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Clementine (The Clockwork Century)
 
 

Clementine (The Clockwork Century) [Kindle Edition]

Cherie Priest
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Maria Isabella Boyd's success as a Confederate spy has made her too famous for further espionage work, and now her employment options are slim. Exiled, widowed, and on the brink of poverty...she reluctantly goes to work for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency in Chicago.

Adding insult to injury, her first big assignment is commissioned by the Union Army. In short, a federally sponsored transport dirigible is being violently pursued across the Rockies and Uncle Sam isn't pleased. The Clementine is carrying a top secret load of military essentials--essentials which must be delivered to Louisville, Kentucky, without delay.

Intelligence suggests that the unrelenting pursuer is a runaway slave who's been wanted by authorities on both sides of the Mason-Dixon for fifteen years. In that time, Captain Croggon Beauregard Hainey has felonied his way back and forth across the continent, leaving a trail of broken banks, stolen war machines, and illegally distributed weaponry from sea to shining sea.

And now it's Maria's job to go get him.

He's dangerous quarry and she's a dangerous woman, but when forces conspire against them both, they take a chance and form an alliance. She joins his crew, and he uses her connections. She follows his orders. He takes her advice.

And somebody, somewhere, is going to rue the day he crossed either one of them.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 324 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Subterranean Press (25 Sep 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0044KMPM8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #158,860 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good short read 8 Mar 2011
By simon211175 VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
This is an interesting, fast-paced story that was quite enjoyable to read. It's set in the same time line as the excellent Boneshaker (Sci Fi Essential Books), but takes place outside Seattle and has no dealings with the Rotters. If you enjoyed Boneshaker, you should read this, but if you haven't, I'd recommend reading that first - as it's both good and makes some of the references in this one make sense.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Such a fun read! 11 Sep 2013
By Luke
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Cherie Priest would have to be one of the best writers of this generation, and this book certainly doesn't disappoint. Read it, you'll enjoy every word!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great 22 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read the first in the series and was hooked, ill be reading my way through the whole series without a doubt. Very well written.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Boneshaker side story 15 Mar 2013
By grags~1
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although not officially part of the Boneshaker series of books, this side story of Mercy, a character that appears in later books in the series, could easily sit within the series and brings insight to several of the later charachters and provides background to other aspects of the stories. Excellent read and highly recommended
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  41 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A steam-powered wild ride through the sky 6 Aug 2010
By The Mad Hatter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Cherie Priest's second long-form entry Clementine in The Clockwork Century world follows a side story from the Hugo nominated Boneshaker (Sci Fi Essential Books), which just happens to be one of my favorite reads from last year. Having read Boneshaker isn't necessary to enjoy Clementine, but it does add to some of the references made.

The story flips between two perspectives which are both uniquely idiosyncratic and well developed in their own right. The stars are airship captain and escaped slave Croggon Hainey and former confederate spy and patriot Maria "Belle" Boyd. Both are something of a living legend or menace in this world depending on what side of the fence your are viewing from. Neither take crap from anyone.

Croggin is chasing after his airship the Free Crow, which was nefariously stolen from him in Seattle. Belle is sent to ensure the Free Crow reaches its destination without Croggin's interference. Belle is actually based on a true person of the same name who acted as a spy for the Confederate army. Priest builds on her history to create a very determined and dangerous character very much true to life. Clementine's greatest strength is the dialog of the main characters. Each has their own style that colors the characters perfectly.

Clementine is a much more subtle story than Boneshaker, but it is no less enthralling as every chapter moves at a brisk pace. Airship fights, spies, thieves, and giant guns all make Clementine a seriously steam-powered wild ride through the sky, which showcases a larger part of Priest's Clockwork Century fractured North America. The war of the North versus the South is still on going in the late 19th century filled with steam-powered weaponry and mad scientist trying to turn the tide of the war one way or the other.

