2011 Endeavour Award Finalist
Synopses & Reviews
Nurse Mercy Lynch is elbows deep in bloody laundry at a war hospital in Richmond, Virginia, when Clara Barton comes bearing bad news: Mercys husband has died in a POW camp. On top of that, a telegram from the west coast declares that her estranged father is gravely injured, and he wishes to see her. Mercy sets out toward the Mississippi River. Once there, shell catch a train over the Rockies and—if the telegram can be believed—be greeted in Washington Territory by the sheriff, who will take her to see her father in Seattle.
Reaching the Mississippi is a harrowing adventure by dirigible and rail through war-torn border states. When Mercy finally arrives in St. Louis, the only Tacoma-bound train is pulled by a terrifying Union-operated steam engine called the Dreadnought. Reluctantly, Mercy buys a ticket and climbs aboard.
What ought to be a quiet trip turns deadly when the train is beset by bushwhackers, then vigorously attacked by a band of Rebel soldiers. The train is moving away from battle lines into the vast, unincorporated west, so Mercy cant imagine why theyre so interested. Perhaps the mysterious cargo secreted in the second and last train cars has something to do with it?
Mercy is just a frustrated nurse who wants to see her father before he dies. But shell have to survive both Union intrigue and Confederate opposition if she wants to make it off the Dreadnought alive.
"An intimate, well-crafted portrait of a nurse on a mission adds depth to this exceptional Civil War steampunk thriller, the self-contained sequel to 2009's Locus Award winning Boneshaker. Mercy Lynch, recently widowed and taxed to exhaustion by caring for Confederate wounded in Richmond, must cross the war-torn nation to reach her estranged father, who lies dying in the Washington territories. After her dirigible is shot out of the air, Mercy joins Horatio Korman, a Texas Ranger with an agenda, on the Union's famous steam engine, the Dreadnought. On their trail are desperate Confederate soldiers and a zombified Mexican legion. The battles and intrigue are entertaining, but the real draw is Priest's latest no-nonsense heroine, who comes equipped with a full measure of sharp judgment and brutal competence as well as a nurse's kind (but not saintly) heart. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Priest delivers the stand-alone sequel to her steampunk adventure--and runaway hit--"Boneshaker."
About the Author
Cherie Priest is the author of Boneshaker, which was nominated for a Nebula and Hugo Award, won the Locus Award for best science-fiction novel, and was named Steampunk Book of the Year by steampunk.com. She is also the author of the near-contemporary fantasy Fathom, and she debuted to great acclaim with Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Wings to the Kingdom, and Not Flesh Nor Feathers, a trilogy of Southern Gothic ghost stories featuring heroine Eden Moore. Born in Tampa, Florida, Priest earned her masters in rhetoric at the University of Tennessee. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband, Aric, and a fat black cat named Spain.