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Boneshaker (The Clockwork Century Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Cherie Priest
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description


Ezekiel Blue’s father committed a crime, unleashing a deadly menace into steampowered Seattle. And his bereaved family has paid the price. Now, Ezekiel is determined to clear his father’s name, risking death and the undead in the attempt.

Sixteen years ago, as the American Civil War dawned, gold brought hordes to the frozen Klondike. Fanatical in their greed, Russian prospectors commissioned Dr Leviticus Blue to create a great machine, to mine through Alaska’s ice. Thus the Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine was born. But the Boneshaker went awry, destroying downtown Seattle and unearthing a subterranean vein of blight gas. Anyone who breathed its fumes turning into the living dead.

The devastated city is now walled in to contain the blight. But unknown to Briar, his widowed mother, Ezekiel is going in. His quest will take him into a city teeming with ravenous undead, air pirates, criminal overlords, and heavily armed refugees. And only Briar can bring him out alive.

‘Adventure of rollicking pace and sweeping proportions … this book is made of irresistible’Scott Westerfeld, ‘This is a hoot from start to finish’Cory Doctorow,‘Intelligent, exceptionally well written and showcasing a phenomenal strong female protagonist’ Publishers Weekly

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Product Description


A steampunk-zombie-airship adventure of rollicking pace and sweeping proportions, full of wonderfully gnarly details. This book is made of irresistible . It totally pushed all my buttons.--Scott Westerfeld, bestselling author of Uglies and Peeps"

Book Description

"A steampunk-zombie-airship adventure of rollicking pace and sweeping proportions . . . This book is made of irresistible" Scott Westerfeld

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1246 KB
  • Print Length: 417 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; Main Market Ed. edition (8 Nov. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009WSCV30
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,617 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Steampunk and Zombies 6 Nov. 2012
If I'm being one hundred percent honest, I have to hold up my hands and say initially, I found Boneshaker by Cherie Priest a difficult book to read. Now before all you Priest fans form a steam-powered lynch mob and head toward my house with burning torches, let me take a moment to explain and hopefully this will calm your anger.

This situation doesn't happen often, in fact I can remember exactly the last time this issue did occur. When I started reading Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh, I often had to read pages four or five times before I understood what was going on. (That admission is made all the more embarrassing by the fact I'm Scottish, but I digress.)

I stress that the fault is most definitely with the reader, in both cases, not the writer. Like Welsh, Priest has written something that delivers on many levels but in order to get the most from the story, the reader must allow the novel to command their full attention.

Once I had the opportunity to sit down and properly concentrate on the novel, I was blown away by how gripping it was. Over the last couple of years I have read a fair amount of `steampunk' and I enjoy the genre, it always seems to offer endless possibilities. Boneshaker is a fantastic example and very effectively captures the pioneering spirit of America in the 19th century. I have to admit I was also pleased that there were zombies or in this case rotters thrown into the mix as well.

Set fifteen years after a man-made disaster, Seattle has become a no go area surrounded by a huge wall. The city has suffered at the hands of the Boneshaker, a huge drill that destroyed buildings and released a toxic Blight upon the unsuspecting citizenry. This deadly gas kills and then re-animates those that suffer prolonged exposure.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars All Steam and No Punk 25 Nov. 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Surprisingly, the detailed blurb for this book doesn't give much away. Most of that background info is crammed into the first couple of pages. It is presented as an extract from a historical novel, which one of the characters is writing.

This character, Hale Quarter, is one of the first people we come across in chapter one. We see the world from a mixture of his and Briar's point-of-view. Then, Quarter disappears, and doesn't reappear again in the novel. Not a particularly smooth introduction to the story.

The novel is structured with two dominant view points: Briar and Zeke. Each have their own chapters. Briar's chapters are illustrated with a pair of goggles at the beginning, and Zeke's chapters with a gas lamp. A nice touch.

I felt Priest painted Briar's character quite well. Her history, her flaws, made her more human. However, she boarded on the stereotypical 'mother who will stop at nothing' to save her child.

Zeke, on the other hand, was an incredibly annoying character. He is meant to be an older teenager, but acts more like a ten or eleven year old. He lacks a sense of maturity, and his thoughts are simple. Often, he comes across as rather dumb, and I felt almost completely unsympathetic towards him.