I did feel Cherie had to rein herself in with the book to keep it to novella length as she clearly loves this world and its inhabitants. Hopefully, she'll treat us to more with Belle and Croggin. Belle definitely has an adventure left for here. I kept expecting more of a intimate relationship to develop between Croggin and Belle, but things do seem to have been left open somewhat in that regard. The story arc does complete itself rather well with a fitting culmination and a few surprises along the way. We also learn being a Mad Scientist doesn't necessarily mean they are a bad scientist.

Priest is gives us glimpses of a world that is wide and wild in a story that hardly touches the ground. Clementine shows off the southern flair that Cherie has become famous for, but will please even hardened Steampunk fans with her ingenuity at keeping everything fresh and yet historically stylized. Cherie still has a lot more in store for us in The Clockwork Century including at least two more shorts and the next full length novel Dreadnought, which Tor will be releasing this September. She is definitely earning the moniker as the Queen of Steampunk, but she may have to duel it out with Gail Carriger in some sort of no holds-barred battle royale.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent short steampunk novel 1 Oct 2010
By R. Newnham - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I just finished reading Clementine by Cherie Priest, which I downloaded and read on my Kindle reader. This was a fun, although short, followup to Boneshaker. Reading Boneshaker is not necessary to enjoy this novel, but it helps to set the context. There are a few characters that will be recognized. The story follows two primary protagonists, Belle Boyd (a former Confederate spy) and Croggon Hainey (an airship pirate who appeared in Boneshaker). The story starts with Hainey pusuing his stolen dirigible, which the thieves have renamed to Clementine. Boyd was just hired by the Pinkerton detective agency, and her mission is to see that the cargo the thieves are transporting arrives at its destination... and, if she so desires, an opportunity to capture Hainey, a fugitive slave whose capture may buy her favor with her former employer, the Confederacy. The two eventually cross paths, and start a wary partnership. It is a great ride. The book is pretty short, but the Kindle price reflects that. I highly recommend reading Boneshaker and folowing it up with this.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another Entertaining Clockwork Century Story 9 Sep 2012
By Timothy C Allison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Clementine is a short novel that takes place in Priest's Clockwork Century universe. Since these are all more shared worlds novels than continuing storylines, it is not necessary to have read the other novels in order to understand Clementine. That being said, the world building of the other novels does add to the enjoyment of this one.

Clementine is a lean, mean adventure novel. While there is a small supporting cast, Priest focuses on two main characters. Pirate Croggon Hainey is determined to get his airship back. He's willing to undertake a violent cross-country chase if that's what it takes. Belle Boyd, former Confederate spy turned Pinkerton agent, is assigned to stop him and make sure that the ship's cargo arrives in Kentucky.

Priest's narrow focus means that the short length of this novel does not work to its detriment. She develops the two protagonists and has plenty of room for their fast paced adventures. The plot moves swiftly, & is surprisingly compelling given its simplicity.

While not as significant as Priest's other Clockwork Century novels, Clementine is an entertaining read and adds more depth & texture to the world she has created.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing but readable followup to Boneshaker 15 Dec 2011
By Mike - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Hainey, a free slave in this alternate version of the late 1800's where the Civil War has dragged out nearly two decades, has a brief but memorable part in Boneshaker. Enough so that I was very much looking forward to reading the story of his stolen ship treated in this sequel. Boneshaker paints him and his zeppelin flying cohorts in the Han Solo, neutral pirate/smuggler vein of character, but what we get here is a little different, and ultimately unsatisfying.

From the start, when Maria is introduced as the Pinkerton detective assigned to reel him in, it is made clear that Hainey has done some bad things to earn his reputation - bad enough that Maria's orders are clear, she may slay him or capture him and return him to the South, whatever she wishes so long as he doesn't get back his stolen ship. These two characters are what the story revolves around, and halfway through they fall flat.

