Craig here today, and this post is a bit challenging for me. I know I don’t read as much as the other Story Empire authors, and rarely get the chance to read something that isn’t from one of my author friends. It does happen on occasion, so I’m bringing you something a bit different today.
Cheri Priest is one of my favorite authors, and I rarely get the chance to read her stuff these days. One of the things I love about her is the creativity that goes into her work. She isn’t afraid to come up with some odd ideas and forge ahead. I also appreciate the amount of research she obviously puts into her work.
The first book I read of hers was Boneshaker, which went on to become a five book series. Now, I’m not a series guy, but I read them all.
I grabbed this cover from Amazon, because mine was a paperback copy. We have this thing where I work that involves dropping off paperbacks so others can read them, and my copy is long since gone. I swear mine had a different cover too, which is common.
While this book didn’t create the steampunk sub-genre, it did for me. Think of steampunk as an alternate evolution of technology almost like an old Jules Verne story.
Boneshaker involves the backstory of an inventor who was hired to create a digging machine, with the ultimate goal of sending it to the Klondike gold rush. He tested it out in Seattle, but something went horribly wrong. This has to do with the active volcanics of the area and such.
The story is about his widow, and life going on — amid poison gas, zombies, an underground city, and more.
Here is the blurb:
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.
I’m always inspired by unique and creative people. How about you folks? Have you read any of Priest’s books? Do you want to now?