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I consume a lot of media. I've decided to write about it here sometimes. Reviews and such. Note the links on the right for other parts of the site, including our photo gallery.

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Sun, 01 Aug 2010

Book review: Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

Neptune's Pride

How's this for genre-busting: a steampunk alternate-history dungeon-crawl adventure story...with zombies!

To summarise - in this universe, around the time of the American civil war an accident involving the Boneshaker (a giant drilling machine) that was built by the husband of the main character (Briar Wilkes) released a poisonous gas from beneath the earth's crust into Seattle, turning most of the inhabitants into flesh-craving zombies. During the mad rush to escape, the father of the main character (Briar Wilkes) committed a compassionate act that saved many lives but cost his own. Seventeen years on he is a hero to those still living inside the walled-up city, and a pariah to those on the outside. This, plus the fact that her husband created the Boneshaker, hasn't made life any easier for the widowed Briar or her teenage son Zeke, who still live on the outskirts of Seattle.

Zeke decides to sneak into the city to try to find the truth about his long-lost father, Leviticus Blue. Learning where he has gone, Briar enlists the help of a rogue zepplin captain to make her way inside after her son. The action proceeds in fast and furious fashion as mother and son try to find one another in the Blighted city, dodging zombies, criminals and (for real!) mad scientists. Along the way they meet a raft of great characters such as an exoskeleton-clad adventurer, an elderly half-Indian survivalist princess and a steam-powered cyborg barmaid. It's totally ridiculous, but great fun from start to finish.

This is a ripping good yarn, as they said back in the day. An absolute hoot to read, and it gets a recommendation from me. I cannot wait for more stories in this setting. Steam-powered airship battles ahoy!

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