Give me magic, gadgets, monsters, zombies, everything that seems impossible, and throw in some tough chicks with swords. That's the stuff.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Returning to the Clockwork Century...

I've said it before and I'll say it again: This is my kind of Western.

The American West of the late 1800s fits steampunk just as easily as Victorian London. The character types are different, of course, as is the setting, but the expansionist zeal of the United States, the settlers who had to rely on their own ingenuity, and the sense of being removed from law and order make it a very exciting setting, and one where gadgets and airships would come in handy. Cherie Priest has tinkered with history and science to bring to life an America where the Civil War has gone on for 20 years, Seattle is overrun with zombies, and a few good (or mostly good) men and women do whatever it takes, come hell or high water, to get the job done.

I watched 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea over and over again as a kid (I believe I had a giant crush on Kirk Douglas' Ned Land), so I have a soft spot for stories about mysterious submarines. This one is stuck in the bayou, not having adventures on the ocean, but it still was a very fun ride.

In Ganymede (book 4) Priest again plays with the history books and I loved every second. Based off of Hunley's real-life submarine attempts for the Confederacy, this one has Andan Cly, semi-reformed pirate, who comes to New Orleans to get supplies for Seattle and to do a job for his former love, Josephine Early. Early is a Union spy and is trying to get the last working submarine into the hands of the Federals. There's also more zombies, action, gadgets, and fantastic characters who would fit so well into any Western (minus the zombies and alternate history). I really enjoyed the detail on the cars and boats used in New Orleans, and pirates are always a big plus.

Several faces from previous books make an appearance and it's nice to see progression on some of the side stories. Can't wait for what happens next!

[I won an advance readers copy from Goodreads First Reads.]

If you haven't started the Clockwork Century series yet, but enjoy action-packed, alternate history steampunk fun, then I highly recommend this series. It's not YA (although I know there has been confusion on that in the past, especially with Boneshaker) but I'd still say that it is accessible to younger readers interested in reading beyond high school characters.

Boneshaker, book 1 
Clementine, book 2 (available as an eBook now, a hard to find limited edition hardback, and I believe it will be in paperback sometime in 2012)
Dreadnought (book 3)

[links go to my Goodreads reviews for these books]

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