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Ganymede (Clockwork Century 3) Paperback – 14 Nov 2011

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Paperback, 14 Nov 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; Original edition (14 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780765329462
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765329462
  • ASIN: 0765329468
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 833,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"Boneshaker" is without a doubt Cherie Priest's breakthrough work: this hollering, stamping, crackling thing is the best fun you'll have with a book all year.--Warren Ellis

About the Author

Cherie Priest is the author of Dreadnought and 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 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 master's in rhetoric at the University of Tennessee. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband, Aric, and a fat black cat named Spain.

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By Adam Stokes on 11 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you enjoyed the previous two novels in The Clockwork Century trilogy (I'm not sure whether the novella Clementine counts or not), you'll probably like this one - as it's more of the same. More zombies. More spunky heroines. More steam-powered engines of war. There's a familiarity that extends beyond the reappearance of several characters from previous installments which is no bad thing in my opinion, except in one area; like 'Boneshaker' and 'Dreadnought', 'Gannymede' also suffers from an overly long build-up. Yes, it draws you in and the world it creates is lovingly created, but the actual scenes within the 'Gannymede' feel rushed and tacked-on. as I've said before, it's a good book but it's not perfect.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 37 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A Great World, a Very Safe Story 17 Oct. 2011
By C. Barnes - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of the Clockwork Century world. I don't get caught up in the little differences between its history and geography and reality. Boneshaker is one of my favorite books, and I was glued to Clementine and Dreadnought. I was very excited for Ganymede.

When I finished reading I was still excited. It was a good, fast read. But, as I reflected on it in the following days I realized it was a very "safe" story. In many circumstances when the author has a chance to introduce conflict or some other form of Murphy's law, she simply didn't. I equate it to watching a suspenseful movie... and your thinking to yourself (or yelling at the television), "No! Don't go in there!". This book is written such that they didn't "go in there". The main characters in the book rarely encountered adversity, always made the right choices, and the story concluded. It would have so much more interesting of they had "gone in there".

In addition to the safe story line, there are many characters introduced (or carried over from previous books) that simply don't matter. There is a Voodoo Queen that is described as foreboding and dangerous, but you don't get any of that. A new Texian general comes to town, but doesn't really make any problems. A life-long friend is introduced and then forgotten. And a familiar Texas Ranger enters the story only to do nothing (but maybe set up another book - which I'll eagerly read).

Now, the story does give us a little more of Briar Wilkes and son, you get some more from Mr. Swakhammer and daughter, and you find out that post-Boneshaker Seattle is the same, but different. But, don't get your hopes up, you only get little teasers then it is off to New Orleans for a novel-long story that maybe should have only been a chapter or two in a different book.

You're going to read this book because you are a Cheri Priest fan. And, you're going to like it. I did. I initially rated it very high. But then I wondered about the purpose of the Voodoo queen, the best friend, the Texian general, and our friend the Texas Ranger. To be fair to the other wonderful Clockwork books, I brought the stars down a few on Ganymede.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Cheri Priest's Ganymede 21 Oct. 2011
By Grimjack13 - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been reading all of Cheri Priest's Steampunk stories and so far this is one best yet. I didn't really care for Boneshaker but Clementine brought me back and onward to Dreadnought and Ganymede. I originally bought Boneshaker for my wife because I thought it was a steampunk/zombie story, she is into the whole zombie/slash/anything genre. She's weird, but I'll keep her.

Anyway Ganymede and the rest of Clockwork Century storyline is quite a bit more than that. The alternate world she is creating and its opposing views, revised history and different characters are intriguing. Yankees, Confederates, swamp guerilla fighters, heart of gold prostitutes, air pirates, Texicans and zombies, it's all cool and it's not in England. Nothing against the English but Jules Verne was French and The Wild Wild West was an American pre-steampunk production. Cheri Priest's works are different and so far I've liked them. The stories seem to be getting stronger at least in the extended American Civil War arena that she is crafting. I also like the fact that her version of steampunk is mostly technical as opposed to magical.

I do agree with C. Barnes as to the lack of character conflicts. Everybody seems to get along just a little too well. The story was too "safe" as far as character interactions. I do like the characters; she has definitely crafted her characters well and gives them their own "voice." But I think their "voice" would be portrayed stronger with more adversity and interpersonal friction to address. A giant white man and his crew are accepted into the inner circle of a group of rough and tumble black guerilla fighters, surrounded by white enemies like Johnnie Rebs and Texicans, just a little too easily. There was just not enough friction between the characters. It's like a John Carter of Mars story where the good guys almost automatically size each other up, shake hands, pledge an oath against evil and join forces, despite the backdrop of historical controversy that was overlaid in the previous chapter. The interpersonal tension was pretty low with everybody from different backgrounds and agendas easing into joint alliances over a cup of coffee and polite conversation.

It does beg to shake the whole suspension of disbelief but the smoothness of the wordsmithing seemed to allow the reader to gloss over it without jarring the story too much with one exception. There is an issue over a torn dress and a gun pulled between the two main characters in the middle of a life and death struggle, which just felt like an insert to make a point on a social issue. The scene was out of context for the situation that the characters were in. I wasn't opposed to the message that Cheri Priest was "getting out there" I just felt the subplot discussion was surreal to the rest of the situation. There was never a sense that one main character was really going to kill the other main character. It was just a quick conversation at an inappropriate time to address a non-critical matter. It was also an example of how the tension/conflict level between the characters could have been pushed a little further if it had occurred elsewhere in the story.

