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Publisher's Summary

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 16 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.
©2009 Cherie Priest (P)2010 Macmillan Audio
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Critic Reviews

"Intelligent, exceptionally well written and showcasing a phenomenal strong female protagonist who embodies the complexities inherent in motherhood, this yarn is a must-read for the discerning steampunk fan." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Tracey on 02-14-13

Doesn't live up to potential

I thought I would LOVE this book -- I mean, zombies, steampunk (with Zeppelins), what's not to like? Well, I guess a strong narrative and plot would have helped. Also, I never really felt engaged to any of the characters and kept hoping they would stumble across some zombies to add a bit of zest.
The performance, for the most part, is well done, although when the 2 primary characters come together, it becomes a bit confusing (as we have become used to Wil reading Zeke's lines and Kate reading Briars's spots, so it takes some getting used to as they read chapters without regard to who is speaking.)

Overall, I recommend a pass on this book unless you just rally love Steampunk.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Luke on 03-11-11

Unappealing characters. Stiff reading.

As a big fan of the Steampunk genre, I was excited to start listening to this story. I even held out longer than I would have on other books BECAUSE it was a steampunk story.

Unfortunately, it wasn't worth it.

The biggest problem was that our two heroes were completely unappealing. They are full of flaws and rough edges, but there is very little in them to make us like them or empathize with their plight. At times the teenager hero (Zeke) can be just a plain old annoying self-entitled teen.

Another problem was the reading (at least on the part of Kate Reading). It was stiff and robotic sounding, and didn't do a good job of expressing the emotion our other main character (Ms. Wilkes) was going through after having her son run off to almost certain death.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Ian David Burrell on 07-15-11

Steampunk Adventure

Well I really listened to it rather than read it. An exciting roller-coaster ride full of gunfights, dirigibles, infernal machines and zombies. But not only that, rounded characters you really care about. A perfect steampunk adventure.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Beccameriel on 03-20-14

Not your average steam punk heroine

This is great. The heroine, Briar, is a single mother in her 30s determinedly setting out to find her missing teenage son, Zeke, in a "rotter" zombie ravaged 19th century Seattle full of poisonous "blight" gas and under the sway of a sinister doctor who may or may not be someone she knows.

Zeke is trying to find out the truth about his father and Briar is pretty close mouthed about what she knows throughout. Refreshingly, there is no romantic storyline tacked on for Briar or Zeke just people who help them or who don't. Both main characters are believable in their motivations and reactions to events.

I like the sharing of narration between 2 readers for Briar's and Zeke's chapters and they both do a find job at it: Wil Wheaton capturing the slightly whiny adolescent tone of Zeke and Kate Reading, Briar's weary but determined voice.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 07-15-18

Very engaging

I was initially skeptical of another zombie title but was drawn in by Wil Wheaton being a narrator (he has a fantastic way of drawing you into the world). Wil's performance is as good as usual and though I wasn't familiar with Kate Reading to start with, I found her just as good. The interplay between them was a good choice as well.
Ultimately I was please that the zombies are more of a side issue - an ever present risk to be aware of, but only one of many so they don't draw the focus.
Great "read", I couldn't put it down and will be looking at other books by Cherie Priest now.

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4 out of 5 stars
By Lachlan Peterson on 06-22-16

A fun steampunk adventure.

Was a good story. could have done with some more emphasis on the reveal but overall good :) Worth a listen :)

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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