Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Boneshaker, by Cherie Priest

Today I finished Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, and can at last say I have read a recent zombie novel. This was published in 2009, so written in 2008, so I will say she gets credit for being ahead of the trend, by a little. The zombie wave is at its peak, probably just cresting, while vampires(Two-Disc Special Edition) still seem to have strength.

But on to the novel. This was a well-turned and entertaining read, and I'd say it is worth reading for free (as I did, from the public library). It didn't grab me in any special way. It has the various steampunky accessories, like airships in the 1870's. It is set in an alternate Seattle that got in on the Klondike gold rush, then was hit by the Boneshaker (of the title) and rendered into a version of Hell that reminds me of the environmentally blasted landscapes in William Gibson'sNeuromancer. But the alternate science is there mostly as a prop, other than some speculation on the cause of the zombies. The focus is on the characters, and while they are sympathetic (a mother going into Hell to get her son out), they just didn't get a real grip. But it's a 2009 Nebula nominee, and I like it enough for 3 stars

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