Whereas Briar has a much more active stance in moving the plot forward, Zeke is lead around by others, making him passive and quite boring.

All four-hundred pages of the book take place within a few days. And this slow pace often takes its toll. The action scenes are well executed and exciting, but the spaces between them are often bogged down with unnecessary description, bantering, and time-fillers. It seems to me that there is no real control over the contours of action and suspense.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 4 April 2014
I bought this book some while back and it has been sitting on my TBR pile for quite some time. Deciding that I wanted to put my feet up with something entertaining and enjoyable I decided to give this a go. Ultimately though I found this was just an okay book, the kind of thing that you may read over a weekend and then promptly forget about as you dump it in the bag for the charity shop.

I thought that there would be more action in places than there really was and this just really turned into a story of a mother looking for her son who had gone into the walled city mentioned in the blurb on the back cover. Obviously this is an alternative history novel and Seattle has been changed to write this, and I had no problem with that, it is just that this seemed rather clichéd and similar to many another tale, although not as good as some.

So on the whole if you are looking for just some average escapism then this will fit the bill, but if you are looking for something that will make you sit up and want to tell others about the great book you have just read, then this isn't it. There are much better Steampunk books on the market, but by the same token, there are also much worse.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Review - Boneshaker by Cherie Priest - 5/5 stars 11 Oct. 2013
Review - Boneshaker by Cherie Priest - 5/5 stars

I received this book as a gift. I wanted to try a bit of steampunk again, and this was happily waiting on my bookshelf.

The beginning was a bit slow, I confess. The author starts us from the ground up, which is a good way to start, and teaches us about the two main characters: Briar Wilkes and her son Zeke, who have a bit of history in the story. Briar tended to procrastinate a few times, clearly avoiding discussing some sensitive family matters with her son.

It turns out the main characters have a direct connection to the Boneshaker machine. The Boneshaker machine caused quite an incident in Seattle, unleashing a gas called the Blight, which turns humans into the undead. Seattle is walled off from the rest of civilization.

I must say the author did a very good job introducing steampunk technologies to the reader, and ensured there was a very good reason for their presence. For example, gas masks are worn to ensure people are not infected by the Blight gas, and the subsequent isolation in Seattle and the scavenging of a local inventor leads to new/steampunk technologies.

There was a lot happening in this book. There were many interesting characters and the main two characters sped through a lot of non-stop action.

I'd recommend this book to anybody who likes steampunk. The ending was good, and although unexpected, it didn't really overawe me. However the gradual build-up of the truth between mother and son is definitely enjoyable and makes the rest of the story an intriguing read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Still looking for a great steampunk novel... and this isn't it.
Story starts of promising - at least what I expect from steampunk. Big fantastical machines driven by gears and steam, airships, furnaces. Read more
Published 1 day ago by EvilEdna
1.0 out of 5 stars After reading this I was disappointed with the story
After reading this I was disappointed with the story, the book starts out really interesting with a chapter on a gold rush and people creating machines to get gold from out under... Read more
Published 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Great book well worth reading
Published 4 months ago by Jason
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good
Published 5 months ago by P K KEARNEY
4.0 out of 5 stars More please, THIS book is great.
Well written, excellent story, I would recommend this book.
Published 5 months ago by Ron
2.0 out of 5 stars It ended up feeling like a chore to read and I didn't finish it
This book starts off very well, I was hooked at first. But there is very slow development and I found myself losing interest half way through. Read more
Published 6 months ago by B. K. Stephen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great thanks.
Published 9 months ago by Mrs. M. Lewis
4.0 out of 5 stars Pity about the zombies
A very clever and imaginative. plot. A shame the author decided to throw in zombies. Surely insane cannibals would work.
Published 11 months ago by Olive Breadmaker
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing...
I had hoped for much, this being my first stab at steampunk, but was not tempted to buy after reading the sample. Read more
Published 17 months ago by dragonara
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent light read
A good light read perfect for a long journey or holiday. Very obvious Steampunk references but found those to be a little cluttered and without much purpose to story.
Published 19 months ago by claire
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