By Cherie Priest
Editions: audiobook, ebook, hardback, paperback
Published September 29th 2009 by Tom Doherty Associates
Genre: Steampunk YA (more Middle Grade, if you ask me)
Source: own copy
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.
~ Goodreads Blurb
As more time goes by, my interest in middle grade-ish sort of reads dwindles and dies. This phenomenon has began a while back and it’s a trend that isn’t going away yet, I just can’t keep the interest regardless of how well the book is written or how cool the world building is.
I read something like half of this book before losing interest, and I tried to keep going but I just had no curiosity left. I’m sure a lot of readers have loved or will love this to bits, because I really liked this on many accounts, but it just has no appeal to me on a personal level.
Zeke is the young man, stubborn and brave, who takes on this adventure. His mom goes on this adventure after him, basically, and we have the standard adventure scenario here. In my culture, in Romania, this is a scenario always present in fairy tales, the random characters the hero meets on his journey who always help him go through trials or tough situations, then melt away and another one shows up where it is needed.
I appreciate the adventure middle grade scenario, but I just have no interest in it any longer, I’m sorry.
Here a lot of that scenario was at play, the random characters showing up to help out the protagonists, the quest, the search for truth, the identity search of the young character, the journey. This is pretty basic middle grade to me. This book comes with a really awesome steampunk premise, zombies, inventive world building and fun concepts, it’s really well written and I highly recommend it if you like middle grade or can roll with it.
Have you read it already? How did you feel about the book?