“Boneshaker” by Cherie Priest
Sometimes I listen to my husband when he suggests what I should read. Probably not as often as I should, as my list of things I have to read is probably over 100 books by now. Last week, however, I asked him to tell me what to read next and he handed me Cherie Priest’s “Boneshaker,” which I finished in less than 48 hours and was completely enraptured by.
In this steampunk adventure, a son goes looking for answers in a dangerous world, and a loving mother follows to rescue him. Imagine, if you will, Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere,” and the TV shows “The Walking Dead” and “Firefly” all getting together and spawning a book – that’s as close as I can describe this awesome read. (I’m fully aware that the above description is going to be mega-confusing to some people, and I’m kind of okay with that. I meant it as a good thing, truly.)
Cherie Priest is a genre writer who gets (and owns) her genre; Steampunk can easily be overkill, but the elements in “Boneshaker” aren’t off-putting or overwhelming. She’s re-imagined Seattle as a post-apocalyptic wasteland full of crazed cannibals, and it’s wicked fun. The mother/son relationship at the heart of the book grips you enough to keep you reading, and what kind of underworld would it be without a cast of colorful characters to help and hinder our heroes? My personal favorite character is a sassy bar owner with two mechanical arms.
To those of you who like science fiction and/or horror novels, read this. To those who are wary of “genre fiction,” this would be an excellent way to dip your toes outside your fictional comfort zone. I liked it so much I’ve already snatched up a copy of another Cherie Priest book.