Still I like the fact that the story left Settle and gave us a look at another part of Clockwork Century. I understand that Cheri Priest's heart is in Seattle but here it's just a walled off forgotten city with a small underground society under a perpetual toxic gas cloud that, from the teasers, may have infected the rest of the world with zombies. Go Seahawks.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The Clockwork Century 7 Oct. 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Of all the many things I admire and enjoy about Ms. Priest writing, the foremost is how each of her character has their own voice. Ganymede is the newest volume in her Clockwork Century series of interconnected books set on a North American continent where the Civil War has lasted for 20 some years. This one concerns the attempt to get a prototype submersible from Lake Pontchartrain to the Union blockade. It features Andan Cly who was first introduce in Boneshaker and Josephine Early a free woman of color who runs a ladies boarding house and is working to free New Orleans from the Republic of Texas' occupation forces. This books has airships, pirates, spies, Texas rangers, Chinese drug lords,prostitute, giant catfishes and zombies. It is American steam punk at its best and I recommend it and its companions book without reservation as great reading fun.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A slower, more steampunk adventure 22 May 2013
By Laurie A. Brown - Published on
This book in the Clockwork Century series has air pirate Andan Cly thinking about quitting the business and settling down in Seattle to be near Briar Wilkes, now sheriff of the broken city. He intends to quit running the Blight gas to the people that make it into the horribly damaging drug Sap. To do this, he must have his airship refitted into a regular cargo ship, not possible in Seattle. By coincidence, he is offered two jobs at the same time- one from the new head of the city to make a supply run, and another, mysterious one, from an ex-lover, Josephine, in New Orleans. He can take care of all three of these things in one trip! Of course, he doesn't know what Josephine's job entails, but that's not something to worry him too much.

Once down in New Orleans he finds that the Texians are holding the city under martial law. It seems they are looking for a machine- a machine that could end the Civil War (which has been going on for over 20 years in this universe). This machine, the Ganymede of the title, is an `underwater airship', and the people who attempt to run it keep dying in the attempt. This is where Cly comes in; Josephine thinks that an airship pilot will have better luck with it than a boat captain. Of course, because of the Texians, the Ganymede must be moved in complete secrecy, which doesn't make it easy to work out any problems in running it.

Unlike the other books in this series, Ganymede doesn't move along with breakneck speed. There is much less action; almost none until near the end of the book, when there is a great battle scene on and in the water. There is a lot of suspense: will they get caught by the Texians? By zombies? Will the Ganymede kill them, too, or will they figure out how to pilot it safely? Why are there zombies down in New Orleans, anyway, when they originated in Seattle via exposure to the Blight gas? The pace is very different from the other Clockwork Century books, but different isn't a bad thing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.5 stars; a well written book but the weakest of the Clockwork Century series 23 Nov. 2011
By Karissa Eckert - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was the fourth book in the Clockwork Century series. I have loved all of the books in this series and was eager to read this one. This one was good, but probably my least favorite of the bunch I didn't find the story or the characters as engaging as the first three books.

Josephine Early has a secret, and it's not the fact that her Boarding House of Women is actually a mixed race bordello, no it's the fact that she is helping to get a war machine called the Ganymede out of the south and to the north to help the other side of the war. Trouble is Josephine needs someone to pilot the thing and being that Ganymede is the first submarine ever and that a number of people have died trying to pilot it she's having some trouble. Then she remembers Cly. Josephine and Cly have history, and since Cly's trying to give up pirating and straighten out his life this might be the perfect gig for him to start with.

I love Priest's writing style; she has enough detail in there to really help the reader picture what's going on. I also love how she blends history, zombies, and steampunk elements together to create this awesome world. We meet Cly in Boneshaker and it was fun to read more about him. I love how the zombie issue is kind of woven into the back story and how, even though this is a serparate story from the first three books, it still has many elements of those books tied in with it.

I did have some problems with this book too. Josephine wasn't my favorite character, I just had trouble engaging with her. This was odd because I usually love Priest's quirky, strong female leads. Josephine just rubbed me the wrong way though; she was too abrasive and too cold to be very likable. I liked Cly better, but he wasn't in the story nearly as much as Josephine. With Cly and Josephine's history together I expected them to interact more and have more tension, but this didn't really happen.

I also enjoyed the number of social issues that are addressed in this book: issues of race, war, sexual orientation, etc are discussed and interesting points are brought up. Nothing incredibly unique, but there is some food for thought there. I was a little surprised when one of the characters was revealed to be transexual...mostly because I didn't understand how it added to the story, the way this was revealed at the end was a bit odd. I am wondering if that will carry on to the next book or if it was just included for novelty.

I also had some problems with the plot. There is a lot going on in this book but the overall premise and goal of the book was pretty simple; to get the Ganymede out of the marsh and into the river to deliver to the other side of the war. This is the main issue the whole book deals with and at times I found it to be a bit tedious. I understand that the Ganymede was supposed to provide a turning point for the war; I just didn't find it all that interesting. Maybe it's because I am not a history buff and don't like war stories all that much; but I thought this book had a lot less adventure and steampunk elements than previous books in this series and a lot more tactics and war games.

Overall this was a very good book, but not the strongest in this series. I didn't think the characters were as admirable as in previous books, I also found the overall premise of getting a war machine from one place to another to be a bit tedious and boring at times. This is an excellent world though and I still find it intriguing. I enjoy Priest's writing style and the intricacy of her descriptions a lot. I look forward to reading Inexplicable when it releases in 2012.
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