork Century

Author’s Page

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.

What I Liked: Steampunk!; the mechanical gadgets; Briar’s past; the whole gas zone & underground Seattle; very satisfying end; love the cover art.

What I Disliked: Nothing – I really enjoyed this book!

What Others Think:

Fantastic Reviews


Milliebot Reads

The James Review

Respiring Thoughts

Alive on the Shelves

11 thoughts on “Boneshaker by Cherie Priest”

  1. I really enjoyed this and in fact think I bought the second one almost immediately (although I’ve still not got round to picking it up).
    Glad to see you loved it too.
    Lynn 😀

    1. My man read the next few in the series and said they were good. I really should give them a listen. I absolutely loved her book Maplecroft even tho it is quite different.

  2. I really enjoyed this one too. I should get to reading “Fiddlehead” already. It’s on my TBR pile somewhere…

    (And I agree with your man; the next in the series are good too. I’d happily recommend them and I hope you’ll enjoy them if you decide to listen to them! ^_^)

  3. Glad you enjoyed this. I read it not long after it came out, and have read the second in the series, but have yet to get to the rest, despite the fact that they are lining my shelves right now.

    Recently I checked the audio version out of the library for my wife and she enjoyed it. She already enjoys Wheaton as a reader and said she liked both narrators and thought they did a great job with it.

    1. Glad to hear another person enjoyed the audioversion as much as I did. I had the privilege of hearing Cherie Priest talk at a convention about the audiobook and she said it was great of Wheaton to step in to do part of the narration and that he was awesome to work with.

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