*** SPOILERS ***
Hainey's fall from the reader's grace occurs when he mows down in cold blood a crowd of dockyard workers, men whom are only trying to prevent his crew's theft of a docked zeppelin. He doesn't fire at their feet or scare them into submission, any of the usual tropes we normally indulge an author. It is really hard to sympathize with this character after that point - there's a fine line between Han Solo mowing down Imperials, and a man mowing down innocent dockhands. There is a similar killing of an innocent Chinaman in Boneshaker, and Priest handles that scene and its aftermath very well. She makes it a very revealing moment for both characters involved. Priest breezes past Hainey's murders under the guise of self/crew-defense, and it is simply not consistent with the character we had seen or hoped for up to that point - there is no regret or guilt felt. Priest had hinted that Hainey deserved his reputation, but its ultimately a disappointment to the reader. It was difficult to care about whether or not he got his precious ship back after that point.

Maria is a more consistent disappointment. The book builds up to her showdown with Hainey, and when it happens its smack-dab in the middle of the ship theft, where the two join in the mutual escape with their lives. The resulting truce between them is logical, but the showdown is awkward in many ways and a letdown. Rarely does the author examine Maria's motivations - despite having worked for the Confederacy, you never once hear her thoughts on slavery, or on Hainey and what she would've ultimately done with him, had a certain plot device threatening the South not changed her goals. She comes off very flat and only marginally gains any sympathy as a character, in stark contrast to Briar Wilkes, the mother hellbent on finding her son in Boneshaker. The layers of story just peel off Briar as Boneshaker progresses, ending with a fantastic reveal at the end, but Maria remains an unrewarding cipher from start to finish.

Likewise, there is no reveal for Hainey and the story of his precious Free Crow. He wants it back, that's the story. We learn less than a paragraph about it beyond what we got back in Boneshaker. Speaking of the zeppelins, Priest can be forgiven for glossing over details in the first book where they are a sideline to the story, but Clementine should have painted in that sketch. I still have no idea how to picture these things - are warships entirely armored, including the gas bags? They seem to operate more as jet airships than they do as floating airships, which gets hard to picture. Is the reader really supposed to take seriously a tense scene where a pistol shot from an expert marksman at close range may miss and ricochet to explode the hydrogen tanks, just pages after a scene where a poorly controlled shoulder-mounted Gatling is fired among them? There are similar inconsistencies that mar Boneshaker but here they added up just enough to keep me from buying into the world and enjoying the ride.
4.0 out of 5 stars If you can get your hands on this, it's one wild dirigble ride! 29 Nov 2010
By Christina (A Reader of Fictions) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
First of all, I have to mention how difficult it was to figure out what was up with this book. I checked my book sites when I was starting to read Dreadnought and they all said it was book three in the series. But where's book two?, I wondered. I checked my local library (nope), I checked Barnes and Nobles' site (uh uh) and I checked Amazon (yes, but only if I want to pay fifty bucks for a two hundred page book. A little more research turned up the fact that for some reason Tor did not want to release the second book, so it went somewhere else, thus the lack of availability and the expensiveness. At any rate, since I cannot stand to read series out of order, I purchased the Kindle copy for $2.99, which seems to be the only realistic way to read this book. Crazy!

The story was, as mentioned before, fairly brief. It should not have been in any other way. As it is, it sets and maintains a good pace. It fills a bit of a gap from the first book. It's nice to see an author following a dangling plot thread, rather than leaving you wondering why his ship got stolen in book one other than to give a bunch of airmen a reason to be on the scene in Seattle. Much like in the first book, the characters still lack a bit of depth, but they are slightly improved.

The best thing about Cherie Priest's books though are her kickass women. Maria Boyd, in my opinion, puts the ladies of Seattle to shame, because she is smart, strong and willing to do whatever she has to in order to get her way. Action and gunfights abound and Maria is often right in the middle of them.

Fun bit of wordplay:
"'That's big of you,' Maria said dryly.
'I'm glad you approve,' he responded with equal lack of humidity."
Oh, that's great. Lack of humidity! It's such a terrible joke (which is why I love it)!

A fun second book for the series, quick and easy, like sorbet or crackers to cleanse the palette after a course in a meal or wine tasting.
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