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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 BornBut 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 DeadNow 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 HistoryHis 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 engaging but decidedly minor yarn featuring brave women, pirate airships, a zombie plague, and a battered barricaded alternate seattle the steampunk elements are of the american west variety, so as far as the atmosphere conveyed, this is muggy days than foggy nights enjoyable for the most part, although the highly tedious annoying character of the son made the last third tough going at times.i really don t have much else to say this was a pleasant and forgettable way to pass an evening so here are some things to fill out this so called review fridtjof nansen Miss Eliza Bennet, let me persuade you to follow my example, and take a turn about the room I assure you the anti gravity hoverchannel is very refreshing after sitting so long in one attitude Eliza was surprised, but agreed to it immediately She unstrapt herself from her leather seat restraints and stood, careful to maintain her balance as the airship encountered turbulence When she entered the hoverchannel, she activated the polarity redistribution magnets within her combat suit and began floating comfortably around the perimeter of the foyer.Miss Bingley s attention was quite engaged in watching Mr Darcy s progress through his book, so much so that at one point she nearly navigated the ship into the side of Pemberley and she was perpetually making some inquiry.At length, finally exhausted by her tenacious attempts to force a conversation regarding his book, Darcy relented It s entitled Boneshaker An American novel What do you think of it Eliza said as she drifted by A bit nonsensical, really Steampunk claptrap about the Civil War going on much longer than it actually did, which caused technological advances that didn t really happen until much later And a zombie infested city called Seattle It has been blocked off from the rest of the country, and our heroine must go in to rescue her foolish son Mr Bingley crossed the room, his steam powered mechanical legs stomping their way across the carpet to the cabinet where he refilled his glass Zombies in America That does sound quite silly Everyone knows that zombies are native to Britain That s how I lost my legs Please, Bingley, don t tell us that old story again, Mr Hurst said, adjusting himself on the sofa before falling back asleep.Darcy said, The plot moves along at a good pace, but the characters are a bit uninspired A teenage boy constantly doing something inadvisable the protective mother, blasting zombies and trying to save him Eliza smiled Darcy, certainly you aren t saying literature is full of strong female characters who run around rescuing male characters Nor should it be, Mr Hurst said, drifting slowly in and out of consciousness.Ignoring Mr Hurst s interjection, Darcy said, I suppose the fairer sex aren t shown in powerful roles that often, even in these books written in the far future about the distant past er, or perhaps about the same time as now When were we written Miss Bingley inquired, Are you sure the dinner agreed with you I feel fine, thank you, Darcy said Admit it, Sherlock Holmes said, standing in the doorway, Watson at his side You enjoy all the fashionable gimmicks flying left and right, and the pace keeps you entertained Yet you wonder why nothing surprising was done with any of these elements Darcy moved over as Holmes sat on the sofa beside him, lighting a pipe You re right, Holmes The whole reinvention of the Civil War is fascinating in theory Then the author does nothing with it The book has nothing to say No reflections on the civil war, racism, or politics Nor does it say anything about the true nature of zombies In fact, it says little about love, which is the very heart of the story J K Rowling, refilling her glass of zinfandel, said, And it s practically a young adult novel, isn t it Other than one or two mildly violent zombie moments and one four letter S word, this could be the next film from Pixar There s not even a gay sorcerer to throw off the prudes Darcy met Eliza s eyes as she orbited the room Have you read it as well, Miss Bennett Braaaains, Mr Hurst moaned softly I found it diverting, Eliza said I always read the books nominated for the Nebula awards But, like you, I found the novel didn t meet my expectations When you look beyond the stylish trappings, you have a run of the mill adventure story written in a workmanlike fashion I imagine the query letter was spectacular, though Darcy was on the verge of speaking when Mr Hurst lunged up from the sofa, saliva splattering from his vicious maw, his eyes sunken in and rolled back into his head He lurched across the room toward Bingley, whose back was facing him.Eliza kicked off of the wall and