Priest, Cherie

Book - 2009
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
In the early days of the Civil War, rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest. Anxious to compete, Russian prospectors commissioned inventor Leviticus Blue to create a great machine that could mine through Alaska's ice. Thus was Dr. Blue's Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine born. But on its first test run the Boneshaker went terribly awry, destroying several blocks of downtown Seattle and unearthing a subterranean vein of blight gas that turned anyone who breathed it into the living dead. Now it is sixteen years later, and a wall has been built to enclose the devastated and toxic city. Just beyond it lives Blue's widow, Briar Wilkes. Life is hard with a ruined reputation and a teenaged boy to support, but she and Ezekiel are managing. Until Ezekiel undertakes a secret crusade to rewrite history. His quest will take him under the wall and into a city teeming with ravenous undead, air pirates, criminal overlords, and heavily armed refugees. And only Briar can bring him out alive.

Publisher: New York : Tor, 2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0765318415
Branch Call Number: FIC PRIEST 2009
Characteristics: 416 p. : map ; 21 cm


From Library Staff

In this action-packed steampunk novel set in Civil War-era Seattle, Zeke ventures into the walled-off city where years before his father was blamed for having unleashed a gas that turned people into zombies.

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Nov 29, 2014
  • artemishi rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Boneshaker was the kind of steampunk historical fantasy novel that I didn't see coming. I get frustrated with a LOT of the Victoriana steampunk novels out there, for their sheer stupidity and likewise, I'm charmed by steampunk novels that show me something new. That's where this one lands.

Because steampunk. Apocalyptica. Zombies. And the kind that are scary and fast.

I loved that the main character is not some young heroine, but a late 30's aged mother. And the other women in this book are suitably kick-ass, and also in their 50's and beyond. I loved that the Seattle Underground and 1880's Seattle infrastructure plays such a key role, even given the liberal fact changes for story's purpose. I loved seeing characters plucked out of Seattle history and dropped into this story. And it was a rollicking ride, especially after about halfway through.

This was my first Cherie Priest novel, but not my last. It's a must-read for steampunk fans and zombie fiction fans, and I also recommend it for fans of historical fantasy, Seattle lovers especially. And if you've never been on the Seattle Underground tour (and you SHOULD DO THIS), suffice to say her description of the tunnel areas isn't far off to what actually exists today. Parts of the story are implausible, of course (it IS fantasy), but the touchstone of Seattle's true underground and layout are delightful.

May 22, 2013
  • KingSalomon rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

pretty good.I did not like the writting though. it felt a bit jerky the story did not flow. But the story is good

Mar 05, 2013

I agree 100% with Erika2525. She is a weak writer with a good story line. She takes too much time on describing the settings (and pretty much none on the characters) and most seem to be repeated sceens ( it's dark and hard to see thru the Blight there are trash and boxes.......ect) stop going into detail on things that don't make the stroy move along. I know the characters move around in the book but to me it felt like they were in the same 3 types of scenarios and it got very boring. I also thought for a steampunk book it really didnt have much in the way of steampunk itself. Yeah ok it had a few interesting weapons but nothing that makes steampunk good. I will not be reading anymore from this writer. Save your time!

Jun 20, 2012
  • Erika2525 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I feel the same way about Boneshaker as I do about Priest's Eden Moore series, namely that she has a lot of great ideas, but can be a weak writer overall.

I enjoy her vision of Southern Gothic and Northwest Steampunk alike, but she nevertheless can wind up creating non-sympathetic characters, writing scenes that seem better suited for cinema (in Boneshaker's case), and using way too much exposition and resorting to deus ex machina when she writes herself into a corner (in the Eden Moore trilogy).

I definitely feel that she could use a better editor.

Jun 04, 2012
  • alexa_m rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I really loved this book! It was fun and exciting to read and Cherie Priest paints a wonderful visual image in your head. You can really immerse yourself in the scenery and story.

Feb 07, 2012
  • j3howard rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Great book. I haven't read all of her books yet, but this is my favorite so far.

Nov 20, 2011
  • SeaMom2one rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Love this book so much I went out and bought it! Cherie is a gutsy author that creates believable characters and an alternative history the reader merges into and reluctantly leaves as the last page is finished.

Nov 20, 2011
  • wallyb rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Good, fun read with a lot of great ideas, larger than life characters, and a plot that churns along right to the end. Should be good for upper level teens and adults.

Jul 04, 2011
  • BookishOne rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I couldn't figure out where to write the steampunk summer book post-reading entry for Boneshaker, so I'll write it here. Whoever wants to read it next, I've put it in a freezer bag and hung it from a tree branch over a little bridge that's over the west seattle bridge. (Hint: if you've left West Seattle you've gone too far). I'm pretty sure it'll be found soon, though, so if you can figure out where it is, you'd better hurry. In my opinion, it's worth the search. I loved Boneshaker from the first page to the last page. Good luck!


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May 22, 2013
  • KingSalomon rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Violence: duh its a steampunk zombie novel

May 22, 2013
  • KingSalomon rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Coarse Language: its a dystopian world....of course theres swearing!!!


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May 22, 2013
  • KingSalomon rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

KingSalomon thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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