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Boneshakerby Cherie Priest
It's no secret that I am a fan of steampunk. For years, I have harbored a quiet love of dirigibles and goggles. So it's no surprise that it was love at first sight when I spied the cover of Boneshaker. What I found inside didn't disappoint: a zombie plague, cantankerous airship captains, a mad scientist, a rebellious teen, and a determined, gun-toting mother. Trust me, you won't be disappointed either.
Boneshaker is set in an alternate-history Seattle with deadly zombie gas! Cherie Priest may have returned to the South, but she's certainly left her mark on the Pacific Northwest. I love all of the Clockwork Century books, but Boneshaker is known and loved for a reason.
Synopses & Reviews
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 Alaskas ice. Thus was Dr. Blues 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 sixteen years later, and a wall has been built to enclose the devastated and toxic city. Just beyond it lives Blues 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.
"Maternal love faces formidable challenges in this stellar steampunk tale. In an alternate 1880s America, mad inventor Leviticus Blue is blamed for destroying Civil War — era Seattle. When Zeke Wilkes, Blue's son, goes into the walled wreck of a city to clear his father's name, Zeke's mother, Briar Wilkes, follows him in an airship, determined to rescue her son from the toxic gas that turns people into zombies (called rotters and described in gut-churning detail). When Briar learns that Seattle still has a mad inventor, Dr. Minnericht, who eerily resembles her dead husband, a simple rescue quickly turns into a thrilling race to save Zeke from the man who may be his father. 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 (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Boneshaker is a steampunk-zombie-airship adventure of rollicking pace and sweeping proportions, full of wonderfully gnarly details." Scott Westerfeld, author of Leviathan
"A fast-moving story filled with cool steampunk technology and scary zombies. Fans of science fiction will find much to enjoy here." Booklist
"Excellent characterization and a concept second to none." Fantasy
"Zombies, steam-powered technology, airships, pirates, and mad scientists.... What more could you want? How about great storytelling, compelling characters, and an interesting plot? Priest combines all of these things and somehow even more." Library Journal
Cherie Priest's "west coast steampunk Victoriana book with zombies, air ships, toxic gas clouds, mad scientists, dead folk heroes, secret criminal societies, and Bonus! extended deleted scenes from the Civil War"
and#160;In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to sand#233;ances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, sheand#8217;s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first loveand#151;a boy who died in battleand#151;returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?
Featuring haunting archival early-twentieth-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time.
Praise for In The Shadow of Blackbirds
STARRED REVIEW "Wintersand#8217;s masterful debut novel is an impressively researched marriage of the tragedies of wartime, the 1918 flu epidemic, the contemporaneous Spiritualism craze, and a chilling love story and mystery."
and#151;Publishers Weekly, starred review
STARRED REVIEW "More than anything, this is a story of the breaking point between sanity and madness, delivered in a straightforward and welcoming teen voice."
and#151;Booklist, starred review
STARRED REVIEW "Winters deftly combines mystery, ghost story, historical fiction, and romance. Excellent pacing and deliciously creepy descriptionsand#133;and#8221;
and#151;School Library Journal, starred review
"This engrossing combination of historical fiction, ghost story, psychological thriller, and straight-up whodunit moves between genres with stunning ease, maximizing the tropes of each to satisfying effect."
and#151;The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Winters strikes just the right balance between history and ghost story, neatly capturing the tenor of the times, as growing scientific inquiry collided with heightened spiritualist curiosity."
"Mary Shelley is a likable, sympathetic heroine, and through her story, teen readers will get a glimpse of a fascinating time period, made all the more real by the haunting historic photographs that pepper the novel, from soldiers in trenches to policemen in gauze masks. Part romance, part mystery and part ghost story, In the Shadow of Blackbirds makes palpable a terrifying time that brought the horror of death into the homes of millions."
"One of the creepiest (in a good way) covers of the season! What's inside, historical Y.A. set at the time of the Spanish influenza, is equally haunting."
and#151;The Atlantic Wire
and#147;Cat Winterand#8217;s debut novel is creepy good.and#8221;
and#151;The Boston Globe
"Romance fans will love Stephenand#8217;s ghostly visits to Mary Shelley, confirming that their romance is as steamy as ever. Mystery lovers will enjoy the satisfactory resolution of the puzzle. Recommend this title to fans of Libba Brayand#8217;s The Diviners."
"In this book, the passion of first love and the paranoia of the times are realistically and movingly rendered."
"Beautifully written and absolutely riveting. I enjoyed everything about this book."
and#151;The Statesman Journal
William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist 2014
School Library Journal Best Book of 2013
2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults
Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks; and when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one....
The people of Fall River, Massachusetts, fear me. Perhaps rightfully so. I remain a suspect in the brutal deaths of my father and his second wife despite the verdict of innocence at my trial. With our inheritance, my sister, Emma, and I have taken up residence in Maplecroft, a mansion near the sea and far from gossip and scrutiny.
But it is not far enough from the affliction that possessed my parents. Their characters, their very souls, were consumed from within by something that left malevolent entities in their place. It originates from the oceans depths, plaguing the populace with tides of nightmares and madness.
This evil cannot hide from me. No matter what guise it assumes, I will be waiting for it. With an axe.
About the Author
Cherie Priest made her debut with the Eden Moore series of Southern Gothic ghost stories that began with Four and Twenty Blackbirds. She lives in Seattle, Washington.
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