rolled over to Darcy, pulling his pistol from his belt, and fired several rounds through Mr Hurst s head A splatter of blood, brain and skull chips showered down on Harold Bloom Well, Mr Harold Bloom said, wiping blood from his face and wiping it on the sofa, that was entirely unnecessary, but what HASN T been The whole book review is sound and fury, signifying nothing And how many times is this hack going to parody Pride and Prejudice He seems to think it s much funny than it is, just as Oscar Wilde thought himself hilarious, when he is in fact highly over esteemed Holmes puffed his pipe, a gray cloud of smoke rising above him I can t believe I didn t notice Mr Hurst was turning Usually I m so attentive to details Nobody s perfect, Darcy said Would you mind putting that pipe out We are in a zeppelin, you know Holmes sighed and stood up, pulling on his overcoat I m going next door to the Kurt Vonnegut review Pipe smoking is encouraged over there And as Holmes left the room, suddenly the review stopped. 1.5 Steampunk and zombies and mini apocalypse, oh my How could you go wrong For starters, you could have lead characters that I never really connected with or cared that much about Protagonists whose most active role was to get themselves into the city, and then who became fortunes of fate, as things happened to them I did like some of the secondary characters better, especially Swakhammer Though it seemed weird to me that Briar called calling him Mr Swakhammer It was probably meant to be an affectation to remind us of the time period, when men and women were formal, but since these characters are so informal, it was just kind of weird Just another layer of distance in a book which keeps you at yoursI think, really, that s what it is The characters are never really developed it s an actiony adventure type story, which could be fine, except it seemed like it almost wanted to be a deeper, thoughtful story at times, it just never quite managed to be so.Oh, and the brown font on the off white paper killed me at first, but I did mostly get used to it.Anyway, I never felt truly frightened or saddened for these characters and their exploits, though I did sometimes feel annoyed that they seemed so ingrateful for the help people were giving them Briar , and that they kept running off and getting themselves in trouble without finding out what was going on first Zeke And I never really connected with them, so didn t much care.And the whole thing with the big bad was meh And I don t just mean the anti climactic end, I mean everything about it The build up, the reveal, everything There s something which happens at the end which Briar is said not to care about because her focus is on something else Well, I didn t care, either Wow do you think I could say I didn t care any The only thing I did sort of care about is the fate of Swahkhammer, which we re left not knowing I read somewhere that this is the first of a planned trilogy, but I doubt I ll continue unless I hear really good things about the follow up All that said, I do agree with one reviewer who said that this story could make a good movie, though Visually it would be pretty awesome, and you can get away with less develoepd characters and haphazard happenings in movies. Sixteen years after Leviticus Blue reputedly robbed a string of banks and released the Blight using his drilling machine, the Boneshaker, his son Ezekiel goes back into the walled remains of Seattle, braving rotters and Doornails, to clear his name His mother, Briar Wilkes, goes into the walled wasteland to bring him out Can she find Zeke before Dr Minnericht finds him I ve got mixed feelings about this one For one thing, the writing doesn t tickle my innards and the characters are all pretty weak It also feels like it could have been 70 or 80 pages shorter A steampunk book with zombies and airships shouldn t have so many dull spots Also, there was a 35 page block missing from my copy but I don t think I missed a whole lot due to the aforementioned pacing issues Further, Boneshaker is a misleading title since the Boneshaker doesn t make an appearance until the very end.However, I did manage to enjoy myself while reading it I love the idea of a walled up city infested by zombies as well as the culture of those that stayed behind to live off of what was left, the Doornails The concept of zombies being created by subterranean pockets of gas was interesting, as was lemon sap, the drug made from said gas The steampunk tech was nicely done, complete with artificial limbs and a sound cannon The airships were also good, even if under utilized Zeke and Briar s struggle to find one another was well done, even if it dragged for my tastes Dr Minnericht was a Darth Vader ish enemy but the reveal of his identity was pretty good, as was his death.I wouldn t exactly say I d recommend buying this but if you could find someone to lend it to you, I don t think you ll be very disappointed.